Luxfer prism glass

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[Luxfer Prism Co.] A brand name for a type of prismatic glass with sawtooth shaped ribs on the interior face. The patent for prism glass was issued in 1885 to J. Pennycuick. Prism glass was first exhibited at the Chicago World's Fair in 1893 and it was commercially produced from 1896-1933. The angled gratings redirected light to the back of a room and down hallways. Luxfer prism glass advertised that it could double the amount of light that entered a room when compared to normal window glass. This was important to the design of pre-electric buildings. Prism glass was often incorporate in the upper third of storefronts. The glass pieces were available initially as 4 x 4 inch tiles. Later larger tiles were made for transom covers. The advent of electrical lighting and the introduction of hollow glass blocks dissipated the need for prism glass.

Synonyms and Related Terms

Luxfer Prism Glass [Luxfer Group]; ribbed glass; prismatic glass

Resources and Citations

  • Dietrich Neumann, "Prismatic Glass", in Twentieth-Century Building Materials, T. Jester (ed.), McGraw-Hill: New York, 1995.
  • D.Neumann, "A Century's Triumph in Lighting: The Luxfur Prism Companies and their Contribution to Early Modern Architecture", Volume 54 (1), 1995.

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