Glass blowing is an ancient art that seems as though it would have been long abandoned in the modern age of business and industry. But this piece from Bell Labs' news magazine "TV Theatre" opens a window into the practice as it still existed in the late 1970s, visiting an in-house craft shop that produced glass laboratory materials on demand.
It was 1979 and the glass blowing shop at Bell Laboratories' plant in Murray Hill, NJ. was slowly dwindling down, losing out to the demands of solid-state technology that had almost entirely replaced glass tubes. Despite that, glass tubes were still being used and were needed for research. So Bell Labs retained glassblowers to produce glassworks following exact specifications for research projects.
This video gives a brief glimpse inside the glassblowing shop in Area 10, the Research Department, of Bell's Murray Hill complex. Featuring an interview with a longtime glassblower, who recognizes that the era is coming to an end, the piece manages to capture the images of a craft shop the likes of which were once commonplace, but today are barely remembered.