Glassblowing is a glass forming technique which was invented by the Phoenicians around 50 BC somewhere along the Syro-Palestinian coast. The earliest evidence of glassblowing comes from a collection of waste from a glass shop, including fragments of glass tubes, glass rods and tiny blown bottles, which was dumped in a mikvah, a ritual bath in the Jewish Quarter of the Old City of Jerusalem, dated from 37 to 4 BC.
Some of the glass tubes recovered are fire-closed at one end and are partially inflated by blowing through the open end while still hot to form a small bottle; thus they are considered as a rudimentary form of blowpipe. Hence, tube blowing not only represents the initial attempts of experimentation by glassworkers at blowing glass, it is also a revolutionary step that induced a change in conception and a understanding of glass. Such inventions swiftly eclipsed all other traditional methods, such as casting and core-forming, in working glass.
Glass was a lot less common back then than it is today. It was very precious, and in the Bible glass has been compared to gold. (Job 28:17). The art of glass making eventually reached Egypt. The Egyptians used a method called core-forming. A shaped core was made of clay and dung, then molten glass was wrapped around it and shaped by rolling it on a smooth surface.
It was very much later, around the end of the 1st century BC, that a new method, glass blowing would revolutionise glass production. This art was probably discovered along the Eastern Mediterranean coast, probably is Syria. By blowing through a hollow tube, the experienced glassblower can quickly produce intricate and symmetrical shapes out of the "gather" of molten glass at the end of his tube (rod). Alternatively, he can blow the molten glass into a mould.
The glassblowing innovation, along with the backing of the powerful Roman Empire, made glass products more accessible to the common people. As the size of the Roman Empire increased,
the art of glass making spread spread to many countries.