These differences arise primarily from the fact that glass for optical uses is required in comparatively large and thick pieces, while for most other purposes glass is used in the form of comparatively thin sheets; when, therefore, as a consequence 5 and crown glass.
Crown-glass has at the present day almost disappeared from the market, and it has been superseded by sheet-glass, the more modern processes described above being capable of producing much larger sheets of glass, free from the knob or " bullion " which may still be seen in old crown-glass windows.
For a few isolated purposes, however, it is desirable to use a glass which has not been touched upon either surface and thus preserves the lustre of its " fire polish " undiminished; this can be attained in crown-glass but not in sheet, since one side of the latter is always more or less marked by the rubber used in the process of flattening.
One of the few uses of crown-glass of this kind is the glass slides upon which microscopic specimens are mounted, as well as the thin glass slips with which such preparations are covered.
A full account of the process of blowing crown-glass will be found in all older books and articles on the subject, so that it need only be mentioned here that the glass, instead of being blown into a cylinder, is blown into a flattened sphere, which is caused to burst at the point opposite the pipe and is then, by the rapid spinning of the glass in front of a very hot furnace-opening, caused to expand into a flat disk of large diameter.