FRANCE. The factories of Poictiers were active during the Roman and Frankish periods, sur vived the Norman invasion, and were left a legacy to the gentlemen workers of the Middle Ages. Ruins of glass vases abound in the Poictiers ter ritory, and such town names as Vieille, Verrieres, Voirie, Verrines, come from their glass-works. The ancient cemeteries of Poictiers and La Vendee yield a rich harvest of glass. and fully 20,000 vases have been found at Terre-Noire, Bordeaux. The Imperial factory of Frontin cennes, at Foret-Eu, cradle of all the later Nor man glass-works, is supposed to have been found ed in the second century, and is surely the oldest in the woild. The beautiful Roman glass seen in the museums of France is thought to be of native manufacture. The Merovingian ornaments have a peculiar dynastic mark in the thin gold threads dividing differently colored layers. In 677 many Greek workmen were called to France. Normandy was the first country to give privileges to glass-workers. In the tenth and eleventh centuries four noble families received the special prerogatives of glass-workers, and these were con firmed by successive kings until the eighteenth century. Factories in other parts of France vere established by gentlemen from Normandy, and the Crusaders brought back many improve ments in glass-working. Charles V. gave all glass-makers exemption from taxes, and later kings extended this privilege as well as permit ting noblemen alone to labor at this art. In 1338 Humbert, Dauphin of Viennois, granted a portion of the forest of Chamborant to a glass maker to establish factories there, provided he should furnish him 3000 pieces annually. M.
Jaquin, in 1656, invented the imitation pearls which are made by lining the beads with fish scales, instead of the old quicksilver lining, copying the uneven shapes of pearls in perfect mimicry, of all shades. Glass-painting was first developed, if not invented, by the French, the earlier artisans being content with mosaic. Painted glass windows are said to have origi nated in the school ,of Limoges, about 800, where w a Venetian colony was planted. In all the old French churches the glass-maker's art was con spicuous. The windows of Saint Denis (rebuilt for the sixth time in 1108) are pronounced the oldest mosaic pictures in France. In 1665 Col bert tempted away 18 Venetian workmen, with their secrets, and founded a mirror factory in Paris, which, in 1693, was enlarged and trans ferred to Saint Gobain, where the manufacture still continues on a grand scale. About this time Thevart rediscovered the casting of plate glass, making plates 84 by 50 inches. All previous plate glass had been produced by blowing, and was therefore limited in size. For over a hun dred years cast plate glass was to be obtained only from these makers. In 1740 a factory for French cylindrical window-glass was established, with German workmen, at Saint Quirin, which became the parent of the modern French, Belgian, and English plate-glass works. In 1823 D'Ar tiques established the world-renowned `crystal lerie de Baccarat.'