Saturday, July 30, 2011

Page 19: Saint's Formulas

I was greeted enthusiastically by a research assistant who said, “I’m thrilled to show you these materials because as far back as our records go, no one has ever asked to see them before!” Almost as an afterthought she added, “And it’s our only collection that is radio-active!” That’s right: RADIOACTIVE! 
This was never fully explained; perhaps Saint was experimenting with uranium glass among his other formulas. 
What the collection actually consisted of were 29 boxes of paired envelopes, one envelope containing the typewritten formula for the glass that was melted on a specific day and a corresponding envelope with a physical sample of the glass obtained. This collection was reported to contain 800 glass formulas. Compared to the scanty formulas from of the Bryn Athyn daybooks – Saint’s records read like a science log. Each formula was about 4 pages long. Not only were the ingredients in the batch listed, but Saint recorded such minutia as: what time the furnace was turned on, the rate at which it was heated, how much fuel was consumed and how many sheets the tank produced that day. Even the number of gathers the gaffer took for each sheet was documented.

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