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Posts Tagged ‘Prince Rupert’s Drop’

And that which makes their Fame ring louder,
With much adoe they shew’d the King
To make glasse Buttons turn to powder,
If off the[m] their tayles you doe but wring.
How this was donne by soe small Force
Did cost the Colledg a Month’s discourse

(Ballad of Gresham College)

It was Prince Rupert of the Rhine who brought tadpole-shaped droplets of glass with a long, thin tail to Britain in 1660 as a gift to King Charles. These droplets have extreme hardness. They could withstand a blow from a hammer on the bulbous end without breaking, while they disintegrate explosively if the tail end is even slightly damaged. It can be said to be a kind of tempered glass.

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