_THE most important of the English glass centers were London, Bristol, Nailsea, and Stourbridge. The English glass industry received considerable impetus with the introduction of skilled workers from France in the 16th Century. These cmftsmen, like the Venetians, were described as gentlemen or esquires, and evidently ranked as persons of honor and consequence. England became an exporter of glass, rather than an importer, during the 18th Century, but it appears that its strong position in the glass industry was due more to the quality of its metal than to any preeminence in decoration or design. We find that around the year 1840 English metal was considered superior to the French. By the time the London Exposition opened in 1851 paperweights had become the rage,and their production was more or less commercialized.
_Many paperweights were made in England around 1870, but good ones of this period are now rather hard to find. In 1828 Bristol had twelve glass houses, and, next to London, was the most important glass center in England. A familiar feature of Bristol glass is a pear-shaped bubble which was used extensively in old green glass door stops and paperweights. These bubble decorations were made by piercing the hot glass with a sharp pointed instrument to any desired depth or introducing a drop of alcohol. The alcohol, upon coming into contact with the hot glass, produces a bubble. Sometimes the bubbles were arranged to give the effect of a fountain.