Glass Canada

Features Business intelligence Contracting
Editorial: December 2014

A life’s learning

December 16, 2014  By Patrick Flannery

Industry legend Bob Maltby has shared his knowledge in a new book.

Industry legend Bob Maltby has shared his knowledge in a new book.

One of the many pleasures of the Glass Association of North America’s conference in Toronto last September was meeting Bob Maltby, 83, a veteran glass man who was instrumental in researching, developing and introducing to North America many of the techniques for making and processing flat glass that we take for granted today. Maltby has a PhD in physics and spent over 25 years at Libby Owens Ford and Glasstech before “retiring” in the early ‘80s into his own consulting business. During his tenure at LOF, Maltby seems to have had a really incredible amount of time and freedom to play with their sheet glass line and bending processes. This made him enough of an expert that he was heavily involved when PPG’s new float glass process was brought to the company. Think about all the changes and advances that have been made in glass technology since the Second World War: Maltby was there and was, in many cases, pioneering the new innovations on this continent. He holds a lot of patents.

The neat thing is, we can all now benefit from Maltby’s experience because he has written a book. It’s called simply Bob Maltby’s Glass Book – 50 Years in Lab & Factory. I confess I haven’t read it all yet, but it is here by my computer and I’m working my way through it while I wait for big files to upload. Considering the heavy technical information he is explaining, the book is actually quite engaging and not too difficult to read. And boy, is it informative. Have you been wondering what the secret is to getting the correct tension through the various glass layers in a tempering quench? How about the best way to minimize end kink? Do you wonder what bistable bow is and how it is caused? Well, wonder no more; Maltby has all the answers and he is good at putting them in plain English. He includes a ton of practical suggestions as well as explanations of the physical processes that are going on. It is not information you will use every day in your business, but I think just about everyone who gets this magazine would feel they had a better understanding of the material we use every day after reading it. To obtain a copy, email Maltby at


As this year comes to an end and we look ahead to 2015, there are some exciting developments on the horizon. Glass Canada’s commercial glazing conference, Top Glass, will return in April to the International Centre in Mississauga, Ont. Watch for some very special announcements concerning our speakers. We are hoping to bring you the launch of an important new standard that will be of critical interest to anyone building condos…’nuff said.

Hosting trade events like Top Glass can involve a delicate balancing act. When we seek feedback on the show, we often get conflicting answers. For instance, there is little agreement on whether the show should be held every year or every other year, or whether it should be held in downtown Toronto or at its present location in Mississauga. Please rest assured that your input is valued and respected, even if we have had to make alternate choices.

Print this page


Stories continue below


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *