The Bendheim company was founded as a vendor of specialty glass for churches and synagogues in 1927; most of its glass was hand-blown, a technique that's changed little since the early days of glassmaking.
Bendheim is still a family-owned-and-operated business. The company has moved its focus from glassmaking to distribution; it offers more than two thousand types of specialty glass made by manufacturers throughout the world. Bendheim supplies glass for everything from refrigerator shelves to windows in historic homes.
One of Bendheim's bestsellers is a product called Restoration Glass, which is made by craftsmen in one of Europe's oldest glassmaking factories. It is produced using methods that were practiced before the era of machine-made glass. Architects have used Restoration Glass in the refurbishing of landmark buildings across the country, including the White House, Thomas Jefferson's Monticello home in Charlottesville, Virginia, and the Mark Twain house in Hannibal, Missouri.
Part of the appeal of Restoration Glass is the very thing contemporary manufacturing processes have eliminated: a degree of imperfection. Small levels of imperfection contribute to the remarkable light-diffusing properties of this glass.
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