It is not well known that the Czechs were the first in Europe to produce a commercial glass foam, Spumavit. I could find some information about the history of this product but I have to give it in graphical form from the “Legend of the Bohemian glass”, written by Antonín Langhamer.
Two names are mentioned, Vaclav Novak and Frantisek Schill. The last one has written a famous book about cellular glass in the Czech language. There is no English translation available but BELGLAS is searching for sponsors for a decent translation. After that, this site will have a download available.
The Spumavit glass foam was used on the Expo 58 in Brussels in the very successful Czecho-slovak pavilion, winning the first price. I am surprised that thermal insulation was used in 1958 for a temporary building. Production started in 1957 and ended 30 years later in 1988. The combustible polystyrene became a too large and cheaper concurrent.
Everything is pure coincidence but my story is nice. According to my parents, I am conceived in a hotel close to the Expo 58 (it was their honeymoon) and probably they visited (with me in situ) this Czech pavilion with Spumavit cellular glass. Later on, after my PhD, I started to work for Pittsburgh Corning in cellular glass in 1988 when Spumavit ended. After the development of the continuous process (endless foam), I end up in Klášterec nad Ohří in the Czech Republic to start up my dream at about 200 km from the old Spumavit plant. This factory is today the best performing cellular glass plant in the world. Today, I am a consultant for cellular glass and I live together with a Czech goddess. It is clear that cellular glass and Czech have a lot in common, they both make my life extremely interesting. In the mean time, I try to understand the book of Schill by studying the Czech language.