TIL dripping molten glass into water creates a teardrop with a tail called Prince Rupert’s drop, for the Rhine prince who brought them to England in ~1660. They can withstand hammer blows on the bulbous end, but turn to powder if the tail is damaged. These drops were an early form of tempered glass.

Read more: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tempered_glass#History

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  1. [Here’s a short video demonstrating Prince Rupert’s drop.](https://youtu.be/6V2eCFsDkK0)

    Eventually people figured out how to make tempered glass in more useful forms. Tempered glass is now used where both strength and safety are desired.

    Tempered glass (minus the fragile tail) is hard to break, but if it does break it turns to tiny granular pieces instead of sharp fragments. It’s used in passenger vehicle windows, shower doors, aquariums, architectural glass doors and tables, refrigerator trays, mobile phone screen protectors, bulletproof glass components, diving masks, and plates and cookware.


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