Michael Faraday’s Biggest Failure
Many felt that if anyone could figure out the secret to Bavarian Glass, it was Michael Faraday. This is why many, including Davy, felt that Faraday might actually deliver. Of course, they knew how difficult this could be. It did not matter how much of a genius someone happened to be. Sometimes, there’s no way to figure something out when you never knew what you were doing, to begin with.
Faraday’s lack of glassmaking prowess made finding out the secret to what the Bavarians did, well, impossible. He worked for several years trying to figure it out. All the while, Davy and The Royal Society were getting a lot of other things done. Faraday literally spent some of his prime years failing to make glass. Meanwhile, he could have been discovering new things and inventing grand, impressive new technology.
Faraday never did figure out the secret to Bavarian Glass after seven years of trying. What we now know is that the Bavarians did keep their ingredients and concepts top secret. However, making glass is also an art form that the Bavarians had mastered. It could not be expected for Faraday to become a master glassmaker. Faraday wanted to always remember his failure so that he never repeated it again. This is why he kept a small brick of Bavarian Glass on a shelf in his office or home.