The observation of what appears to be the theoretical strength in silica fibers (14 000 MPa) is described. Although this strength can be maintained in optical fibers, and the procedures are interesting and useful to some extent, they are inapplicable in detail to the production of most ordinary glass articles. This high strength in silica fibers is contrasted with the normal strength (15-20 MPa) of handled (damaged) glass articles of commerce. Factors influencing the type and magnitude of this damage are described. Although the enormous discrepancy in these values has been recognized for many years and the general reasons for it understood, no procedures for producing strong, tough, durable articles at reasonable cost have as yet proved practicable.