Later and Perpherial Glasshouses

Section on Later London Glasshouses.

(Updated 4th January. 2012);
(More info on item 5 extensively rewritten; new glassworks at item 15. Also an update on U.G.B.)
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One problem with the information available is that for some firms we do not know if they were glass makers or just decorators of pre-manufactured glass.

So far, over 30 glasshouses (i.e. actually founding glass) have come to light, also many others that are workshops. What I know about them is given below. A specialisation in bottles seems to be as strong as it was in the 18th century. Of several I know almost nothing except their names. Any further information on them or on other firms still unrecorded would be most helpful in filling out and expanding this survey.

The Whitefriars factory, whose chimneys are shown in the masthead, is only briefly included in this list for sake of completion. Both it and the Pellatt factory have been extensively recorded and are covered in my book.

To Investigate Firms that Worked with Glass but were not Glass Makers CLICK:- Glass Working

A List of Firms Making Glass

* indicates data from the Society of Glass Technology Directory for the British Glass Industry, 1956.
  1. The Albert Glassworks., Kempton (C.H.) & Sons, (1874 - 1920).

    Vauxhall Walk, Lambeth, London.
    Charles Henry Kempton & his six sons. Partnership dissolved 1917. C. H. Kempton jnr. departed to found Lambeth Glass Works (see below). Most of his other sons left to other industrial glass works. Richard Kempton stayed on, with his son, Reginald, who established Southwark Glass Works in 1921 (q.v.).
    See also, Nazeing Glass Works and Glassworks in Rockingham Street, below.

  2. Balmers Glass Fabrications Ltd. 1 Whippenhall Road, Watford, Herts.

    From Pottery Gazette & Glass Trade Review 1953 Reference Book.
    (Glass Animals. See Glass Working section.)

  3. Bermondsey Glass (New update)

    Glass Between the Wars, p.110 tells us that two pieces of glass from the Cyril Manley collection, both marked "Bermondsey Glass" and signed Guy Underwood, are now in the Broadfield House Glass museum. One is a cast head of the Virgin in blue glass, the other a vase with blue and green swirls. A glass fish, datable to 1931, labelled Guy Underwood has been reported on the Glass Message Board.

    Blue glass moulded head by Guy Underwood. Ht. c. 5 inches. The bubbly quality of the glass is appropriate for that of a bottle factory.Blue glass moulded head by Guy Underwood. Ht. c. 5 inches. The bubbly quality of the glass is appropriate for that of a bottle factory. Nothing else is known about Guy Underwood or the Bermondsey factory, its dates or what it produced. According to The Glass Message Board it was located approx. at the junction of Long Lane and Tower Bridge Road.

    An archaeological excavation at the Igloo Bermondsey Sq. Regeneration Project found evidence of what was described as a bottle factory at the NE corner of the site. This is exactly the junction of Long Lane and Tower Bridge Road. The name of the factory is not know but this must be the site of what we call Bermondsey Glass.

    For pictures of the excavation (no glass) see

  4. Britten & Gilson, 187/189 Union Street, London.

    See details of this firm under Hayward Bros. (below) and under my section on Stained Glass and Sundials.

  5. Canning Town and related Bottle Works,

    In the 1890s two glassworks were opened at Canning Town, and one at Stratford. Of these three two had a long life. One of these, the City Glass Bottle Co., St. John's Road, Canning Town, is recorded from 1890 to 1953; its factory was demolished in 1955.
    The Essex Directory for 1890 shows Canning Town Glass Works Ltd, Glass Bottle Manufacturers at 63 Forty Acre Lane (north side), Canning Town, with Mr E. Mesnard as the manager. In the 1902 directory the location is more precisely described as being as next to Fords Park Road. New premises are also reported on the south side of Fords Park Road as Canning Town Glass Co., glass bottle manufacturers next to Morgan Street which, today, is cut off by the A13 highway. A new factory is the City Glass Bottle Co.listed as being at no. 12 Fords Park Road (E.J. Norton sec.).
    However Canning Town Glass Works Ltd, is not listed in the 1908; 1912 and 1918 Kelly’s Directories. Nor is it in the list compiled by the Optical Munitions and Glassware Department of the Ministry of Munitions 1915 -1918. Instead,, number 63 is now said to be occupied by National Glass Co. Ltd. and by West Ham Bottle Co. Ltd. while the Fords Park premises continues to be occupied by the City Glass Bottle Co. In addition, two new factories are listed, the London Bottle Co. Ltd. in Pacific road, a turning off Ford Parks Road, and the Polygon Works Ltd. for which no address is given.
    These changes were probably associated with the war effort. During this period there was a move towards adopting the automatic bottle making machines developed in the USA, initially by Owens (Toledo, later Illinois) in 1903.
    After the was Canning Town Glass Works reappears as a separate factory on its old site of no. 63. where it continued working with at least one automatic bottle machine. About 1926 or 1927 it acquired the Queensborough Bottle Works on the Isle of Sheppy after which the Canning Town factory was probably closed and the Sheppy factory became known as Canning Town Glass.
    For a reference to the fact that there was a bottle works built near Canning Town in 1890 see ( I am not clear if this relates to the U.G.B. Charlton factory.

  6. Century Glass Works (Estd. 1941),

    Angel Road, Edmonton. (updated 22.1.2010)
    *Four continuous oil-fired furnaces in 1956.

    The works, part of the Angel Factory Colony (also occupied by a gas works and linoleum factory), was probably demolished to make way for the present supermarket. Jam pot in a chunky diamond pattern.Jam pot in a chunky diamond pattern.

    Exactly when it was first built is unknown. Harry J. Powell in Glassmaking in England, 1923, refers to a less important factory . . . in Lower Edmonton which could be the same factory. Perhaps it was in 1923 although the firm's later output, judged by the frequency with which pieces turn up, was prolific. The above established date of 1941 is given (presumably by the firm) in the 1956 Directory for the British Glass Industry produced by the Society for Glass Technology. So could this be an older firm either reregistered or under a new name?

    Century Glass Works label From the Pottery Gazette & Glass Trade Review Reference Book 1953. But when was it first used?Century Glass Works label: From the Pottery Gazette & Glass Trade Review Reference Book 1953. But when was it first used?The Century Glass Works is particularly noted for a wide range of cheap but good quality press-moulded tableware in clear glass, of the sort sold at Woolworths etc. The evidence is derived from a ledger, now in the Shipley Art Gallery, Gateshead, given to the donor, Nicholas Dolan, from the Davidson factory when it closed in 1987. What was the Century factory ledger doing in Davidson's? We may assume, therefore, that Century Glass closed before 1987 (see below. It suggests that some of their glass was actually made not in Edmonton but by that firm. It is well known that moulds were often sold-on when a factory closed. Ray Slack tells us that Davidson bought moulds from the Neville Glass Works and Thos. Gray & Co, both of Gateshead and of W.H. Heppel & Co. of Newcastle. But these were all in the 1880s. No mention of Century Glass in this context.

    A map of the area, history of the firm and pictures of some of the glassware produced is recorded in Glass Circle News, 2005, no. 103, pp. 16-17. One of the UK's finest wheel engravers, the late Peter Dreiser, told me that he worked for the firm when he first came to Britain after WW2. This suggests that the firm had aspirations beyond that of press-moulded glassware although none has been recognised.

    Anne Nichols (Glass Message Board) has a trinket set with the above label; see Glass Trinket Sets.
    . She thinks that the label dates from the early 1920s, in other word from when the factory might have been first established. Anne also tells me that Chris Stewart, who wrote the book on Davidson, says that in the 1963 Pottery Gazette they advertised themselves as importers of continental table and ornamental pottery and glass. From Anne I also learn that the factory probably closed sometime after 1967, as there were winding up notices for the company in the London Gazettes dated Nov 1965 and Aug 1967. However, she cold not find a final winding up date in either the London Gazette or the Times Digital Archive.

  7. Charleton glassworks subsidiary of UGB. (Built in 1919 by UGB.)
    Charleton Drawdock Road, North Greenwich London, SE10 0BB
    Factory designed and put into operation by T.C. Moorshead and several colleagues recruited from the Alton factory of the Illinois Glass Company when Sir Ernest Oldham and George Alexander visited the USA in 1919. In 1920 four tank furnaces were installed, each equipped with two Owens automatic bottle machines. "The intention of the industry was to throw off the yoke of importers for good." (Source E. Meigh, 1976, The Making of a Federation, p.37.) A duty of 1/3rd was imposed on imported bottles at the time.
    See Moore & Nettlefold and UGB for further details.

  8. Child W.J. Ltd. (Estd. 1919, Ltd. 1935)
    Eton Glassworks, Grange Road, Leyton, London, E.10. Mng. Dir.: C.J. Hulme, Works Mgr.: L.G. Turner.
    *Five tank furnaces fuelled by GTF/200 (a form of gas) and fuel oil.
    PRESSED GLASSWARE:- Bottles, Condiment sets, Engineering glassware, Friggers, Fruit sets, Grapefruits, Hotel ware, Inkells, Lighting glassware, novelties, Scent bottles, Sundae glasses.

  9. City Glass Bottle Co. Ltd. (Estd. 1898) St. Johns Road, London, E.16. Mng. Dir.: I.H. Palmer. Works Mgr.: L.E. Norton.
    Bottles, Carafes, Decanters, Jars (jam, preserving, pickles.).
    Amalgamated with the Key Glass Works in 1952.
    CLICK More on the Key read more on this topic.

  10. Clayton Brothers. London, S.W.18.

    Known only by one blow-moulded or press-moulded jug with separately applied handle shown below. The above name and address are moulded in the base along with the Rd. No. 735702 (for 1928)

    The firm is not thought to be linked to either of the two Clayton entries listed under Glass Working Firms entries.

    Jug by Clayton Bros.Jug by Clayton Bros.

    Base of the Clayton Bros. jug.Base of the Clayton Bros. jug.

  11. Davey & Moore Ltd., (Estd. 1805).
    Lockfield Avenue, Brimsdown, Middlesex.

    *Four recuperative oil-fired furnaces. (Bottles for medical and pharmaceutical trades, druggists, dry salters etc.; illuminating glassware; machinery glassware; laboratory and medical glassware, trade name Davisil.)

    Pressed lead glass tumblerPressed lead glass tumblerThe firm was founded in 1805 and said to manufacture white flint or green glass and specialising in the semi-automatic production of large glassware. It appears to be the only glass factory in the area.

    Based on patents for two glass insulators: it seems probable that the firm earlier had premises in Upper Edmonton
    RD 149959 - 22 May 1890, registered by James Bridger, Upper Edmonton. Glass Merchant.
    RD 154745 - 20 August 1890, registered by F.H. Davy & Co., Upper Edmonton. Glass Merchants.

    From from Ray Slack's English Pressed Glass I now discover (01.01.2010) that the spelling of Davy in the above Design Registrations should be Davey suggesting a link with Davey & Moore as the two firms are only a few miles apart. (the Brimsdown factory was probably not built before the 1920s.) Moore could then refer to Edward Moore of the Tyne Glass Works, South Shields. It is possible, therefore, that the insulators were actually made in the North-East and shipped down to London.

    I visited the factory briefly in about 1944, during WW2 but I don’t remember anything semi-automatic about the men I saw blowing carboys except that they worked on a raised stage and blew the huge glass globes over its edge. I seem to recollect that they possibly also blew screens for radar etc.

    Base of the lead glass tumbler moulded with the letter D.Base of the lead glass tumbler moulded with the letter D.Further information indicates that the firm marked their glass with a letter D from 1870 to 1900, and with D & M from 1900 onwards. The lead glass tumbler illustrated here is moulded with the letter D. within the hollow dome under the thick foot. I have to admit that the letter D, by itself, is not all that convincing as a mark proving manufacture. I have not been able to find another firm of this date with this mark. Has anyone found glass with the D & M mark?

    Frank Andrews records that Nazeing was involved with Davey and Moore for the production of ashtrays and bottles but states eroniously that that the firm closed in c.1970. (See the following newspaper reports).

    I am indebted to Kate Godfrey of Enfield History Library for the following newspaper reports.

    Enfield Gazette, March, 1976. Article by David Paull.

    NOT SO LONG AGO a huge question mark hung over the fate of a small glassworks in Brimsdown. Davey and Moore, whose history stretches back to the year of Trafalgar, had undergone three changes of ownership since the second world war and had ended up as a tiny part of the vast United Glass empire.

    Their traditional markets for their world-famous Davisil laboratory ware and heat-resistant glass were vanishing or overcrowded.

    In 1969, 105 men — more than half the workforce — were made redundant. Three years later, a further 11 of the remaining 75 had to go.

    In the era of “Big Is Beautiful.” the outlook was bleak. But the factory In Lockfield Avenue refused to die. It found new markets in which to capitalise on its ability to produce the large, unusual and highly specialised glass-ware which defeated the automated production lines now dominating the gIass industry. The firm, now called U.G. Glass Containers Ltd., created for themselves a flourishing future - with giant-sized bottles. They discovered that there was a world-wide market for drinks in big bottles. The Americans In particular love to get their Scotch by the gallon.

    The Brimsdown factory was the only one. in Europe with the skill, know-how and capacity to meet the demand. Now, bottles, reagents and other large containers In white and coloured glass are being made by the thousand.

    And last week, as a striking demonstration of U.G.’s confidence in the Brimsdown factory’s renewed lease of life a new furnace was officially inaugurated by Mr. Leslie Whitton, export sales director of Johnnle Walker whisky, one of the factory’s best customers. The furnace had in fact been on stream for several weeks, so for the “opening ceremony” Mr. Whitton — a Winchmore Hill man and former member of Enfield Golf Club — tried his hand, and mouth, at the glass-blowers art and blew a bottle. With greater or lesser degrees of success, a number of other guests, including Mr. John Small managing director of United Glass, "had a blow."

    The new furnace has a 50 per cent greater capacity than the old furnace it has replaced - and production is being held back only because of a shortage of skilled glass-workers.

    “We can sell every bottle we can produce — and we can’t produce enough because we cannot get the right men,” said the factory manager, Mr. F. L. Minter.

    With 70 per cent of the output going for export, there is enough buslness to keep the second furnace, on which coloured glassware is made, in production for half the year. But at present it can be operated.only by taking men off the main furnace.

    Youngsters are being trained by the firm but it is a long process and it can take up to two years to bring a gatherer, the man who collects molten glass on a rod from the furnace, up to the necessary degree of skill.

    With a picture, unfortunately too poor to print, the caption states that "As well as hand-blown bottles the new furnace is used for semi-automatic production in which molten glass is gathered by hand and dropped straight into the moulds and blown mechanically to produce these one-gallon whisky bottles.

    Glassblowing at Davey and Moore in 1976, after becoming part of U.G Containers Ltd.Glassblowing at Davey and Moore in 1976, after becoming part of U.G Containers Ltd.Picture left, Former Polish Resistance fighter Stefan Linbe, who has been a glass-blower at the Brimsdown factory since he came to England after the war, expertly twirls a globe of molten glass which he has gathered on a steel tube from the new furnace behind him. Waiting to try blowing a "bottle” — in fact, a three litre reagent for laboratory use — is Mr Leslie Whitton (Centre). With him is the production manager, Mr. Fred Easton, who has been at the factory since 1949.

    Two other pictures show Mr Whitton having a blow but add nothing to the story except that another East European exile, Stan Stuller, is said to have finished the piece off.

    The Johnnie Walker square bottle was introduced in 1870. Gallon bottles of Red Label Whisky are apparently still on sale.


    Weekly Herald, May, 1980.

    A group of specialist containers made by Davey & Moore (now U.G.) in 1980.A group of specialist containers made by Davey & Moore (now U.G.) in 1980.An Enfield factory Is to be transformed into one of the country’s most versatile glassworks, thanks to technical improvements.

    In recent years, the United Glass Containers’ plant at Brlmsdown has developed a reputation for being able to supply the more unusual requirements of bottle users. Mammoth champagne bottle for special vintages and three-foot jar, for chemist shop displays have been us stock in trade.

    But its role In this field has been limited by its success as the main supplier of one-gallon whisky bottles. Now, this order is to be switched to UCG’s newly automated plant at Peasley (near St. Helens in Lancashire) and the Brimsdown plant will concentrate on producing glassware for that special occasion with the emphasis on versatility and quality rather than quantity.

    Kate Godfrey adds that "A brief announcement in October 1980 states that the Brimsdown factory would be closing at the end of November with the loss of sixty jobs. I have found the factory building in Lockfield Avenue marked on a 1939 Ordnance Survey map, but, at the time of the 1936 Ordnance Survey, Lockfield Avenue had not been built and there is nothing at all shown on the site. I cannot find any evidence of the firm's existence in Enfield before 1939."

    I now discover (01.01.2010) from Ray Slack's English Pressed Glass that the spelling of Davy in the Design Registrations given in the item on the Century Glass Works should be Davey suggesting a link with Davey & Moore as the two firms are only a few miles apart. The Moore could then refer to Edward Moore of the Tyne Glass Works, South Shields, that could have made the insulators as suggested above; perhaps also to the Moore of Moore & Nettlefold Ltd. below. Probable but only speculation at present.

    The firm also made Davisil laboratory glassware. Does anyone know about this glass or have examples of it?

  12. *Dowell, John & Sons (Glass Bottle Manufacturers Ltd. Estd. 1912) Leagrave Works, Chatsworth Road, London, E.5. Mng. Dir.: R.G. Dowell. Sales Mgr.: E.A. Cox.
    Bottles, Condiment sets, Feeding bottles (infants), Inkwells, Measures, Scent bottles, Tubing and rod.

  13. *Duroglass (Estd. 1932)

    Head Office, 2/3 Norfolk Street, Strand, London, WC2. (A subsiduary of Webb's Crystal Glass Co.)
    Duroglass Works, Blackhorse Lane, Walthamstow, London, E17.
    Furnaces:- Three 8-pot, one 2-pot, one day tank, 3-continuous tank all oil fired.
    Heat resisting illuminating glassware; street lighting; display sign globes; electronic tubes and valve envelopes; heat resisting ovenware. (Trade names Duroven, Durosil, Duroglass.)
    With Duroglass the glass's surface is re-inforced chemically by means of an exchange of ions at high temperature in order to give it a remarkable mechanical resistance.
    Quote from the Victoria County History, A History of the County of Essex: vol. 6, 1973. "Duroglass Ltd., laboratory glassware, built a factory in Blackhorse Lane during the First World War. It closed in 1926, but reopened in 1932 to produce lighting glassware and, later, television components. The firm ceased about 1965, when the premises were taken over by the Industrial Glass Co. Ltd., which itself had ceased by 1968."

    Duroglass has been confused with another firm in the area called Duroray, discussed on The Glass Message Board (see above.).

  14. Ediswan Lamp factory, Duck Lees Lane, Ponders End, Middlesex.

    Edison-Swan lamp made in 1893.Edison-Swan lamp made in 1893.

    Ediswan, the newly combined firm of Swan and Edison (electric lamp inventors) opened a factory on the site of a former Jute Mill at Ponders End in 1886. The approximate site of the Mill (called a Fulling Mill) is shown on the Ordnance Survey 1808-1822 map series no. 177.

    The factory was managed by Charles Gimmingham with Ambrose Fleming as engineer and produced about 500 lamps a day (lamp life was short, about 20 minutes). It almost certainly had its own glass furnaces from the beginning and certainly had when I visited the firm in c.1945. In 1914 the Ediswan factory was devoted to military lamps with a virtual monopoly on hand blown signal lamps; valves from 1916; opal lamps with a clear glass lining from 1921. In 1928, the factory merged with Metrovick and BTH to form AEI (Associated Electrical Industries)

    When I visited the factory in c.1945 (school visit) ordinary domestic lamps were made by machine while all special lamps were hand made by a team of expert, mostly women, glass blowers and lamp workers for fitting the internal glass supports and metal parts. The factory had about 500 workers.

    A postcard picture of the factory main gate is shown in Images of England, ENFIELD, by Stephen Sellick, 2001, Tempus Publishing Ltd. ISBN 0 7524 2267 7., p.58. It is dated c. 1908 although, as I recall, it was not not any different when I went there. When the gates were closed they had the word EDISWANS painted in large letters across them.

    The firm became part of Thorn - AEI Valves and Tubes Ltd in 1961. The Ponders End factory was closed in 1969 and sold for demolition in 1970.

  15. *Finchley Glassworks Ltd.(Estd. 1935). 12 Hutton Road, London, N. 12.
    Mng. Dir.: F.W. Taylor. Works Mgr.: S.C.F. Carrott.
    One oil-fired recuperative tank furnace.
    Laboratory and scientific glassware, Lighting, Glassware, Measures, Tumblers.

  16. *Foley (E.G.) & Sons Ltd. (Estd. 1888). Cranbourne Road, Potters Bar, Middlesex.
    Two continuous tank and one pot furnace, oil fired.
    Bottles, Jars, Scientific, medical and laboratory ware.

  17. Gray-Stan Glass
    A probably genuine Irish cut bowl, <em>c.</em>1790 illustrated by Mrs Graydon Stannus <em>Picture courtesy Mallett's.</em>A probably genuine Irish cut bowl, c.1790 illustrated by Mrs Graydon Stannus: Picture courtesy Mallett's.

    According to Edgar C. Wheeler in Popular Science Monthly, October 1926, Mrs Graydon Stannus had a factory in Peckham (location unknown). This was posibly set up in 1922 (British Glass between the Wars, p.15.) Nothing seems to be known about the Peckham factory except that pictures were taken there, notably of Mrs Stannus blowing glass, that have subsequently been associated with her Battersea factory. It is probable that she took up glassmaking to repair or "reproduce" old Irish glass in which she was a dealer. Later she produced 1920s quality Art Glass in her own right.

    J. van den Bosch in Ysart News Issue 2 - February 1987, tells us that a year earlier, in 1925, "Mrs Graydon-Stannus F.R.S.A. began production of glass at 69-71 High St, Battersea, London SW11. She employed about a dozen workers and serious production started in the beginning of 1926 (at which time the Peckham factory presumably closed). The staff included her Deputy and Chief Designer, Noel BILLINGHURST, the Chief Blower (Day) James MANNING, the Chief Blower (Night) George HOLLINS and Cutter Mr EVERET. There were five servitors, each a competent blower in his own right, split between the two shifts."

    Mention is also made of initial problems that were soon overcome. The glassware produced, besides Crystal, included "Opalescent, Amber, Blue, Topaz, Yellow, Green, Red, Agate, Jade and Lapis Lazuli."

    Other details of the Battersea factory are given by Roger Dodsworth in British Glass Between the Wars ISBN 0-900911-22-0.

    Mrs Graydon Stannus apparently ceased working in 1936 and died in 1963.


    According to an unnown source she was reputed to have a glassworks in France producing Lalique type glass. I have found no evidence for this - any offers?


    Many pieces were signed Gray-Stan or etched GRAYSTAN or GRAYSTAN LONDON. The V&A has four pieces. The Liverpool Museum also has Gray-Stan glass, some considered to be fake cut Irish glass.

    For pictures see Hajdamach, 20th Century British Glass.

  18. NEW. Great Suffolk St. / Lavington St. SE1.
    (TQ 3189 8041 MoLAS (Sian Anthony) evaluation and excavation Mar-June. 2006.London & Newcastle (Holdings) Ltd. GLSO6.

    Bing map showing the glasshouse site.Bing map showing the glasshouse site.

    Excavation summary (C. Maloney & I Holroyd) London Archaeologist vol. 11, supp 3, 2007.

    The remains were found of brick kiln structures relating to the Gravel Lane pottery kiln that occupied part of the site from 1694 to 1748-9. Early kilns with associated floors, working surfaces and a brick well were recorded; within the well was a well-preserved wicker basket. Large dumps of kiln waste covered much of these features. Later phases of activity were represented by substantial brick buildings, thought to be working areas, with a series of kiln flues, brick floors and clay-filled barrel-lined pits. The latest phase of the pottery kiln comprised a large surviving kiln with associated flues, drains and cobbled and tiled yard surfaces. By 1748-9 the kiln was no longer in use and in 1750 some of the structures were actually destroyed by an earthquake. Later occupation included a small glass-house which re-used some of the structures: dumps of waste glass and glass working residues were found. The site continued in light industrial use, with small industrial buildings in the N of the site, evidenced by 18th- and 19th-c building foundations and deposits. A cache of WWIl arms and empty shells were located, evidently left in situ.

    Sian Anthony, addressing the Southwark & Lambeth Archaeological Society, reminded her audience that Great Suffolk Street, known earlier as Gravel Lane, once had a raised surface to keep the farm track above the floodplain fields.
    The pottery was set up on the eastern side in 1694 with the owner living alongside the pothouse and kilns. Museum research revealed that a family feud had led to an armed siege at the pottery and shots being fired. This incident resulted in a trial at Kingston Assizes as Bankside was at the time part of Surrey.
    An inventory of 1726 records a storehouse holding over 96,000 pots in storage. Later tiles were manufactured before the site was turned into a glassworks in about 1750. More information is required on this glassworks about which nothing is known.

  19. Hayward Brothers (includes a mention of Britten and Gilson.)
    An ironmongery firm was started by Samuel Hayward in 1783. By descent, in 1848, Leggatt and Hayward was founded. Through a series of events 187/189 Union Street was bought by Edward and William Hayward in 1854 and became Hayward Brothers (Late R. Henly & Co., a manufacturer of iron coal-hole covers.). In 1857, original corner premises at Blackfriars Road were abandoned and premises at 117/118 (?) Union Street expanded. Hayward Brothers continued to make coal-hole covers and some of these were fitted with glass lens. In 1871, as Hayward and Leggatt, Edward took out Patent No. 2014, "Improvements in Pavement Lighting", that revolutionised basement lighting. These incorporated a glass prism that deflected the light towards the back of the cellar. In 1875, adjacent houses to 187/189 Union Street, Nos. 191 and 193 were acquired and converted. Purpose unknown. In 1873, an earlier gallery in Cornhill was vacated and the first floor of No. 77, Gracechurch Street leased as new headquarters. In 1882, the City headquarters moved and the showrooms moved to 78, Queen Victoria Street, with underground premises lighted by pavement lights. In 1901, Haywards purchased the Alliance Ventilating Company with G. F. Pittar appointed Works Manager and in 1904 he returned from Manchester to manage the pavement light business.
    The involvement of Britten and Gilson with Haywards is not explained but it may be that the firm was first engaged to make the glass units for pavement lights and coal-hole covers. The firm successfully developed a shaded glass known as Slab used for stained glass windows. Slab was cut from the uneven sides of blown square bottles (Information from Peter Cormack MBE, FSA.)See the entry under Stained Glass and Sundials. In 1905, Britten and Gilson (leaded glass) closed; their late manager was engaged to run a newly-formed leaded glass department.
    In 1906, Expansion of Union Street works: new five-storey building erected.
    In 1907, a 999 years' lease acquired on Nos. 187/189, Union Street. Patent rights for Reform puttyless glazing acquired.
    In 1918, the Union Street premises were expanded with purchase of additional land at rear; 80 by 50 foot one-storey factory erected.
    In 1919, Extensions to Union Street (Nos. 195/201) sold, starting decentralisation. And, in 1920, six acres in Enfield (Middlesex) purchased; construction orders issued for a new factory. Whether this factory included glass making facilities has to be determined.
    Information in part from

  20. *Key Glassworks Ltd. (Estd. 1908).
    Key Glassworks Dinner/Dance programme for Feb. 12th 1966Key Glassworks Dinner/Dance programme for Feb. 12th 1966 New Cross Works, Cold Blow Lane, New Cross, London, S.E. 14.
    Alperton Works, Ealing Road, Wembly, Middlesex.
    Also works in Harlow, Essex.
    Ten regenerative furnaces and one recuperative furnace, all oil-fired.
    Bottles and Jars for the medical, pharmaceutical toilet, cosmetic, druggists and drysalter's trades.
    Acquired by U.G.B. in 1962 (see below).

    The following unsigned article comes from the United Glass News Sheet No.1 April, 1968. (Information provided by Mr R.A. Spicer who worked for the firm.)


    As you know, here at New Cross we have two furnaces making white flint glass. No. I Tank feeds four I.S. machines and one D.J.B., and No. 4 feeds three I.S.’s and two D.J.B.’s; together these make a weekly average of 34-38,000 bottles and jars. Specializing in small ware, a high percentage of the 700 jobs on our books are destined for customers in the cosmetics, pharmaceutical or food industries. The jobs vary between the largest, at a weight of 10 oz. and the smallest, at just less than 4 oz., with the majority being between 2½ and 3 oz. We have about 20 job changes weekly and an average job length of 3 days. This constant mobility at the hot end means that we depend more than most manufacturers on departments working together as a closely knit team.

    Key logo (approx 7 mm long) on the side of a Chivers marmelade jar. This presumably dates the jar as pre 1962.Key logo (approx 7 mm long) on the side of a Chivers marmelade jar.: This presumably dates the jar as pre 1962.Since the glass factory started on this site in 1908, it has seen a fair share of the industry’s technological changes. We still have in our service, in fact, a few men who can remember the methods and machines of the ‘20’s. At that period, there were four furnaces in existence, three of which were hand gathering furnaces working the semi-automatic hand presses. These machines, examples of which are the Lodder and Good Homework presses, were similar to a small drilling machine and required three men to operate them. This work was very hard and physically exhausting. At this time also, a heavy Toggle press was in operation, making dishes, bowls and other straight press ware to supplement the production of containers. And the Miller semi¬automatic press, a five-headed twin table machine working from a Hartford Empire Paddle Feeder Marmalade jar with the above Key mark.Marmalade jar with the above Key mark.on which we paid a royalty, was introduced to make milk bottles. Slowly the hand presses gave way to the automatic bottle-making machines, the Lynch L.A., L.R. and L.B. machines. These were the fore¬runners of the D.J.B. which arrived in the 1940’s. This factory, however, was to see many other machines before the arrival of the D.J.B., such as the O’Neill, Tepple, Mitchell Buliman and Hillman machines; the latter was a German design, with 10 to 12 suction heads capable of making a variety of bottles between 1 and 20 oz., on the same cycle. This machine was considered to be far ahead of its time, but unfortunately was destroyed by fire. After the Hillman came a Monish machine which, however, was unsuccessful because of its heavy wear on equipment and also because it caused bad shear marks. In the ‘30’s also the Schiller and Kutchner machines saw service. These were particularly useful for making high quality toilet ware.

    Key Glassworks bottle test room Sonny Gafa measuring the particular features on a toilet bottle, watched by Tommy Walls and Bill Springham.Key Glassworks bottle test room: Sonny Gafa measuring the particular features on a toilet bottle, watched by Tommy Walls and Bill Springham. [A machine pre- dating the Mitchell at New Cross was made by Miller, the D.J.B. being bought from France. The UG Goodware News Sheet of 1968 states in an article "Controlling our Quality" by the Quality Control Superintendent Mr. W. Springham. "Many of our lads will remember the small Brands Jar (for meat paste) produced on the Miller machine at a speed of 22/23 a minute: these lads respectfully acknowledged the production achievement of this job, which, although redesigned is now manufactured at a rate of nearly 120 a minute." This was apparently on an I.S. machine.]

    Scores were not what you are used to either. Records quote figures 3,000 to 3,300 gross a week in the 1920’s, with 160-200 gross being made on each shift. Wages* were much lower too; the ‘Gatherer’ made roughly 15/- a shift, the Operator 10/-, and the Lehr boy could expect to make l9/6d. a week. The bonus worked out at £1 a week for the Gatherer, 5/- for the Operator, and 1/6d. to 2/6d. for the Lehr boy, depending on the size of ware.

    Shift work in some form or another has always been a feature of the industry. At first, two shifts were worked, 5.30 p.m. to 3.30 a.m. and 5.30 a.m. to 3.30 p.m., with a break of two hours between shifts and shut-down at week-ends. Later our present three shifts were introduced, but there was still a shut-down at week-ends.

    A word about the bosses. They were generally known for their long hours and their hard work. The La Mont family, who supplied a number of Works Managers and Superintendents, were said to have worked regularly a fourteen hour day. Mr. H. La Mont notably would appear at warm-up time on Sundays, 9 p.m. and not go home until Tuesday morning.

    Finally, what brought Key Glass-works to New Cross? The main factor, of course, was that our customers were all close by, Heinz, Brands (meat products), Far North (not known), Burrough Wellcome (pharmacy/chemicals) and Breck (probably pharmacy), to name a few. They bought our bottles then as they do today because we continue to supply the quality they require.

    *Wages given in “old” money with 12 pence = one shilling and 20 shillings (indicated by /-) = one pound.

    To read three more articles on the Key Glassworks CLICK More on the Key Glassworks.

  • Lambeth Glass Works

    Factory located on the Kennington Road just north of where it joins Kennington Lane. Said to have been created by Charles Henry Kempton jnr. from the family that started The Nazeing Glass Works. See the Albert Glass Works above, also (see Nothing else known at the moment.

  • *Lamp Presscaps Ltd. (Estd. 1938). Reliance Works, 15 Commercial Road, London, N.18.
    Subsidiary of Thorn Electrical Industries Ltd.
    Three oil-fired tank furnaces.
    Sealing glass for electric lamp caps.

  • *Lewis & Towers Ltd. (Estd. 1898). Hartwell street, London, E. 8.
    Mng. Dir.: W.N. Towers, Works Mgr.: G.W. Ballans.
    Two tank recuperative furnaces using heavy fuel oil.
    Lightweight whisky bottles, Winchester bottles for the medical, and pharmaceutical toilet and cosmetic trades (possibly for poisons.
    Current address (2010) given as:- Glass bottle container manufacturers. Fircroft Way Edenbridge, Kent, TN8 6ER.
    Telephone: (01732)863422

  • McLachlan (John) & Co Ltd. (Estd. 1807). William street, Lambeth, London, S.E. Advertisement from the 1884 London Directory.Advertisement from the 1884 London Directory.
    This firm first came to light in 1988 when Barbara Morris gave lecture on 19th and 20th century commemorative glass (Glass Circle News, 42, Sept. 1988, pp3-5.
    The McLachlan gobletThe McLachlan gobletBarbara described a mammouth goblet 34.5 cm high in The Corning Museum of Glass, with a somewhat naive engraving of a glasshouse and the inscription “Cottage Glass Works” with the Royal Coat of Arms and the initials J. & M. Mc L. Her further research indicated that this glasshouse belonged to John McLachlan & Co. of William Street, Lambeth and seems to have operated from 1855-1886. My further research revealed the above advertisement with the information that the firm was founded in 1807.
    The description in the London Directory is “Flint Glass and Opal Colour Maker, Perfumers, Bottles & C.”
    The firm is only ever referred to as John McLachlan and it seems probable that the engraved reference to “J & M” reflects a betrothal or marriage. This would fit in with Barbara’s suspicion of earlier engraving so that the glass could be before the Ltd. glasshouse starting date of 1855. If so, the engraved glasshouse is unlikely to have been in London. The reference to “Opal Colour Maker...&c” was gradually dropped although “Flint Glass Maker” was retained throughout. Between 1881 and 1883 additional premises were taken at 97, Cannon Street and this may explain the only advertisement found, in the Directory for 1884.
    As the advertisement shows it also features Portland cement! The expansion seems to have been short—lived for Cannon Street is not mentioned In the 1886 Directory. In 1887 there seems to have been an upheaval in the whole William Street area. William Street, and its eastern extension, Thomas Street, were combined as Coral Street which can be seen on the map today by the Old Vic Theatre. A new road, Baylis Road, was driven across the middle of William Street to link with Lambeth North, and John, by now an old man, must have retired or died.
    The Great Glass website (probably from the same unknown source as above) gives the address as Cottage Glassworks, (c. 1845 - 1900). The first date is clearly wrong. Also John McLachlan (1808-1877). 'Flint & Opal glass bottle-makers' (especially scent-bottles) of William Street, Lambeth (1 design registered 10th April 1855.)

    NOTE ADDED:- by Sheila White on Sat, 11/06/2010.
    This goblet was made by my great aunt's father in law James Mclachlan for his wife, Margaret.

  • Moore & Nettlefold Ltd., Charlton, Greenwich.

    Little is known of this firm except that it carried on glass bottle manufacture on the same site at Charlton on the Greenwich Peninsula (just east of the Isle of Dogs) from as far back as 1901 when it is said to have employed 150, mainly immigrant workers. Theses bottles would all have been hand blown. This site is now roughly occupied by the O2 Arena.
    Whether Moore is from the same family as Davey & Moore (q.v.) is not known. However, its particular claim to fame is as the Charlton factory built just after the end of WWI on the same site by United Glass Bottle Manufacturers Ltd. (U.G.B), that in about 1960 became United Glass Ltd. as outlined below.

  • Nazeing Glass Works, Ltd. (Estd. 1929). Nazeing New Road, Broxbourne, Essex, EN106SU.

    The glassworks is still fully operational.
    *In 1956 it was described as having one four-pot, four single-pot and one tank furnace all fired by heavy fuel oil.
    Manufactures were described as High quality hand-cut crystal glassware, Hand-blown tableware and stemware, Hand-pressed domestic glassware, Hotel and confectioners glassware, Lighting globes and shades, and Glass rod. Since that time they have become specialists in coloured lenses for railways, airfields etc. with a library of over 600 different types with 200 for immediate availability.
    Click on Nazeing History for a full illustrated account of the firm's development, summarised here. Factory in 2009.Factory in 2009. Nazeing Glass Works was started by Richard Kempton and his two sons, when they relocated their small glass works from Southwark in London, to the present site in 1928. Richard was the third son of Charles Henry Kempton who owned The Albert Glass Works in Vauxhall Walk, Lambeth during the late 1880's.

    Charles Henry Kempton appears to have become involved in glass making here after marrying the daughter of a glassblower in 1860, as before that he was a grocer's assistant. After working as a glass works labourer, presumably thanks to his father-in-law, he left in 1869 to start his own business selling lamps in Oakley Street. Ten years later he moved again to nearby Wickham Street where he manufactured flint glass, and in 1880 Charles and the male members of his growing family (the eldest of which was also named Charles Henry) started the Albert Glass Works.

    After Charles Henry Kempton's death at the end of the century, the business continued to be run by his six sons, but by 1917 declining trade forced them to go their own ways. All remained glass makers though: Charles Henry jnr created his own Lambeth Glass Works, William went to manage Edison Swan's glass making plant at Ponders End (see below). Henry, Albert and Andrew started a separate Vauxhall Glassworks and Richard was left to run the Albert Glass Works with his eldest son Reginald. Nothing appears to be known about these later glassmaking activities.

    Kempton trumpet vase. <br /><em>Picture Courtesy of Nazeing Glasswks.</em>Kempton trumpet vase.:
    Picture Courtesy of Nazeing Glasswks.
    In 1920, the Albert Glass Works was closed and a new venture set up at the Abbot Bottle Works in Rockingham Street about a mile to the north-east, which was renamed the Southwark Glass Works (see map below).

    It was this business that Richard and Reginald, together with Richard's younger son Cederic, moved from London to Nazeing in 1928. They were joined by three other family members, William's sons Len, Charlie and William jnr,. The business was known as Nazeing Glass Works Ltd. from this point onwards.

    The Company has recently opened a Museum of British 20th Century Domestic Glass

    The Bristol Blue glass sold in the shop of the Bristol Museum is made by Nazeing. For illustrations of Kempton and early Nazeing glass see the article by Frank Andrews.

New information about the origin of the glasshouse in Rockingham Street is given in the next entry.

  • Glassworks in Rockingham Street, off Newington Causeway, SE1. (Information based on entries in Kelly’s Trade and Commercial Directory for London (later: Post Office London Directory).

    New information, not previously published, indicates that there were six owners of glass factories on this site.

    Location of 39a Rockingham Street, SE1 (shaded red) Rockingham Street, with a right angle bend in the middle, runs between Newington Causeway and Harper Road. No. 39a sat at the inner angle of the bend. From 1936 London County Council slum clearance redeveloped the area as flats. The main site of the factory is now a car park.<br /> <em>Map based on OS London sheets VII 95, 1895 and 1911/16.</em>Location of 39a Rockingham Street, SE1 (shaded red): Rockingham Street, with a right angle bend in the middle, runs between Newington Causeway and Harper Road. No. 39a sat at the inner angle of the bend. From 1936 London County Council slum clearance redeveloped the area as flats. The main site of the factory is now a car park.
    Map based on OS London sheets VII 95, 1895 and 1911/16.
    There is no entry for a glassworks anywhere in the street, until 1890 when a William Henry Oldham set up a glass works at No. 39. This continued to be listed until 1894. William Oldham was listed as a glass manufacturer, but not classified as either a ‘Flint Glass Manufacturer’ or a ‘Cut Glass Manufacturer’ as were others. (n.b. the same applied to Charles Kempton’s Vauxhall Works in the 1894 listing)

    • In 1895 a John Muzzall is listed as being a glass manufacturer at No. 39; this continued until 1907.


  • In 1908 there was no entry.
  • 1909 there is an entry for the “Quick Fit” Fire Brick Co. Ltd, at No. 39A. By this I assume the residential part (No. 39) of the premises was either owned by, or let to, others, while the works had become a separate unit and continued its industrial use. After this, all entries in subsequent years refer to No. 39A.
  • 1910 to 1911, the entry changed to read William P Bonwick, Fire Brick Manufacturer, but in 1912 the use had reverted again to a glass works, the Rockingham Glass Works.
  • 1913 to 1914, the name listed changed again, to read Slayford and Clare, Glass Bottle Manufacturers.
  • In 1915 to 1919 inclusive, the works became the Abbott Glass Co. Ltd, still listed as glass bottle manufacturers.
  • 1920, there was no entry.
  • 1921 through to 1931, a glass works again, this time called the Southwark Glass Works. This is the factory we now know was set up by Richard Kempton, the firm later moving to Broxbourne, possibly as a result of the London County Council plans to redevelop the area.
  • 1932, no entry.

    NOTE: The Nazeing Glass Company was registered also in 1931, so the Kemptons could have continued operations at No. 39A until the new site at Broxbourne was up and running. This is contrary to other accounts which indicate that the Kemptons left Southwark in 1928 to go exclusively to Broxbourne. (i.e. Cyril Weeden, Frank Andrews etc. who do not allow for any time overlap).

    Q. What did the Kemptons produce at No. 39A from 1921? Nigel Benson tells me that In Geoff Timberlake's book on Kempton and its forebears, he says:
    " Richard was recorded as Director in the 1923 edition of the "British Glass Industry Directory", published by The Socitey of Glass Technology when Southwark Glass works was listed as:-
    Southwark Glass Works, 39A, Rockingham Street, Newington Causeway, London, SE!,. Three pot furnaces. Manufacturers of hand-made vases, gas and electric shades, lamp chimneys, tubing. Also bottles in any colour:- ruby, straw, opalescent, pink, opal, green amber etc.
    Directors: R.Kempton, R.G.Kempton, A. Atkins and A. Williams."

  • New Cross Glassworks

    See Key Glassworks and UGB.

  • Orplid Glass. (Estd. c. 1943)

    This firm arose as a continuation of the Bimini firm by Fritz Lampl in Vienna who came to London as a result of the Hitler threat and continued to work under the same name along with his brother-in-law, Joseph Berger. He was briefly interred during the war and resumed working under the Bimini name until it was changed to Orplid in c. 1943.

    His workshop is said to have been located in Wardour Street (Soho) off Shaftesbury Ave before it was destroyed by a bomb - exact address needed. Mostly known for Bimini lamp-work glass as well as Orplid glass buttons, broaches and similar small ornaments. See the long, well-illustrated article Bimini Glass by Raymond Berger, editor Angela Bowey.

    A brief account with illustrations is given by Hajdamach, 20th Century British Glass although his dates only approximately agree with those of Raymond Berger.

  • Osram G.E.C. (Estd. 1921) Glass Works, East Lane, Wembly, Middlesex.

    Lamps, Tubing and rod, Medical, scientific and pharmaceutical products, Vacuum flask blanks, Tumblers.
    * in 1956, seven tank furnaces fueled by coal and oil.
    Bulbs and tubing for electric lamps and radio valves, Vacuum flask blanks, Tubing and rod for laboratory apparatus, scientific and medical supplies.

  • Pilgrim Glass Works. 29 Montford Place, Kennington, London, S.E. 11.

    Partners F.J. C.C.Pattison, J.R.W. Pattison, S.H. Pattison.

    This is probably the London office of the American firm, Pilgrim Glass. This West Virginia glass company has produced some very nice hand-blown glass, particularly in cranberry. To see one of their catalogs go to:- Pilgrim Glass

  • Potters Bar Glass - See Foley E.G. & Sons.

    A short 1948 video by British Pathe of making glass toys at Potters Bar is shown on Glassfootage Blogspot by a Mr Dunlop. It is unlikely that this firm is related to the Foley factory.See Pirelli Glass Ltd. in the Glass Workers section.

  • *Powell (James) & Sons (WHITEFRIARS) Ltd. (Estd. 1680, Public Company 1919.)

    Whitefriars 1956 advertisement.Whitefriars 1956 advertisement.Whitefriars Glass Works, Tudor Road, Wealdstone, Middlesex.

    Two ten-pot, one eight-pot, one four-pot, one one-pot and one small tank furnace all oil fired.

    High quality hand-cut crystal glassware, Hand-blown tableware and stemware, chemical and medical glassware, Thermometer and barometer tubing, Hand-drawn tubing and rod, Antique glass, Bullions, Designers and makers of stained glass windows and mural tablets, sanctury lamp glasses.
    Trade name:Whitefriars.

  • The Rockware Glass Syndicate Ltd. (Estd. 1919)
    Rockware Ave., Greenford, Middlesex.
    *Six cross-fired regenerative tank furnaces, producer gas with auxiliary oil firing.

    PRESSED GLASS. Bottles, Jars of all kinds (jam, preserving pickle), Winchesters, scent bottles.

  • Thames Plate Glass Co. Works (Estd. 1845, closed 1874).
    Orchard Place (also as Bow Creek), Poplar.

Map of 1841 showing the location of the Thames Plate Glass Company Works prior to it being opened. The site sits within a loop of the River Lea just before it enters the Thames. Orchard Place is the approach road running up to the factory.Map of 1841 showing the location of the Thames Plate Glass Company Works prior to it being opened.: The site sits within a loop of the River Lea just before it enters the Thames. Orchard Place is the approach road running up to the factory. Map of 1872 with details of the Thames Plate Glass Co. Works The factory buildings are shown in green and the River Lea in blue.Map of 1872 with details of the Thames Plate Glass Co. Works: The factory buildings are shown in green and the River Lea in blue.

The factory is described as the largest employers of labour in district but because it was a specialised industry many workers were migrants from older glass-making centres in the North of England. Poplar was a very deprived area, rough with very poor people living in overcrowded conditions. No church or school with very few shops on west side of Orchard Place.

It was one of only 6 plate glass factories in England and the only one in the south. Over 40% of the workforce were women who working mainly on hand polishing. Because of high price and high excise duty plate glass was originally used mainly for mirrors.

The original firm was taken over by a limited company in 1864. Invested heavily in new machinery - Sir Henry Bessemer invented mechanical rollers which meant there was very little hand work left. In 1870 the company was on the point of closing down due to greater competition and a breakdown in industrial relations. It went into voluntary liquidation in February 1873. An 1866 plan shows 2 engine houses next to the grinding and polishing shops and a manager's house at the edge of the site.
Slum housing was cleared by the LCC in 193Os.
(Taken from the Survey of London vol. 44)

The Craig telescope, possibly by G. F. Sargent Image courtesy of the Corporation of London © . For details of the telescope see Craig telescope, possibly by G. F. Sargent: Image courtesy of the Corporation of London © . For details of the telescope see Rev. Mr. John Craig, a keen amateur astronamer, was vicar of All Saints Church in Leamington Spa. The telescope took two years in its construction from plans to completion. Messrs. Rennie, one of the foremost heavy-engineering firms of the 19th century, were engaged to build parts of the telescope. A Mr William Gravatt, Fellow of the Royal Society and assistant to Brunel, helped in its construction. By 1855 (the telescope is marked on an 1856 map but not on an 1870 map) the 28-inch object lens, largest in the world at the time, had been cast for the (at the time) Royal Greenwich Observatory. It had two components; Chance Brothers of Smethwick cast the flint glass blank. The other disc, of plate-glass, was cast by the Thames Plate Glass Company. The glass blanks were ground and polished into the correct shape by a Mr Slater.
When installed in the telescope at Wandsworth, Mr Craig's refractor held the record for shear size of aperture for eighteen years until Thomas Cooke had built a great telescope with a 64-cm object-lens.
The particular reason for the siting of the telescope has been queried, but it was only about 13 miles by road from the Greenwich observatory and well clear of the London smoke with its prevailing west wind.

For an interesting article by David Dungworth on The Thames plate Glass Company and the process of casting plates click:- Thames Plate Glass Company.

  • *The Southwark Glass Works Co. Ltd. (Estd. 1921 - 1931)
    Rockingham Street, London, S.E.1.
    This firm was set up by Richard Kempton and his son Reginald from the Albert Glass Works, Vauxhall (q.v.). It probably made bottles and some tableware although none has been recognised. In 1931 the factory closed and the Kemptons moved to Broxbourne to establish the Nazeing Glass Works.
    See Rockingham Street for map and Nazeing Glass Works for family connections.

  • *The Standard Bottle Co. Ltd. (Estd. 1836) Bounds Green Road, New Southgate, London, N. 11.
    Three regenerative furnaces.
    All types of bottles and Jars (jam, preserving, pickle etc.).

  • *Thermos (1925) Ltd.,
    Hackney Works, Brentwood, Essex.

    One tank furnace fuelled by oil.

    Glass vacuum vessels of all types, Dewar vessels.

  • United Glass Bottle Manufacturers Ltd. (Estd. 1913), Charlton, Greenwich.

    (Mostly from Graces Guide) Head Office at Norfolk Street, London, WC2. Works at: Charlton, London; St. Helens, Lancs; Castleford, Yorks; Hunslet, Leeds; Seaham Harbour, Durham. (1922). /p p U.G.B. graduated pharmacy bottle, 1926. From the Post-Graduate Medical Journal vol. 1 no. 9, June 1926. The absence of a graduated bottle in the 1922 Ad. shown below, suggests that this was a new development.U.G.B. graduated pharmacy bottle, 1926.: From the Post-Graduate Medical Journal vol. 1 no. 9, June 1926. The absence of a graduated bottle in the 1922 Ad. shown below, suggests that this was a new development. I wonder if this union was to organise the war effort at the beginning of WW1?

    • 1913 Formed as a public company named The United Glass Bottle Manufacturers Ltd, when Ravenhead Glass, Carrington Shaw and Co, Nuttall Co, Alfred Alexander and Co and Robert Candlish and Son combined. [For more details on some of these firms see The Industrial Archaeology of North-West England, Volume 29, (1982), ISBN 0 7190 0820 4, reproduced on the web by Amazon.]
    • The company closed some smaller plants and concentrated its production at a newly built factory at Charlton (on the site now occupied by the O2 Arena and sometimes decribed as near Canning Town) and two factories in St. Helens.
    • 1922 Advert: U. G. B. - Use Good Bottles. 250,000,000 British Made Bottles Per Annum. U. G. B. Bottles are:- Accurate in Capacity; the Corkage is Correct; the Height and Shape are Uniform; the Stongest Bottles Made.
    • 1923 Acquired a majority interest in Kork 'N Seal. (Said to include the Crown bottle closure but this may be a confusion with an American company of the same name still in existence today).
    • (circa 1923, Built a new factory on the site of the O2 Arena)
    • 1937 They acquired four bottle manufacturers from the Distillers Co.
    • WWII Established a second closure company at Bridge of Allan.
    • 1955 Acquired Alloa Glass Works Co.
    • U.G.B. advert for 1922.U.G.B. advert for 1922.
    • 1959 Started manufacture of plastic bottles through their subsidiary United Glass (Thermoplastics).
    • 1961 Employed 10,000 persons. Four subsidiaries.
    • 1962 Acquired Key Glassworks (East London South of Thames). It apparently had two glassworks, one at Harlow (Essex) and one at New Cross (but see the Key Glassworks entry above.)
    • 1964 Acquired Johnson Radley ( manufacturer of moulds for the glass industry).
    • (Charlton works closed in 1967).
    • 1970 Acquired Armstrong Cork Co.(Wikipedia states that "In 1938, Armstrong bought Whitall Tatum, a leading manufacturer of glass stand-off insulators for utility poles since 1922. The existing molds were eventually replaced with molds bearing the Armstrong name. In April 1969, the business was sold to Kerr Glass Manufacturing Corporation. Demand was rapidly dropping, as utilities were converting to ceramics or going underground, and Kerr moved production to their Dunkirk, Indiana factory in the mid-1970s, and ceasing production several years after that.)
    • 1972 made 1,888 million units with 6,445 employees.
    • 1977 Made 1,890 million units with 6,508 employees. Have eight factories: Castleford (3 furnaces), Alloa (4 furnaces), Harlow (3 furnaces), Shettleton (2 furnaces), Pealey (3 furnaces), New Cross (1 furnace)**, Kinghorn (1 furnace) and Brimsdown (1 furnace). Had 27% (by volume) of the UK market for glass bottles. Strong in the wines, spirits and soft drinks market.
    • In 1959 UGB changed its name to United Glass.
    • In 1987 UG was taken over by Owens illinois.

    **Regarding the News Cross works it is stated on ( -) that it had "two furnaces producing white flint specialised smallware, principally for the spirits, pharmaceutical, toiletry and food sectors".

    Support the clean batch campaign.
    “Help us iron out our cullet problems!"
    says John Rotherham, technical manager, Sherdley/Peasley Glass Factory.


    From GOODWARE (Newspaper of the United Glass Group December 1971)

    KEEP Britain Tid’is a well known slogan which urges us to put litter in its proper place. Another slogan that everyone in industry should bear in mind is ‘Keep Your Factory Tidy’, and because we work in the glass industry there are special reasons why we should follow this rule. As well as the more obvious reasons why importance is placed on good housekeeping, such as safety and better working conditions, one major problem that can arise is the contamination of one of our basic raw -materials, namely cullet.

    Cullet, along with sand, soda ash and limestone, is one of the major ingredients that go into the making of glass, and it is logical that we should pay as much attention to our own cullet as we do with our other raw materials. We lay down stringent specifications on all raw materials bought from suppliers such as British Industrial Sand and Imperial Chemical Industries and it would be shortsighted to ignore our own cullet. By their very nature, most cullet handling systems are prone to easy contamination. It is therefore essential that everyone who works on the production floor or in the factory from batch plant to warehouse, is made aware of the problems that can arise.

    What are the types of contamination, how do they affect the glass, and what can be done to eliminate the problem? To answer these questions, let us consider the case of a white flint furnace.

    What can be done?

    Plot of the amount of iron in glass derived from each ingredient N.B. Soda ash is not included as it contains virtually no iron.<br /> Calumite, A processed and granulated glassy slag that comes from steel works. It helps contribute to the melting of the batch, significantly reduces the energy requirement of the furnace and is a rich source of aluminium.<br /> Syenite, According to Wikipedia Syenite is a coarse-grained intrusive igneous rock of the same general composition as granite but with the quartz either absent or present in relatively small amounts (<5%). It generally has a high proportions of alkali elements and aluminium.Plot of the amount of iron in glass derived from each ingredient: N.B. Soda ash is not included as it contains virtually no iron.
    Calumite, A processed and granulated glassy slag that comes from steel works. It helps contribute to the melting of the batch, significantly reduces the energy requirement of the furnace and is a rich source of aluminium.
    Syenite, According to Wikipedia Syenite is a coarse-grained intrusive igneous rock of the same general composition as granite but with the quartz either absent or present in relatively small amounts (<5%). It generally has a high proportions of alkali elements and aluminium.
    Raw materials such as sand, soda ash and limestone are selected so that they contain a minimum of metallic impurities, particularly iron which imparts a green colour to the glass. Obviously, in dealing with natural minerals such as sand and limestone it is impossible to obtain materials with no impurities in them at all, so we lay down stringent quality standards which our suppliers must meet. In the case of sand, the iron content must not exceed 3 parts in 10,000. Similarly with our other materials, soda ash, limestone, nepheline (a feldspar with the formula Na3 K Al4 Si4 O16) syenite and calumite (see figure). We endeavour to keep the total iron content as low as possible, so that with the addition of small quantities of decolourizers we can produce a suitable colour for our customers. However, as can be seen in the figure, a large proportion of the iron in glass comes directly from the cullet, and it is in this area that everyone who works on the production floor can help to reduce it.

    Examples of cullet contamination are many and varied, ranging from small nuts and bolts to large pieces of mould equipment and machine parts. All of these produce, in addition to poor colour, a far more serious problem, namely refractory attack. It has been proved that the cause of the bottom failures in 92 Shop, Peasley, this year and 84 Shop, Alloa, last year was due to refractory attack by tramp iron which got into the furnaces via the cullet. By the use of magnets positioned over the cullet conveyors, most of the tramp iron can be taken out, but with large amounts of contamination, two, three or even more magnets would be inadequate and some iron would still get into the furnaces. Only by reducing the contamination can we ensure that no iron will enter the furnaces, and to achieve this objective, everyone who works on the shop floor must discipline themselves to the fact that good housekeeping is in everyone’s interest, particularly those people whose security of employment could be at stake when events such as furnace failures occur. Although magnets are effective in picking out pieces of tramp iron, they will not, unfortunately, take out non¬ferrous metals such as copper, brass or aluminium, and it has been established that copper attacks refractory materials just as iron does, and that aluminium is a cause of stones in glass.

    Be extra careful.

    It is essential, therefore, that anyone who works with non-ferrous metals as well as those working with ferrous metals, e.g. plumbers with copper tubing, electricians with brass fittings and fitters with iron nuts and bolts, should be extra careful and not leave parts lying around on the floor where they can easily be swept up into the cullet systems.

    At a series of lectures held a Peasley on the subject of 92 Shop furnace failure, samples of tramp iron picked out by the magnet were placed on view and included swabs, gather tubes, mould equipment, feeder sprockets, nuts and bolts, welding rods, single line equipment and rollers off carton conveyors. Needless to say everyone who attended the talk was surprised to see the variety and the amount of these items and all were agreed that the great majority of it could have been avoided had work areas been kept tidy.

    Finally, it is important that we keep in mind the many problems that can arise from contaminated cullet. Remember that the consequences of iron getting into the furnaces now could occur in two or three years’ time.


    A further comment on United Glass
    Submitted by Mike Noble on Thu, 10/28/2010 - 15:30.

    Having worked at United Glass for a number of years I thought I might add something for the record.

    In 1969 when I started work at the Research and Development Centre in St Albans the company was pretty enormous, consisting at the time of the glass container division, Closures and Plastics div., Ravenhead glassware div., Johnson Radley mouldmakers, and with a head office in Staines. The company was owned 51% by United Distillers and 49% by Owens Illinois, with the MD, a chap called Bill Spengler, coming from OI.

    The glass container and glassware divisions consisted of ten glass factories, numbered from 0 to 9, which could be identified on their products normaly with 'UG' followed by the factory number. These were '0' for Harlow [which was known in those days as Key Glass, and was formed by the closure of the two London factories mentioned which combined and relocated to the new town of Harlow]; '1' [or sometimes 11] was New Cross; '2' was Sherdley in St Helens, '3' Ravenhead; '4' Castleford [formerly John Lumbs]; '5' Shettleston on the outskirts of Glasgow; '6' Brimsdown [also known as Davey and Moore], '7' Kinghorn; '8' Alloa; '9' Peasley in St Helens which was to replace Shettleston on the same site.

    Over the years United Distillers had a number of incarnations to finish up as Diageo, and on the way sold their shares to OI who was to become the sole owner. The factories were also rationalised, leaving only Alloa in Scotland, Peasley in St Helens, and Harlow in Essex, with the Staines Head Office long gone. It is interesting to note that the output of the three factories was more than that produced when ten factories existed.

    About 1999 the Peasley factory was closed, mainly due to industrial relation problems, and the Head Office, which had been residing at the St Albans R&D site for a number of years, moved to the Harlow factory. Later rationalisation in 2005/7 saw the rebranding of UG to OI-Europe, and a further consolidation of the management of the whole of OI's European holdings, from Spain, France, Italy, Poland, etc, being moved to Geneva, where it still remains, and where the Harlow and Alloa factories now report.

  • Vitreous Mosaic Company. (from the May & Baker website) Battersea, London.

    In November 1891 May & Baker agreed to provide the Vitreous Mosaic Company (owned by the inventor Jesse Rust of Battersea) with furnaces, buildings and all the material necessary for the manufacture of Rust’s patented mosaic flooring. The nature of the relationship was that the Mosaic Company became, in effect, a partnership between Rust and May & Baker. It seems that Rust was not a businessman when May & Baker started to invest, for the Vitreous Mosaic Company did not start to show a profit until the end of the decade. It was a concern which continued until the fashion for mosaic flooring began to wane.

    The Mosaic Company was closed down by May & Baker during the First World War. One of the last examples of their work is, in fact, a mosaic mural for St Aidan’s Church in Leeds. Designed by Frank Brangwyn and the work was carried out by Rust’s Vitreous Mosaic Company, under the direction of Silvester Sparrow. The apse mural shows the life of St Aidan after landing in Northumbria, feeding the poor, his teaching and his death.

Other Unknown Glass Works.

      The following are taken from the list of

British Glass Manufacturers

      in the

Pottery Gazette & Glass Trade Review 1953 Reference Book.

      Some may just be London office addresses; firms this is known for have been omitted.

Bellchambers Glass Bottle Co. 71 Ronalds Road, London, N5. Mng. Dir.: C.W.D. Massey, Works Mgr.: F.C. Davis.

Caribonium Glassworks, Leyton.

Nothing is known about this glassworks other than that it was built by Wallis, Gilbert & Partners in 1918. The architects are renowned for their Art Deco style as illustrated by the Hoover factory and many others. More info is required.

Castle Glass Works. Lea Valley Road, Ponders End, Enfield, Middlesex. Mng. Dir.: C.J. Hume, Works Mgr.: L. G. Turner..
(Bottles, jars (jam, preserving, pickles.).

Commercial Glass Bottle Works Ltd. 53 Marshgate Lane, Stratford, London, E.15. Mng. Dir.: G. Elland.

Howard Rawson & Co. Ltd. Devon Works, Farm Lane, Fulham, London, S.W. 6. Mng. Dir.: H.R. Thompson. Sales Dir.:Dr S. Weston, Art Dir.: G. Webb.
Engineering, Laboratory & scientific glassware, Tubing and rod.

Isaacs I & Co. (Estd. 1800). The North London Glass Bottle Co. 93 Pancras Road, London, N.W. 1. Mng. Dir.: G.W. Lyons.
Bottles, Jars.

Sharp Bros. (Clapton Park) Ltd. 17 Glyn Road, Clapton Park, London, E. 5.
Bottles, Buttons, Lighting glassware, Vacuum flask linings.

Sutcliffe J.W. & Co. (1950) Ltd. (Estd. 1898) 12 Great Portland Street, London, W. 1.
Bottles, "Sutax" Jars "Sutcliffe"(vacuum, fruit, preserving).

Taylor F.H. & Sons Ltd. 131 Seven Sisters Road, Holloway, London, N. 7.
Badged ware, Laboratory and scientific glassware, Lighting, Measures, Novelties, Water sets, Window glass, Wine suites.