UtilityGlass.com
formerly www.Chance-Pilkington.co.uk
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GlassyEye.com
A study of domestic and industrial glass and its usage
all text & images copyright © UtilityGlass.com

Welcome to Utility Glass

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A RECORD OF THE PROGRESS MADE CATALOGUING THE ARCHIVE COLLECTION OF BRITAIN'S PREMIER GLASS MANUFACTURER AT SANDWELL COMMUNITY HISTORY AND ARCHIVES SERVICE

Laura is the recently appointed archivist at Sandwell, with the responsibility to organise 300 boxes of papers and 400 ledgers!

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sandwell Archives

What's it all about?

This site represents the industries that produced glassware for all manner of uses: industrial, utilitarian, technical, scientific, to name a few, but also general domestic glassware types.

Essentially, this means virtually anything produced in glass that is not necessarily decorative! Accepting the premise that any vintage glass is collectable — take insulators for example — then this site will make efforts to cover it, and/or link users to other sites better suited to help.

Two large UK companies, Pilkington Brothers and Chance Brothers, feature heavily. This is due to the on-going research into the two companies. It was Chance that was the more diverse and concentrated on virtually all aspects of glass manufacture, while Pilkington held mainly to its core business — the production of flat glass.

Decorative Glass?

Well, here is the problem. Paperweights are highly decorative, and were originally intended as functional items, but nowadays they have a collectable field entirely its own. There are also many web sites to cover this topic, so for the purpose of this site, only those items which are truly functional will be shown.

Advertising on Glass

This was, and still is, an area that some companies will exploit. Often, a normal household item could be printed with the company name. Most commonly seen are those trays produced by Chance Bros. (and others) that were produced solely for this purpose.

URGENT! Broadfield House under threat

Broadfield House Glass Museum is under threat of closure, and a subsequent reduction in services.

As a 'Glassie' your help is appreciated in making your voice heard. Please visit the following links:

Glass Association
Friends of Broadfield House

If possible a recipricol link to http://www.friendsofbroadfieldhouse.co.uk would be appreciated!

 

Skerries Lighthouse
Skerries Lighthouse, 1904
The scale is deceptive: it is about 24-foot (8 metres) tall!

Chance Brothers, 1824-1981

The main industries supported by Chance were; flat glass, optical glass, rolled-plate glass, blown glass, pressed glass.

For information on domestic glassware, visit
Cortex Design logo

Pilkington Brothers, 1826-date

The main industries supported by Pilkington were; flat glass and rolled-plate glass. Developers of the float glass process. Now owned by the Nippon Sheet Glass (NSG) Group.

Go to: Pilkington Official Site
Pilkington logo

Notes:

Briefly...

Chance Brothers operated exclusively from Smethwick, England, from 1824 until 1981. Its flat glass production was absorbed into the parent company plant (Pilkington) at St. Helens in 1976. Chance Brothers at one time were the leading lighthouse, scientific and optical glass producers in the world.

Pilkington Brothers was formed in 1826 and by the late 19th century had become Britains main producer of flat window glass. Its core business was, and still is, the production of flat glass.

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