In 1720, a glasshouse was established on part of the site of the former medieval 'White Friars' monastery, situated south of Fleet Street. The Museum has several glass items that were possibly made there in the 18th century. However, the collection mainly contains glass produced after 1834 when the firm of James Powell & Sons (popularly known as 'Whitefriars Glass') was founded. The 'Whitefriars' trade name was added only in 1919, four years before the firm relocated from the City to a new site at Wealdstone, Harrow.
The most enduring and successful glasshouse in Britain, Whitefriars made stained glass, table and ornamental glass, and scientific glass. It had a reputation for innovative design and retained an identity distinct from that of other British glass making centres.
When the company closed in 1980, the Museum acquired its archive of business papers, photographs, designs and pictures; some manufacturing tools and equipment; the contents of the glassworks' museum; and examples of the factory's final products.
|Glass possibly made at Whitefriars before Powell (1720 - 1834)|
|Early glass made by James Powell & Sons (1834 - 1870)|
|Glass made during the management of Harry Powell (1870 - 1920)|
|Glass made at Wealdstone: inter-War and wartime (1923 - 1945)|
|Glass made at Wealdstone: post-War (1946 - 1980)|
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