The Bottle Works

September 1882

Mexborough and Swinton Times, September 22.

The Bottle Works

Bottles are amongst the most utilitarian auxiliaries of trade, and their manufacture in this country constitutes an industry which has developed into one of very considerable magnitude.

Amongst the oldest established and most extensive manufacturers, of glass bottles in this country is a firm of Messes Kilner brothers, whose works are Thornhill Lees, near Dewsbury, and also at Conisborough and whose stores and offices are conveniently situated within the huge depots of the great Northern Goods Station at King’s Cross, London.

On the occasion of our personal inspection of Messrs Kilner’s several establishments, we first visited the bottle works at Thorne ill ease, a busy district about 2 miles from the thriving town of Dewsbury, in the West Riding of Yorkshire. These works were established and built by Mr John Kilner, the father and grandfather of the gentleman composing the present firm, in 1844.

After having completed our inspection we proceeded by rail via Wakefield and Doncaster to the firms more modern, if somewhat less extensive works at Conisborough, which village is situated in a picturesque portion of the West Riding of Yorkshire, watered. By windings of the River Don, and about 5 miles distance from the town of Doncaster, much beloved of turfites.

In 1854 the pressure of increasing trade rendered the works at Thornhill Lees inadequate to the demand, and some of the partners of the firm, being on a visit to South Yorkshire, saw a piece of land, which was purchased, and the original works have been improved and increased until they are large and very well appointed.

They constitute moreover, an important landmark in the well sheltered and prettily wooded district of which Conisborough Castle – immortalised by Sir Walter Scott in his inimitable romance Ivanhoe, and consequently much frequented by tourists – is the centre.

At Conisborough works, in addition to the Siemens gas furnaces, there are two furnaces on the old pot system, which are employed in the production of coloured glass. The pots are fabricated out of clay and Messrs Kilner, who make their own pots, use certain kinds of Yorkshire clay.

Messrs Kilner and exhibited much enterprise and spirit, and has successfully competed at numerous international exhibitions, gaining the only medal given for bottles at the London exhibition in 1862. The Cape and Australia are perhaps the most principle colonial markets for the export bottle trade, and Holland and Germany take the lead among the continental countries, and with all of these, as with many other important markets Messrs Kilner do a large trade.

British Mercantile Gazette