The Glass Trade

December 1920

Sheffield Daily Telegraph – Friday 31 December 1920

 The Glass Trade

While this rather unpromising state of affairs prevails in the local steel industry the report to hand from the firm of Hattersley Bros. Ltd., Queen’s Foundry, Swinton, one of the largest manufacturers of stove grates for many miles around, is extremely bright.

During the year the works have been considerably improved, and electric light and power are now used throughout. Several important extensions have been made and the tonnage output this year is well above the average. While the stove grate trade is still being developed, the foundry is now turning out special steam condensing plants, cast iron tanks, etc. The number of employees has been almost doubled and with a considerable amount of work on hand prospects for the firm are quite good.

The local glass-making industry has not made the progress this year that it did last, and the heads of the various firms, with hardly one exception, ascribe this to the failure of the Government to provide protection. Some of the firms complain rather bitterly that after having gone to great trouble and expense to meet the special requirements of the country during the war they should now be deserted by the Government. In many cases glass makers sacrificed their ordinary trade to cope with the urgent demands made on them and now they consider that in all fairness the Government should assist them to r e-capture their former trade by preventing the dumping of foreign goods on the home market.

The Order that all female labour would be withdrawn from a glassworks caused some concern at the beginning of the year, but as a result of local representation., a postponement of the Order was secured, and there was no serious dislocation.

Dale, Brown and Co., Ltd., Swinton, have increased their output, and have good prospects. A satisfactory report is also received from Kilner Bros., Conisborough, who have just completed the installation of one of the most up-to-date automatic machines—the first of a series it is proposed to lay down for the manufacture of bottles of all descriptions. The sales of the “Kilner jar,” a speciality of which this firm holds the monopoly, have increased enormously.

Business at the Phoenix Glass Works, Mexborough, is not flourishing now as it was a year ago. There has been a slight falling off in trade, due, it is presumed, to the competition of foreign manufacturers. At the Phoenix Works, which are now amalgamated with the London Bottle Co., important extensions have been made of late. A new furnace for the manufacture of a high quality white glass has been erected, and the foundations of another furnace, which is intended to be used for the melting of a dark-coloured glass are being laid. This latter furnace will be completed very shortly, and then the Phoenix Works will have seven furnaces in all. A considerable amount of machinery has been introduced, and it is interesting to note that the prejudice which existed among the workmen against machinery has now almost entirely disappeared.