Author Topic: Clayton Mayers, Johnsen & Jorgensen, AHW and United Glass/ Sherdley/ Ravenhead  (Read 3359 times)

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Offline Frank

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... I would be surprised if major new technological developments for the production of domestic/utility glass would have been allowed, when military production was given precedence.

It would make sense for production of wartime essentials, machines freed up able men!
Quote from: Glen
...the pressed glass team could turn out between 5000 and 7000 tumblers in the same time that the blowers could produce 500.

From her article on Thomas Graham. Bear in mind that rate also includes the impact of a c1970 development in moulds.
Frank A.
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Offline Adam

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Anne - Been off the board all week - just seen your question.  Reply in a day or two.

Adam D.


Offline Adam

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Anne - First, I confirm that there was never, at Sowerbys or Davidsons, any pressing other than by hand up to "my" time and I would be 99% sure about later too.

Toughening (aka tempering) can perhaps be looked on as the opposite of annealing.  Instead of removing most stresses high stresses are deliberately introduced by suddenly cooling the slightly soft glass.  Cooling can be done by jets of air (e.g. Jobling and vehicle side and rear windows) or by dropping into a bath of hot oil, which is what Davidsons did.

A normal "melted" shop did the job.  (Anne, for any new members interested, I've forgotten how to do a link to my posts on the subject in Nov/Dec 2004 - help, please!).  The melter used a normal chair, raised slightly, and the bath of hot oil was adjacent.  When he had finished the tumbler he simply tapped the punty to drop the tumbler into the oil bath.  If there wasn't a loud click it was probably still in one piece!  Baskets in the bath could be lifted out, drained and taken away.

Toxic, and now illegal, solvents cleaned off the oil.  First rinse with, I think, xylene followed by vapour bath treatment with trichlorethylene.  They were then quarantined in a warehouse for x days (about two weeks I think) by which time all those about to explode had, hopefully, done so.  Someone in the past, perhaps J K Inwald, must have worked this out.    At some stage they would have been inspected and very lightly ground on the bottom to remove punty scale.  I'm a bit vague here as my day-to-day responsibility was only for the hot parts of production.

We only had one oil bath, and I saw no sign that there had ever been more although there could have been. We therefore only used one shop, who specialised in toughened tumblers although not full time. and therefore the maximum possible output at the time would have been 5 3/4 shifts, a week's work.  I couldn't guess how many weeks p.a. we did.  Now the tricky bit.  I think (getting a bit vague now) that 1000 per shift at the press would not be far off, a little less for bigger sizes.  Nothing anywhere near a pint at that time.  I haven't a clue what the loss rate after that was.

So far as number of people goes, at my end there were seven, the (lehr) taker-in being replaced by the oil basket man.  All subsequent work would be done in bits and pieces by the normal finishing staff of women and I couldn't guess on that one.  Hopefully someone had it all costed but, as I'm sure you all know by now, I knew even less about that side of things at Davidsons than at Sowerbys.

No, Anne, I can't understand either how a profit could have been made at a sensible price - it probably wasn't!

Any follow-up questions welcome - I'll do my best.

Adam D.
 


Offline Anne

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Adam, thank you. :clap: That's really helpful to being able to understand more of how things happened. I shall mull it over and see if I have any more follow-up questions I can tax you with.  ;)

Meanwhile, these are the links to your previous posts Press Moulds and Unmelted, melted & double melted as requested, for anyone who missed them first time around:
http://www.glassmessages.com/index.php/topic,570.0.html
http://www.glassmessages.com/index.php/topic,579.0.html


Offline ChrisStewart

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Hi Anne

Adam, can you add anything about how the tumblers were made please? If this was a big wartime contract for the NAAFI the numbers would have been immense, were they really all produced by hand-pressing?   :o  What sort of daily production would there be and how many people would it take to produce so many?

During the 1940s Hughes, one of Davidson's men could produce 1800 tumblers in a turn (source Davidson production records).

The Sunderland weights and measures office stamped 26,500,00 tumblers between 1939 and 1945 (source Pottery Gazette)

During the war Jobling had a large NAAFI contract. As they did not have the men to meet the contract they tried to poach Davidson workers by going to the Board of Trade and arguing that they needed workers more than Davidson. Fortunately for Davidson they were unsuccessful! (Source: Davidson company minute book).

Regards

Chris
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Offline ChrisStewart

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Hi Marcus,
Quote
Clayton Mayers were always looking for ways to keep the price down and at the start of the war they turned to making machine-made Jacobean glassware.

Asking for a time out here....

definitions are not clear....

So define what we understand/they meant by machine-made....

The changes in the Czech industry of the period, was between presses such as the manual Kutzer press in use since 1909 or earlier, to hydraulic presses, which occurred @ 40-50 years later...
Automatic lines appeared in the mid-1950s.

Definitions, and accuracy is essential to our understanding, and this requires that we cannot assume automatic or semi-automatic production lines, came into use, and I remain to be convinced that this change came in the early years of WWII. I would be surprised if major new technological developments for the production of domestic/utility glass would have been allowed, when military production was given precedence.

Regards,

Marcus

The article in the PG does not defined what is meant by machine made glass. The exact quote is:


.. The Jacobean range grew and grew into 250 different articles up to the beginning of the war. At that time, although supplies were becoming difficult, the company began to introduce machine-made Jacobean glassware, and this side of their activities is now predominant.

As the target audience for the article was the glass trade, they would have known exactly what was meant by machine made. The article goes on to say:

…. the Jacobean designs have not altered very much in that time, although the ware re-designed for automatic production is a good deal lighter than the older version. The principal alterations in this pattern have been in mould-making techniques, and in the quality of the glass.

Taking the two quotes together machine made seems to mean some form of automatic production line and indeed the change started to take place around the start of the war. The quote says that machine made Jacobean is now predominant, which supports my earlier post where I show that some moulds were still going before the pricing committee and so presumably were still being made by Davidson.

It is not really possible to say from Davidson’s production records when this transfer occurred as Davidson’s production changed due to the war. What is interesting is that Davidson production records list over 200 different Jacobean moulds, but they only actually made about 80 of these designs and in the early years of Jacobean production it was as low as 40.

You also said in your post ‘when military production was given precedence’, but don’t forget that foreign currency was equally important to enable us to buy food and armaments. Therefore goods for export had priority over goods for the home market and so increased production of a popular line like Jacobean would have been a good source of foreign currency.

Regards

Chris
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Offline Frank

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There were some fully automated systems in the 20s, but most of the container industry used hand or semi-automatic presses. Developments really started in the 1890s and there was a steady trail of progress. While container production was the initial driver of machine development, it was the light bulb that became the main driving force in innovation - without it there would not have been sufficient glassblowers in the world to meet the rapid growth in demand of the 1920s.

As far as the industry would have been concerned, at any point, there was a simple distinction of hand blown and machine blown. Probably got complicated when the use of hand-made was applied in marketing for almost any level of machine made apart from full automation.

There have been some historical studies written but within the confines of SGT and similar organisations as, for the most part, there has been little interest in the collecting world in such details.
Frank A.
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Offline Anne

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Hi,
The probability is that many of the answers and much of the information is in this archive:
United Glass company records etc 1856-1976, GB/NNAF/B25085, held at Hertfordshire Archives and Local Studies, Hertford.

This reference has now been changed and the new ref is GB/NNAF/C116999.
http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/nra/searches/subjectView.asp?ID=B25085


 

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