Author Topic: Apsley Pellatt, the Falcon Glass Works, London  (Read 2713 times)

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Offline Anne

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Apsley Pellatt, the Falcon Glass Works, London
« on: January 16, 2010, 11:21:10 PM »
The Falcon Glass Works, in London, or 'APSLEY PELLATT'S WORKS' are described in a long, florid and prosy article on Lee Jackson's fascinating Victorian London website. The piece is from The Busy Hives Around Us, dated 1861, and describes the glass works and the glass workers and what they do. It covers recipes for glass, the furnace, blowing and cutting, and interestingly (as a subject we've discussed on the board before) the cause of sweating in glass, and more besides. It's quite a long piece but well worth reading: http://www.victorianlondon.org/professions/glass.htm


Offline KevinH

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Re: Apsley Pellatt, the Falcon Glass Works, London
« Reply #1 on: January 17, 2010, 12:11:55 AM »
Fascinating  :)

I wonder what the research source was for:
Quote
The sand is brought from Aylesbury in Buckinghamshire, and Alum Bay in the Isle of Wight.
Maybe that's true, but Apsley Pellatt himself, on page 35 of his own book, says:
Quote
Formerly, flints were calcined and ground, ... but for many years past, Isle of Wight, Lynn, or Reigate sands have been substituted; ...
No mention of Aylesbury as a famed source of sand suitable for glass making!
KevinH


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Re: Apsley Pellatt, the Falcon Glass Works, London
« Reply #2 on: January 17, 2010, 12:15:18 AM »
Aylesbury isn't on the coast methinks Kev... how curious! The Internet Archive has the full text of the original book here: http://www.archive.org/details/busyhivesaroundu00londiala which includes illustrations to accompany the article.


Offline KevinH

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Re: Apsley Pellatt, the Falcon Glass Works, London
« Reply #3 on: January 17, 2010, 01:16:36 AM »
In fact, Aylesbury is barely three miles (5 km) from Halton Woods, near Wendover, one point in which, is the furthest place in England from any coastline. However, Reigate is not coastal either, but presumably had sufficient quantities of good quality sand in its locality.
KevinH


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Re: Apsley Pellatt, the Falcon Glass Works, London
« Reply #4 on: January 17, 2010, 02:05:07 AM »
Ooohhh I hadn't realised about Reigate... I wonder where I was thinking of on the coast  then...?  My brain is a bit scrambled this week as I've had a lot of sleepless nights with the pooch who is suffering from canine dementia and tends to "sing" at night when we're trying to sleep! ::)


Offline David E

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Re: Apsley Pellatt, the Falcon Glass Works, London
« Reply #5 on: January 17, 2010, 11:01:37 AM »
A little background on the Falcon Glassworks, courtesy Old English Glasshouses, Francis Buckley* and A History of Glassmaking in London, David C. Watts', the latter of which has many illustrations and far more background detail.

Was thought to be founded in 1693 as the Falcon (Faulcon) bottle house, and underwent several name changes from c.1752 until c.1802. The site was not always fixed either as the works moved to Holland St in 1814 (by Green & Pellatt) and the Old Kent Road (passing 'Go') in 1877 and then to Stourbridge in 1895. Pellatt's involvement appears to date from 1803.

According to Watts, "From the same account[1] we learn that sand for the batch came from Aylesbury in Buckinghamshire and Alum Bay in the Isle of Wight.". David may very well be able to expand further on the source of sand. I know that sand mines were not necessarily coastally-based but, of course, land does not remain static and marine skeletons can be found halfway up mountains! :)

*An excellent historical book, published and reprinted by the Society of Glass Technology, but seriously marred by the lack of an index!

1. Ref. The Busy Hives Around Us, 1861, James Hogg & Sons
David
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Offline David E

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Re: Apsley Pellatt, the Falcon Glass Works, London
« Reply #6 on: February 03, 2010, 12:09:12 AM »
Just a little update on this, but according to J F Chance's book, A History of the Firm of Chance Brothers & Co. Glass and Alkali Manufacturers, 1919, Chance Bros. was also using sand from Leighton Buzzard - this is from my own scribblings:

Quote
The sand Chance Bros. used for making glass was, until 1835, being transported from the Isle of Wight and proved to be an expensive commodity when using sea, road and canal to reach its destination. A new supply was found much closer to home near Leighton Buzzard in Bedfordshire and proved a worthy replacement. The land was finally bought in 1842 and the first sand mine created at an area called Heath and Reach.

I'm not sure if this is relevant, but Leighton Buzzard is not far from Wendover. I wonder if there is a tenuous link between the two companies?
David
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Offline KevinH

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Re: Apsley Pellatt, the Falcon Glass Works, London
« Reply #7 on: February 03, 2010, 12:47:07 AM »
There are still gravel and sand workings around the Leighton Buzzard area and possibly also at Heath & Reach (I've not been there for many years).

My earlier Wendover reference was for furthest point in England from the sea, but yes, Aylesbury, Leighton Buzzard and Wendover are ptretty much in the same general region. But Wendover is on the edge of Aylesbury Vale / Chiltern Escarpment (chalk) and may not have the same ground structure as the other towns. However, I really have no idea what I am talking about now, so I will stop before I dig myself into a pit of some type. ;D
KevinH


Offline David E

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Re: Apsley Pellatt, the Falcon Glass Works, London
« Reply #8 on: February 03, 2010, 12:08:10 PM »
Thanks Kev. I was wondering if Apsley Pellatt was purchasing sand from Chance Bros. due to the latter's ownership of the mine from 1842?
David
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Offline David W

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Re: Apsley Pellatt, the Falcon Glass Works, London
« Reply #9 on: February 03, 2010, 04:35:55 PM »
Many thanks to David E for his comment. My book also quotes The Busy Hives Around us. It is dated 1861, just after Pellatt (1859) so the sources of sand should not be written in tablets of stone (Ha! Ha!). I was more worried about the suggestion that the best crystal was made from batch materials without the addition of cullet. This seems to me to be highly doubtful although the sort of thing the firm might say to impress an inquisitive visitor. Remember that story of the glasshouse owner throwing a sovereign into a pot to colour gold ruby glass? It was quoted for years. Secrecy and putting competitors off the scent were all part of the activities of the time.

Pellatt is interesting in that we tend to take his account as totally accurate in all its detail. The Busy Hives may have a sting in its tale!

 

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