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Author Topic: Sykes, Mcvay & Co, Castleford, glass bottle RD 303379 of 7 September 1876  (Read 2275 times)

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Offline agincourt17

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    • Pressed glass 1840-1900
    • Wales
A Victorian clear glass bottle / flask (still with its presumably original cork seal and glass stopper). The bottle shoulders are marked ‘Imperial Pint’, and the bottle body sides have a decorative woven wickerwork design. The base of the bottle bears a registry date lozenge translating to 7 September 1876 – Parcel 9, corresponding to registered design number 303379 (registered by Sykes, Macvay & Co., Albion Glass Works, Castleford, Yorkshire).

(Permission for the re-use of these images on the GMB granted by Matt Farrar).

The bottle would have been produced by hand-blowing into a mould (British machine-moulded bottles being another 15 years in the future - see below).

The history of the modern Castleford glass industry dates back to 1829 when four glassblowers from Hunslet, Leeds, founded the Mear Glass Bottle Works at Whitwood Mere. In the late 1880's Castleford was reputed to be the largest bottle manufacturing centre in Britain, producing over twenty million bottles annually, mainly for export.

Sykes, Macvay & Co.’s Albion Glass Works apparently dates from about the 1860 through to at least the 1890s (though there seems to have been a glass works on the site since the mid-1830s). Their major claim to fame, however, was that in 1890 the world’s first bottle-moulding machine, patented by Ferrybridge iron foundry owner H M Ashley and Josiah Arnall four years previously, went into production at one of the Albion Glass Works sites, revolutionising the manufacture and use of bottles by eliminating the manual blowing of glass and allowing a threaded neck to be created for use with a screw top. The so-called ‘plank machine’ could produce bottles at ten times the rate of a five-man team of glassblowers, meaning Castleford – and perhaps this site – led the world in transforming bottle-making from a time-honoured manual operation to the industrial process it remains today.

More info on the Albion Glass Works site at:

The National Archives online summary of RD 303379 given no description in the registration details.

A quick search of their online archive for other Sykes, Macvay & Co.’s design registrations (which is really only likely to reveal their ‘lozenge’ registrations) produced :
300672 of 20 May 1876 – Parcel 2 (no description given)
306083 of 18 December 1876 – Parcel 2 (no description given)
350211 of 28 May 1880 – Parcel 11 (no description given)

In addition to bottles, it seems that Sykes, Macvay & Co. produced glass jars, so does anyone have photos to show of their pieces with design registration marks or numbers, please?



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