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British Industrial History

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Apsley Pellatt

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1879.

Apsley Pellatt (1791-1863) of Pellatt and Co

1838 Apsley Pellatt of Holland Street, Blackfriars, became a member of the Institution of Civil Engineers.[1]


1864 Obituary [2]

MR. APSLEY PELLATT, the eldest son of Mr. Apsley Pellatt, a glass manufacturer, was born in the year 1791.

Brought up to his father’s business, he, by great assiduity and attention, especially to the artistic improvement of glass-ware, and by enterprising industry, caused the firm, of which he eventually became the principal, to attain a very high position in that particular branch of manufacture.

It is said that the manufacture of crackle glass, for which Venice was so celebrated, and the art of making which was kept secret, was rediscovered by Mr. Apsley Pellatt, in 1851, and that to him also is due the merit of the invention of the method of ornamenting glass with delicate white Argentine incrustations of dry porcelain clay, cemented into the solid glass.

It is also stated that when the Astronomical Society of London appointed a Committee for the purpose of making experiments on the manufacture of optical flint-glass, Mr. Pellatt liberally placed at the service of the Committee the resources of his glass-house, and his own large experience.

Many years ago, Mr. Pellatt published a memoir: 'On the Origin, Progress, and Improvement of Glass Manufacture,' which was soon out of print, and having subsequently delivered lectures at the Royal Institution, 'On the Manufacture of Flint Glass, and the Curiosities of Glass Making,' he embodied the materials so collected, illustrating the history of the invention, in a little work on 'Curiosities of Glass Making; with details of the Processes and Productions of Ancient and Modern Ornamental Glass Manufacture,' (4to. coloured plates and cuts. London, 1849) ; and at the International Exhibition of 1862, he was a Juror in Class xxxiv., and drew up the Jurors’ Report upon stained glass and glass for decoration, as well as upon glass for household use and fancy purposes.

Mr. Pellatt was elected an Associate of the Institution of Civil Engineers on the 13th of February, 1838; he served on the Council for the Session 1840, and was an Auditor of accounts during the years 1845 and 1846.

He presented two original communications to the Institution, one, 'On the relative Heating Powers of Coal and Coke in Melting Glass;' the other, 'On the Manufacture of Flint Glass,’ and he was for many years a constant attendant at the Meetings, frequently joining in the discussions the last occasion being in the year 1853, in the course of a debate on the drainage of the district south of the Thames; when he said, as an old inhabitant of that part of the metropolis, he was well acquainted with the state of its sewerage, and, as one of the representatives in Parliament of the Borough of Southwark, he was deeply interested in the proposed steps for ameliorating the condition of the valuable properties situated there.

His influential position in the Borough of Southwark, where he so long resided, brought him into prominence as a politician.

When Mr. Miall contested that borough with Sir W. Molesworth in 18Xi, Mr. Pellatt was one of his most zealous supporters, urgng the claims of the anti-endowment candidate upon the electors. At the general election in 1852, Mr. Pellatt was himself returned by that constituency, in conjunction with Sir William Molesworth, and he remained a useful member of the legislature for five years, interesting himself‘ in various commercial questions, and voting in favour of all measures of reform. During the last twenty years of his life, Mr. Pellatt resided at Staines, in Middlesex. He took a leading part in the movements of the congregational body, contributed liberally, both of his time and money, to chapel extension, and was always ready to lend a helping hand to every good cause, whether in behalf of religion, education, or philanthropy.

Mr. Pellatt died of paralysis on the 17th of April, 1863, after an illness of little more than a week’s duration, in the seventy-second year of his age.


See Also

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Sources of Information

  1. 1838 Institution of Civil Engineers
  2. 1864 Institution of Civil Engineers: Obituaries