Grace's Guide

British Industrial History

Grace's Guide is the leading source of historical information on industry and manufacturing in Britain. This web publication contains 148,369 pages of information and 233,846 images on early companies, their products and the people who designed and built them.

James Hartley and Co

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1836 Brothers James Hartley and John Hartley, Junior left Chance and Hartley (which then became Chance Brothers and Co) and moved north to Sunderland to set up their own business. The reasons why Sunderland was chosen as the site for their new venture are unclear, but it may have been because other family members (uncles and cousins) were already established in the glass making industry there.

The Wear Glass Works was established there around 1836, trading as James Hartley and Co.

On 25 November 1838, James Hartley was granted a patent for Hartley's Patent Rolled Plate, manufactured by a new cast glass process, and the firm concentrated on this for the next fifty years.

1847 James Hartley introduced a rolled plate glass with obscured ribbed finish, which is often found glazed in the roofs of railway termini.

c.1851 After the excise duty on glass had been removed (in 1845), followed by the abolition of the window tax in 1851, Hartleys, and the other 2 firms which already made sheet glass (Pilkingtons and Chances) drove the longer-established crown glass producers in the north-east out of business.

1880 Hartley's works continued to produce large quantities of rolled plate glass - see The Glass Trade of the North.

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