Biography: John D. Banham

John D. Banham

John D. Banham researched the develop­ment of glassmaking in northeastern England.

Mr. Banham, who lives in County Durham, has 30 years of experience in the social, economic, and environmental development of northeastern Eng­land. Most of that experience was acquired in local government work in Durham and Chester-le­-Street. For over 15 years, he studied the economic history of the region, first as a graduate student at Sunderland University and then as an in­dependent researcher.

The focus of Mr. Banham’s research was the career of John Cookson, who worked as a merchant, glassmaker, iron master, coal owner, and banker in the 18th century. His research included a study of Cookson’s letter book (1738–1742), which was acquired by the Rakow Research Library of The Corning Museum of Glass in 1994, and other Cook­son documents at archives in the United Kingdom. Mr. Banham hoped to publish a monograph that examined Cookson’s efforts to produce flat glass for the London market and bottle manufacturing in the context of his activities in the coal and iron in­dustries.

“John Cookson was an important figure in the glass industry at a time when Tyneside was the most important location for the glass trade in Britain,” Mr. Banham explains. “The analysis of his letter books and the interpretation of how his glassmak­ing interests fitted in with his many other business interests will shed light on how the glass industry developed in the latter part of the 18th century.”