Biography: 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.”