All About Glass

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Frederick Carder’s Journal of His 1902 Visit to Germany, Bohemia, and Austria

All About Glass

In 2005, the Rakow Research Library of The Corning Museum of Glass received a small spiral-bound notebook containing Frederick Carder’s handwritten notes from his three-week trip in 1902 to glasshouses in Germany, Bohemia, and Austria.1 Carder, a designer at Stevens & Williams in Brierley Hill, Staffordshire, was interested in glass technology and marketing, and he had been sent on a fact-finding mission by the Staffordshire Technical Instruction Committee of the Staffordshire County Council. As a part-time glass instructor at the Wordsley School of Art, he was a Council employee. Subsequently, Carder turned in a lengthy report, part of which was published in England and in an article in China, Glass, and Lamps, an American trade journal.2 The article noted that the report was too long to publish in full, but that it contained lengthy sections in Carder’s own words.

Comparing the notebook journal of his trip with the published report, it is easy to see that Carder elaborated on his first impressions in the formal report. He also included there a valuable summary of his findings. It is a fascinating account of the state of glass manufacture at that time. Fortunately, the notebook has sketches as well as notes, and these add to its usefulness for the glass researcher.

In the following pages, the journal is reprinted in its entirety, except for a few places where Carder’s handwriting is unclear. He went back over his original notes and added words and phrases in the margins, probably to assist him in writing the final report. These additions appear in boldface in the following text. The sections in brackets are from the published account. These are more complete descriptions, which have been interspersed to clarify the handwritten notes. Carder’s sketches are placed as he located them in his notebook, and they are indicated by figure numbers.

This is a verbatim transcript. Spelling inconsistencies and grammatical errors in the original have been faithfully reproduced. Comments on the content of the report have been provided in the footnotes.

The Journal

Frederick Carder—1902—(Joy Villa), Kingswinford, Staffs.August 24, 1902
Sunday Arrived Sunday night via Hanover after a very tiring ride about 11 P.M. Put up at the Westminster Hotel.

Unter den LindenMonday 25th
Berlin Called on Sir F. Lascelles at the British Embassy.

Wilhelm Strasse 70

Saw Wm. Collier who gave me a letter to Herr Graf at the British Consulate, Behren Str. 63 who was very kind, he said that there were very few Glass Works in or near Berlin owing to price of coals and labour.

asked me to call again at 5 o’clock when he would give me one or two letters from the (Consul General, Paul Schwabach) British Consulate) to two or three firms. He advised me to get on Tuesday an interpreter that he thought would give me an advantage to getting to know some of the technical details of the Glass trade. I also called upon Messrs. Mendelssohn the bankers with letters of introduction from Lloyds Bank. (Jager Strasse) There I saw Herr Fischel, the head of the firm who promised to send me an introduction to the Director of Kunstgewerbe Museen, Julius Lessing.

This was sent to me at the Hotel. The firms who the Consul General gave me introductions were:

  1. An die
    Glashüttenwerke Alderhütten
    Penzig bei Gorlitz
  2. Herrn C. Brämer
    Marienhütte bei Coepenick
  3. An die
    Von Poncet Glashüttenwerke
    Berlin S.O.
    54 Koepenicker Strasse

In a tour around the shops of the Unter der Linden, Leipziger Strasse and other important streets, I was struck with the tendency there is to the Modern Style in Art both in porcelain and glass.

English Glass
I also saw in some of the best shops a fair amount of English Glass which I recognized as being made in the Wordsley District. Such objects being principally tall wine glasses (or Hock Glasses) wine decanters etc. and Finger Bowls. The German Glass is more fanciful than ours and more artisticly made.

French Glass
Gallé and Daum Frères
The prices seemed very moderate. There were also a good collection of Tiffany and Co. Glass (Favrile) in Harsch and Co. on the Unter der Linden, also some fine vases in the same style but made in Bohemia evidently by Lötz.

These although they had not the fine quality of Tiffany, were very good. Many of them were mounted in copper, in bronze, in silver and in pewter.

Tuesday, 26 August—Berlin
As advised by Herr Graf of the British Consulate, I secured an interpreter who charged 10M3 per day together with expenses.

Sèger’s Laboratory
1st I visited the firm of Prof. D.H. Sèger and E. Cramér. Here I was shown over the place by Dr. H. Hecht. He showed me the different laboratories where the analysis of clays were conducted. The various kinds of machines for estimating the strength of clays—their different forms of furnaces and muffles. He was most kind. This laboratory is in a very flourishing condition and shows very well how thoroughly the Germans go into a manufactory. Here I saw the celebrated Sèger cones which have become so general in estimating the temperature of ovens and kilns. There were many kinds of different clays and glazes being tested and analyzed.

I next went on to the Keramishe Raundel, one of the many pottery papers in Germany. The principal was away but the Head Clerk said that if I would call in two days time that he would be pleased to help me.

From there went on to the Kunstgewerbe Museum on Albrecht St. with a letter of introduction to the Director Julius Lessing which was given me by Messrs. Mendelssohn Bankers.

The director was away but the next in charge was most kind. He showed me the collection of Glass which is very good. It is placed in cases in a fine room according to the years and places of production.

There is a good collection of Greek and Roman.

and better one of Italian Venetian Glass.

One of the best I have seen of Chinese Glass.

and good examples of Modern Glass. Some very good pieces of Tiffany which were bought at the Paris Exposition of 1900.

He also showed me 3 fine windows by Tiffany. In these the color is exquisite. Some of the pieces in the windows being quite 3/4 of an inch in thickness and very irregular in shape. There is no paint or enamel about them, some of the pieces in tesserai being quite crinkled to get the necessary effect.

Good collection of glass presented by the Rheinische Glashütten in Köln bei Ehrenfeld.

Cöepenick (26th)
Took the Boat down to Köepenick, which is about 5 miles from Berlin, to Herr C. Brämer, Marienhutte bei Cöepenick. Passed many works on the way, big and fine, all looked new, principally chemical and electrical works. Here I was received by the proprietor who kindly showed me round his works himself. He manufactures both Blown and pressed Glass Ware—Bottles, Jars, Goblets, Butter dishes, Plates for Cakes etc.

3 Gas Furnaces
There are three furnaces all worked with Gas on the Siemens system. All 3 furnaces were of an oblong shape giving spaces for pots at the two sides for 10 chairs each. The Glass was melted in open pots of a medium size and was of a clear and good color.

Wood Stages
The workmen work upon stages or platforms which could be easily taken away. This enabled the Blower to be well over his work when Blowing. The Boy who held the mould being upon the Glass House floor.

[The furnaces are worked on the Siemens regenerator system, the gas being produced from Stein coal; these are oblong in shape with five pots on each side. The men work on a stage or platform of wood, erected around the furnace, which is about two feet six inches in height and seven feet wide.]

Cöepenick (26th)
Wood Handles for Blowing Irons
A good many of the Blowing Irons had a wood handle or tube over them. Principally Iron Moulds were used and in the case of Blown Glass the Blower turning the pipe constantly round whilst blowing on the mould.

Air under Pressure
Air under pressure was laid in and some of the articles were blown up with it, where the pattern was very deep in the mould. A good many of the men wear no stockings or shoes, but instead a pair of leather slippers with wood bottoms. They seemed a very good class of men.

Hours of work are from 6 A.M. to 6 P.M. I noticed that they all used wood blocks with handles for rounding up the metal before placing in the mould, and rarely used the Iron table or “Marver” as is done in the Wordsley district. The pressed Glass was very good. In some large Goblets or White Beer Glass, the foot and leg was dropped into a mould. Then the Bowl was blown in a mould, stuck on the leg, then opened out in the usual way. Others such as Beer Mugs with handles were pressed in one piece and then fire polished by being placed in shapes and reheated in a Gas furnace. Presses run on Tramways round the Glass House.

[A large business is done in Pressed Glass.... The beer-cups, so universally seen in Germany and Austria, butter-dishes for the English market, and dishes of many other sorts and shapes were made in this way, some with very good patterns. The Model-shop, Machine-shop, Mixing-room, and Grinding-room, were visited in turn, and in all I was struck by the attention paid to economy of labour, time and material. This economy in time is specially noticeable in the way in which the metal is worked out of the pots in the day, filled again, and melted during the night, ready for the next day’s work. One hundred and sixty-seven men are employed here, their cottages are built close to the factory, and they spend 10 hours a day in actual work, as they go at six in the morning, leave at six at night, and deduct half an hour for breakfast, an hour and a quarter for dinner, and a quarter of an hour at four in the afternoon.... I asked the proprietor whether they had ‘strikes’ and was told that this was an experience unknown to him.]

Görlitz—100 M from BerlinWednesday 27th
Took train from Berlin to Görlitz and found that by stopping at Weisswasser and then on to Wolfshain it would be nearer to the Von Poncet Glashüttenwerke at Wolfshain— 5 minutes walk from the station—

Called at the private house of Von Poncet who refused me permission to go over his works. The Interpretter said he knew another works of a like character. Warmbrunn, Quelitz Ischermitz bei Görlitz—and seeing in a yard the ordinary diligence, I have induced the landlord to drive us to the works of Messrs. Warmbrunn, Quelitz. There we were kindly received by the principals who showed us round the works.

They employ 300 work people and manufacture all kinds of Jars for Chemists, Confectioners, Bottles for Doctors etc. and for the Laboratory, such as retorts etc.

Six Furnaces
10 Pots and 12 Pots
The Works are laid out on a very good plan in one large oblong loft building. They have six Siemens Furnaces worked on the regenerative principal. 10 pots in each furnace, 5 at either end [all the pots being open]. No smoke, no dust or dirt as in our furnaces. Here as at Cöepenick, the workmen work upon a platform round the furnace with steps to go up at each corner. All Blow Irons have a wood handle about 18" to 2 ft. down from the mouth part.

Thin Wood Strips for Moulds
I noticed that instead of using paste, or coating the Moulds with Carbon, small shavings of wood there was put into the mould by the taker-in boy before placing on the glass. This gave off gas and made the articles quite smooth all round—articles being turned round whilst being Blown in the Moulds.
For some large Bottles, wood moulds were used.
The Glass was of a very good quality and very clear.
Some of the moulds were held by boys as in England, others were shut by the foot, by pressing upon a lever. As soon as the foot was released, the mould opened again and enabled the workman to take out the articles.
All the men and boys worked without stockings, only wood bottom[?] slippers being worn. I noticed also that the women did not wear either shoes or stockings, but went about the yard and the packing houses same as if it was the right thing to do.

[Here, as at Koepenick, the men worked on a stage built of wood round each furnace, only the Finisher using a chair. The men work much closer together than we do, and the Blower does all his work by rotating his blow-iron on a fork fixed on the outside of a platform, and at a convenient height. He has also a small marver, and a wood box containing water.... Here, as at Koepenick, they use the wood block for rounding up the metal, and do not use the marver as we do. All their blow-irons are cased with wood two feet down, and I noticed that instead of blowing in wood or paste moulds they blow in iron moulds, which open and shut by the foot. The boy, or taker-in, places two pieces of very thin wood one in each side of the mould before the Blower places in the hot glass. As soon as the mould is closed, the workman whilst blowing constantly rotates his iron, and the two pieces of wood burn away, giving off a gas which makes the surface of the bottles or other articles quite smooth and clear, and quite free from mould marks.... The glass was of a very good quality, although the mass of it being made was transparent (half crystal). They were making a good number of coloured goods in white, brown, and blue. The workmen seemed an intelligent body of men, some wearing coloured glasses as a protection from the intense heat of the furnace. There is a tramway all round the Glass-house with circular turntables between every furnace, on which all the materials are brought from the Mixing-house, and the goods taken from the annealing ovens to the Sorting and Packing Houses.... The goods that have to be cut are taken to the Cutting and Grinding Shop. Here, with one or two exceptions, all the mills run horizontally and not vertically as in England, and vary in diameter from two feet up to five feet. The sand is placed in a wooden box by the side of the mill and has a trough or spout to allow the sand to trickle on to the revolving wheel. After being roughed they are smoothed on stones running the same way. It is only when mitre and diamond cutting has to be done that they use the vertical wheel. The polishing is also done on wood wheels. I noticed that for cutting of the tops of large covers and the tops of large dishes blown in moulds they use a dry stone, and sometimes an emery wheel running vertically. After the workman has followed a line (previously marked out with whiting) all round with the wheel, he cuts it deeper in one or two places, and the heat produced by the wheel causes the surplus part of the cover to crack and come away. The cover is afterwards ground flat on the horizontal wheel and then polished. It is astonishing the amount of work they can do on the horizontal wheel; in some cases three men were working at the same wheel. Close to the works are the cottages of the workmen, built and owned by the Company.]

There were a number of similar works in this district. They are placed in a very lonely part being entirely surrounded by forests, and the distances in some cases are more than 4 miles from the Railway. In the case of Messrs. Warmbrunn Quelitz and Co., they have a private light railway on which they bring the glass on small wagons, drawn by a horse to the Railway station, where they are packed in special trucks for transportation. All the objects they make are wrapped in straw (no paper) and are packed very quickly in the truck. The Coal that seems to be used most is a very soft brown coal which gives off a quantity of gas. This is mixed with a proportion of black coal, when used for the Gas producers. Cutting shop. Mostly horizontal wheels of a large diameter, 3 ft. to 5 ft.

Berlin—28th, Thursday
Owing to the Visit of the King of Italy to the Emperor, the first part of the morning was taken up in looking at the procession on the Unter der Linden, fine sight. From there went to the British Embassy and obtained from M. Collier a letter of introduction to the Consul at Dresden, H. Palme Alt Markt. From there went to the National Gallery and saw shops.

Berlin to Dresden
At 6 o’clock took train to Dresden and arrived at 10:30 P.M.—Kaiserhof Hotel.

Called at Julius Fahds and obtained the directories of the Glass trade, one for Germany and the other for Austria. From there visited the Dresden Gallery, which is a very fine one.

Called upon H. Palme, the Consul who promised me letters of introduction to 4 firms in Bohemia. He also gave me one to a Glass Cutting Works in Dresden. Messr. Curt Zieger.

Curt Zieger
Hart Glass
Where I saw glasses for steamships being cut and bent to different shapes. Most of the thick glass is hardened after being first roughed into shape by being heated in a Muffle very like a puddling furnace, and then when they get red hot are pulled on to a wood tray and placed quickly between the hollow iron slabs through which water is running to keep them cool. This makes the Glass, when looked through with a polariscope, show all the prismatic rays.

The proprietor was most kind and took me round the works himself—showing the Glass in the Rough, then ground and polished. The grinding wheels with the exception of one or two small ones run horizontal and not vertical, as is the case with England. In fact the frames are very much like a potter’s throwing wheel. Visited the academy, then called at the Consulate and obtained the letter promised to:

  1. An die
    Direction der Erlaucht Graf
    Harrachs Glasfabrik
    zu Neuwelt
  2. An die
    Direction der Graf Schaffgottsche
  3. Herrn
    Geby Mahla
    Gablonz a/d N
    Actien Gesellschaft
    für Glasindustorie
    Von Friedr Siemens

Went to the Royal Hof Theater at night and saw Martha, which was very good, from Bard, and good operas.

DresdenSaturday 30th, 1902
In Dresden, went to the Johanneum Museum in the morning. There is a very fine collection of pottery and porcelain especially of Chinese and early German Work—Bottiger—red and white porcelain. They have also a good collection of Modern work down to the present time, also Japanese. Went onto the Grosse Garten and the Zoo. 4 P.M. went only train to Leipzig, arrived Leipzig at 7 o’clock. Hotel Sedman— at night went on to a Variety Entertainment at the Royal Palast.

LeipzigSunday 31st August
Fair or Messe
On Sunday, went round Leipzig to find out the Show Rooms, or the fair etc., saw many of the Public Buildings, and visited one or two Goseaushank or Restaurant Gardens, where the Gosen Bier is sold in the flat bottles. Peculiar to Leipzig. It is astonishing the number of traders that are represented on the Messe. Metal work, Leather, Furs, Porcelain, Glass and fancy goods. There are hundreds of them, but the trade mostly done at this time of the year is a German trade. The most important trade with England. America and the Colonies is done in the Spring fair when Buyers come from all over the world.

Show Rooms
It would be a good thing if the English Manufacturers would visit Leipzig during one of the fairs, and then they would see what other countries such as Germany, Austria, France and Denmark are doing. Most of the houses take the Show Rooms the year round.

Went round the Show Rooms in the fair and saw some very good works, both German, Bohemian and French. Gallé of Nancy and Daum Frère’s as well as Val St. Lambert showed good work. Visited about 30 Show Rooms. Amongst the Austrians some good work. Warshewsky, Count Harrach, W. Kralik, W. Lotz and others. There is a tendency in wine glasses to make them with very long stems. This they say is the newest style. Some of them are quite from 8" to 14" long. There was some very good cutting very deep after the American Style shown by Val St. Lambert, and the prices were so low that it would be impossible in England to compete with them. The selling price was lower than the cutting would be in England. In Fancy Glass, the Austrians and the Bohemians are a long way ahead. The Germans following very closely. French show some very artistic cameo glass and very varied and beautiful color. Belgians good table and good deep cut Glass. By seeing the products of the different firms at Leipzig gave me an idea where to go, and what factories to see.

Leipzig to DresdenTuesday, 2nd September
Left Leipzig 9:20 A.M. and arrived in Dresden 12:30, arriving at Bodenbach at 4:55 P.M. Bodenbach and Haida via Tannenberg 6:40, arrived Haida 8:50 P.M. Hotel Poste. Dresden to Bodenbach and Haida. In the ride from Dresden, we followed the Elbe all the way through a very Beautiful Country, the commencement of Saxon, Switzerland. Also from Bodenbach to Haida it is very fine.

Haida [Bohemia]Wednesday, 3rd September

Fig. 1: Vases for the American market, Haida.Haida Raffoneries
(Hours: 6-6, 1/2 hour at 9, 1 1/2 at 12:30–2, 1/2 at 4)
[The glass is brought from the works, which are usually placed right in the forest, in carts, and, where the railway is available, by rail to the factors, who have their own Cutting Shops, Painting, and Engraving Rooms. These Raffineries are very well built, and give one the impression that they are gentlemen’s residences and not factories.]

Called upon Anton Herasel, then went to one of the largest firms (Hartman and Dieterichs). They are manufacturers and factors and make some very good things [?], and from whom I bought 6 pieces. They have 3 places in Haida, and 2 factories 20 miles away and employ 1,000 hands. Saw some very good vases 24" high for the American market, for which they cater, and which were very good [Fig. 1]. New Firm only 20 years old and now the largest in Haida. All coal comes from the West part of Bohemia at about 12 gulden a wagon [ten tons] and the distance about 120 miles. They send their goods all over the world.

Went next to Ichernitz and Co. another Raffonerie. They are only decorators but have the Best collection in Haida in fact. The Best I had then seen. They do some very good rich cutting, good engraving and fine enamelled and gilt work. They have a lot of work in the new style, all engraved matt. Haida is a very pretty place and surrounded by hills thickly covered with red pine forrests.

Haida Museum and Fachshule
Haida has a small museum and a very good Technical School. The school unfortunately was on vacation and re-opens on 16th. In the museum there is a good collection of good engraving by Carl Pietsch of Steinschönau both sunk and raised. Tall goblets, wines and flat plates with engraved work are very good. There is also a very good collection of china of different periods. Glass also, some very good. Vases painted by Carl Pfohl of Arnsdorf. There is also a good collection of recent art books. I was surprised to find in the museum a wine glass of my own design 15 years ago and manufactured by S & W.4 Steinschönau also has a very good Technical School. In this, as in Haida, the Glass trade is particularly well looked after, and some very good works are turned out. Chemistry, Painting, Engraving.

Left Haida at 6:20, arrived at Reichenberg at 10 o’clock after a very trying journey through a most lovely country. Had to change carriages at Marnsdorf and at Zettan where the luggage was taken from one and delivered up at Reichenberg. Reichenberg—noted for weaving—good museum and Technical School. Left Reichenberg for Tannwald. left—8:25 A.M., arrived—10:30. Passed Gablonz where there are many works.

Tannwald to Neuwelt
From Tannwald hired a carriage for 10 Crowns to drive to Neuwelt. The drive was over the mountains and occupied 2 1/2 hours, the road winds Round and up, zig-zag, and on reaching the summit, goes similarly down. The scenery was delightful and one can not imagine Glass Works up here. It is similar to our lake district, only all fir trees, with wood houses dotted here and there up the mountain side. Saw many German Tourists on a walking tour with pack on back.

Had dinner at the Hotel, and then visited Count Harrach Glass Works, a very large works, and was received most kindly by the under manager and the foreign correspondent who showed me all over the works.

Oldest Works in Bohemia
This is the oldest works in Bohemia, and makes the best goods. I saw in a large rectangular building 2 gas furnaces with 12 pots each on the Siebert process. One was fired by gas from coal, and the other from wood gas. The furnaces are oval in plan with two holes on the floor for the admission of gas and air and its exit. The pots are open and of a small size about .

Fig. 2: Furnace with wood platform, Neuwelt.
Fig. 3: Tools and molds, Neuwelt.

No chairs
The workmen work on a platform as in the other works I had seen [Fig. 2] and do not use chairs, as in England, but sit on a narrow Bench, place a bit of wood on the right leg and revolve the blow iron on the knees. They all wear glasses. The moulds I saw were of wood and mostly without tops. I watched very carefully a workman making wines with a very difficult leg. There is only 3 to a shop, the workman,5 Blower and a Boy. The Glass is gathered by the Blower who gives it about 2 turns on the Marver, puts a little blow into it, then rounds it up with the wood Block. “the wood Block everyone uses” [Fig. 3].

Fig. 4: Tool "the like of which I have never seen in England," Neuwelt.
Fig. 5: Earthenware pots in which goods are annealed, Neuwelt.

1400 C Furnaces—Making a Wine Glass
After blowing it out a little he next places it on the mould of wood (which is open), he then hands it to the workman [finisher] who gathers the metal himself with one hand whilst he holds the Glass in the other. He then drops a lump of Glass on the Bottom of the Bowl and then forms the first ring or marese with a pair of tools the likes of which I have never seen in England [Fig. 4]. After having first made the first marese, he drops on another lump of metal for the leg which he works with a similar tool. He next swings it over to elongate it and finally molds it with a Block of wood, with the exact size of leg cut in. The foot is then cast on and worked up with the first pair of tools.

Saw crackeling done, jugs made, sugar, annealed in Earthenware pots, emptied every morning [Fig. 5]. [I also watched jugs being made, both large and small, and sugar basins; there were vases, too, of the peculiar crackled glass, with which the Germans are always more successful than the English; the Director accounted for this by saying that the English metal would never crackle like theirs. The annealing ovens are fired with wood, and I was astonished by the way in which the articles are placed in them; there are large terra-cotta pots lying on their sides in the oven and into these the glass is packed, one thing on the top of another, in a way no one would dream of doing in England].

The Glass Cutting Shop
Fig. 6: Glass cutting machinery, Neuwelt.The Glass Cutting Shop is very well built. The basement is given up to the packing and the upper floor for cutting. The shafting is underneath the cutting shop, and is placed in the packing room. 2 lines of shafting for the cutters and one for the Horizontal wheels where all heavy work was done [Fig. 6]. [This shop is very well arranged; ... the belts come up through the floor to the frames, which are so placed that two men can work at one at the same time. The frames are placed at intervals round two sides of the building, and in the centre of the shop are the large horizontal wheels, on which all rough and heavy work is done.]
100 cutters—shaft is driven by a 60 Hp watts motor. There is also a smaller cutting shop where the wines are cut off and polished. They only have one of Shuberg’s machines and very well it works. “diamond for scratching” and a similar Bot for the gas. Most of the goods are not fire polished owing to the intricate legs on their wines. The small furnaces for fire polishing are worked with gasoline. Machine for cutting the Bottoms of tumblers—300 per hour.

[There is still another process to which the glasses are subjected to get rid of the surplus glass which is usually attached to them when taken from the oven; it is done very quickly by a machine. The glass is first marked with a diamond round the portion which is to be removed, and then placed before a very thin stream of heated air, the glass being kept revolving, the sudden heating at exactly the right part makes the glass divide and the surplus piece flies off in a very neat ring. In the same building was a most ingenious machine for cutting the bottoms of tumblers. The Director assured me it would do 300 tumblers an hour. It has six stones revolving in a vertical plane, and over each stone is a spindle, which also revolves; the end of the spindle is covered with felt, on which the tumbler is placed, and the top of the spindle is weighted to give the necessary pressure.]

Most of the workmen in the Glass House wear Glasses of a light Blue smoky tint. In fact all the older men. It was very curious to me to see so many men wearing glasses. A sight you never see in England. [The men struck me as a very intelligent set; they all wore large spectacles of a smoky tint to protect their eyes from the intense heat and glare of the furnace.]

Only three men work at a shop. The painting room was a very large one; they do some of the best enameling that is done on the Continent. There I saw the artists at work. Their muffles are long, and more like a gas retort in shape, but not high as is the case with French and English Houses.

Reichenberg to PragueFriday, September 5th
Started from Reichenberg this morning at 8:25 (Reich Hof Hotel) and arrived in Prague at 1 o’clock. Was shown around the city by a very kind young German who I met on the train. He was anxious to speak English and volunteered his services. The City of Prague, Capitol of Bohemia, is essentially a manufacturing city and has not the fine Buildings such as Dresden. At the same time, there are in the new part some very fine Buildings where the Art Academy, Museum etc. are situated. There is a very interesting synagogue, and the Jewish Quarter is easily told by the nose.

Vienna [Austria]Saturday, September 6th, 1902
Fig. 7: Vienna.Started for Vienna from Prague at 11 P.M. Finally reaching Vienna 7 A.M. on Saturday morning. Vienna is a very beautiful city. Very fine Buildings etc. I called upon the British Embassy at 11 A.M. They gave me an introduction to Lobmeyer’s in Kartnerstrasse No. 26. There in their Show Rooms they have some very fine goods, both good in making and decoration. Some fine cutting, better engraving, both in the old styles and new, made by Meyr’s Neffe. Most of their best work goes to America. They have sets in all the Classic Styles, particullarly in the Louis XIV etc. Good collection of Liquer Sets [Fig. 7].

Kunst Gewerbe on the Stubenring
In the Industrial Museum there is a very good collection of Glass, particularly of Bohemia. There is some from all countries. I was surprised to find one of the bottles made by S & W in this museum. They have a good collection of ceramic ware etc. In the Maria Theresa Platz are the two new Imperial Museums. On the one side of the square is the Natural History Museum and on the other the Art History Museum, good collection of glass, also rock crystal and agate. Went to see Count Harrach’s Picture Gallery and Shop. In the Shops there is some very good Glass particularly Irridescent etc. Also eng. and enameled.

Vienna MuseumsSunday, 7th Sept.
Spent the day in the Industrial Museum Picture Gallery and Natural History Museum. In the Industrial Museum there is a very fine collection of Glass of all styles from Egyptian right down to the present time. One of our Bottles was there, as well as good collection of Tiffany and other manufacturers. In the Picture Gallery there is a fine Room devoted to Rock Crystal and agate. Some of the Crystal pieces being larger than any I have seen. 2 large cases of R.C. 2 large cases of agate and other stones. Saw also the fine buildings of Vienna.

Vienna to Nürnberg, [Germany]
Quaint Old City
Left Vienna Sunday night at 8:25 P.M. and arrived in Nürnberg 7 A.M. Monday. Went round the sights etc. but found that the museums were closed.[?] down to Fürth and saw some very large works where looking Glass Mirrors etc. are made.

Nürnberg to FrankfortTuesday 9th, 02
Left Nürnberg 8:50 A.M. Arrived Frankfort 1:15 P.M. (Hotel Schwan—Swan Hotel) The Hotel on which peace was signed by Bismark and Faure in 1871. Went round Frankfort. Noticed most of the Best Shops. Cathedral etc. Palm Garden etc. Frankfort is a fine business town, and sees more English than some of the other German towns I have visited.

Up the Rhine to CologneWednesday 10th, 02
Left Frankfort 8:25 A.M. Arrived Coblenz 1:00. Left Coblenz 3:15. Arrived Cologne 7:15. Hotel du Dom. It was a very fine trip up from Biebrich to Coblenz—fine valleys and hills with vines growing on the side together with a good many castles dotted here and there—but for Color, give me the Clyde. After Coblenz the Banks began to get interesting.

More manufactories were in evidence and altogether the country was much flatter. After leaving Coblenz, a heavy thunderstorm came on, and from a fine sunny morning it turned into a murky afternoon with plenty of mist etc.

CologneThursday 11th Sept.
Visited the Rheinische Glashütten Köln Ehrenfeld—600 workmen I presented the introduction from the City and Guilds of the London Institute which was kindly given by [?]. The Director- Edward Rette von Kralik very kindly showed me over the works. As he could not speak English very well, he asked a coal engineer who designs some of the machinery to assist him.

They have a very large works making all kinds of artistic, as well as cheap Table Glass.

They have 6 Glass Furnaces. 4 of which I saw in work. One was worked with half Gas [and half coal] fuel, the other with all Gas. 1/3 Black coal, 2/3 Brown coal. The half Gas Furnace is round in shape and similar in construction to ours. The other one is rectangular in shape, and the system Siemens. [This furnace was round in plan, and the pots used are with covered tops, the same as are used in English factories. The other furnace is rectangular in shape with open pots ...] They also showed me a furnace just completed where the Boiler for generating steam is placed over the furnace, and so utilising the spent Heat from the furnace. There I saw Glasses of all kinds being made, from their new Brilliant Glass, right down to the common pressed salts. The workmen here work in a chair similar to the English Houses, and not as in Bohemia. All their wines are blown in moulds mostly wood, and the tops cut off after they have been annealed. Their newest Glass is what is called Brilliant Glass and is very fine in effect. The articles are made in the usual way, but the Glass having in its composition some material that when the workmen Blows down the pipe, the Breath makes the Brilliant Effect inside by some chemical action.

Wine Glasses
I noticed a peculiar method of making the feet of wines. The workman has on his chair a Block of wood on a swing arm which, when it is touched with the foot, comes up and is parallel with one of the arms of the Chair. After the assistant has dropped the lump of Glass on to the leg, the workman spins the foot by pressing the lump against this Block with a pair of wood tools.

[I saw a varied assortment of goods being made from artistic vases, which require a long time to make, with elongated drops or leaves of a soft green colour, right down to electric bulbs, the production of which is 30,000 bulbs per day.]

The Lears are placed in a very large room and open out of the Glass house. They are in long tunnells placed upon pillars, and the pans are of Iron running upon rollers as in England. They are heated by coal.

Cathedral Plate
Sheet Glass
From the Glass house for Table Glass, I went to the House for making cathedral plate similar to that produced by Tiffany. Here are two small round furnaces, where all different colors are made in the 8 pots round. They have 2 casting tables where the metal is emptied upon and the table moves rolling the Glass one thickness.

Sheet Glass
Dom Glass
In the making the metal Tiffany Glass, they take a small quantity of one color from one pot into a large ladle and then another color and another and, with dexterous touches with an Iron rod, mix the various colors together. They are then poured upon the table and rolled out to the required thickness—some of the effects of color being very beautiful.

Pot Room
I was next taken to the Room where the pots are made. They make and use larger pots than in Bohemia.

For the Gas Furnace they use open pots, and for the Half Gas Furnace, covered pots similar in construct to the pots in England, only they are oval in shape, whilst the open pots are round. It is a very different clay to the clay in the Stonebridge district. The clay is ground and mixed in the works.

Cutting Shop
From the Pot Room I was taken to the cutting shops. They do not do any very rich cutting as we know it in England—mostly the legs of the Glasses, together with light cutting on the Bowls. The Cutting Shop is a large one.

Ehrenfeld Cutting Shop
2 lines of shafting running down the shop. The cutting lathes are placed quite high up, and the men work underneath, and not on the top of the wheel as in England and Bohemia. A lot of this work is done upon a large Horizontal wheel some of these are quite 4'6" in diameter. [The workmen work under the wheels of iron and stone, the majority of which are of very large size. ... I noticed that the spindles of these wheels were on a level with my eye when standing in front of them. They also do a lot of work on the horizontal wheel, some of which are 6ft. in diameter.]

I next went into the Packing Room and wharehouse where I saw all kinds of Glasses being cleaned and packed for export. They have a very good system using large Bins to place the order in, ready for the final packing in Boxes for export. All the goods are wrapped in hay and paper.

On the same floor as the wharehouse, I saw the Gilding of the Edges of wines.

Gilding Tops of Wines
The lines are put on by Girls and when they are sufficiently dry are placed upon a revolving table, or wheel. At a distance from this wheel are placed two Blow pipes. The Glass is placed one at a time on the table, and the Blow pipes play upon the edge, so firing on the Gold.

Cutting Off Wines
In the same building I saw the machines for cutting off the top of wines. They are similar in construction to those used in Bohemia at Count Harrachs, only appear to be made on the premises. After being cut off of the machine, they are ground on a large 4' 6" Horizontal table with sand.

Melting Tops of Wines Tumblers—3000 an Hour
Any that have to be melted on the edge are placed upon a very ingenious machine which keeps two Girls constantly putting on and taking off the Glass. It is a machine of an oval form with a fine flat flame all round, but more intense at the finishing end.

Melting Edges
The Glasses are placed upon small revolving cups which are on and driven by an endless chain [Fig. 8]. The cups revolve as well as move constantly forward. The Glasses as soon as put on come in contact with the low temperature, and as they move forward gradually get hotter and hotter until the end when they are quite melted at the tops. Over the top of vthe flame is a large Iron Box in which is coiled the air and gas pipes so as to utilise the heat in heating up the Air and Gas before coming in contact with one and another. This was the most ingenious machine I have seen on the Continent. 3,000 per hour.

Fig. 8: Finishing the tops of wine glasses, Ehrenfeld.
Fig. 9: Machine for bottoming tumblers, Ehrenfeld.

Ehrenfeld in Bohemia
Machine for Bottoming
Here as at Harrachs, they have a machine for Bottoming tumblers [Fig. 9]. There are 6 upright spindles which revolve and are kept in contact by placing weights in small Buckets at the top of each spindle. Underneath each spindle there is a separate stove running in a vertical plane. Water is kept trickling on the stove, and the Bottoms are very quickly cut. It keeps one man on putting on and off, 300 in one hour. I was also shown the Engraving Room and the Etching Room with up to date machines and apparatus.

Mess Room
They have provided the men with a Mess Room, as well as bunks to sleep for those workmen who live some distance out. Some of these men sleep at the works all the week and only go home at the end of the week.

Show Rooms
I selected one or two things from their Show Rooms intending to pay for them, but the Director would not allow me to do so.

Electric Bulbs
I saw many Electric Bulbs being blown—what they call Platene Glass—30,000 pieces per day. Also all kinds of wines with esoteric decoration such as dates etc.—different kinds of tall Glasses with very tall stems—pressed Glass of all kinds, dishes, salts, beer jugs etc. Also a great many of the German Hock Beer Glass. The men work ten hours and another shift goes on in the night. The Glass is filled as soon as the pots are empty so that work is continuous. There are 3 men to a shop and a boy, and when special work is being done, 4 or 5.

DusseldorfFriday, Sept. 12th
Left Cöln early in the morning and went on to Dusseldorf Exhibition. This is a very large one and shows very well the industries of the Rhine province. Only German manufacturers are represented. In the Iron and Steel Industries, there is a very fine exhibit in Metal work of all kinds from artistic silver and gold and pewter, down to brass wire. Porcelain is very well shown by Villeroy and Boch, and Glass by the Rheinische Glasshütten Co. of Ehrenfeld by Köln. These two firms are the only two of a high character. There are others showing porcelain, but of the older styles, and there is a Glass Blower at work in the Exhibition making Glasses similar to Carl Koepping in Berlin.

At night went on to Rotterdam and found when arrived there that had missed the Boat train by 4 minutes. Had to stop in Rotterdam Saturday and caught boat 10:30 P.M. Arrived at Harwich 6:30 A.M. Sunday. Arrived home, Kingswinford 4 P.M. Sunday.

In Austria

Out of 176 firms manufacturing all kinds of Glass, there are 257 Furnaces worked with Gas and 65 Furnaces direct firing.

Gas Furnaces
As Under

9 Siemens Vat Furnaces
100 Siemens Open Pot Furnaces
117 Siebert Open Pot Furnaces
7 Nelise and Dralle Furnaces
1 Nelise and Dralle Vat Furnace
4 Klattenhof Vat Furnaces
2 Wilson Pot Furnaces
11 working with own system Furnaces

Direct Firing
19 firing with coal direct
46 firing with wood direct

In Germany
Out of 341 Firms manufacturing Glass of all kinds, there are 603 Furnaces worked with Gas and 94 Furnaces direct firing.

Gas Furnaces
As Under

381 Siemens Open Pot Furnaces
76 Siemens Vat Furnaces
10 Siebert Pot Furnaces
38 Nelise Vat Furnaces
17 Nelise Pot Furnaces
15 Klattenhoff Vat Furnaces
3 Henery and Wrede Furnaces
3 Henery and Wrede Pot Furnaces
2 Dralle and Putsch Vat Furnaces
4 Dralle and Putsch Pot Furnaces
54 working with own systems Furnaces
33 Bactius Furnaces
43 firing direct with coal
18 firing direct with wood

In Germany
There are 86 factories making looking Glass—there are 67 factories making Lamps, Lanterns and Physical Apparatus—there are 172 Raffineries (factories for cutting or engraving), Malerie (painting), and Atzerei (etching).

In Austria
There are 386 GlasRaffineries umstallen factories, many who decorate their goods bought from makers.


[The following are Carder’s conclusions about the state of the glass industry, as printed in the article in China, Glass, and Lamps]


1. Education. The workmen of all grades have had a better education than the corresponding workmen in England. This is especially true of the managers, who have either passed through a University or attended for two or three years a course of instruction at one of the various Technological Schools.
2. Promotion by Merit. Promotion does not go by rotation as in England but youths who show aptitude and skill are pushed forward. Thus it is that men of ability rise to the top and obtain payment according to their skill.


3. Machinery. Obsolete and old machinery is at once discarded, and the most up-to-date adopted in its place; and all the machinery is designed to save labour as much as possible. For example, at Ehrenfeld, near Cologne, a machine was in use for melting the tops of wine glasses, tumblers etc., at the rate of 3,000 an hour. What English factory could work at one-third the rate?
4. Specialists. Every improvement that comes out in any way affecting the manufacture is immediately adopted, and in any difficulty, specialists, such as chemists and engineers, are at once called in.
(a) Take for instance the regenerative gas furnace of Frederick Siemens, which not only permits the obtaining of temperatures quite inaccessible in the old style of furnace still used in England, but also lends itself to the use of a very poor fuel, such as a low class lignite, or brown coal. This furnace made it possible to introduce the Glass Industry as a remunerative occupation for the people in districts where it had not previously been able to exist.
(b) Again, in England it is usual to stop work on Friday night; on Saturday the pots are filled with fresh material, and it takes usually from Saturday until Tuesday morning before the men can start work, or say 64 hours to melt and fine the glass. In Germany and Austria, on the contrary, many factories melt the glass at night and work it out during the working day of 10 hours, while others with a greater number of furnaces, are melting and working all the time, both day and night. The loss in dead charges to the English manufacturer in running his furnaces, as compared with the German, must be obvious.
(c) Again, in Austria, out of 176 firms manufacturing all kinds of glass, there are 157 [sic] furnaces worked by gas systems, and only 65 furnaces with the direct firing of either coal or wood, which is invariably used in England. In Germany, out of 341 firms, there are 603 furnaces working by gas, and only 94 furnaces with direct firing. The above figures show how alive the foreigners are to catch hold of each new discovery. In all the English houses making table-glass to-day not one of them is using gas furnaces; they are working with the same old style of furnace that has been in use for the past 100 years. It is true some use what is known as the Frisbee Feeder for firing underneath the furnace, but the only recommendation of this is that it enables the Glass-house to be kept cleaner and free from coal. On the other hand it is very wasteful, as large quantities of fine coal filter through the grate and are lost in the ashes.
(d) To go into a German Glass-house with its one or even six furnaces under one roof is very different from going into one of our English houses. There the atmosphere is quite bearable and free from the vile smoke, the insufferable temperature, and the still worse effects of sulphur which are always in evidence in English Glass-houses. The Germans can have their windows and doors in the Glass-house wide open owing to the furnace not being dependent on its own draught, as this is obtained from a tall stack placed in the yard. One cannot wonder that the German maker can work ten hours, whereas the English maker finds it quite enough to work six hours a day.
(e) One is also struck with the universal use of moulds, either of wood or iron, which enable the work-people to produce their goods better, more quickly, and consequently at a lower cost.
5. Factories. Better arrangements are adopted for conducting their factories, particularly in their warehouses, where everything appears to go by machinery. Thus, they have a small tramway running round the warehouse, with turntables here and there, to facilitate the removal of the goods when packed in cases ready for the markets.
6. Study of Foreign Markets. The pushfulness of the German Commercial Traveller is well known, and also his ability to see and seize upon anything on the market, whether it be English, French, or American. For example, he will purchase a piece of glass and send it to his own factory, where it is immediately investigated by the firm with their staff, who at once start producing similar goods which are very often put on the market at half the original price. In many of the Showrooms in Leipzig were seen copies of English glass offered at very low prices, and made exactly like them.
7. Harder Glass. From Germany and Austria the best English Cut Glass has nothing to fear; it is only in the common cutting, where the goods are first blown in moulds with the pattern on, and then finally gone over with wheels by girls and women to give them a finished appearance. The competition is with one or two Belgian houses that are doing some very good cutting, some of whose productions were offered at prices for which they could not be cut in England. It is with these houses that we have to reckon, as well as with the French and Americans. In engraving and etching, better work is done in Engand in the best works than elsewhere. In enamelling, the Germans and Austrians have an advantage in making a harder glass which stands a higher temperature, and consequently they can do better work. The English manufacturer, on the contrary, contents himself with making only one class of glass, and that with plenty of lead in it. It is thus unable to stand high temperatures without sinking in the muffle.


8. Cost of Fuel. This is cheaper than in England, particularly the brown coal, which is so much used for the gas furnaces.
9. Position of Works. These are usually placed where the cost of living is cheap and taxes very low. This enables the workmen to live more cheaply, and therefore to enjoy the same amount of comfort, although with lower wages.
10. Cheapness of Labour. The average wages are lower than in England, Cutters getting from 15s. to 20s. per week, as against 20s. to 38s. in England. The makers are paid slightly more than Cutters, some of the more skilled workmen earning what to them are high wages, viz., 40s. per week.

Glass Trade

In 1907, the English Tariff Commission published a report on the state of several manufacturing businesses in the United Kingdom, including the glass and pottery industries.6 Its conclusions mirrored those of Carder and underscored the fact that the English glass industry was suffering from both continental and American competition. More than 20 glasshouses in the north of England had gone out of business in the last quarter of the 19th century, primarily because of competition from cheaper imported wares. Black glass bottles were no longer made in England; that business had moved to Belgium. Most of the plate glass industry was similarly situated in Belgium.

Exports of British glass to other countries—especially to the United States, formerly the best customer—had declined sharply. But the imposition of the McKinley Tariff in the 1890s, which required a payment of 60 percent of the cost, had nearly caused British exports of fine glass to the United States to disappear. Fortunately, exports to Canada and Australasia had increased, making up for some of the loss in America.

According to this report, the fine tableware market had shrunk, and the cheaper tableware market had nearly disappeared, principally because of competition from Germany, Bohemia, and the United States. Glassmakers in all of these countries were in the habit of dumping their overstock on the British market at bargain prices. In the cut glass trade, which was still prominent in the English Midlands, the manufacturers complained that their wares were being rapidly and inexpensively copied by foreign glasshouses. Because of the decrease in manufacturing, many glassblowers were out of work. In Yorkshire, for example, more than half of the skilled glassblowers were unemployed. At the same time, the number of glassblowers in the United States had increased from 25,763 in 1880 to 61,164 in 1900. In 1880, Germany had employed the largest number of blowers, and the United States and the United Kingdom were tied for second place. However, by 1900, the United States was first, Germany second, and the United Kingdom fifth in the numbers of blowers at work. Wages were lower and hours were longer on the Continent, which explains, in part, why glass could be produced more cheaply there. Wages were higher in America, and tariffs provided protection against foreign goods.

“The trades unions are large, widespread and powerful in the glass industry, although the large number of unemployed has been a severe drain on their funds,” the report said. Because of that drain, the unions limited the output of their members, fearing that increased production would lead to a decline in the number of workers employed. Glassblowers who exceeded the stipulated output were fined. This made it impossible for the factory owners to make ends meet.

Comments by the owners of several factories reveal the high quality of non-English glass. “American glass is the best pressed-glass in the world,” said A. Dodds of Sowerby’s Ellison Glass Works Ltd. in Gateshead. He attributed this success to the glassmaking formula and especially to modern furnaces that maintained high heat. Speaking for the luxury glass industry, L.J. Murray of John Walsh Walsh in Soho commented that Edward D. Libbey of Toledo had sent over a machine to blow tumblers, but since the English factories used coal, which did not keep the temperature at a consistent level, the machine did not work. “We used to send very rich goods to America, and still do to a very small extent, but nothing near the extent we did,” he said.


In 1903, Frederick Carder traveled to the eastern United States to look at the production of American glasshouses. He provided a short handwritten report on that visit, amplified by an interview he gave to an English newspaper in the spring of 1903. His comments about the methods of the European glasshouses were echoed in his report on the American ones. Chiefly, he complained that the English glass manufacturers were failing to use modern technology, and as a result, they were losing business.

Carder’s account of his American visit, combined with the detailed reports of his continental visits, affords an excellent picture of glass manufacturing at the turn of the 20th century. Together, they help to explain why the British table glass industry continued to shrink throughout the 20th century and is not very prosperous today.

The document has been transcribed with spelling and punctuation as provided by Carder. The two sections in brackets are taken from an Article in The Advertiser (which was probably a publication in Stourbridge, England) on June 20, 1903. The Corning Museum of Glass has a typescript titled “HOW THE GLASS TRADE IS IMPERILLED. AMERICAN ENTERPRISE. MR. FRED CARDER’S IMPRESSIONS.” The entire article has not been transcribed because it largely repeats what appears in Carder’s own account.

A Visit to Some of the American Glass Factories – April 1903

In March 1903 I visited the U.S.A. & through the kindness of Graham Balfour Director of Technical Instruction to the County Council of Staffordshire I was enabled to get introductions to some of the representative Glass factories of the U.S.A. As is well known in the Stourbridge district the Americans have for many years bought the Best Glass manufactured there & for the matter of that the Best that is made either in England, France, Germany or Austria. It was therefore no surprise to me to find in some of the most important stores such as Tiffany & Collamore’s magnificent displays of Glass culled from all over the world. I could not help being struck with the American Cut Glass, we know that for some years past they have been forging ahead in this direction & where we used to sell them thousands of pounds worth of Cut Glass per annum it has dwindled down to a few pounds & they are sending their cut goods to Great Britain instead of vice versa. The progress that they have made in this direction is abnormal. They have a metal which for Brightness would be difficult to beat & cutting their designs (some of which are very fine) deeply into the Glass they get a Brilliance that was once the pride of the Stourbridge district. In visiting some of their cutting shops & most of them were run as out shops, I noticed that they were well lighted, Roomy, with every device of use to the Cutter well Heated, in fact it seems to me that they are kept at too high a temperature.

They do not produce so many designs, either in form or cutting, as we do this enables them to get bigger orders for one design and consequently the men turn out more work. Some of them are cutting one pattern for months. The majority of the articles cut are Bowls & dishes, wide-open jugs & a few decanters & stem ware. [Most of the polishing of cut designs in this district is done by means of wood wheels and brushes. This is partially done away with in the States, as their cut bowls, and in fact all their productions, are polished by fluoric acid. Two points impressed me favourable; the immense size of the bowls—some of them 24 inches in diameter—polished by this process, and the excellent way in which the work was done, leaving no smears or striated lines.]


[In that town one firm has ten furnaces under one roof, in all 100 pots; but they manufacture principally electric light bulbs, railway semaphores, and thermometer tubing, with a small proportion of goods for cutting.] To give an idea as to the number of Cutters employed in one city of 13,000, in one factory they have 400 men, another in the same city 200, another 80 men, and several with 60–30 men. So that it will be seen that in one factory they employ nearly as many cutters as there are employed in the whole Stourbridge district.

There is also a Branch of the trade that is gradually being wrested from us & that is the Rock Crystal Engraved Glass. This we have kept as a specialty in our district for many years & the Best of our production has found their way to the States. It looks as if this too will certainly be done as well there as the Cutting. There are one or two firms who are laying themselves out for this class of work and I was particularly struck by the Number of designs emanating from the Wordsley district being copied and produced in facsimile there for houses who had originally bought from the Wordsley District.

In going through some of their factories in particular one cannot help being curious at the great natural advantages the Manufacturers have there in having the Natural Gas to use in their Furnaces, Glory Holes, kilns, Lehrs and any other furnace or apparatus that they may require. All that is necessary is to lay out the Gas, make suitable connections & there is no further trouble.

In going into the Cave of a Furnace run with their Gas one sees a 3in or 4in Gas Main. This is divided by suitable [?] pieces and four pipes project about three feet from the floor up into the eye of Furnace. The gas is lighted and the end of these 4 pipes and the necessary amount of air to properly consume it is admitted under the iron door at the bottom. The Gas burned with a particularly luminous flame, giving off intense heat. In melting most of their Best Glass Covered pots are used of a size that would seem very large to a Stourbridge Manufacturer. The usual size of pots for melting Best flint Glass is 41 x 5 x 54 in. & for the Common Glass much larger pots are used.

In running their furnaces they keep them up to a founding heat all the time and as each furnace has a large air pipe round the Stack with a number of connexions so that they can put cold air into a pot as soon as the Glass is plain & free from bubbles & keep it at any required temperature for working. This air is conveyed from a large fan or Blower, run by an Engine or Electric Motor. They use a good number of Glory holes with size and sometimes more warming in holes. These are also run with natural gas, others with producer Gas & some with oil. Where used for oil I noticed that some were run by allowing the oil to run down in a fine stream in an Iron pan at the Bottom of Glory Hole & others were run by injecting the oil into the Glory Hole by a Jet of compressed air; this gave an intense heat and was used for fire polishing the moulded & pressed goods for which the Americans are famous.

They endeavour to push & use mechanical helps in the way of machinery wherever possible.

In one of the National Glass Co works at Rochester Pa where they have 6 furnaces running, 3 with Natural Gas one with Coal & two with a producer Gas from the Nicholson producers, I saw a number of the automatic blowing machines at work and was surprised to see them turning out such good work. They were Blowing tumblers. The machines are identical with those at the Automated Glass Blowing Works at West Bromwich, which only had a short life of 5 months work.

Some of their furnaces have 12 some 11 and others 15 pots each. & of a large size being 50 x 60 x 41 deep. & are egg shaped in plan with the pointed end towards the eye of furnace. Their cracking off machines were similar to West Bromwich they also had some running vertically.

In their finishing machines for smoothing the tops of tumblers 8 tumblers were smoothed at one time. They also had a automatic machine for cutting flutes on tumblers which worked very well.

They had a most ingenious machine for melting the tops of tumblers etc somewhat on the same plan as those at West Bromwich but set on a slope or angle instead of being upright. These same machines were used for Burning in Gold lines on edges of wines, etc.>

[There are still ample opportunities for the glass industry in this district, but the manufacturers in particular must bear in mind that the Americans, as well as the Germans and Austrians, are very much ahead of them in matters which the home employers know little about, particularly in the application of mechanical devices to the manufacture of their goods. From the artistic side, the Stourbridge glass cannot be beaten excepting in isolated instances on the Continent, by men of the caliber of Emile Galle of Nancy and one or two others; but the American in particular are gradually wresting this preeminence from us. I found the American were taking all the best mechanical devices which the Continent produces. The masters in this district are too conservative, and never within my recollection have I known a German or any other foreigner allowed to work in the glasshouse; but in America they welcome all nationalities, and bring to the test all the different methods of work employed by the varying races, and the American adopts the best and rejects the worst.]

This article was published in the Journal of Glass Studies, Vol. 49 (2007), 231–252.

1. The notebook, along with several others, was a gift from Tim Welles, Carder’s great-grandson, and his wife, Paddy. It was transcribed by Laura A. Cotton, curatorial research assistant at The Corning Museum of Glass.

2. The article, published by the Staffordshire County Council’s Technical Instruction Committee, is anonymous. It describes the trip, saying, “The Report which Mr. Carder has sent in is too long to be printed in its entirety,” and it then prints a number of extracts from the report. Some of these are quoted in the article, which was subsequently reprinted in China, Glass, and Lamps, v. 23, nos. 8, July 25, 1903, and 9, August 1, 1903.

3. “M” must stand for Marks, the German currency at that time.

4. These initials refer to Stevens & Williams Ltd., the glasshouse at Brierley Hill, near Stourbridge, where Carder worked as a designer from 1880 to 1903.

5. In the published report, Carder refers to this workman as the “finisher.”

6. Great Britain Tariff Commission, Report of the Tariff Commission, v. 6, The Glass Industry with Analysis and Summary of Evidence and Statistical Tables, London, 1907, repr. New York and London: Johnson Reprint Corp., 1972, n.p.

Published on February 28, 2013

Jane Shadel Spillman
Jane Shadel Spillman joined the Museum in 1965 and in 1978 became the Museum’s curator of American glass. She retired from this position in April 2013. Spillman has published numerous articles and books, including European Glass Furnishings for...