Brick Glass Cones UK – connection to Kennedy Town glass manufacturer

HF: The Indhhk article  The Hong Kong and Macao Glass Manufacturing Company Ltd in Kennedy Town contains an extract found by moddsey from the Hong Kong Daily Press of 9th Jan 1886. This mentions the Glassworks appearance including: “The western side is bounded by the glasshouse proper, a square building, from the centre of the roof of which is seen projecting the tall cone…”

The excellent Dictionary of Industrial Archaelogy,  provides the following information about such brick glass cones. The book and this extract deals with UK industrial history but is of relevance to the Kennedy Town cone. A photograph of the latter would be the icing on the c—e.

“A glass cone is a conical brick structure in which glass articles are made. Such cones were in use in the mid-18th and early 19th centuries and comprised a central furnace in which the glass was melted, the glass makers working in the annular space surrounding the furnace. The cone provided both chimney draught for the high temperature required in the furnace, and a covered draught-proof working area for the men who worked around the furnace in teams known as chairs.

Catcliffe Glass Cone, Rotherham, UK

Catcliffe Glass Cone, Rotherham, UK

A typical cone would be about 80 ft high with a base diameter of 40-50 ft. Taller cones existed, the highest one known being 150 ft tall.  The central furnace was fired from below and had side arches connected to the central hearth by flues or lunettes. Preliminary heating of the glass in clay pots took place in the side arches, and the final melting in the centre. A number of openings in the circumference of the furnace enabled the glass makers to insert their irons to gather molten glass, which they brought to the working space to fashion into various shapes by blowing, etc.

The glass articles were annealed in the side arches to remove any residual stresses. Cone glasshouses were replaced by rectangular buildings c1830, and today there are only about four still standing [in the UK] none of which are in use.”

The Home page photograph shows a brick glass cone in Bristol, UK  courtesy of  Bristol Glass Blowing

See: Dictionary of Industrial Archaelogy, William Jones, Sutton Publishing, Revised Second Edition 2006

This article was first posted on 24th June 2014.

Related Indhhk articles:

The Hong Kong and Macao Glass Manufacturing Company Ltd

The Hong Kong and Macao Glass Manufacturing Company Ltd – HK Daily Press article

Query and Answer 3 Location of Glass Works Hospital?


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *