Grace's Guide

British Industrial History

Kilner Brothers

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of Kilner’s Providence Glassworks in Conisbrough

of Blundell Street, Caledonian Road, London, N7. (1922)

  • 1842 John Kilner founded the John Kilner and Co glass company that produced glass jars.
  • The Kilner family had established several glassworks across the north of England during the nineteenth century.
  • In 1863 the Kilner brothers opened a glass bottle factory at Denaby Main. The site that was accessed via a bridge still known locally as Kilner Bridge. Kilner products, which included glass storage the Kilner jars were known internationally.
  • By 1871 they employed 123 men.
  • In 1894 they employed as many as 400 hands (men, women and boys), and were making up to 300,000 bottles of all types per week.
  • Kilner Glassworks was a completely self contained manufactory, taking in raw materials and producing finished jars and bottles ready for use.
  • Although enjoying commercial success, rival glass manufacturers were quick to create alternatives - and the Kilner family business (by then called Kilner Brothers) went bankrupt in 1937.
  • The patents and trademarks of the Kilner Jar were sold to the United Glass Bottle Co in the same year, where more modern Kilner jars are still being produced today.
  • The various names of the Kilner companies were:
    • John Kilner and Co, Castleford, Yorkshire, 1842-44
    • John Kilner and Sons, Wakefield, Yorkshire, 1847-57
    • Kilner Brothers Glass Co, Thornhill Lees, Yorkshire, 1857-73 also at Conisbrough, Yorkshire, 1863-1873
    • Kilner Brothers Ltd, Thornhill Lees, Yorkshire 1873-1920 also at Conisbrough, Yorkshire, 1873-1937.
  • 1922 Listed Exhibitor. Manufacturers of Glass Bottles and Jars for all purposes, sole makers of the "Kilner" Jars for Preserving Fruits and Vegetables. (Stand No. G.50)

Sources of Information