Grace's Guide

British Industrial History

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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.

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.

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 United Glass Bottle Manufacturers 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)

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