Grace's Guide

British Industrial History

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John Moncrieff

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June 1880.
January 1888.
June 1898.
February 1911.
1911. Perth and Unific brands.
September 1913.

of North British Glass Works, Perth, Scotland. (1922)

of Perth, Scotland. Telephone: 711 (2 lines). Cables: "Moncrieff, Perth." (1929)

Extracted and adapted from the Moncrieff Website - Company History.

1865 Moncrieff's was founded by John Moncrieff in 1865. He had learnt the glass trade at one of the existing Perth Glassworks, Tomey and Sons, before setting up on his own.

By the end of the century, John Moncrieff had not only absorbed Tomeys's works, but had diversified by taking over the Perth ink company of John Todd and Sons. Moncrieff's specialized in the production of heat resistant engineering and laboratory glass, and for many years "Perth" quality glass tubes were the standard for steam engines throughout the world.

At the start of the twentieth century "Perth" glass began to be replaced by "Unific", a borosilicate glass developed by Moncrieffs which was resistant to thermal shocks and more suitable for the higher pressures then being used in boilers. An offshoot, the Monish Glass Machine Co, made bottle-making equipment.

1905 Moncrieff's became a limited company and was on the same site in St Catherine's Road from the 1880s up until 1998. Most of the buildings date from the late 1800s with the exception of the main furnace shed, which was probably built between the wars.

1911 Manufacturer of Gauge Glasses for the Railways.[1]

WWI. During the First World War, Moncrieff's were asked by the government to develop laboratory glassware, which until then had been mainly imported, and the company developed a new formula borosilicate glass specifically for this purpose. The new glass was developed further between the wars. The company grew quickly when new uses were found for this type of glassware as scientific research began to expand throughout industry and in schools universities and hospitals.

1922 Listed Exhibitor - British Industries Fair. Manufacturers of Laboratory Glassware, Machinery Glassware ("Unific" Gauge Glasses, etc.), Miners' Lamp Glasses (Approved), Tubing and Rod (Soda resistance, Combustion, "M. J. V."), "Unific" and Combustion Test Tubes. (Stand No. G.12) [2]

1929 Listed Exhibitor - British Industries Fair. Manufacturers of "Monart" Hand-made Enamelled Glass in Bowls, Vases, and Lighting Shades. "Monax" Laboratory Glassware and Tubing. Resistance, Combustion "M. J. V." and Soft soda Tubing. Engineering Glassware, "Unific" Gauge Glasses, Miners' Lamp Glasses. (Stand No. G.29) [3]

John Moncreiff was succeeded as Managing Director by his son, John Moncrieff Jnr. John Moncrieff Jnr died in 1950 and by 1952 control of the company passed to David Bernie and Sons of Glasgow.

The company prospered until the 1970s, the company changed hands a number of times during in 1980s and 1990s.

The last piece of glass made in the Perth factory left the end of the lehr** on December 21 1995. The name of Moncrieff has been at the heart of British Glassmaking for over a century and we will continue to be so for very many years to come, although most of the glass production is now done abroad.

The "Monart" art glass manufactured in Perth from the 1930s to the 1960s is still highly collected all over the world, the skills to produce such quality glass products still exist in Scotland and it would be very interesting to see if we could produce a few limited edition runs in more contemporary designs."

The name of Moncrieff was re-established in 2000 and a new company formed, it is charged with ambition and have the mission of developing the company to the point where it once again employs 400 people.

  • Note: **
    • Lehr, leer or lear is a glass-annealing oven.[4]

See Also


Sources of Information

  1. Bradshaw’s Railway Manual 1911
  2. 1922 British Industries Fair Page 56
  3. 1929 British Industries Fair Page 118
  4. Chambers English Dictionary