Grace's Guide

British Industrial History

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Stuart and Sons

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January 1929.
1929. British Industries Fair catalogue.
June 1939.
July 1977.

of Red House Glass Works, Stourbridge, West Midlands. (1922)

Ditto Address. Telephone: Brierley Hill 87. Cables: "Stuart, Stourbridge". Showrooms at St Andrew's Street, London, EC4. (1929)

1827 The Stuart story started when eleven year old Frederick Stuart was sent to work at the Red House Glass Works working for Richard Bradley Ensell. This glass works was on the 'crystal mile', an area just outside Stourbridge, where generations of local craftsmen had already made this the centre of English glassmaking.

1853 Richard Mills, Edward Webb, Frederick Stuart and Thomas Webb formed Mills, Webb and Stuart. Richard Mills bought the Wordsley Iron Foundry, behind the Red House Glassworks, and changed the name to Albert Glassworks, Wordsley. A new cone was built

1854 Thomas Webb left the partnership.

1868 Changes in partners brought a change in name to Stuart and Mills.

1876 Supplied glass products for the SS Great Eastern.

Over the years the skills and techniques of hand-gathered glass-making remained virtually unchanged, a tradition to which successive Stuarts added unique creativity and innovation - from the pioneering of early Victorian coloured glass, to the application of continuous-melt technology.

1881 Frederick Stuart took over the lease on Red House Glassworks and announced his intentions to quit the partnership when it expired on August 25, 1882.

1882 His partner, George Mills, in conjunction with Philip Walker bought William Walker and Sons at Heath Glass Works. New partnership formed with his nephew James Harry Walker as Mills, Walker Co. The Stuart and Mills partnership was dissolved.

1883 Frederick Stuart formed a partnership Stuart and Sons with William Henry Stuart, Frederick Stuart Junior, Robert Stuart, Arthur Stuart and George Stuart.

1885, William George Webb and Edward Webb renewed the lease of Red House Glassworks with Stuart and Sons.

1911 Stuart and Sons was incorporated as a limited company.

WWI Erected new furnace for electric light bulbs[1].

1916 Purchased the White House Glass Works

1920 Purchased Red House Glassworks from the heirs of William Webb and Edward Webb.

1922 Listed Exhibitor - British Industries Fair. Manufacturers of all kinds of Glass Tableware Fancy and Cut Centre Bowls and Vases. (Stand Nos. G.22 and G.42) [2]

1929 British Industries Fair Advert as Manufacturers of Stuart Crystal. Manufacturers of all kinds of Glass Table Ware, Fancy and Cut Centre Bowls and Vases in "Stuart Crystal". (Glassware Section - Stand No. F.16) [3]

1934 New glass works built at White House.

1936 End of production at Red House Glassworks. Stuart and Sons transferred all work to a new factory built at the old White House Glass Works.

WWII Made aircraft landing lights, CRTs, electronic vacuum tubes for radar and other specialized glass for electronic and chemical equipment.

1966 Opened a new factory at Aberbargoed in South Wales

1980 Took over Strathearn Glass at Crieff in Scotland and formed a new company Stuart Strathearn

1995 Waterford Wedgwood took over Stuart Strathearn.

The original 18th century cone where Frederick Stuart worked has been preserved, a 110 foot local landmark next to the site where traditional crystal was made by the fifth generation of his family until recently when the factory was closed in 2001 after the takeover of the Waterford Wedgwood group.

It is now a museum where one can wander through the cone and see how crystal was made by way of videos and demonstrations.

See Also


Sources of Information

  1. Glass-Making in England, by H. J. Powell
  2. 1922 British Industries Fair Page 76
  3. 1929 British Industries Fair Advert 63; and p161