Grace's Guide

British Industrial History

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United Glass Bottle Manufacturers

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Head Office at Norfolk Street, London, WC2. Works at: Charlton, London; St. Helens, Lancs; Castleford, Yorks; Hunslet, Leeds; Seaham Harbour, Durham. (1922)

1913 Formed as a public company named The United Glass Bottle Manufacturers Ltd, when Ravenhead Glass, Cannington, Shaw and Co, Nuttall Co, Alfred Alexander and Co and Robert Candlish and Son combined, in order to raise sufficient capital to acquire rights in the first successful automatic bottle making machine which had been invented by Michael Owens, the founder of Owens- Illinois Inc.

The company closed some smaller plants and concentrated its production at a newly built factory at Charlton and two factories in St. Helens.

1922 Advert: U. G. B. - Use Good Bottles. 250,000,000 British Made Bottles Per Annum. U. G. B. Bottles are:- Accurate in Capacity; the Corkage is Correct; the Height and Shape are Uniform; the Stongest Bottles Made. (Stand Nos. G.24 and G.40) [1]

1923 Acquired a majority interest in Kork 'N Seal and the remainder in 1955.

1925 The shares owned by British Glass Industries were sold to a third party[2].

Until 1931 the companies were primarily bottle makers but they branched out into domestic tableware in the 1930s making bowls, jugs and drinking glasses, many of these showing Art Deco influences.

1937 The company agreed to acquire the bottle manufacturing subsidiaries of various distilling companies: James Buchanan and Co, John Dewar and Sons, John Haig and Co, Tanqueray Gordon and Co, John Walker and Sons, White Horse Distillers and the Distillers Co and other associated companies.[3].

As a result of the deal with Distillers, that company acquired a majority holding in UGBM in exchange for acquiring British Bottles Ltd which became a another manufacturing group in the company[4]. The Box Shop was also a subsidiary.

WWII Established a second closure-making company at Bridge of Allan.

1955 Acquired Alloa Glass Works Co.

1959 Started manufacture of plastic bottles through their subsidiary United Glass (Thermoplastics).

1959 Name changed to United Glass Ltd[5]

See Also


Sources of Information

  1. 1922 British Industries Fair Advert ccxii; and p80
  2. The Times, 9 April 1925
  3. The Times Mar. 3, 1937
  4. The Times Mar. 16, 1937
  5. The Times, Jan 29, 1959
  • [1] Competition Commission