Grace's Guide

British Industrial History

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Cooksons, glass makers, Newcastle upon Tyne

1728 Isaac Cookson (1679-1743), iron maker, entered into partnership with Joseph Airey, taking over the Dagnia Flint Glass house in Closegate, Newcastle-upon-Tyne [1].

c.1738, Isaac's eldest son John Cookson (1712/3-1783) and partners established a crown glass works at Bill Quay, South Shields. John developed a wide range of business interests including salt and alum refining, coal and lead mining, as well as iron and glass making, not only in Newcastle and South Shields but also in Chester-le-Street, Hexham, Cumberland, and north Yorkshire, as well as Newcastle's first bank [2].

1801 The Dagnia glass house was still operating as Airey, Cookson and Co.

1827 Cookson and Co established a large soda works at South Shields [3]. John Cookson and Coulthard were bottle makers at Bill Quay; Isaac Cookson and Thomas were ironfounders at Closegate foundry, Close; Isaac Cookson and Co, plate glass manufacturers at Close, works at Forth banks; Isaac Cookson and Son were glass bottle manufacturers, Close; Cookson, Cuthbert and Co bottle manufacturers, E. Holborn, South Shields[4].

1831 Manufacture of lighthouse lenses, originally a French invention, was carried on by Cookson and Co. of South Shields from 1831 to 1845 [5].

1836 Cookson and Sons made polygonal lenses for the Start Point Lighthouse in Devon. One of a set of these lenses was exhibited at the 1882 Exhibition in Tynemouth[6]

1843 The Duke of Bordeaux visited the plate glass works of Cookson and Co in Newcastle [7].

The introduction of the cylinder process was a major development in glass making.

1845 The repeal of the glass excise duty, by removing the financial advantages bestowed upon crown glass manufacturers, placed a number of companies who had started to produce sheet glass by the cylinder process in a stronger competitive position than those firms who continued to make only crown glass. The sheet glass manufacturers were Chance Brothers of Birmingham, James Hartley and Co of Sunderland, Cooksons of Newcastle and Pilkington Brothers.

1846 The Cookson family sold their (plate) glass works[8]

1852 Messrs J Cookson were lead merchants at Upper Thames Street, London, with manufacturing works at Newcastle[9].

1855 William Isaac Cookson and Co, were paint and colour manufacturers, of West End of Close, Newcastle[10].

1858 W. I. Cookson, refiners of antimony, manufacturers of lead, white lead, red lead, white paint, sheet lead, rolled pipe and venetian red, at 71 Close, Newcastle; shared premises with Cookson, Cuthbert and Co bottle manufacturers. Also William Isaac Cookson, lead refiners, at Hayhole, Ulgham, Northumberland. Also coke manufacturers, at Mickley, Gateshead. Also chemical manufacturers at Pipewell Gate, Gateshead[11].

See Also


Sources of Information

  1. The Cookson family, by J. D. Banham, ODNB [1]
  2. The Cookson family, by J. D. Banham, ODNB [2]
  3. The Times, 29 December 1838
  4. History, Directory and Gazetteer of Durham and Northumberland, 1827
  5. Biography of Sir James Timmins Chance, ODNB [3]
  6. The Engineer 1882/09/29
  7. The Times, 28 November 1843
  8. Archives of the British chemical industry, 1750-1914: a handlist. By Peter J. T. Morris and Colin A. Russell. Edited by John Graham Smith. 1988.
  9. The Times, 15 May 1852
  10. Slater's Commercial Directory of Durham, Northumberland and Yorkshire, 1855
  11. Post Office Directory of Northumberland & Durham, 1858