A brief history of Sowerby's glass
Sowerbys' Ellison Glass Works Limited were a major British pressed glass manufacturer in Gateshead, Tyne and Wear.
What's their history?
- In 1847 John Sowerby founded his glassworks in Gateshead
- In 1850 production moved to the Ellison Road glassworks
- In 1879 John died and his son George took over the business
- In 1887 they introduced Vitroporcelain or milk glass, which looks like porcelain but is coloured and moulded like glass
- In the 1920s they introduced their iridescent, Carnival glass using selenium
- In 1956 they went into receivership
- In 1957 they were bought by Suntex Safety Glass Industries
- In 1972 production of domestic glass ceased
Maker's marks for Sowerby's Glass
The later, domestic items weren't marked, but their output is well-documented and catalogued, so it's often possible to identify pieces by shape.
Where can you find out more?
20th Century Glass
Inchicore Pressed Glass Museum