1st Edition

Pilkington Brothers and the Glass Industry

By T. C. Barker Copyright 1960
    296 Pages
    by Routledge

    First published in 1960, Pilkington Brothers and the Glass Industry is a comprehensive economic history of the glass industry in Britain. It charts the story of Pilkington Brothers and the manufacture of window and plate glass in Britain up to 1914. The epilogue to the book discusses the events that impacted the glass industry from 1914–1959.

    The volume gives an extensive account of the family background of the Pilkington family; the historical background to the flat glass industry in Britain; the challenges posed and opportunities opened up by — arrival and removal of competitors, excise duty and window tax, international competition from Belgium and tariffs on imports, new techniques and technological advancement, and labour crises and trade unionism. This book will be of interest to students and researchers of business, economics, and history.

    Due to modern production methods, it has not been possible to include some fold-out maps within the book. Any purchasers of the book will be able to receive a free pdf of the relevant pages by contacting Routledge Customer Services. https://www.routledge.com/contacts/customer-service   

    Introduction  1. The family background  2. The historical background to the flat glass industry in Britain  3. An unpromising start  4. The collapse of a competitor and the struggle for survival  5. The introduction of a new technique   6. Years of contrast  7. A labour crises  8. The removal of British competitors  9. Competition from Belgium and consolidation at St Helens  10. Expansion once more  11. Labour relations and welfare services in the later years of the nineteenth century  12. Colliery affairs  13. International, technical and other developments, 1900–1914  14. Epilogue, 1914–1959 Appendix  1. The Pilkington pedigree  2. Wages list for the weeks ending May 12 and 19, 1849  3. Statements issued by Pilkingtons during the labour crisis of 1845  4. Bessemer’s experiments with glass, 1841–51  5. Exports of Belgian window glass to Britain and the United States, 1850–913  6. Extract from Siemens’ furnace patent specification of 1870  7. Biographical notes on the directions of the Company  8. The early history of the Flow process: Pilkingtons’ association with the Ford Motor Company, Detroit


    T. C. Barker was a central figure of the postwar generation of social and economic historians, well known both within the academic profession and among the wider public. He taught Economic History at the London School of Economics and Political Science, UK.

    Reviews of the first publication:


    “To all the questions which an economic historian would ask of a business history, Barker has provided the answer …Capital formation and growth, business organisation, technical development, raw materials, markets, competition, prices, profits, wages, and labour relations—all these topics are dealt with in expert fashion and are knit together to form a well-integrated and balanced whole of absorbing interest.”

    A. E. Musson, The Journal of Economic History, Vol. 21, No. 2


    “…the book shows many attractive traces of company support: an abundance of expensive plates, maps, genealogical charts, statistical tables and graphs, etc.”

    Jacob M. Price, The Journal of Modern History, Vol. 34, No. 1