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Description of the Glassworks

Image: View of Chance Brothers Glassworks, Smethwick (1857) from a print. James Frederick Chance, A History of the Firm of Chance Brothers and Co. Glass and Alkali Manufacturers (London, Spotiswoode, Ballantyne and Co Ltd, 1919).

Image from: Local Studies and History, Birmingham Central Library

In 1835 Robert Lucas Chance wrote a detailed description of the site of the glassworks, when hoping to raise further capital from investors.

The premises consist of a large mansion and pleasure grounds, a House for an under Manager, about 40 cottages for the Workmen.  One single and two double crown Houses, capable of working from ten to twelve thousand tables per week.  One House for working German sheet glass and shades.  Lead chambers, and alkali works, in which about 25 tons of soda can be made per week.  Carpenter’s shop, a smith’s shop on an extensive scale.  Engines for grinding materials, &c. Gas apparatus, Warehouses, cutting rooms, pot rooms, &c., upon a very extensive scale. The premises occupy 12 or 14 acres of ground, which is Freehold and is bounded and intersected by the Birmingham Canal, both on the upper and lower level.



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4439-0The Infinite Uses of Glass: Chance Brothers, Glassmakers of Smethwick 3892-0Chance Brothers and Company 3891-0The Arrival of Expert Workers 2078-0The Chemical Works 2370-0Types of Glass 3900-0Crown Glass 2039-0Plate or Sheet Glass 3895-0Flint Glass 2077-0New Technology 4444-0Glazing the Crystal Palace 4445-0Glazing the Crystal Palace 4438-0Lighthouse Production 4442-0Lighthouse Production 4443-0Lighthouse Production 4441-0Lighthouse Production 2079-0Company Philanthropic Activity 2041-0Relations between Workers and the Company 2038-0French and Belgian Workers 2075-0Description of the Glassworks 2034-0Description of the Glassworks