Stourbridge Glass – A History

From forest glass making to industrial furnaces

This talk is a good introduction to the subject of Stourbridge Glass, and traces the roots of Stourbridge glassmakers back to the 8thC BC, from The Alabastron of Sargon II to their arrival in Stourbridge. We explore the hot side of the industry, the workings of our unique glass cones, and the distinctions between the hot and cold side of the industry. I explain how glass is made, the source of the ingredients and the importance of the canals and associated trades. On to the cold side of the industry we look at the innovations in glass decorating and the skills and fame of local craftsmen including the reproduction of The Portland Vase. This is a fascinating look at how the geology of Stourbridge shaped its history, its wealth and the health and working lives of its people.

Published by Kate Round

My name is Dr Kate Round; I am an outreach presenter and tour guide for Dudley Museum Service In my previous life, I was a research chemist so understand the chemistry of glass having worked on the synthesis of ‘zeolites’ (silica based materials) with my work published in International Journals. I have always lived in the Black Country and have a strong industrial family heritage.

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