Hand-blown Domestic Glassware 08

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Hand-blown Domestic Glassware 83 1947

Appendix A

Report on Survey of the Hand-blown Domestic Glassware Industry made by Mr. George McOnie, of Messrs. Pilkington Bros. Ltd., at the request of the Working Party.

Scope of the Survey. I made a survey of four typical factories on May 15, 16 and 17, 1946, with a view to advising the Working Party on possible ways of increasing the administrative and productive efficiency of the industry. The factories visited were those of

Messrs. Stevens and Williams, Ltd.
Messrs. Stuart and Sons, Ltd.
Messrs. Thomas Webb and Corbett, Ltd.
Webbs’ Crystal Glass Co., Ltd.

As the purpose of the visit was to make a general survey of the industry, this report contains no detailed reference to individual factories.

Characteristics of the Industry. The industry consists of a number of indepen­dent concerns, each employing up to 600 workpeople. The firms are old-estab­lished and some are still family businesses. They are all small enough to permit of close personal contact between the management and the operatives. This should facilitate the introduction of new methods and ideas.

The industry is largely a craft industry, in which the greater part of the work is done manually and requires a fairly high degree of skill. The product consists of individual pieces of high value which require to be handled and transported with care. The problem, therefore, is different from that of the highly mechanised mass-production factory.

Co-operation Between Firms. While it is a good thing to have a measure of independence, the time has probably arrived for a closer degree of co-operation between the firms. During the war there was co-operation on certain matters and this continues. But it would be to the advantage of all to have still closer co-operation on non-competitive matters of common interest, without destroying the best features of individuality. If the industry is to be mechanised, for example, by the introduction of semi-automatic machinery, it may be necessary to limit the number of machines and, in consequence, to have a joint venture.

Co-operation would be advantageous in the matter of training in management and foremanship and, possibly, in time-study and motion-study.

Personnel. There is a shortage of operatives, particularly in the more skilled sections of the industry, and new recruits will require to be trained quickly in order to expand production. The Ministry of Labour has sponsored a scheme called T.W.I. (Training within Industry) which is giving excellent results.

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Groups of ten supervisors are trained by the study-group method under a trainer who has attended a Ministry of Labour course. It is suggested that this scheme should be introduced.

In order to broaden their outlook, members of the supervisory staffs should be encouraged to make contacts outside the factory; for example, foremen might attend courses in management and foremanship at the local technical college, and senior supervisors should be encouraged to join such bodies as the Society of Glass Technology, the Institution of Production Engineers or the Institute of Industrial Administration.

Conditions of Success. The permanent success of an industrial concern depends on the satisfied customer and, in order to satisfy him fully, it is necessary to supply him with the correct type and quality of article at the time when he wants it and at the price he is willing to pay. At present the demand for goods exceeds the supply, but no far-sighted firm assumes that this will continue.

Quality. In the glassware industry design is of primary importance and, as a layman ignorant of the requirements of the market, I think that the products which I saw during my visit were satisfactory. The same may be said of the execution of the design. Efforts are being made to improve the quality of the glass, but more could be done in controlling the storage of raw materials (particularly red lead), the weighing and mixing of the batch, and furnace temperatures for which optical pyrometers could be used more extensively.

Service. The articles ready for despatch were clean and attractive and the method of packing was excellent. No enquiries were made regarding service to customers as this is not at present a matter of urgency.

Costs. Competitive cost ultimately depends on :—

  1. Getting as high an output as possible of good glass per furnace-hour and per lehr-hour.
  2. Getting the highest possible output of saleable ware per man-hour.
  3. Getting, as saleable ware into the packing case, as high a proportion as possible of the glass melted.

Furnaces and Lehrs. The cost of keeping a furnace at working temperature is virtually the same whether glass is being melted or not. In order to reduce the cost of melting it is, therefore, essential to draw the maximum amount of glass out of the furnace in a given time; and in order to do this it is necessary that the idle time of the pots should be reduced to a minimum. If, for example, it takes 32 hours to melt and produce glass which is ready for gathering and it takes eight hours to empty the pot, the total cycle time is 40 hours. Theoreti­cally, therefore, each pot should do 4.2 founds per 168-hour week and with 10 pots in the furnace there should be 42 founds per week. If the number of founds is less than this, the cost will be increased proportionately. At present none of the factories is working more than two 8-hour shifts on 5 days a week and some are only working 5 shifts per week. By increasing the number of shifts, it should be possible to reduce the cost of melting the glass either by reducing the number of furnaces in operation or by increasing the number of men-shifts per furnace. Further, by spreading the work over the whole 24 hours

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of the day instead of 16 or 8 hours, the lehrs can be more evenly loaded, which may mean that fewer lehrs are necessary.

I believe that in America lead glass is, with suitable precautions, being successfully melted in tanks, and I suggest that it would be worth while investigating, if this has not already been done, the possibility of using a small tank instead of pot furnaces. By this means it would be possible to get con­tinuous production with greatly reduced fuel consumption and melting costs.

Labour. As wages are the most important constituent — probably amounting to about one-half — of the factory cost, the aim should be to get the highest possible output per man-hour. This can be done by ensuring that the worker is supplied with the right material in the right quantity, at the right time and in such a position as to entail the minimum amount of effort on his part in obtaining it.

A major item in the wages cost of any factory, and particularly of unmechanised factories, is the lifting, transporting and laying down of material. By arranging for an even flow of materials from the start to the finish of the process and keeping inter-process stocks to a minimum, the amounting of handling and trans­porting can be minimised and the danger of breakage reduced.

The factories inspected are mostly situated in old buildings in which it is impossible to get an ideal layout, but much is being done, and more can still be done, to make the most of the available accommodation where new building is not justified. In order to economise floor space, everyone in the factory, and in particular the storekeeper and warehouse foreman, should be taught to think in terms of cubic content instead of floor area, and shelves and bins should be designed to utilise the height as effectively as the length and breadth. This refers equally to all stacking in the factory irrespective of whether trays, barrows, trucks or the floor are used.

The general tidiness of the factories can be improved; good housekeeping is a sound investment, as a tidy factory reduces the danger of accidents and breakages, makes the best use of the available floor space and facilitates the compiling of accurate records. The Works Manager’s motto should be the old adage: “A place for everything and everything in its place.”

Much of the work is paid for on an incentive basis, the payments having been arrived at by negotiation, frequently, in my experience, an inaccurate method. The fairest method of producing a piece-work or bonus scheme is accurate time-study, by which it is possible to locate and minimise wasted effort and unproductive time.

Mechanisation. Several of the people whom I met had been thinking of using conveyors in the glasshouse, particularly as a substitute for boy labour, which was unsuitable and becoming scarce. My own opinion is that while, as an engineer, I like conveyors, it is essential to judge each case on its merits to make sure that the conveyor will do the job better than other means of transport — for example, better than trucks, stillages, lifting trucks, electric or petrol trucks ; all of these are flexible and can be moved to suit a change in the traffic, whereas altering the route of a conveyor is a major operation. Most types of conveyor have the disadvantage of being a permanent obstruction on the floor, and if access is to be had across a conveyor, either a bridge or a tunnel is necessary. In assessing the value of a conveyor it is necessary to take into account running costs, depreciation and of the cost of repairs, renewals and

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maintenance. Idle roller conveyors are useful where articles are packed in boxes or trays since, as each tray is added, it is used to push the other trays along.

In view of the shortage of labour it is suggested that the introduction of semi-automatic glassmaking machines should be considered.

Material Losses. In most factories this is one of the major constituents of the cost, and a careful record of all the losses incurred during the progress from the batch materials purchased to the finished article in the packing case repays many times over the cost of recording.

By instituting records at each stage of the process and giving the supervisor concerned accurate and up-to-date daily returns, it is possible to trace major troubles promptly and to take steps to eliminate them. While statistics are no substitute for visual management, they can be judiciously used to replace mere opinion by fact. As more and more work is expended on the ware it becomes progressively more valuable, and the value of inspection and recording become more important.

In transporting valuable articles it is worth while considering the provision of containers of the egg-box type, using perhaps three or four standard sizes of box to suit the different sizes of article.

General Conclusions. There is much evidence of a growing progressive outlook in this industry, but even more co-operation between firms and more outside contacts would be valuable.

By its nature the industry is individualistic at all levels and there is a close personal touch throughout each factory. This may be put to advantage in obtaining acceptance of the new ideas necessary to progress.

Many of the principles of management developed during recent years in arge-scale organisations can, with necessary modification, be adopted with advantage; for example, budgetary control, time-study, material control, standards for labour and material, statistical control.

Within the limits of the present buildings improvements in layout and flow can be achieved, and better use can be made of their cubic capacity.

Recommendations. The following specific recommendations summarise what has been said in the report; the number at the end of each recommendation gives the section of the report where detailed comment is made on the matter.

  1. Still closer co-operation should be developed between individual firms, starting with non-competitive matters — Section 3.
  2. Supervisors should make contacts outside the factory — Section 4.
  3. T.W.I. should be introduced — Section 4.
  4. Time-study should be introduced as a means of ensuring just payment for work done — Section 10.
  5. The quality of the glass can be more closely controlled — Section 6.
  6. The output of glass per furnace-hour should be increased to as near the ideal as possible — Section 9.
  7. The possibility of melting the glass in a tank-furnace should be investi­gated — Section 9.
  8. Consideration should be given to the introduction of semi-automatic glassmaking machinery — Section 11.
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  1. The general orderliness and tidiness of factories should be improved — Section 10.
  2. In storing materials and goods the height of the storage space should be used as well as the length and breadth — Section 10.
  3. The flow of materials should be designed to keep handling and transport­ing to the minimum — Section 10.
  4. Accurate recording at each stage of the process should be used to trace and eliminate loss of materials through breakage, faulty workmanship, bad process conditions, etc. Daily records should be used by the Depart­mental Manager as a means of control — Section 12.

Acknowledgments. I spent a most interesting and enjoyable three days and was received everywhere with the greatest courtesy and helpfulness. In particular I would express my thanks to Lieutenant-Colonel R. S. Williams-Thomas and Mr. H. Fletcher, of Messrs. Stevens and Williams; Mr. F. H. Stuart, of Messrs. Stuart and Sons; Mr. F. G. Gregory and Dr. W. Maskill, of Messrs. Thomas Webb and Corbett; and Mr. S. Fogelberg, of Webbs’ Crystal Glass Company.

George McOnie.

Kirk Sandall,

May 24, 1946.

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Appendix B

Excerpts from the Report of the Delegation from the Working Party to Sweden

The delegation consisted of the Chairman, Mr. Clough Williams-Ellis, Messrs. W. E. Evans, S. Fogelberg, H. Perry, and Miss E. M. Wood, from the Board of Trade, who acted as Secretary.

The Delegation arrived at Vaxjo on 5th June, 1946, where until 7th June was spent in visiting factories and the museum and Technological Institute.

On 8th June, Ekenas was visited. From 9th to 14th June was spent in Stock­holm visiting factories, museums, the Trade Union Headquarters, Arts and Crafts Associations and retail stores.

The Delegation left Sweden from Goteborg on 17th June, 1946.

(At the time of the visit £1 = 16.88 kr.).


The Smaland Glass Industry, which corresponds to the “Stourbridge” Glass Industry in this country, consists of 54 firms and employs about 2,300 workers. It is mainly to be found in the Smaland district, where the Kosta factory dates back to the middle of the eighteenth century. The other famous old glass works, Kungsholm (1676-1818), was near Stockholm. The employers have their own Association, the Sveriges Smaglasbrukforbund, affiliated to the Employers’ Federation, the Svenska Arbetsgivare Foreningen, and the workers, all except boys and some older men, belong to the Glass Union, which has branches at each factory, affiliated to the Federation of Trade Unions or Svenska Grov and Fabriksarbetareforbundet.

The works are scattered in the area, with Vaxjo as a centre, and are mostly in isolated country districts, burning wood from the surrounding forests and using hydro-electric power from the lakes and the grid. The fuel used is wood, from which producer gas is made to heat the furnaces. Although fuel is so plentiful it is not necessarily cheap. For instance, although one firm has an associated timber company, it has to buy it at Government fixed prices. In one case, where a firm has its own transformer, electricity still costs 6 ore per kilowatt. At another works using a hydro-electric generator, the amount made available by means of a lake was only just enough to run the generator 8 hours a day.

Most of the works are separate communities, the worker’s life centring round the factory, to which his house often belongs. Manufacturers recognise that if they are to increase their labour force they must build more houses.


The old-fashioned glasshouse was made of wood, like all the other buildings in this area, but now a good deal of rebuilding in brick is going on. Although this is more expensive, in one case a building costing 100,000 kroner in brick could have been built in wood for 25 per cent. less, the saving in fire insurance

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is considerable. In the instance just quoted, 6,000 kroner a year was to be saved. The new glasshouses were generally of a type to allow for ventilation all along the roof, and the new buildings will contain ample welfare accommo­dation. The offices were simple, but very well equipped. There was no question of any Government assistance for building. There do not seem to be any building regulations, at least none which is regarded as irksome.

Current repairs are exempt from taxation. A depreciation rate of 4 per cent. is allowed. Expenditure on furnaces or plant, which would be worn out in three years or less, is allowed as a pro rata expense in each current year and is not taxable. For profits up to 100,000 kroner made by a firm in 1946, the maximum limit of tax was 42 per cent. (For private individuals with incomes up to 20,000 kroner, taxation in 1946 did not exceed 33 per cent.)


The industry as a whole is very short of soda; one estimate of average stocks was two months, with no immediate prospect of renewal.

Sand, which pre-war was obtained from France and Germany, is now obtained from home sources, and was said to be fairly free from iron (0.08 per cent.).

For abrasive processes, American carborundum is preferred to Norwegian. Swedish cutting stones are used, made by a company subsidiary to Hoganas.


Transport may be comparatively expensive due to the great distances. Timber may be floated down to the works, but often has to be carried, and other raw materials, as well as finished glass, have to be transported long distances by road and rail.


There is the same difficulty as in England in recruiting boys, who can learn a trade more quickly in the nearby furniture factories. No new methods seem to have been tried to encourage boys to enter the industry apart from a general movement to provide welfare facilities in the works, but there were some plans for an Apprenticeship Scheme, with contracts binding employer and boy, and some additional training to be given to the boys at a school to be set up in Vaxjo, In June, 1946, however, these plans seemed rather nebulous. At the same time, the Trade Union was trying to improve the wages of boys and other lower-paid groups in the factories.

There seemed to be considerable suspicion among decorators especially that after the recent trend towards austerity designs there was no security for their sons in this trade.

There are few women employed, though women are used occasionally in painting and applying stencils and frequently for packing.

Workers are attracted to, and no doubt held in, the industry by the system of tied houses, that is, houses built by the firm and let at cheap rates to the employee. Until 1943 the employee paid no rent, but received the living accommo­dation entirely as payment in kind. These houses are well built and attractive, but if a workman dies or has to cease work his family has to move. The system seems, however, to be taken as a matter of course.

Time worked is 8 effective hours 6 days a week, and the amount of overtime which the men may be asked to work is limited by law. The law enforces 12 days paid holiday in the year, to be between June and September, unless

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the works have to be closed for repairs at any other time, when the men may be required to take them then. Apart from this, men are not paid for the whole period of any such stoppage. Public holidays are compulsory and unpaid; there is no intention on the part of the Union to press for pay. No worker may, during his holiday period or public holidays, find other employment in his own trade.


Statistics of average wages prepared by the Union show that Association members pay an average 3.51 kroner per hour basic time rate per chair. This, worked out by a rather complicated method (shown in Annexe I) gives a master blower 1.75 kroner per hour, about 14 kroner per day or 84 kroner per week of 48 hours. On piecework a good blower earns 100 kroner a week. A good decorator can earn about 100 to 125 kroner per week. This present discrepancy is due partly to an increase in the amount of repetition work done owing to reduction in the number of patterns; decorators are thus enabled to work faster as compared with pre-war conditions. Decorators work on a team system. The average hourly earnings for the industry as a whole are 1.43 kroner for the decorators and, in the glasshouse, 0.97 kroner on the time rates and 1.34 kroner for piecework.

Although every effort is made to pay piece rates wherever possible, in fact only 41.9 per cent. of the work is so paid. Time rates for makers and decorators are usually introduced only where the article is unsuitable for piece rates, or in cases where the price for an article is disputed. (See Annexe I.)

Wages agreements are negotiated at present annually between the Union and the Employers’ Association; a free translation of the latest agreement is appended.

The basic wage rates are subject to a bonus, adjusted in accordance with a cost of living index which varies for different areas, though in fact most table glass works are in the same cost of living area. In the agreement elaborate machinery is laid down to minimise the risk of strikes, particularly unauthorised strikes.


Virtually all glass workers (95 per cent.) belong to the same Union, which has local branches at each works. This is affiliated to the Federation of Trade Unions or Svenska Grov and Fabriksarbetareforbundet, on which the official representative of the glass workers is an ex-glass blower. In the office at Head­quarters there are some 21 “negotiators” who share the resources of statisticians, accountants and record keeping organisations, filing machines, etc. Here all contributions are received, local union accounts audited, educa­tional schemes organised, and magazines and pamphlets published. In the event of a lockout, all the vast resources of the Federation fund are theoretically behind any support given.

Union contributions before the war would vary between 30 and 124 kroner a year per man. Unemployment payments are made from voluntary funds organised by the Unions, and in bad times the Government will contribute up to two-thirds of the total amount paid out.

Negotiations between employers and employees are made much easier by the existence of strong organisations on both sides. The principle of such organisations has long been accepted in Sweden. The Trade Unions affiliated with the Federation have more than 1,000,000 members; about two-thirds of

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the total number are manual workers and similar categories, while the Employers’ Federation — mainly for industry — comprises 7,700 enterprises employing more than 470,000 wage earners. The system of collective wage agreements covers over a million workers, and these agreements were made legally binding in 1928. They fix the terms of employment and deprive both parties of the right to resort to direct action during their validity. Thus each side recognises the other’s bargaining power and knows, from experience, its own strength and what can be achieved by peaceful negotiation and by open conflict. Each body undertakes not to resort to any action which might deny individuals the right of belonging to an organisation or hamper the development of such an organisation. The State appoints mediators to assist in the negotiation of wage agreements, and questions of interpretation of the wages agreement may be referred to a State-appointed Labour Court.


Glass workers in Sweden live in village communities and lead the life of countrymen. Their hours of work seem long by our standards, and there are none of the forms of entertainment which are common in England, such as cinemas, nor are there public-houses! On the other hand, there is generally a Folketshus or Village Institute, where concerts, dances, lectures, and occasional performances by a travelling theatre may take place. It would appear that although wages seem low, there is not a great deal for them to be spent on, outside food, clothing and housing, all of which are good.

In some works, where workers live very near to the factory, no welfare arrangements seem to have been made beyond complying with Factory Inspectors’ requirements about washing and lavatory accommodation, nor do they seem to be necessary. There are very few regulations controlling conditions of work, which means that a great deal is left to the discretion of individual employers. However, there is a movement towards building more spacious glasshouses and decorating shops, towards providing shower baths, clothes lockers and rest rooms. Canteens and rest rooms are attractive and in some cases are decorated with pictures and flowers. Particularly good examples of what can be done were seen at the lamp works at Lumalampn, where for their 2,000 workers not only are there numerous white tiled washing and shower bath rooms, with hot water and clothes lockers, but the main canteen has a specially insulated ceiling to absorb noise, as has also the medical station, which consists of surgeries for casualties and sickness, rooms for infra-red and special lighting and Finnish baths. There is also a lecture room with a cinematograph projector, where lectures are given regularly in the winter. In addition, time is given within working hours for gymnastics.


  1. For soda-lime glass, open pots are exclusively used.
  2. The following figures give some idea of the output per chair hour. The chairs, unless otherwise stated, consist of six men and two boys.
Claret, thin stem, process blown, first-class quality 90 per hour
(of which 78 good)
Wines 90 per hour
Liqueurs 120 per hour
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Decanters, approximately 1œ-pint, with hollow handle and hollow stopper both top and shank 18 per hour
Decanters, approximately 2-pint, with solid handle 20 per hour
Stoppers 40 per hour
Tumblers, 1-pint, thin bottom 300 per hour
Port tumblers, footed, 4œ fluid oz 200-220 per hour
Dish, footed, blown in mould, pinched with very heavy thick foot. (This figure was low because of the time taken for the foot to cool) 120 per hour
Vase, mould blown, weight 3-4 lbs., cast on foot, standing about 12 in. high 15-18 per hour
  1. Methods within the chair are different from those practised at Stourbridge. For instance, the footmaker puts on the handle. In the chair making process wines, the headman puts the stem on and the footmaker puts the foot on. Each man, blower, headman and footmaker, has his own gatherer. The finished article is carried to the lehr on the pipe, knocked off there, and then transferred to the lehr by the lehrman.
  2. The average skill of the chairs is high. Nearly all could start off with wines and finish by making heavy salad bowls. This means that the maximum use of metal is made by each chair. In the morning while the temperature of the furnace is high and the men are fresh, small ware is made, such as wines and goblets, utilising the clearest metal. Later, heavier goods are made as they do not necessitate such rapid work, and the greater weights taken out in the last three hours ensure that the pot is worked out for refill by the end of the day.
  3. Each open pot is emptied daily, filled in the afternoon, and melted during the night ready for 6 o’clock in the morning. Thus each pot is utilised to full capacity six times in six working days.
  4. Very little lead glass is melted, most of the metal being high quality soda glass, except at factories where a few covered pots are used for lead glass for special pieces. The use of soda metal accounts partly for the high production as this metal sets quickly. (The old rule was that numbers produced from lead glass were 20 per cent. less than from soda glass.) It is interesting to note that if a man is blowing lead glass he is now paid a time rate which must not be less than the average of his normal piecework earnings on soda glass.
  5. Annealing equipment is generally old-fashioned and few recording instruments are seen on lehrs or furnaces.
Decorating Shop

Here the work is of extremely high quality, and though the workman attains high speed by a repetition of the same article, he is a craftsman who can easily turn his hand to different cuttings; a great deal of heavy fluting is done. The work is done in teams, usually one rougher to two smoothers.

Cutting is still done by the old method of steel mill and stone and no carbo­rundum wheels were seen, though carborundum powder has taken the place of sand. Very little mitre cutting on a frame was done. Usually very large wheels were used, advantage being taken of the size to give high efficiency at comparatively slow rates of revolution. The mills and stones were up to 3 ft. in diameter and about 2œ in. in width. For smoothing heavily fluted articles the side of the stone was used. The smoother has two large pieces of sponge carefully fixed at such an angle as to ensure a good wet surface all over the stone.

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There is a great deal of engraving. Due to the composition of the metal acid polishing is not generally used. It is impossible to over-emphasise the very high quality of the decoration seen, though retail prices are often low.

The retail prices of certain articles were :—

Dish, about 7 in. diameter, cut with straight and slanting hollows in panels, flatted top and bottom 10 kroner
Jug, light, bag shaped, faintly moulded, size 1 quart, with small intaglio decoration 2 kroner
Jug, similar, crackled 1.65 kroner


A new co-operative Technological Institute has been set up at Vaxjo, for “day to day” tests, by 30 manufacturers, but it is complained that even they do not use it enough. Some fundamental research is carried on at the Goteborg Research Station for Silica. There are usually no research facilities at the factories. There does not appear to be any Government scheme similar to our British research association scheme.


The importance of finding creative artist-designers is well recognised, but their training is expensive. An artist must have a wide education, but at the same time be prepared to live in the atmosphere of the factory. A few artists of good standing working at only a few factories have made the Swedish glass industry famous. Much of the general overall production is, however, on con­ventional lines and is of little importance from a design point of view.

We heard from several sources that public taste is now veering back towards highly decorated articles. This was so in furniture more than glass as yet, but glass was expected to follow. This tendency to rather more ornate work, of good, useful designs is supported by the Craft Association in the interests of its members. The 1930 Exhibition, which introduced the less ornate type of designs in glass to a wider public, is regarded as having had an adverse effect on the prosperity of the industry. It has resulted in the very serious present shortage of decorators, especially cutters, who left the industry as they did not think their livelihood was safe. The shortage is particularly serious just now when the demand is so large.

The present fashions in design seem to be for very heavy-fluted ware with or without a small amount of engraving. Fish and human figures seem to be particularly popular. There is also coloured ware, or ware with coloured threads, while a very great proportion of the glass we saw was faintly tinted. (With present raw materials it is difficult to produce a first-class colourless metal.) Very little of the traditional “cut” designs are seen in the home market, though there is some intaglio, the trade making a virtue of necessity, as the cost of hand polishing mitre cuts would be excessive.


Efforts are made by manufacturers in co-operation to tie retailers’ prices ; manufacturers’ prices are controlled by the Government. In the home market the 1939 price, plus 15 per cent., was incorporated into the basic price in 1942, when prices were frozen at this rate plus 47œ per cent. war increase. Further

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increases have been made since June, 1946. A discount of 45 per cent. is usually given to retailers on the home market. For export there is no price control.


A separate note is attached on the valuable work of the Society of Arts and Crafts. This Society has done an enormous amount by exhibitions, competitions, publications and training courses to teach good taste at all levels. It has also helped industries to create the designs now called for. It complains that now the glass manufacturers have a sellers’ market they are less ready to listen to the Society’s suggestions.

Sweden appears to be fully conscious of the importance of its glass industry. There are, even in small towns, shops specialising in glass and pottery — some large shops sell nothing but glass — who take particular pains in staging effective window displays. Glass seems to be extensively used in preference to other materials. It is photographed well and the photographs are published on good paper and sent abroad. At Skansen, the great Park or National Museum in Stockholm, there is a glass-blower at work in an old-fashioned hut making articles asked for by the spectators.

The Vaxjo Museum, in the centre of the industry, has a particularly fine collection of glass, modern as well as old.


  1. Comparison of the constitution of the chairs in this country and in Sweden suggests that by reconstituting the chairs in this country the production per man hour and chair hour could be considerably improved with better use of existing furnace capacity.
  2. Particular attention is directed to the very high quality of the Swedish ware, which on account of the hours worked and the production per chair can be sold at prices with which the industry here could not hope to compete. Nothing must be allowed to reduce the quality of British glass, and every effort must be made to increase production per man year if the British product is to hold its own in open markets. To attempt to meet the present demand by making a small number of mass-produced lines might involve a real danger in that our traditional craftsmanship might be lost. The present shortage of decorators in the Swedish industry shows, too, the ultimate danger of encouraging too much simplicity in decoration.
  3. The method of fixed selling prices, allowing no more than 45 per cent. to the retailer, is of great value to Swedish manufacturers in ensuring that their goods reach the public at reasonable prices.
  4. The industry in this country could benefit greatly if better publicity were to be given to it by means similar to those employed by the Swedish Arts and Crafts Associations. The public would then be educated to recognise the real value of high quality in glass both as regards metal and design.