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Glasses raised to business heritage in Wednesbury exhibition

By Dayna Farrington | Wednesbury | Attractions | Published:

An exhibition highlighting the work of the famous Chance Brothers glass factory in Smethwick has been launched at a museum.

Chance Glass exhibition at Wednesbury Museum and Art Gallery

The exhibition, called 'Chance People' is showcased at Wednesbury Museum and Art Gallery, in Holyhead Road, and shows how the company became one of the largest glass makers in Britain.

It includes extracts and photographs from the company staff magazines between 1948 and 1960, giving information about the company and its staff, their hobbies and interest and their life at the factory. The exhibition also showcases a variety of decorative, optical and practical glassware made at the Chance factory.

Robert Lucas Chance began making window glass on Spon Lane, in Smethwick, in 1824 when he bought the British Crown Glass Company, which had been established in 1815.

The Chance family retained ownership of the company until the 1950s and continued to manage the glassworks until they finally closed in 1981.

Councillor Bob Lloyd, Sandwell Council's cabinet member for culture, said: "The company was one of the many famous factories in the six towns that make up Sandwell today.

“The exhibition highlights the range of glassware it made for household use, as well as lenses for lighthouses, glass used in medical and optical instruments and even the glass in the clock of the Houses of Parliament.”

The exhibition will run at the museum until November 28. It is open Wednesdays and Thursdays between 11am and 4pm until the end of November, and Saturdays between 2pm and 5pm until the end of September.

Dayna Farrington

By Dayna Farrington
Senior reporter based at Wolverhampton

Reporter for the Express & Star based at Wolverhampton.

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