Collectables of New Zealand
Bottle & Glass Works
May have to split this later but in the meantime some snippetts:
Glass Manufacturing in New
In 1870 the owners of the Nelson Brewery complained that the want of a colonial manufactory of ale & porter bottles was a serious handicap to their business (A to J HR F 1 p25). In 1874 a parliamentary committee recommended a bonus of up to £600 for the manufacture of black glass bottles in NZ. On the 23rd August 1881 E Richardson, the member for Christchurch City asked of the house "whether the government would offer a bonus for the establishment in the colony of a manufactory of glassware from the natural products of the country." On investigation, the Colonial Secretary declined because the advice he received stated a glass industry already existed in Auckland.
In Dunedin the NZ Glass & Pottery Co was floated with 20,000 £1 shares on May 11th 1881. Around the same time a Mr Wilson set up a glass works at Chaneys Corner and was making pickle bottles and tumblers.
Kirkpatrick & Co who established factories in Bridge St, Nelson in 1881 and Blenheim in 1894 were using approximately 100 gross (14,400) glass jars a month and all were manufactured in a Wellington glass works.
The large scale importation of glassware and bottles provided an abundant supply of broken glass which was collected for resmelting as early as the 1850's and used for the making of lamp glasses and lamp chimneys. In Auckland, Michael Cook essayed the production of glass from local raw materials in a small factory in Freemans Bay. Mr Cook appeared before the Tariff Commission in 1895 to ask for a 25% tariff on imported glassware. He established his business on November 28th 1881 as the Freemans Bay Glass Works producing lampware, jam and fruit jars, water bottles and jugs, cruet ware and tumblers. The Auckland Herald of December 5th 1881 describes the start of the new works in Patterson St. "The main building fronts Beach Rd and is 100 foot wide and 148 feet deep with the factory at the rear 50 feet by 30 feet with an 80 foot brick chimney. The factory contains 4 small furnaces and one large 2 pot furnace each holding 4 cwt of glass. He only employed his own family and his total production was only £750 per year.
The Herald reported on March 26th 1900 that L L Mount of the "Glass Works Co" expected to have the plant in working order again about 6-7 months after his projected visit to America. The "Wellington Evening Post" in January 1905 reported that a company which was formed in Auckland a "year or two ago" to make bottles by machinery lost money in its enterprise, and more recently an attempt to produce bottles by the blowing process met with a similar fate owing to foreign competition. The second could be the Southern Cross Glass Works.
Through all of this early history nothing specific has yet been found to identify an Auckland bottle manufacturer. Yet, it is believed there is a very early Auckland Grey & Menzies bottle manufactured in Auckland. Time will tell.
It was not until 1922 that large scale manufacture began in this country when the Australian Glass Manufacturers Co (later renamed New Zealand Glass Manufacturers) established in Penrose, Auckland. The first production unit was a furnace to make amber bottles and was equiped with semi-automatic machinery. In 1927 a second furnace and fully automatic machinery was installed to manufacture white glass. However, 2 of the first bottles of the production lines were an embossed amber 26oz for hancock & Co, and a 10 oz clear internal thread lemonade for A G Scott & Co. It is said that production of green glass did not commence till 1966.
Melbourne Glass Works
John Lumb & Co
John Lumb & Thomas Simpson were brothers in law having married two sisters. Their original factory extended to three furnaces, and eventually they purchased more land across the road for expansion. In 1902 Lumb purchased the old Sykes & McVeay glass works which dated from the 1860's. By 1903 there were no Lumbs left but with the end of the Boer War Colonel William Simpson set about a modernisation program.