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Black Country pride; Howells Patent Glazing delve into the areas heritage.

Black Country pride; Howells Patent Glazing delve into the history of Black Country glass making

Cradley Heath based manufacturing firm, Howells Patent Glazing are one of the UK's leading glass makers whose roots are firmly set in the heart of the Black Country. To celebrate their 41st year in business the company has decided to take a look back into the history of glass making and manufacturing in the Midlands.

The Black Country is an area in the West Midlands generally agreed to include Dudley, Wolverhampton, Sandwell and Walsall. However, there's more to the Black Country than just the distinctive ‘Marmite' accent. Industry roots date back to around the 17th century, coinciding with the discovery of an abundance of coal, iron ore and clay, making it an ideal location for the birth of industry. In the 1960's, the Black Country was described as the best area for glass making in the country.

Tracey Jackson, marketing manager at Howells Patent Glazing said, "The Black Country has once again become an industry hive for most areas of manufacturing. There are so many skilled people around here, who aren't afraid of a little hard work, who make Midlands businesses so strong. We're proud of who we are, and where we are from. Our family run firm has been based in Cradley Heath for over 40 years, and its heritage is important to us - it's been really interesting to look into our industrial past".
The Chance Brothers were famous for their glass used on the famous Crystal Palace in the 19th Century

IMAGE: The Chance Brothers of Smethwick were famous for their Black Country Glass, and it was used in the famous Crystal Palace 

Black Country glass is as much in demand today as it ever has been with Howells Patent Glazing supplying glass for iconic buildings such as: Sheffield Cathedral, Albert Docks and Windsor Station. During the 19th century The Chance Brothers of Smethwick produced glass in such large quantities that they supplied the glass for the celebrated Crystal Palace. Other notable landmarks that have used Black Country glass are the windows in the Houses of Parliament, the glass used in the clock tower that houses Big Ben, and the Whitehouse in the USA.

With such rich history in manufacturing and glass making, it's no surprise that the Black Country inspired the fabrication of systems, which hold and support architectural glass - something that Howells Patent Glazing are renowned for producing. Long after the closure of the mines and the shutdown of steel mills and foundries, industry still thrives throughout the West Midlands, albeit on a smaller scale. Whilst Howells Patent Glazing may not have been founded four centuries ago, the family team behind the business remain proud to have been born and raised in the Black Country and are looking forward to another 40 successful years in business.



Notes to Editors:

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