In 1720, a glasshouse was established on part of the site of the former medieval 'White Friars' monastery, situated south of Fleet Street.
In 1834 the firm of James Powell & Sons (popularly known as 'Whitefriars Glass') was founded. The 'Whitefriars' trade name was added only in 1919, four years before the firm relocated from the City to a new site at Wealdstone, Harrow.
The most enduring and successful glasshouse in Britain, Whitefriars made stained glass, table and ornamental glass, and scientific glass. It had a reputation for innovative design and retained an identity distinct from that of other British glass making centres.
When the company closed in 1980, the Museum of London acquired its archive of business papers, photographs, designs and pictures; some manufacturing tools and equipment; the contents of the glassworks' museum; and examples of the factory's final products.
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