Davidson Glass a history


The George Davidson & Co. Teams Glass Works was one of  the longest running glass works in the North East of England. It was founded in 1867 and  finally closed in 1987 after several changes of ownership. From the Teams came world famous glassware such as Pearline, Cloud Glass, Jade, Chippendale and Jacobean. Every type of glassware produced by the Teams has its own band of avid and knowledgeable collectors. Davidson glass is admired and collected all over the world. Ask any collector of pressed glass who were the great innovators in glass making and George Davidson and his son Thomas will be close to the top of the list if not actually at the top.

Davidson Glass a history is the first book to tell the story of this remarkable company and the men who ran it. The authors have been researching the history of the company for many years and  Davidson Glass a history is the fruit of that labour. The book starts with a brief history of glassmaking in the North East and then introduces the main players in the Davidson company - George, Thomas and Claude Fraser. The second part of the book follows with a history of Davidsons divided into 6 time periods- 1867 to 1918, 1918 to 1939, 1939 to 1945, 1945 to 1959, 1959 to 1966 and 1966 to 1987. Within each time period the development of the company is described along with the type and colours of glass produced during that period. Further sections of the book describe:

  • their most famous glassware including Pearline and Cloud Glass
  • their business partners Clayton Mayers and Holophane
  • their patents, registered designs and trade marks
  • how they advertised their products to the buying public

The final section of the book is intriguingly called 'One Hour Odd', after the rate of pay the glassmakers received for working on new projects. It contains a number of chapters which add some new insights in to the Davidson story. The full table of contents is shown below:

Part 1 - Historical Background

A Brief History of Glass-making in North-East England
The Davidson Family

Part 2 - A History of George Davidson & Co.

The Beginning (1867 to 1918)
Depression and Recovery (1918 to 1939)
The War and Unexpected Growth (1939 to 1945)
Post-War Boom and Bust (1945 to 1959)
Trouble and Strife (1959 to 1966)
New Directions (1966 to 1987)

Part 3 - Well-Known Glassware

Cloud Glass
Commemorative Glass
The ‘Yearly Suites’ (1885 to 1913)

Part 4 - Advertising

Getting the Message Across
The British Industries Fair
Davidson and the Pottery Gazette

Part 5 - Trading Partners

Clayton Mayers
Advertising Glassware

Part 6 - Designs, Trade Marks and Patents

Registered Designs
Trade Marks

Part 7 – One Hour Odd

The Pressed Glassmakers’ Friendly Society
The 1887 Newcastle Jubilee Exhibition
The 1929 North-East Coast Exhibition of Science and Industry
The Ones That Got Away
And Finally
Pattern Number Index

Davidson Glass a history, while taking an academic approach to telling the story of Davidsons, also caters to the collector who is interested in the varied products of the glass works. The book is lavishly illustrated with 40 colour and 115 black & white illustrations. In addition the book contains 4 colour and 12 black & white adverts from the Pottery Gazette as well as 3 pages from different Davidson catalogues.

Davidson Glass a history is written by Chris and Val Stewart who are well known to glass collectors as the creators of the Cloud Glass web site. The Cloud Glass web site was the first web site to produce a catalogue of cloud glass and to list all of the known makers. Over recent years the web site has hosted many pages on Davidson glass and has recently begun producing an on-line identification guide to Davidson glass

Davidson Glass a history is available now priced £27. For details of how to order your copy please click here.

Chris and Val Stewart September 2005

Copyright (c) Chris and Val Stewart 2005