Any Glass by Chance?

Have you got some old glass oven-to-tableware like a casserole dish? But is it really old, possibly octagonal and might even have a slight coloured tinge? If so then you may have an item of Chances' Orlak glassware that dates back to the early 1930s!

This is just one fascinating fact that has arisen during my research into a book on Chance Brothers, the early Smethwick-based pioneers of glassmaking in England from 1824. Some people may already know that Chance produced some iconic tableware during the 1960s and '70s, but did you know they were once the largest manufacturers of lighthouses, supplied the glass to glaze The Crystal Palace in 1851, and even glazed the clock faces of Big Ben? All this research will culminate in a book due to be published, hopefully, in November.

Until then I am looking for any snippets of information that covered the period from 1950 to 1981, when the factory closed. Were you a worker there? Do you have any experiences you would like to relate? With the book dealing with all aspects of the company; the history, glassware and technology, any information that might assist would be most welcome.

Orlak Advert 1932 - courtesy David Encill

Finally, if you have any Chance glassware that's not listed on my web site - - particularly Orlak or Aqualux (this dates to 1939), I would be most interested to learn about it.

Feel free to contact me: David Encill,
6 Witherford Way,
Selly Oak, Birmingham
B29 4AX,
or e-mail: