Chance Brothers Limited 1824 - 1963

Smethwick, Sandwell, West Midlands, England, United Kingdom

1824 - Robert Lucas Chance (1782-1865) purchased The British Crown Glass Company glassworks on the Blakeley Farm estate, at the Glassworks, Spon Lane, Smethwick, Birmingham, England; 1834-1836 - Chance and Hartleys as a partnership of Robert Lucas Chance and his brother William Chance (1788-1856) and brothers James and John Hartley; 1836 - renamed Chance Brothers; 1838 - James Timmins Chance (1814-1902) joined and became a partner in 1839; 1840 - Chance Brothers developed a process for manufacturing very thin glass for microscopic work; 1848 - plant for the manufacture of optical and dioptrical glass set up, including for telescopes and camera lenses; 1850-1851 - Chance made the glass for glazing the Crystal Palace, Hyde Park, London when it house the Great Exhibition; 1889 - incorporated as Chance Brothers and Co. Limited; 1907 - Glasgow Plate Glass Company of Firhill, Glasgow purchased; 1930s - Chance produced first cathode-ray tubes (CRTs) in conjunction with John Logie Baird used for television; 1929-1930 - produced pressed domestic glassware; 1935 - renamed Chance Brothers Limited; 1938 - Firhill company renamed Glass Fibres Limited; 1944 - renamed Fibreglass Limited; 1947 - Chance set up plant in Malvern for the manufacture of syringes and precision tubing, producing interchangeable barrels and plungers for syringes;1955 - Chance Brothers taken over by the optical wing of Pilkingtons Glass as Chance-Pilkington; 1957 - Optical Division relocated to St Asaph, Wales and became Chance-Pilkington Optical Works; 1963 - Smethwick branch of the company continued to trade under the name Chance Brothers Limited until the plant was closed; 1964 - works at Firhill closed and fibreglass production moved to Pilkington's St Helens, 1976 - Rolled Plate Division at Spon Lane, Smethwick closed; 1981 - Spon Lane site closed; 2010 - Chance Glass Limited actively manufacturing in Malvern; company made crown glass, plate glass, optical glass, for lighthouses etc, fibreglass, CRTs, syringes, precision glass tubing