Glass collection (491 parts), Crown Corning Ltd, 1920-1979
This collection covers a 60 year period from the end of the first World War to the late 1970s.
Crown Crystal Glass formed in 1926 with the amalgamation of a number of small hand production works. These were Balmain Glass Works, Crown Glass Works and Crystal Glass Works.
The 1920s saw the initial phase of expansion from a largely bottle making concern into domestic ware in competition with overseas imports. Output was small compared to imports of both quality and cut price glass from America, England and Europe. Crystal Glass Ltd and after 1926 Crown Crystal Glass produced a range of carnival glass to compete with American iridised ware. Much of this featured Australiana designs including kookaburras and gum leaves.
The 1930s saw the introduction of the "Grimwade" crystal line of hand cut crystal hailed as "absolutely hand-made and hand-cut by skilled Australian artisans." There was also an expansion into industrial and commercial lines such as insulators.
In 1940 production began for scientific ware. This line continued until 1968 and included most types of laboratory glassware including flasks, gauge glasses, ounce measures and funnels.
During the 1950s and 1960s tableware production continued especially of drinking vessels for the home and for hotels. Decoration was varied and colourful. Glassware for milk bars and restaurants was popular including bowls for ice cream sundaes, parfait glasses, dishes for banana splits, milkshake glasses and counter dispensers.
In 1963 Crown Crystal became a division of Australian Consolidated Industries (ACI), which set up a joint venture with the American company, Crown Corning, in 1968, to be known in Australia as Crown Corning Ltd. In 1998 ACI became an affiliate of Owens-Illinois in the USA, one of the world's largest manufacturers of glass containers and a leading glass equipment manufacturer. Crown Corning now known as Crown Commercial Pty Ltd continues to produce a large range glassware for both commercial and domestic markets.