Old figured rolled glass patterns

Old Window Glass: History of Textured and Patterned Sheet Glass

Obscured & Textured Window Glass: 'Figured Rolled Glass' Pattern Guide [1888-2020]


As the name implies, Figured Rolled Glass is an architectural glass having a figured or patterned surface impressed by rollers during the process of manufacture.  The various patterns in which this glass has been manufactured are documented in this article and they range from simple finishes to elaborate designs, giving a variety of effects.  Today this glass is almost universally used where both daylight and privacy are required but in the past, these glasses added texture and colour to leaded light windows.  The textured surface obscures the vision without impairing the transmission of daylight.  

“The term ” rolled glass ‘ refers commercially to glass whose surface or surfaces , by means of a rolling process , are ribbed , fluted , or otherwise impressed with patterns or designs . The various designs on figured rolled glass are mainly intended to diffuse and distribute light.” 

Over 200 rolled window glass designs are documented below, with the focus being on the first 50 years (1890 -1940), although more recent glasses are also well documented.  

This article has grown to become more ‘book’ than ‘article’ and so we have provided a quick reference ‘Spotters Guide’  version of this page which can be found here:  Patterned Glass Id Gallery – (the glass galleries only.  No blurb)

The USA section of this article got its own page…

Textured Window Glass: USA Rolled Glass Pattern Guide [1890-2020]

This section of the article got its own page…

Victorian Sheet Glass : Etched, Enamelled and Brilliant Cut Designs

This page is a supplement to our main article: History Of Architectural Glass For Windows.  That main article looks at all of the other decorative window glasses as well as the evolution of clear flat window glass.

Australian Patterned Glass was all imported before 1931.

Following are a lot of images galleries that will ‘lazy load’ as you scroll down. Click them for larger images presented as a slideshow.

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We do not sell old glass, we undertook this research for the public record’ and to ensure the history of these interesting glasses was open to anybody with an interest.

Feel free to use or share what you find here, but do the right thing..

Please include a link to this article if sharing it or posting elsewhere, either in part or full; This article has taken hundreds of hours to compile and is still regularly being updated as new information is unearthed.  We have done the right thing by not restricting your right-clicking or watermarking everything… be nice and link back. 🙂

Any further information or glass samples you might have, that help to complete the collection, are most welcome; please email Simon.  

Table of Contents


How to identify old obscured window glass patterns and textures:  British, American and Australian decorative, frosted & fancy rolled glass gallery.

Victorian glass makers introduced figured rolled window glass, also known as ‘patent rolled figured’ glass, frosted glass, fancy glass, textured glass, art glass or obscured glass.  It is made by embossing textures into the surface of the hot glass sheets.  

Many heritage buildings across the globe still contain some fine examples of these interesting, durable and varied glass patterns.  Using old archives, along with our team’s experience and trade contacts, this page is our attempt to record all of those early textured glass designs.  The original scope of this article was to document Victorian and Edwardian glass textures but has since grown to also include glass patterns right up to modern times.

These patterned glass designs can useful as an aid for dating heritage properties.

Obscured Glass “has one side covered with an opaque film formed either by grinding the surface or by melting powdered glass upon it.  The names for this glass seem to be used indiscriminately without reference.” 1879 

The Development of Textured Window Glass


Hartleys Patent: Table Rolled Plate Glass

Hartley's rolled glass methodJames Hartley was granted a patent in 1838 for producing glass made by casting the hot glass ‘metal’ onto an engraved surface and then rolling it from above. 

Hartley’s glassworks later became famous for ‘Hartley’s Patent Plate’, a rolled and textured roofing glass but Hartley’s were also producing a coloured rolled glass know as cathedral glass, used for creating stained glass windows.  Cathedral Glass was originally a coloured, smooth rolled glass before ‘Rough’, ‘Ribbed’ and ‘Diamond’ embossed patterns were introduced. 

Old Window Glass: History of Textured and Patterned Sheet Glass 2The cost of cutting a large elaborate pattern over the surface of the casting bed would involve considerable expense, especially as the large table would stand idle whilst other designs were being cast.   Consequently engraved casting tables for figured surfaces were smaller than those used to produce polished plate window glass.  To roll the hot glass from above using embossing rollers was the next logical step forward.

Glasgow Plate Glass Company

Pattern rollers used to imprint the design from above the casting table.

Whilst information about this firm is sparse, there is a strong case to argue that G.P.G.C produced the first-ever figured rolled glass sheets, with a distinct and repeating ornate pattern.  Glasgow P.G.C. also designed most of the earliest figured glass patterns such as ‘Diaper, ‘Lustre’, ‘Ovate’ & ‘Muranese’.   We do not know when production started or how much glass was produced using Glasgow’s patent but it faced strong compettion as in the same year Chance Brothers had patented a similar machine for making ‘Rippled’ glass; 3 years later Chance Brothers patented their more efficient double rolled glass machinery.

Dec 14 1886 A. Brogan & A. Malloch, Firhill Glasgow (Glasgow Plate Glass Company) patent (No.16,366) their machine for producing figured rolled glass.  A US patent was applied for in March 1887.  Later patents for improved figured rolled glass machinery were applied for in 1889 and 1894.

Glasgow Plate Glass Company Patent For Rolling GlassApparatus For Rolling Glass To Produce Designs Thereon

UK application Registered No 16,366 14 December 1886.  US application filed March 14, 1887. Serial No. 230,879.

“Our invention relates to the manufacture of IS glass in plates or sheets having upon one surface vermicular, wave-like, or other patterns or designs produced by the action of a roller; and it consists in an improved apparatus for rolling the molten glass, whereby uniform 2o thickness of sheet is obtained and the design or pattern is produced by a comparatively small roller, involving small outlay for engraving or impressing the pattern upon it.  …. The larger and heavier 4o roller serves to roll out and determine the thickness of the glass sheet, and the follower or followers need only be of such weight as to impress the pattern upon the surface of the soft and plastic glass.”  1887 US Patent Office No. 370,178

 1894 A. Brogan & A. Malloch Patent For Rolling Glass1889 A. Brogan & A. Malloch Patent For Rolling Glass. US396535

 “Figured glass (developed by the Glasgow Plate Glass Co) was produced by the table method about 1890”

1887 patent ‘ Apparatus for rolling glass’      1889 patent ‘Apparatus for rolling glass plate’      1894 patent ‘Apparatus for rolling glass’      1897 Patent application Leer or kiln for annealing glass.    1892 Patent applications 8554 & 8555  – “A D Brogan and The Glasgow Plate Glass Co.  Improvements in apparatus for rolling glass”

The Mason and Conqueror Patent for rolled plate glass

Mason& Conqueror Rolled Glass MachineIn 1885 Frederick Mason and John Conqueror patented a new method of rolling glass that reduced wastage during production and that did not dull the surface of the finished glass.

The Mason and Conqueror Rolled Glass Process“This method of manufacture, as improved by the proprietors of the patent, is conducted in the following manner”, “The molten glass is poured on an inclined iron plate, and passes between two iron rolls, which revolve uniformly in opposite directions. The sheet of glass thus formed passes down a second inclined plate, and is then transferred to the kiln and piled in the usual way.  Or the sheet may be transferred to the annealing kiln by means of a travelling carriage or table, which consists of an iron frame aid with stones, or other non-conducting material, so as to present an even upper surface.  The size of this table is regulated by the width and length of the sheets of glass which it is desired to make.  The table travels on wheels or rollers under the lower roll of the rolling machine, and by means of suitable gearing is carried forward by the motion of the machine at the same pace, or slightly faster than, the sheet of glass passing down the second inclined plate”.  1885 US Patent Office No.326764A

Chance’s Double-Rolled Figured Plate Glass

The famous Chance Brothers glassworks in Smethwick, entered the rolled glass market in 1852 when they took a license to use James Hartley’s table rolled glass patent.

Chance Bros. New or Improved Machinery for the Manufacture of Sheets of Rippled Glass, 20 March 1886- Patent No 3972In 1886 William Edward Chance was granted Patent.No. 3972 – New or Improved Machinery for the Manufacture of Sheets of Rippled Glass, 20 March 1886.

Chance Brother Rolled Glass MachineIn 1885 Chance Bros. had taken out a further license for the new ‘Mason and Conqueror’ glass rolling machine, a machine that by January 1890 they had developed into their own patented (No.789) process with the addition of a second pair of rollers to imprint a pattern on the glass.  

Rolled Figured Glass ProcessThis double rolling process became the standard method for producing glass sheets with a textured surface, leaving the opposite face smooth enough for cutting.  Glass designs ranged from simple obscured surfaces to elaborate, deeply imprinted, three-dimensional patterns. These ‘fancy figured rolled’ or ‘patent rolled’ glass sheets as they became known were sold in white (clear), blue, amber, green and pink (wine) cathedral tints.

US Patent No. 488,114, dated December 13, 1892.  Serial No. 436,712. model.) 15, 1890,

BeChance Brother Patent Glass Rolling Machine it known that I, EDWARD FERGUSON CHANCE, a subject of the Queen of Great Britain, residing at West Smethwick, England, have invented certain new and useful Improvements in Machinery for Rolling Glass, (for which I have obtained Letters Patent of Great Britain, No. 785, dated January 15, 1890;) and I do hereby declare that the following is a full, clear, and exact description of the invention, which will enable others skilled in the art to which it appertains to make and use the same.  Chance Brothers Figured Rolled Glass Machine In Operation.My invention consists of improvements in or additions to machinery for rolling glass, for which Letters Patent were granted in the United States to Frederick Mason and John Conqueror, dated September 22, 1885, No. 326,764.  The invention patented by Messrs. Mason and Conqueror consists, essentially, of a pair of rolls between which molten glass running down an inclined plate passes and is thereby rolled into a sheet, which sheet is received on another inclined. plate, from which it passes to the annealing-kiln.  My invention consists of the combination, with the said patented invention, of an additional pair of rolls by which the sheet of glass formed by the first pair of rolls is further operated upon and improved, and, where desirable, impressed with a pattern on one or both sides by one or both of the said additional pair of rolls.  1892 US Patent Office No.488114

ModernTextured Float Glass 

The Chance Brothers basic principle of embossing hot glass with a patterned roller continues to this day. 

The pattern is now imprinted by the lower roller leaving the smooth face upwards for cutting.  The lehr (not drawn to scale) is an insulated cooling tunnel in which the glass is carried by motorised rollers until it reaches room temperature and the cutting line.  The annealing process is ensured by controlled cooling, allowing the stabilisation of the glass ribbon’s residual strains.

Textured Float Glass Process

Hot Glass

Today the supply of the hot glass (metal) to the rollers is non-stop.  24/7, a continuously flowing ribbon of hot patterned glass is printed.

Snapshots Taken from a  YouTube video by Pilkinton TV showing patterned glass being made at their Watson Street factory – can be viewed here.

Seamless Pattern Rollers

Modern embossing rollers
Modern embossing rollers

The circumference of the roller dictates the length of design that is possible before it must repeat, leaving a continuous and seamless pattern.  Even the indistinct ‘non-formal” wavy patterns must be precisely designed and engineered to appear random.  Whilst the early rollers were handmade by expert engravers, most of today’s embossing rollers are designed on a computer and cut using lasers.  

In the art of manufacturing embossing rolls, it is common to use what is referred to as the die and mill method. This generally refers to making a relatively soft small steel cylinder into a die by placing a design around its periphery in intaglio, generally using hand tooling to obtain the depth and rounded edges desired. Then a mill is made from the die, by hardening the die and rolling it in contact under great pressure against the surface of another soft steel cylinder of the same size as the die cylinder. This puts the design in relief on, the mill is then hardened and used to put the becomes the final female embossing roll. 1964 Method of making embossing rolls by engraving 

Pilkington Texture Glass Video

But handmade rollers are still being produced, as shown in this excellent 3.5-minute video released by Pilkington NSG, documenting the creation of their new patterns, ‘Tribal‘ and ‘Cassini‘. 

IMB Services (Lancashire) Ltd. , Darwen, Blackburn, UK.  Norman Walsh (engraver), Jeffery Youd (engraver), Ian Bateson (engraver) and Nick Hunsley (design).

Pilkington's Tribal Glass Pattern.

David Fulton & Co 

18-24 Ark Lane, Duke Street Engraving Works, Glasgow, Scotland.

Designers and producers of engraved rolls for embossing all types of materials inc. glass, wallpaper, calico, leather etc.

Rollers for embossing glass with a seamless pattern

“This firm has occupied its present premises in Ark Lane, Glasgow since 1868 and began embossing rollers for the glass trade quite early in its history, mostly to small manufacturers in the locality.”  

It would seem probable that Fulton’s supplied their first rollers for embossing glass to the Glasgow Plate Glass Co in the late 1880s.  We shall likely never know how many of the figured rolled designs, registered by varied glassworks, actually originated on the drawing boards at Fulton & Company.  Originally designs were first sketched on paper before being transferred to the surface of the roller using a hammer, chisel and a punch, later developments utilised lathes, welding techniques and acid etching.   

“Hammering would take many weeks and the 20 or so indents per square inch had to be done with the correct weight behind the hammer”  Ben Coates, David Fulton & Co  

A later process for producing the embossing rollers at David Fulton & Co is described by 1961 Canadian trade journal “Engineering Digest”

The engraver studies the chosen patterns and the size of the ‘repeat’ of each pattern is measured and the circumference of the embossing roller decided.  The pattern is reflected through mirrors in an enlarging camera on to a white-painted Zinc plate and the design is traced on it in pencil.  The pattern is enlarged from 2.5 to 5 times its original size so as to magnify details (which are sometimes extremely complicated) and to obtain the optimum accuracy in reproduction when the pattern is transferred to the die. 

The Master tool or die which is made of ‘Edgar Allen & Co  No5 hot die steel’ is then turned on centres to the exact repeat of the pattern, painted with an acid-resisting varnish and prepared for engraving.  By means of a pantograph machine the enlarged design on the zinc plate is engraved in its original size on the varnish coated die – a diamond pointed lever cutting through the varnish in automatic response to the operator tracing with a sharp point along the pattern lines on the zinc plate.  The die is then etched with acid to give a permanent outline to the design. 

The die cutter now takes over and with his delicate engraving tools, cuts and scrapes on the cylinder surface of the die until he produces an exact copy of the pattern.  The production of this master or female tool calls for an extremely high degree of skill and accuracy, and a die can take many weeks of patient and painstaking work to prepare.  It is significant that in David Fulton’s workshops there is an atmosphere of peace and almost cathedral quiet, which illustrates vividly the exacting nature of the work in hand and the concentration required to do it.

When completed, the die is tempered to a high degree of hardness.  The mill, or male tool, is now turned in the same manner as the die so that it contains the desired number of design repeats.  The hardened steel die and the still untreated steel mill are placed together in a “clamming” machine” which consists of two jaws, the die being placed in bearings in one jaw and the mill in the other, so that each of their surfaces bears against the other.  They are then rotated mechanically under increasing pressure.  The mill is waxed constantly with acid resisting wax and as the die continues to imprint the pattern  on the mill through the wax, the mill is etched to remove surplus metal.  This process continues until the die and the mill are perfect “lock”.

The completed mill, which is the engraving tool, is then placed in a pot filled with bone meal, hardened to a temperature of 900C in a gas furnace and cooled in oil.  It is then ready for use.

The engraving of the mild steel embossing roller is the reverse of the process already described with the mill imprinting its pattern on steel is used for the mill.

The engraved roller must be handled and stored with great care as its manufacture (including the die and mill) has been measured in months while its service life is measured in years.  If damage occurs to the delicate embossed surface – usually taking the form of scratches – the flaws can be erased and the design reset.  The whole body of the roller has to be machined however, so that the depth of design remains uniform.

Emil Offenbacher of Markt Redwitz, Germany

Offenbacher supplied embossing rolls to Saint-Gobain.

Improvements in the Manufacture of Pattern Rollers or PlatesImprovements in the Manufacture of Pattern Rollers or Plates.

The new method is as follows: The desired *pattern is engraved on the small Supplementary steel roller a, Fig. 1, said roller being then tempered or hardened and secured on the support of an ordinary lathe or planing machine, so that the same is in close contact with the surface of the steel plate or roller b to be engraved. The latter is coated with an acid-proof paste-like mass c, and as the steel roller b is revolved,(or as the steel plate b is reciprocated) the supplementary roller a is also revolved and presses the pattern into the coating c,-so that the steel of the roller or* plate is uncovered at certain points d, While the remaining surface is still coated with the said paste-like mass. The roller or plate to r be engraved is then treated with nitric acid or other suitable etching liquid, which thus acts on the uncovered points of the steel to remove the excess; of material and produce chemical alterations whereby the steel is converted at these points into a soft spongy mass. Then after removing the acid the pressing of the pattern into the etched parts is repeated by means of the supplemental roller a, Fig. 2, Whereby the projecting parts on the latter penetrate still deeper into the parts softened by the etching liquid. Then by repeating this as many times as required the desired depth or recesses and projections may be obtained on the steel roller or plate, as illustrated in Figs. 3 and 4.  US PATENT 681727A 

Special Patterned Glasses

Included within our galleries of patterned glass are these special purpose glasses.

Wired Glass

Wired glass has metal netting embedded within it for safety, fire protection & security.

The industrial revolution during the Victorian era transformed sheet glass manufacture allowing architects to utilise glass in new ways.  Sheet glass became a roofing material for the first time and was used extensively in the construction of railway stations and the like.  But using glass overhead in this new way obviously created a potential hazard and indeed there are several reports of roofing glass falling to the ground.  Wire netting had to be installed under the glass in order to catch any future glazing breakages.  Experiments soon followed in Europe and America to embed a wire mesh within the body of the glass sheet.

Experiments started as early as the 1850’s but the results of these early experiments were of poor quality, often with wire protruding from one or both surfaces.  The iron ‘chicken-wire’ would distort when contacted with the hot glass  and so new metals, coatings and weaves had to be developed.  Although various patent applications were lodged there would appear to be no successful commercial production until the 1890s.

1855 – Newton’s British patent for a moulded sandwich method.   1871 – Hyatt’s English patent for sandwich method using glass moulds.   1887 – Armstrong’s English patent for a single pour method.  1889 – Tenner’s German patent.  1892 – Shuman’s single pour method.  1893 –  Appert’s double pour method. 

“A new invention under the name of wire-glass has just been put upon the market in Dresden.
The process consists in imbedding in the glass while in a hot and plastic condition some
flexible metallic layer, as a wire netting. The metal being entirely enclosed in the glass is
effectively protected against the weather, and gives the glass a much greater resisting power
than the ordinary material, and is it is claimed, indifferent to the most abrupt changes of
temperature, and will even withstand open fire. The glass is specially adapted for skylights,
and the powerful resisting qualities of the material enabling the usual wire protectors to be
dispensed with. As wire-glass cannot be cut by the diamond, except under the application of
great force, and cannot be broken without creating considerable noise, the substance is
claimed to be, in a measure, burglar proof.” 1892 The Irish American Weekly,

Rolled Wired GlassIn 1898, Pilkington Brothers patented rolled wired cast glass that was successfully adopted by builders and architects.  Wired Cast glass incorporates a strong steel-wire mesh for safety and security. 

Figured wired glass soon became popular as the textured glass patterns act to obscure the view of the wire netting.  Many of the glass patterns documented in this article were offered in wired glass versions.

Pilkington TV – ‘The Polished Wired Story’ can be viewed here.   1980s video about clear smooth polished wire glass production.  30 mins.


Prismatic Glass

Prism Glass is an architectural glass which bends and projects light to illuminate areas far from windows, this is known as anidolic lighting.

prism glass drawingPrism glass was mostly used in commercial and public buildings in the first quarter of the 20th century.  Pavement lights also used prism glass to light rooms set below ground level.  The basic principle still lives on to this day with scientifically designed patterns that focus light into our rooms. Following the adoption of electric lighting, prism glass was no longer a key marketing tool and was dropped from common usage although it remained on the market for use in commercial buildings.Pilkington Prism Glass

Pressed glass quarries and slates as well as embossed glass tiles and pavement lights also featured textured prismatic designs, but this article relates only to obscured glass that was produced in sheet sizes. 

Cathedral Glass

Cathedral Glass was originally a smooth rolled plate glass before ‘Quarry’, ‘Ribbed’ and ‘Diamond’ embossed patterns were introduced.  

Whilst the difference between cathedral glass and figured rolled glass is rather blurred, “Cathedral Glass” is usually table rolled and has a surface with a specific texture and made in many tints, whilst ‘Figured Rolled Glasses’ have a deeper, more formal repeating pattern, produced in a limited range of colours.  Even Pilkington’s having once described several of their own designs as ‘cathedral’ have later termed them ‘figured rolled’, eg. Amazon.  Nowadays all of these glasses would simply be classed as ‘Patterned Glass” and both cathedral and figured rolled glasses are the subject of this article.

  • Cathedral Glass is generally rolled sheet glass of a neutral tint used extensively in stained glass work.
  • Patent Rolled Cathedral is a type of thin rolled plate, wavy on both sides and tinted and rolled.
  • White Cathedral is of the same colour as ordinary glass without the lines.
  • Sheet Cathedral is also tinted and used for the same purposes
  • Sanded Sheet Cathedral has sand thrown upon its surface when hot so that it fuses in giving an appearance which is useful for artistic purposes.
  • Hammered Cathedral Glass has a dimpled surface and is the most common form of American Cathedral Glass

Coloured Glass Tints

1923 Pilkington - Cathedral Glass Colour Tints    1923 Pilkington Brothers Variegated Cathedral Glass Sheet    Tinted Figured Rolled Glass

Coloured Glass can be made in every variety of tint by adding metallic oxides and other substances to the mix before fusion.

Smooth rolled cathedral glass was made in every tint possible and primarily used to create stained glass windowsThe colour is relative to thickness;  If the same batch of coloured glass were to be cast into different thickness then each sheet would display a slightly different  tinting.

‘Cathedral Tints’ when referencing figured sheet-glass were generally light tints of no positive colour.  Greens and Amber were the most popular cathedral tints.  Pilkington Brothers also released a tint of yellow marketed as ‘anti-fly’, a colour allegedly repellent to flys.

By the 1920s, textured glass was hitting its peak production levels but coloured glass versions were in decline.  Small splashes of vividly coloured glass were still fashionable but used only sparingly and then set amongst mostly ‘white'(clear) textured glass in leaded light glazing panels.

Today, coloured figured glass is seldom produced but it may be approximated by laminating textured glass to a thin tinted glass pane.

Thee following Pilkington glass samples are a small selection from the range of rolled cathedral glass tints.   To see a fuller collection visit Glass Message Board Gallery. Thanks to Glassmessages.com for sharing these.

British Figured Rolled Glass: Patterns & Textures

The Earliest Figured rolled patterns

1887 Patent Document for figured rolled glass.Technically the handblown, inadvertently wavy, ‘Venetian’ glasses predates all of the other textured glasses by about a century followed by the table cast cathedral glasses.  ‘Seedy’ or ‘Reamy’ glasses were obscuring as a result of their flaws.

The first intentionally figured rolled ‘fancy glass’ patterns that were imprinted by an engraved roller, were most probably ‘Chequered Plate’ and ‘Wavy’ as shown in this 1897 US patent application from Glasgow Plate Glass.  Chance Brothers were also producing table rolled ‘Ripple’ glass by 1886/87.

“Fig 2 and 3 illustrate varieties of the patterns created on the glass surface”   US Patents Office 1897 


Decorative Ribbed Plate Glass

Early Figured Rolled Plate - 1890

Ribbed Glass with Fleur-de-leys1890. The design of ‘ribbed glass’ on the left is the earliest advertised glass we have found to be described as ‘Figured Rolled’. Copied from a glass merchants catalogue, where it was the only figured sheet on offer, set amongst a large selection of enamelled sheet designs.  The ribbed finish is transferred from an engraved pattern on the casting table.  Alternative designs of ribbed glass included lozenge, diamond and the fleur-de-leys pattern.

1894 Ornamental Rolled Glass Patterns

  •  ‘Lustex’ is named as patterned glass, but this name changed to become ‘Lustre’ in all future brochures.
  • ‘Shely’ is named as patterned glass, but this name changed to become ‘Shell’ in all future brochures.

1892 advert “Patent Lustre, Diaper, Muranese, Venetian Rippled, Cathedral and all other kinds of fancy glass”

Victorian Glass Shop Display Samples c.1893

Old leaded glass display panel, with hand-written glass identification names, showing examples of the coloured Figured Rolled Glasses ; sadly no date or location but the inclusion of ‘Moorish’ dates it to circa 1893.  All of the patterns included are by the Chance Brothers or the Glasgow Plate Glass Co. 

Chance Brothers: Chance’s Figured Rolled Glass Patterns

Chance’s figured rolled glass was famous for its deep and sharply defined patterns, easy cutting qualities, brilliant finish and attractive tints.

Chance Brothers produced over 30  Figured Rolled glass patterns with “Flemish being the most popular design“.  Supplied in white (clear) and four standard colours Pink; Yellow; Blue; and Green.  1/8 inch was the standard thickness but it was also available in 3/16 and 1/4 for deeply imprinted patterns.  Flemish was their most popular design.

Chance’s rolled plate figured and cathedral glass was not only for the home market as they exported to South America, Canada, Egypt, Australia, Africa, United States of America, New Zealand and Spain.

“Figured Rolled Glass is manufactured by us in a large variety of designs, some being of a delicate nature, whilst others are of a bolder type, affording ample scope for all varieties of tastes.” Chance Bros

Chance's Muffled GlassCHANCE’S FLEMISH GLASS was made only in the glassworks of Chance Bros. & Co., near Birmingham, ” a new and most attractive ornamental Window Glass, unsurpassed for character and brilliancy.”  Flemish was available in both small and large patterns. 

   CHANCE’S MUFFLED GLASS was mostly used for fancy leaded light work.  Its “peculiar and varying waviness of its design assuring a graceful and pleasing effect wherever it is employed”.  It was also frequently used for windowpanes of modest sizes but it was a thinner 18 oz glass and so large windowpanes were not viable.

“Chance’s also undertook the manufacture of ‘Muffled Glass’, impressed with patterns by blowing into moulds.”

    CHANCE’S CATHEDRAL GLASS (glass with an indefinite pattern) was produced in three distinct kinds all about 1/16 in. thickness.Chance's Cathedral Glass

  • Double Rolled Cathedral was their ‘standard cathedral glass’ and produced in hundreds of tints.
  • Stippled Cathedral is more opaque.  Restricted range of tints.
  • Hammered Cathedral has slight indentations on one face.  It is very translucent and widely used for both leaded lights and window glazing.

    CHANCE’S CROWN GLASS, “For natural evenness of surface and brilliancy (characteristics entirely its own and which cannot fail to impress the most ordinary observer), it is without a rival”.  “There is no need to expatiate upon the excellence of this article, and we can safely recommend it as a speciality by means of which, at a comparatively small cost, the most gratifying results can be obtained”.  Sheets up to 15′ x 12′, 13 to 15 oz.

    CHANCE’S GENUINE CROWN GLASS BULLIONS as the last British firm to produce spun crown glass Chance’s supplied genuine ‘bull’s eyes’ bullions. “We have supplied large numbers of them for fixing in panels and windows of various kinds where an old fashioned or grotesque appearance is desired.”

Chance Bros. Company History:

Chance Brothers were once the biggest name in Victorian sheet glass but by the start of the twentieth Century Chance Bros. and Pilkington Bros. shared a virtual duopoly in Britain.

The manufacture of rolled plate glass became of primary importance to Chance Brothers, along with the licensing royalties paid by other companies for use of their patented machine.  Chance Brothers acquired the Glasgow Plate Glass Company in 1907 to increase figured rolled glass production. 

In 1912 Chance had sold some shares to Saint-Gobain.  In 1936, an agreement was reached whereby Pilkington Brothers would buy its old rival, Chance Brothers, over a number of years. The two companies had for some time co-operated in the field of rolled glass, which was then Chance’s only flat glass product.  By 1945, Pilkington had acquired a 50 percent shareholding in Chance Brothers, and by 1951, Chance had become a wholly-owned subsidiary of Pilkington’s. The Smethwick factory continued to produced rolled glass until 1976 but the factory was not closed until 1981. 

Some of Chance’s patterns have since appeared under the Pilkington brand name.


Chance’s Designers:

Thomas John Woodward designed many of Chance Bros early decorative glass patterns.  Paul Nash (1889-1946) produced “Coptic” design for Chances.  “Cryptic” glass pattern was designed by John M Holmes A.R.C.A. .  “Cascade” glass pattern was designed by A. Duncan A.R.I.B.A,  “Reeded” and “Cross-Reeded” and so probably the whole reeded series were designed by M. L. Anderson [1933].  Festival was designed by Dr John Beresford-Evans.  Spotlyte designed by Sadie Speight. Robert Yorke Goodden produced designs for Chance Bros. in 1934 (possibly only tableware and not FRG).  

“Other patterns are cut onto rollers by Chance’s own fitters in Ray Drury’s engineering department. Between the old and the new, Chance has lost count of the patterns produced. ” It must be hundreds, ” said Ray Drury.  “In fact we have 53 rollers with different patterns in stock at the moment.”

Ray Drury started as an apprentice and worked up to becoming Chance’s chief engineer, he describes his working life at Chance Brothers (1950 to 1976) in this 20min podcast interview.  Ray also designed the “bullion” or fake ‘bulls-eye’ rolled plate glass that was popular in the 60s and 70s.

Chance’s Old Glass Patterns

1905 Chance Brothers Advert for Figured Rolled Glass

1905 – FRG Figured Rolled Glass Advert

In the following section Chance’s and Glasgow’s patterns have been grouped together.

The following designs are listed within the Chance Brothers pattern register as St Gobain Designs.

Chances Glass Series:

Chances Glass Reeded Series-1933
Chances Glass Reeded Series-1933

c1933 REEDED glass has recently been introduced to cater for the growing demand for an obscure glass having a character in accordance with present-day needs. It’s general appearance will be seen from the photographs below and it is only necessary to add that the ribs are half an inch wide and are approximately one-sixteenth of an inch in relief.  CROSS-REEDED is an elaboration of REEDED glass, having not only ribs running longitudinally on one side of the glass, but across the glass on the other side.”  The glass itself is exceptionally white and clear and its surface bright and lustrous. Also in this range ‘CHEVERON REEDED” and the later additions of “REEDLYTE” diffusing glasses.  

Cross-Reeded pattern was rolled on both sides and resulted in a weakness where the lines crossed.  The problem was later eliminated by rolling on one side only.

1932 8 designs all beginning with the letter “C”. Chance’s introduced the “BLAZONED” series of Art Deco window glass designs in the early 1930’s.  Art Deco is a design movement from the 1920s that marked a break from the fluid and flowing Art Nouveau designs of the 1890s. The term ‘Art Deco’ is derived from the Exposition Internationale des Arts Décoratifs et Industriels Modernes, an exhibition of artists that showed their work in Paris in 1925.  Arts Décoratifs was eventually truncated to Art Deco.

“BLAZONED’  “The three new patterns illustrated  [CRYPTIC, COPTIC & CASCADE] are Chances latest additions to the architect’s choice of decorating designs.  The deisigners have all worked to produce a character that will be in keeping with contemporary requirements whilst still bearing in mind the three main practical issues – High light transmission ; Diffusion and obscurity value ; and Cleanliness.  These glasses are eminantly suitable for decorative glazing purposes, as well as for artificial lighting “. 

Old Window Glass: History of Textured and Patterned Sheet Glass 3

  • 1930s Chance's Glass Blazoned Series. Cirrus and Crevasse Glass Patterns.” CRYPTIC ” : designed by John M. Holmes , A.R.C.A. [ Registered Number 771236 ]
  • ” CASCADE ” : designed by R. A. Duncan , A.R.I.B.A. [ Registered Number 771237]
  • “ COPTIC “: Designed by Paul Nash. [ Registered Number 775678 ]
  • ” CREVASSE ” 1929 design from Verreries de Fauquez [Registered Number 742824]
  • ” CIRRUS “
  • ” CENTRIC “: Art glass sheet.

Thank you to David Encill at Cortex Design for sharing his samples of these BLAZONED glasses.  David is an expert on all things ‘Chance’ and the author of several books relating to the Chance Brothers.  Visit Davids websites for more information relating to the Chance Brothers. 

 Visit ChanceGlassware.uk here 

Visit ChanceGlass.Net here         

David also provided registration numbers for 2 more glasses in the BLAZONED series but so far we have not managed to attach them to an image.  The two Verre Artistique designs by Jeumont And Recquignies, who were a firm connected with Saint-Gobain, are strong contenders.  Saint-Gobain’s design No 101 is another possibility.  (See the French glass section). 

Jeumont And Recquignies Art Deco Glass Design Jeumont And Recquignies Art Deco

Where light is essential, but also obscurity to the gaze of neighbours, you will find both ” Cirrus ” and ” Centric ” effective.  If need be, these rolled and patterned glasses can be made in colour – ruby ; pot blue, pot amber , pot green

Centric” glasses by Chance Bros were rolled glass sheets that could be cut into shapes by the glazier, allowing various artistic effects to be created.  The size of the sheets is currently unknown but using the Centric glass sample above as a reference and considering the diameter of the roll required to print the pattern, it is reasonable to assume that Centric only came in smaller sheets.

Chance Brothers Centric Pattern can be cut into varied shapes.

Photo Samples of Chance’s Coloured Rolled Plate Glass

These are presented as ‘leaded light panels’ for effect only, unlike the genuine Victorian Glass Shop Display Panels above, these ‘panels’ were assembled in Photoshop from photographs taken at different times and places so the relative scale, angle and lighting between the samples is not accurate. 

Chance Brothers: US Patent Rolled Glass Designs

Designs registered with the US Patent Office may be slightly later dated than the UK pattern registration.

Chance Bros Company Archive

Glasgow & St Gobain designs.Chance Bros archive : Pattern listRecent documents unearthed from the Chance archives have shed new light on the origins of the Chance patterns.  Many of the patterns advertised as Chances also included “Glasgow designs” and “St. Gobain designs”.

The archives also confirm that Chance Patterns I & J were never produced.

A big thank you to Sandwell Community History and Archives Service for their help with the Chance Brothers archives, there will be more detailed updates to follow in 2021.

For more information on the Chance Brothers archive see  Laura Brett’s blog , Black Country History, West Midlands History and Chance Heritage Trust Facebook page.  The Glasgow Plate Glass, Saint-Gobain and MAXimum Daylight sections lower in this page, also contains more information relating to the Chance Brothers firm.  Chances earlier ornamental glass designs are featured in a separate article: Victorian Glass Designs


The Glasgow Plate Glass Company

Information about Glasgow Plate Glass Company has been hard to track down, but the evidence has continued to grow, and now suggests that this small Scottish glass firm were possibly the first producers of fancy figured rolled glass sheets for window glazing. 

A. Brogan & A. Malloch Patent For Rolling Glass
1945 Industrial Research And Development In The United Kingdom A Survey

Whilst we can find no advertising published by G.P.G.C. it would seem probable that Chance Bros or ‘C. & J. Malloch who were glass merchants in Glasgow with family ties to Andrew Malloch promoted and distributed their products.  Once Chance had acquired the Scottish firm all the designs came under the Chance brand name.   

Glasgow Plate Glass Company Information

The Glasgow Glass Works was established in 1871 by John Malloch in Garscube Road, Firhill, Glasgow to concentrate on ‘rolled and rough glass’ production, his son Andrew Murray Malloch (1863–1914) joined the family firm.  

In 1884  Anthony Dixon Brogan & Andrew Murray Malloch filed a patent for “Improvements in the manufacture of chequered glass’.  In 1887 they patented a new machine for rolling ‘rippled and dappled’ sheet-glass – soon followed by some of the most popular glass patterns of all time including ‘Diaper’ and ‘Muranese’ which are still in (limited) production today. 

Circa 1874 Glasgow Plate Glass Co built a glassworks at 99 Murano Street, Firhill on the banks of the Forth and Clyde Canal.  Additions were made at the site in 1891.  Close by at, 109 Murano Street was another large-scale glassworks, The Caledonia Glass Bottle Works.

1888 Glasgow Rolled Plate Glass Patent14 December 1886 Anthony Dixon Brogan & Andrew Murray Malloch patented a table rolling machine “APPARATUS FOR ROLLING GLASS TO PRODUCE DESIGNS THEREON”, No. 16,366.  A US patent application was filed March 14, 1887. Serial No. 230,879.  An earlier patent for a table rolling machine was registered in England April 28, 1893, No. 8,555, and September 16, 1893.

Glasgow Plate Glass & Chance Brothers

Brogan & Malloch took up a license to use the more efficient Chance Brothers patent machinery (circa 1890-1892) for the manufacturing of their own registered designs for ornamental figured glass sheets.  It would seem most likely that David Fulton & Co. (also in Glasgow) produced the embossing rollers.

Chance Brothers & Glasgow Plate Glass CoThe first negotiations in 1895 between Chance Bros and The Glasgow Plate Glass Company, to form a joint Limited Liability Company fell through, but  Chance Bros purchased the works in 1907 and transformed them into a Limited Liability Company.  Brogan and Malloch were retained as managers but in 1911 Glasgow Plate Glass Ltd was renamed Chance Brothers & Co.

In the 1930’s the factory was redeveloped by Chance for fibre-glass production and in 1938 the Firhill company was renamed Glass Fibres Limited.  The Glasgow glassworks passed to Pilkington when they acquired Chance, who closed the works in 1964. 

Trade Journal August 1911 “Resolved June 13, confirmed June 30:- ‘That the firm would be wound up voluntarily’ C. M. Bayne 99 Murano St Glasgow.”

Trade Journal 

Glasgow Plate Glass Patterns

See Chance Bros. archives above for a detailed list of the Glasgow patterns.  All patents were registered to Anthony Dixon Brogan & Andrew Murray Malloch.

“‘ART’: Trade name of former Glasgow plate Glass Co (UK) for patterned glass  Obsolete.”

Scintilla Cathedral GlassScintilla Cathedral” (triple hammered) Registered design# 575643 – March 1911  – The last design credited to Glasgow P.G.C.

Glasgow Plate Glass: US Patent Rolled Glass Designs

Designs registered with the US Patent Office may be dated slightly later than the UK pattern registration.

MAXimum light Window Glass Company

“Special forms of Rolled Colourless Glass such as “Maximum Light” and “Cat’s Eye” are made to give a very brilliant lighting effect for dark rooms, such as those in basements or in other bad positions in the building”

Maximum Daylight Company Prism Glass

Maximum Light Window Glass Company published adverts circa 1910.   Their advertised address was 28 Victoria St London England.  The glass was made by Chance Bros. but advertised as ‘British Production Prismatic Glass’.  

Chances registered “Maximum daylight glass” -registered trademark no. 310554 (1897).

Cat’s Eye Glass” was followed by “Modified Cat’s Eye” and “New Cat’s Eye” but after 1915 we find no further mention of Cat’s Eye glass being advertised.

MAX Silk Glass” (SGG No.30) “A new glass for office partitions, having the appearance of watered silk.  Can be used in any position where an artistic effect is desired”  Max Silk Glass

MAXine‘ was another product, but we have no details yet.

Pilkington Brothers: Patent Rolled Textured Glass

Pilkington Brothers-advert-1924Pilkington’s of St Helens have been the biggest name in sheet glass for over one hundred years.  in 1898 Pilkington’s patented the process for producing rolled wire glass whereby the mesh is sandwiched between 2 layers of glass that fuse together.  But Pilkington’s most important invention was a commercially viable float glass line, most architectural glasses produced today use the float tank process.

“Pilkington Texture Glass is translucent, transmitting diffused light while maintaining privacy. It offers a wide selection of alternatives, meeting both functional and aesthetic requirements and may be used for privacy in commercial, industrial and residential buildings. It may also be used for decorative purposes in applications such as doors, partitions and balustrades.  A rolled patterned glass, one surface of which has a specific pattern or design impressed into the surface, Pilkington Texture Glass provides obscuration and decoration.”

Following earlier patents registered in 1891 and 1894 by Windle Pilkington in 1899 William Pilkington patented a new machine for producing figured rolled glass, using moveable tables.  The design was imprinted on the lower surface.  It is unclear if Pilkington adopted this process, but they did continue to produce table rolled figured glass until the 1930’s.  The more economical tank furnaces and continuous rolling process that were introduced in 1903-4 for producing cathedral glass at Pilkington’s Ravenhead plant were a success.  “By the early 1930’s only special colours, patterns and thicknesses of figured rolled and rolled plate glass were still being made by the old table method”.  

Pilkington Bros. Figured Rolled Glass Patent“The object of this invention is to provide machinery whereby sheets of glass can be more easily and economically rolled with a pattern or figure and whereby the pattern or figure is formed more clear and distinct and is less liable to be distorted, and also whereby the sheets of glass when rolled can be readily inserted into the annealing-kiln without risk of being crumpled or distorted or fractured.”  

In 1910 Pilkington Bros patented a new rolled patterned glass process whereby two sheets of hot glass, at least one of which carried an imprinted design, were fused together.  The figured surfaces, carrying the design, were sandwiched inside leaving two smooth surfaces; one or both layers of glass could be coloured.  

Hitherto figured glass plate has been made by rolling the metal in a more or less plastic condition either between a smooth roller and a figured roller or between a smooth table and figured roller, whereby the’ sheet of glass was produced smooth on one side and figured on the other, that is to say’ with a pattern in relief or in intaglio. Glass so formed, as will be obvious, is somewhat difficult to keep clean owing to dust and the like tending to lodge in the recesses caused by the figuring, into which recesses it is difficult to get a cloth or the like for cleaning purposes.  By the present invention a figured glass plate is formed which is smooth on both its surfaces, so that the above-mentioned drawbacks are obviated.

We have found no advertising from this time to suggest that this patent process was used to make residential glazing although for hospitals and the like  where easy cleaning was a priority. 

 …”special glass made by Messrs. Pilkington Brothers, Ltd., St. Helens, was utilised largely for the lower windows. This is the morocco pattern figured rolled glass ; while showing an obscure pattern, it is smooth on both sides, thus fulfilling the sanitary requirements of the Infirmary Committee. The same firm supplied a large quantity of their prismatic glass, ordinary sheet and rolled plate glass for use in the building.”  1908  ref Manchester Royal Infirmary. 

Crystallined” was the trade name used by Pilkingtons for ‘Glue Chipped’ glass.

1976: . “New Chameleon glass from Pilkington. Chameleon, a new type of coloured, patterned glass is now being produced by Pilkington.”. It is made with colour and pattern within the body of the glass, leaving the surface smooth.

Designers for Pilkington Glass

 David Fulton & Co of Glasgow supplied engraved rollers and designs (1924 to at least 1961).  1957:  “Seven new patterns of cathedral and figured rolled glasses designed by Lady Margaret Casson” (1913-1999), wife of Architect Sir Hugh Casson;  Industrial designer Dr Beresford Evans; Brian Yale designed ‘Cotswold’;  Nikki Blustin at Oliver Heath  ‘Designs took inspiration from the natural world

“A variety of methods have been adapted over the years to discover new patterns for glass which are suitable for manufacture and aesthetic or practical in their appeal to the trade and to the public.  For example, the Pilkington Group, in addition to maintaining a close liaison since 1924 with David Fulton & Co Ltd, encouraged their own employees to put forward suggestions”

“Trial rollers are cut , reducing the designs to about ten different strips on a roller, short lengths of glass are made.  Theses accurate samples are studided from both manufacturing and artistic points of view and to determine wether on not a design is as attractive on glass as it looks on paper.  A final selection of perhaps six designs is then marketed by the Pilkington Group sales department and distributed to trade and professional people all over the world, whose later demands will decide which will find a permanent place in their design range.  On average up to three designs out of fifteen originally selected survive these stringent tests and go forward into mass production.”

Pilkington Brothers BrazilPilkington Brothers International Operations 

including; New Zealand, India, Mexico, Brazil, Singapore, Zimbabwe, China & Hong Kong

“..think in terms of the export to the market they are aiming to serve, to study on the spot the customers’ needs, rather than to try and pick the competitors’ brains; to go, if need be, to the Argentine, or to Ghana or to India, or maybe it is to Canada or to Australia or to France, where the particular product is to be sold, and try to see what kind of things are likely to be wanted there, what suits that climate, that quality of light, that tradition, those conditions generally; and design in accordance with that, not in accordance either with what is being used here or what is being designed in some quite different place. We must try to link our own native genius and habits with the need of the market which we are trying to serve” Sir Harry Pilkington, Chairman 1957

Hindusthan, India – Pilkington Glass Works Ltd., a subsidiary of Pilkington Brothers Ltd. – Established in 1954 with its registered office in Calcutta. 

The Indian rolled glass plant was erected in October 1963 and was soon producing Wired Glass , both Georgian and Hexagonal and Figured Glass of various patterns viz . Mauresque Morocco Pinhead , Reeded, Hammered, Pinstripe, Spotlyte, Reedrop, Twinkel etc.  Various colours and tints were in production as well as Calorex heat-absorbing glass.

Pilkington Brothers patterned Glass & Cathedral Glass Designs 

A circa date only represents the earliest date we currently have for a patterns existence.  The ‘collection’ is presented on a generic Pilkington background.

Mostly current designs are not included but they can be found at the end of this article.

“Pilkington Brothers, Limited, manufacturers of plate, bevelled plate, corrugated rolled, chequered rolled, and cathedral rolled, patent rolled and rough cast plate, patent wired rolled glass, patent rolled prismatic glass, figured rolled, enamelled, obscured, coloured and ornamental window glass of brilliant cut glass, bent glass and embossed glass; shades and miscellaneous articles for horticultural and dairy purposes, glass for photographic purposes”

Photo Samples of Pilkingtons’s Coloured Rolled Plate Glass

These are presented as ‘leaded light panels’ for effect only, unlike the genuine Victorian Glass Shop Display Panels above, these ‘panels’ were assembled in Photoshop from photographs taken at different times and places so the relative scale, angle and lighting between the samples is not accurate. 

Pilkington Bros: US Patent Rolled Glass Designs

Designs registered with the US Patent Office may be dated later than the UK pattern registration.

1923 Pilkington Figured Rolled & Cathedral Glass

1923 Pilkington Cathedral Glasses“Pilkington’s Figured Rolled and Cathedral Glass is made in a great variety of artistic tints.  Nineteen Figured Patterns are made in about one dozen of the most popular tints, including shades of Blue, Amber and Pink.  The figured glass patterns are :- Arctic Large; Arctic Small; Muranese Small, Muranese Medium; Muranese Large; Pinhead Morocco; Cretan; Oceanic; Rose; Maltese; Japanese; Kaleidoscope; Rippled; Quilted; Persian; Shell; Arabesque

Small Hammered and Double Rolled Cathedral are made in about 100 different sades, including Green, Blue, Amber and Pink.  Clear Cathedral, Waterwite, Rimpled, Plain Cathedral and Large Hammered Cathedral are made in the same tints as the patterns above, and can also be had in a number of other standard tints.  Bullions are made to order in white and in many of the Cathedral tints for glazing in doors and leaded lights.”

1938 Pilkington Glass: Trade catalogue

1938 cathedral glass & figured rolled glass range by Pilkington Bros.  The images are a composite created in photoshop combining two pages of the book into one image.

Flat glass pattern names: Amazon, Arctic, Arctic (small), Clear cathedral, Clouded cathedral, Double rolled cathedral, Hammered cathedral no. 1 (large), Hammered cathedral no. 2 (small), Hammered cathedral no. 3, Japanese, Kaleidoscope (large), Kaleidoscope, Majestic, Morocco (large), Morocco (small), Morocco (pinhead), Muranese no. 1 (large), Muranese no. 2 (medium), Muranese no. 3 (small), Plain cathedral, Rimpled cathedral, Rippled cathedral, Waterwrite cathedral.

1950s Pilkington Glass Designs & Textures

1949:  “Pilkington Bros Ltd have introduced three new patterns , named Argent , Borealis and Cross Flexon .

Clouded Cathedral, Cross Flexon, Harlequin, Majestic & Radiant were discontinued in 1951. 

Pilkington Glass Patterns 1954




Pilkington / Chance  circa 1955

Extracted from the catalogue of Baxendale & Co. Ltd., Miller Street, Manchester.  Baxendales were a  large builders merchant in the North West of England, with their headquarters in Manchester and  branches in Liverpool, Edinburgh and Dublin.

Most of the glass patterns are by Pilkington Brothers, who by then owned Chance’s.  The original source for this trade catalogue claimed it to be from 1938 but 1958 would be more accurate.

1960’s Pattern Range by Pilkington

1960: New patterns by Pilkingtons in figured rolled glass : Coralyte , Atlantic , Frostlyte , Pacific .

Withdrawn in 1960: Argent, Japanese, Kaleidoscope.  Withdrawn in 1963: Major Reeded  Hammerstripe, Coralyte, Mersey.  Withdrawn in 1969: ‘Pinstripe’, ‘Feathered’, ‘Luminating’ & ‘Glasgow Hammered’ 

Discontinued by 1962:  Lustre, , Muranese – all sizes, Morocco – all sizes,  Double Rolled, Rimpled,  Hammered No.1 & No.3, Glistre – all sizes,  

1962 Pilkington Glass range

new selection of 26 patterns in decorative rolled and wire glass 

Group 1 : Flemish Large, Flemish Small, Glasgow Hammered, Kaleidoscope, Festival, Hammered No2, Arctic Large, Arctic Small, Stippolyte, 

Group 2: Plain Cathedral, Reedrop, Rimpled, Frostlyte, Pacific, Shiplyte, Atlantic, Coralyte, Sparkel, Borealis, Fluted Rolled No 1

Group 3: Spotlyte, Hammerstripe, Pinstripe, Luminating, Broad Reeded, Cross Reeded, Narrow Reeded, Broad Reedlyte, Narrow Reedlyte

Eight standard tints: three green, two blue and three amber.

1964 Pilkington’s Glass Designs

  Twenty-nine types of glass, including three just introduced by the company : Siesta , Cotswold , and Rattan

Glasgow Hammered Plain Cathedral . Reedrop . Rimpled . ( c ) Festival Hammered No . 2 Frostlyte . Pacific . Shiplyte . … ( d ) Arctic . Atlantic . Hammerstripe . Pinstripe Cross Reeded . Broad Reedlyte . Narrow Reedlyte 

1968: “Pilkington Deep Flemish for a bold design on light.  Bold , brilliant Deep Flemish “

“Pilkington does not accept the criticism that the range of its figured glasses has been unduly narrowed.  Since 1963 six patterns have been withdrawn and four new patterns introduced; of the 27 patterns at present offered, 14 represent 86% of the total demand, indicating that there is no strong case for a wider range of designs” 1967

1956 Pilkington Muroglass advertCurtain Wall Cladding

Muroglass provided both ‘protective’ and ‘decorative’ cladding to buildings and came in a range of colours:  Advertised in July 1956 as “the new coloured glass cladding material. Colours now available are: green, red, grey, yellow, pale blue, deep blue and white. Additional colours are to be added to the range.”

1970’s Pilkington Patterned & Textured  Glass Designs


30 glass patterns including new designs:   Discus [1970], Autumn [1970], Patchwork [c1972], Everglade [c1974],  Orbit [1973], Linkon [1974]

Established designs:  Cross Reeded, Spotlyte, Driftwood, Flemish, Deep Flemish, Pacific, Reedrop, 

In 1974 Pilkington started to offer ‘multi packs’ of their patterned glass sheets to merchants, in order to encourage a greater uptake of the full pattern range.  Previously patterned glass sheets were only supplied in ‘full end cans’. 

Chameleon glass


the Merseyside based glass manufacturer , announced the launching of a new type of flat glass with transparent colour patterns imprinted in the surface of the glass , leaving it smooth with none of the uneven textures of traditional rolled patterned glasses

 “achieved by using an electric current to pulse the colour pattern into the surface of the float before it cools.  The equipment is preset to the desired pattern beforehand.”

1976: “New Chameleon glass from Pilkington. Chameleon, a new type of coloured, patterned glass is now being produced by Pilkington.”. It is made with colour and pattern within the body of the glass, leaving the surface smooth.  Chameleon differs from the traditional pattern glasses in that its colours vary with the angle of view and the lighting conditions.  It is transparent making it suitable where clear vision through glass is important.”

1980s Textured Glass by Pilkington

Spotlyte was withdrawn 1981 – 1984;  Hammered No2 was withdrawn 1987;  Festival was withdrawn from 1973 – 1976

Cameo is a 5mm decorative glass which is produced in Australia, with a ‘ wrought iron ‘ screen printed surface pattern.

Oct 1986 Prisma “the first new pattern in four years”, “Strong geometric design”


1994 Pilkington Textured Flat Glass Patterns:

Arctic“, Cotswold“, “Autumn“, “Deep Flemish“, “Chantilly“, “Driftwood“, “Everglade“, “Linkon“, “Flemish“, “Matrix“, “Florielle“, “Mayflower“, “Minster“, “Rough Cast“, “Pelerine“, “Stippolyte“, “Reeded“, “Sycamore“, “Taffeta“, “Warwick“.  Etched designs: “Brocade”, “Canterbury”, “Laurel”, and “Ravenna”.

2008 Pilkington’s Textured Flat Glass Designs:

Arctic“, “Stippolyte“, “Flemish“, “Cotswold“, “Autumn” , “Sycamore“, “Mayflower“, “Minster“, “Warwick“, “Everglade“, “Taffeta“, “Pelerine“, “Chantilly“, “Charcoal Sticks“, “Digital“, “Florielle“, “Contora“and “Oak“.

The differences between the 1994 and 2008 product range are:

Discontinued glass designs: Deep Flemish, Driftwood, Linkon, Reeded, Matrix, Rough Cast

New glass designs introduced: Charcoal Sticks, Contora, Digital and Oak.  All these new patterns are still in production and detailed in the “Current Glass” section near the end of the article.

T. and W. Farmiloe Glass AdvertT. and W. Farmiloe

“window glass and lead merchants”

T. & W. Farmiloe Ltd. was a glass, lead, paint and sanitary-ware manufacturing company in Westminster, London.

In the 1840s, two brothers named Thomas and William Farmiloe, set up a business as window glass cutters at Rochester Row, Westminster.  They were early distributors of British figured rolled glasses from the factories of Pilkington, Chance and Glasgow and in 1903 registered their own sheet-glass design.  This design was named “Oceanic’ and adopted by many producers including Pilkington Bros,  Saint-Gobain and Mississippi Glass Co.  Their second design was ‘Baltic’in 1915 which was produced by Pilkington, Chance and Saint-Gobain.

1903: T and Farmiloe Patent 'Oceanic' Glass DesignThomas and William Farmiloe Patent Glass DesignBaltic Pattern

James Hartley and Co. / Hartley Wood

Although Hartley’s introduced the first rolled glass to have a textured pattern, we have found no evidence that they ever produced a fancy figured rolled glass sheet. Hartley’s did produce Cathedral Glass and contributed to the development of coloured glass, used for stained glass work.  

In the UK, Hartley licensed his patent to Pilkington Bros and Chance Bros, for 500 pounds per furnace per year, and these three companies worked together to defended the patent.

Hartley, Chance and Pilkington agreement

Hartley’s glassworks primarily became world famous for producing ‘Hartleys Patent Plate’, a rough rolled roofing glass.

“The rough rolled plate (often called Hartley’s rolled plate) is also somewhat obscured and having flutes on one side, either in fine lines near together, or with 4 or 11 flutes to the inch run ; it is only made in one quality, in 1’8 in., 3/16 in., 1/4 in., and 3/8 in. thickness, and is mostly used for top lights of lanterns, greenhouses and in roofs where too much light is not required… Diamond or quarry rough plate is similar to rough rolled plate, but having the flutes rolled in diamond or lozenge shaped patterns.”

In 1892 Hartley Wood and Co were producing ‘Antique glass’, the favoured sheet of the stained glass window artists,  at the Portobello Glassworks after foreign competition forced the closure of their Wear Glassworks in that same year. The Continental firms could produce their sheet-glass much cheaper by using tank furnaces.  Hartley Wood’s production of machine-made rolled sheet glass ceased in 1892.

European Glass: Klarglas / Verres imprimés / Ornamentglass / Vidrios Impresos



French Glass:


Saint-Gobain, Chauny & Cirey Printed Glass

Verres coulés, imprimés ou texturés clairs & colorés


Old Window Glass: History of Textured and Patterned Sheet Glass 4In 1890 Saint-Gobain took up a Chance Brothers license for the production of double rolled figured glass, supplying mainland Europe, which became the start of a close working relationship between the two firms. Saint-Gobain started their production using Chance’s and Glasgow’s patterns before starting to introduce their own patent designs in 1899, which they shared with Chance Brothers.  

They adopted a numerical system instead of naming the designs which can be useful to date the patterns in general terms, but the numbers represent when the pattern was incorporated into the St-Gobain range rather than when it was first designed.  


Old Glass Patterns Printed by Saint-Gobain, Chauny & Cirey: 1890 – 1940

‘Verre imprimé , a relief de St-Gobain, Chauny & Cirey”