About Us


The award winning World of Glass opened in Millennium year 2000 and since then has welcomed visitors from all over the UK, Europe and the USA, in fact from all over the world.  Glass has been part of the history of St Helens town for over 250 years and played a major part in the industrial revolution, but the towns history is a rich tapestry of industrialists and individuals who you probably know name of but never knew of its connection with St. Helens.

Hosting both the St. Helens Boroughs’ heritage collection and Pilkington Glass Collection, TWOG is also home to our very own glassblowing studio, three screen film show, two contemporary art galleries  and the No. 9 Jubilee Cone building – the first continuous glass making furnace in England built by Mr Windle William Pilkington of the famous Glass making firm of Pilkington Brothers.

3100 BC

Earliest glass artefacts found in Egypt

2000 BC

In the 16th century B.C., craftsmen started making hollow vessels by gathering molten glass around a temporary core.

1500 BC

Small glass articles made from moulds have been found in Egypt and Mesopotamia (now Iraq and Syria). The first glass was produced probably

650 BC

First glass making manual was written, Assyrian Assurbanipal’s Library

1 AD

Glassmakers on the Syro-Palestinian coast, then part of the Roman Empire, discovered that they could more easily form objects by inflating a gob

25-400 AD

Rapid development and growth of glass melting, working and forming technology in the Mediterranean region during the Roman Era

100 AD

Glass cost rapidly declines and for the first time becomes available to ordinary citizens

500 AD

After the Roman Empire collapsed in 476 A.D., tastes in glass changed. Cutting, engraving, and enamelling disappeared.  In Frankish glass, the most sophisticated

600-699 AD

Strong Islamic influence.  At the beginning of the seventh century, Muslims conquered lands extending from central Europe to Spain. Glassmaking flourished through the

1000 AD

Domination of Venice glass centre in glass production. Murano Island became a major glass centre.


”Broad Sheet” was first produced in Sussex


French glassmakers produced ”crown glass” in Rouen, France


During the Renaissance, luxury glassmaking flourished, especially in Italy.


Angelo Barovier invented ”cristallo”, a thin, colorless glass that resembled rock crystal.


Knowledge of Venetian glass working techniques spread, making identification of objects challenging, so they are referred to as Venetian or façon de Venise.


Development of glass telescope and microscope lenses in Netherlands


Caspar Lehman, a Prague glassmaker, used the technique of cutting rock crystal to glass


France became a major power in the glass industry


The first American glass was made by settlers in Jamestown


Introduction of coal furnaces in England


Production of ”Blown plate” was produced in London


Chemist Johann Kunckel produced deep red glass in Potsdam by adding gold chloride to the batch.


English glassmaker George Ravenscroft patented a formula for lead glass, heavy, clear glass, ideal for cutting. The English achieved this effect by adding


“Polished plate“ was produced in France


William of Orange passed a law that lifted taxes on distilled spirits and encouraged development and expansion of this industry


With the growth of industrialization and the middle class, there was an increasing demand for elegant consumer goods in Europe and America. Glassmakers


Glass Excise Act passed in England


”Crystal glass” production began a new era in glass industry


Glassworks of polished plate glass were established at Ravenhead, St Helens in England


Industrial revolution dawned a new era in glass industry. Synthetic glasses with improved properties were available for the first time


The pressing machine, developed in the 1820s, was America’s most important contribution to the glass industry. It tripled the production of tableware, which


Robert Lucas Chance introduced “Improved Cylinder Sheet“


Henry Bessemer introduced an early form of “Float glass“


James Hartley invented “Rolled plate“


More than six million visitors attended the first of these fairs, the 1851 Great Exhibition in London’s Crystal Palace, which was in itself


First regenerative glass furnace was patented in German by Siemens brothers, Freiderich, Karl, Hans, Werner and Wilhelm


Technical glasses were developed in Germany


Art Nouveau (New Art) refers to many different artistic styles that emerged in the 1880s, including Arts and Crafts, the Aesthetic movement, and


Windle William Pilkington produces continuous glass at the No9 Jubilee Cone Building, St Helens, using the first regenerative glass furnace in England.

1890 – 1960

The development of Modernism in the decorative arts is part of the legacy of Art Nouveau.


Clean lines, defined colour and the absence or judicious use of surface decoration characterize Modernism in glass from 1900 forward.


An automatic glass blowing machine was invented by Michael Owens – The Owens Bottling Machine


Technique of “Flat Drawn Sheet“ was introduced in Belgium


The Art Deco style, with many sources of inspiration including the geometric aspects of Art Nouveau, Cubism, and tribal art, dominated design between

1950 – 1960

Glass science became a major research discipline. Major glass research centre was established by Ford Motor Co


“Float glass” was invented in UK by Sir Alistair Pilkington at Pilkignton Glass in St. Helens


Art glass changed dramatically after 1960. Following experimental workshops led by Harvey K. Littleton and Dominick Labino, artists began to work hot glass


First fluoride glass was discovered by Marcel and Michael Poulain and Jacques Lucas in Rennes, France

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World of Glass

World of Glass