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James Powell & Sons (Whitefriars) Ltd.



  • Existence: Approximately 1834 (date of establishment) - 1980 (date of dissolution) - 1980
  • Usage: Approximately 1834 (date of establishment) - 1963 (date of name change) - 1963
  • Usage: 1963 (date of name change) - 1980 (date of dissolution) - 1980


James Powell & Sons (Whitefriars) Ltd. was established by James Powell in 1834 in London. Powell, along with his two sons Arthur and Nathanael, had purchased what was previously known as the Whitefriars Glass Company (established about 1680). Under James Powell's direction, the company focused on making stained glass windows for churches. Powell & Sons benfited from the growth of churhces during the nineteenth century, becoming one of the main producers of stained glass windows and also providing stained glass to other companies.

Powell & Sons developed a variety of techniques that led to patents. They used decorative quarry glass for mass production, which included the use of bright yellow silver stain. In the late nineteenth century, the company expanded into more scientific innovations. This included glass for x-ray tubes and light bulbs.

After World War II, the demand for stained glass windows decreased and the focus of the company evolved. In 1963, Powell & Sons changed its name to Whitefriars Glass Ltd. The combination of British economic woes in the 1970s and the high labor costs of handmade glass led to the end of the company in 1980.