The plate, which accompanies this article, is
a representation of a shew-room, 57 feet long and 21 broad, fitted up with
great taste, and forming part of the extensive premises of Messrs. Pellatt
and Green, glass-makers to the king, St. Paul's church-yard. In this
room is exhibited an elegant assortment of glass, china and earthen-ware,
in a word, of all those articles of humble utility, or costly decoration,
which are to be found in the principal glass-shops of this metropolis.
The manufacture of glass was not introduced
into England till the year 1557. The finer sort was first made in
Crutched Friars, and flint glass, little inferior to that of Venice,
in the Savoy-house, in the Strand. This manufacture appears to have
been much improved in 1635, when it was carried on with sea-coal or
pit-coal instead of wood; and a monopoly was granted to Sir Robert
Mansell, who was allowed to import the fine Venetian flint glasses for
drinking, the art of making which was not brought to perfection till the
conclusion of the seventeenth century. Since that period, however, so
much attention has been paid to the making of glass of every description,
that our manufacturers are allowed to excel those of any other nation,
in the superior quality of their productions, as well as in the style
and ingenuity of the cutting. Such, indeed, is the perfection which they
have attained, that these brilliant articles contribute not a little to
the internal embellishment of the mansions of the great and wealthy.
In the manufacture of porcelain also British
ingenuity has been lately exercised with such success, as to be making
a rapid progress to an equality with other countries, by which it has
hitherto been excelled. On the other hand, the superiority of our
earthen-ware is universally acknowledged, and is particular attested
by the vast quantities which are continually exported to every quarter
of the globe. Its utility, indeed, is so extensive, that it would be
difficult to devise a substitute equally cheap, elegant, and convenient;
and with respect not only to this, but likewise to glass and china,
it may be truly affirmed, that they are become articles of necessity as
well as ornament.
England has lately derived considerable
advantages from the useful inventions of many ingenious men. Among these
should be classed Messrs. Pellatt and Green's Glass Illuminators, for
admitting day-light into the internal parts of ships and buildings,
for which they have obtained a patent
The benefit derived from the application of this invention is incalculable,
and its advantages are such as to increase, in a surprising degree, the
comfort of our tars in particular, which the following statements sufficiently
COPY OF A LETTER RECEIVED FROM CAPT. LLEWELLEN.
Messrs. Pellatt and Green,
I feel such satisfaction in being able
to substantiate the value of your patent illuminators; by a fair and
regular trial of them in two vessels I am concerned in, the George and
the Weymouth, to prove their utility. I caused the forecastle scuttles
to be shut, and we found but little difference in the light below;
a sailor was mending his stocking when we went in the forecastle, and
after we had closed the scuttles, he resumed his employment, and saw to
work without any difficulty. I had only fixed one of your illuminators
in each ship. The sailors are particularly pleased, and I heard them
declare, they would sail for less wages in a ship that had your lights
fixed, than in a ship without them.
I am certain, when their value will become
known, that every ship, particularly small ships, will not go without
them; they greatly add to the comforts of a common sailor, who, in bad
weather, when the hatches are obliged to be closed, is not at a loss
to find his clothes, he can be upon deck immediately, and would be the
means of saving sails that were in the act of splitting, for want of
immediate assistance; and may I not add, that crew, ship, and cargo,
might be saved by having immediate help in a sudden squall?
I am willing to bear testimony to any
improvement that proves useful to a ship, and tends, in any way, to
add to the comforts of the seamen; and I feel myself, in justice to your
invention, bound to write you this account.
I am, Gentlemen, &c., &c.,
No. 7, Great St. Thomas Apostle,
Aug. 25, 1807.
The Rodney, Captain Curtis, arrived at
Baltimore in June, 1808, from Liverpool, after a passage of 78 days,
20 of which the crew were on short allowance; and had it not been for
the patent illuminators, which were fixed in various parts of the deck,
enabling them to see between decks to mend their sails, during the violent
storm they experienced, must inevitably have perished, having no sail
to carry them to their desired port; and the safety of the ship and crew
were wholly attributed to the patent glass illuminators, which gave
them ample light below, and completely resisted the force of the sea.
This circumstance excited the curiosity of hundreds of people, which,
it may be said, literally flocked on board the Rodney to view the effects
and utility of the illuminator. Every ship-owner and master in those
parts, is anxious to obtain them.
The patentees have also the approbation
of the Hon. Captain Blackwood, R. N. Captain Pickford, R. N. and, in
short, every other naval officer who has seen their invention applied;
and when its advantages are considered, we cannot doubt that it will
prove beneficial to themselves in the same proportion as it adds to the
comfort of others.