E. Breffit & Co. Ltd.

E. Breffit & Co. Ltd.

E. Breffit & Co. Ltd. was a glass bottle manufacturing company in Castleford, Yorkshire.

The business was begun in 1844 when Edgar Breffit purchased the Ryebread Glass Works and renamed it Breffit’s Glass Works. By 1868 the company owned the Aire and Calder Glass Bottle Works and the firm operated an additional glassworks at Ferrybridge until 1880. E. Breffit & Co. produced beer, jam and fruit bottles and other food containers.

The business had become incorporated as a limited company by 1884 and in the latter part of the 20th century the company was making over 20 million bottles of various kind per year.

In 1913 Breffits amalgamated with five other glass manufacturers to form United Glass Bottle Manufacturers Ltd.

The companies wanted to combine in order raise sufficient capital to acquire rights in the first successful automatic bottle making machine which had been invented by Michael Owens in the United States in 1904. Owens’ automatic bottle making machines could be built with from six to twenty arms, each blowing a bottle. The machine would cut loose the finished piece and deliver it to a conveyor taking it to the annealing oven. Since a fifteen-arm machine could do as much work as originally done by a dozen or more skilled glassworkers, there was a dramatic saving in labour costs.

In 1959 United Gass Bottle Manufacturers Ltd. shortened its name to United Glass Ltd. In 1977 United Glass was the holding company of which the glass container division, UG Glass Containers Ltd., was the largest manufacturer of glass containers in the UK.