For centuries the manufacture of glass was the second most important industrial activity on Tyneside and Wearside. Newcastle was for some time the national centre of bulk glass-making and by the middle of the 1800s Sunderland was the largest producer of plate glass in the country.
This important position was established at the beginning of the 1600s when leading entrepreneurs refined the process of manufacturing using coal to fuel the industry. Having transferred from the South East, plentiful raw materials and local competition ensured the technological developments in mass glass production continued - changing the face of the country.
The industry retained its importance here until the late 1800s.
Map of the Newcastle upon Tyne Electric Supply Co Ltd (NESCo) and The County of Durham Electrical Power Distribution Co Ltd electric power distribution network, about 1907