OslerF & C

Biography

F & C Osler was first given life when Thomas Osler made small glass trinkets at the Glass Toy Trade in Birmingham, 1807. Very quickly, it began creating chandeliers, when an order was placed for icicle drops in which the possibility of chandeliers was seen. However, the business really took off when Follett Osler, Thomas’ son, was given control in 1831. He had a mind for business, and as such could concentrate on original designs and sales in the context of a declining market for glassware. A break came in 1847 when Egypt’s leader order a pair of candelabra for the tomb of Prophet Mohammed in Mecca.

These were displayed at Osler’s showroom on Oxford St and there caught the eye of Prince Albert. Thus, when he was conceiving The Great Exhibition in 1851, Osler were given pride of place with an enormous fountain made of crystal in the Gothic Style. The piece was described in the brochure as ‘perhaps the most striking object in the exhibition; the lightness and beauty, as well as the perfect novelty of its design, have rendered it the theme of admiration with all visitors.’ The fountain occupied Crystal Palace until the whole building burned down in 1936. Into the 20th century, Osler, whilst Follett passed away, would continue to produce chandeliers, eventually incorporating the new electricity into their work. And it was in 1906 that the name F & C Osler was first recognised. The demand for clean glass was in decline around this time, so that pieces developed into dish lighting, metal pieces, and bowls. Osler’s activities would eventually be incorporated into Wilkinson’s in 1985.

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