Glass, Joseph (DNB00)

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GLASS, JOSEPH (1791?–1867), philanthropist, born in 1791 or 1792, was the inventor of the chimney-sweeping machine now in use. A less successful machine was invented in 1805 by Smart, but until the production of Glass's invention the friends of the sweep were unable to carry the bill for the suppression of climbing-boys. Glass, having perfected his machine and proved its practicability, was examined before a committee of the House of Lords; the result being the act of parliament for the suppression of the old system of sweeping chimneys (1 July 1842). Glass received the silver medal and the prize of 200l., but he never patented his invention. He was actively engaged for many years, first in advocating the claims of the sweeps, and afterwards in prosecuting the masters who attempted to evade the provisions of the act. The law was made more stringent in 1864. Glass died at Brixton, Surrey, 29 Dec. 1867, in his seventy-sixth year.

[Athenæum, 11 Jan. 1868, p. 60, Times, 1 Jan. 1868, p. 1, col. 1; Gent. Mag. 4th ser. v. 259.]

G. G.