In 2009, Robert Elwall wrote about the impact that one British manufacturer had on 20th-century architecture…
The Crittall Manufacturing Company has made an immense contribution to modern architecture in Britain and abroad. The company was founded in 1889 in Braintree by Francis Crittall and after World War I it developed the standard metal window, with which its name is synonymous, in response to a shortage of timber and the need for cheaper materials. Its Witham works opened in 1919. Among the buildings it has supplied are Water Gropius’s Bauhaus building, Dessau (1926) and Sir Owen Williams’s famous Boots factory in Beeston. The company also built model housing for its workers at Braintree (1918-1920) and Silver End (1926-1932).
From an article by Robert Elwall, Assistant Director, British Architectural Library, and originally published in December 2009.
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