Southwark, and Bankside in particular, was once famous for its glass industry. Glass is made by fusing sand and limestone with sodium carbonate added as an alkaline flux to lower the melting point. The image here shows the first Cone Glass House in Bankside (1688). It stood on the land occupied today by the mustard coloured Manhattan Lofts. The furnace was at the centre and the glass workers worked in the annular space within the cone in teams of men known as ‘chairs’. The team leader was known as the ‘gaffer’, the first use of this well-known word.