Late 1870s

In the late 1870s, the firm was offering two types of plant protector or frame:

The “Novel” Plant Protector and Melon Frame

The first was a span framed plant protector made of iron and glass and described as being “imperishable”. production from at least 1877, when it was described as being met with “universal approval”. They consisted of an iron frame with sides of glass, wood, or brickwork. The sashes were constructed using of well-seasoned 2in. red deal, glazed with 21 oz. English sheet glass, painted four coats good white-lead and oil. The 1877 catalogue entry describes a unique selling point:

The principal advantages are, that the lights are held open, quite fast, at any height required, leaving both hands free to work inside the frame. The lights on either side may be pushed completely under those of the opposite side when free access for working is desired, or they may be lifted off entirely. They are the only Plant Protectors that fulfil every required condition for convenience in use, durability, and economy in cost.


Plant Protector and Melon Frame – 1877 Catalogue

It had been no doubt been in production when the new owners took over the firm in 1875. It was still in production in the early 1910s, when it constructed using an iron rib with ½in. thick vertical glass slabs around the base that fitted into pockets in the rib; slate slabs were available as an alternative to glass around the base, although the firm recommend glass. There was also the option of mounting the protector on bricks, which removed the need for a glass or slate around the base. Again, the lights were made of 2in. thick well-seasoned red deal, painted with three coats of white lead and fitted with 21oz. sheet glass. The lights were held open by iron legs and the whole structure could be easily dismantled and/or fixed by a single person. It was only available in one width, 7ft. but in five lengths, 12ft., 16ft., 20ft., 24ft. and 28ft.


The Cucumber or Melon Frame or Box

The second, marketed as a cucumber or melon frame or box, came in a single size, 9ft. x 6ft. lean-to type arrangement were manufactured with red deal sides. The glazed lights, which came in a single size, 9ft. x 6ft., were operated by simply sliding them and down. However, the frame could also be purchased in a configuration that allowed the lights to open as in the “Novel” Plant Protector and Melon Frame. The frame was designed such that it could be operated by a single person, capable of being set-up and dismantled “in a few minutes”.


Cucumber or Melon Frame – 1877 Catalogue

Price Lists


Novel Plant Protector and Frame Price list – 1877 Catalogue
Plant Protector Price list – 1880 Artistic Conservatories Catalogue