This collection of glass was accumulated by Judith Cooke, who lived at Blayney in regional NSW. Her collection was largely influenced by the advice of Marjorie Graham who was a well-known collector and writer (28 May 1924 - 30 May 1994). The glass collection was purchased by the Powerhouse Museum in 1984. The object file now includes the correspondence from Marjorie Graham to Judith Cook in which Marjorie's advice is outlined. Judith Cooke gave the correspondence to the Museum in January 2000, to accompany the glass collection.
Australian Crystal Glass Limited was established in 1915 in Wyndham Street, Alexandria, NSW, making pressed and hand blown glass. By 1917 hand blowing had ceased and only pressed continued. From 1922 to April 1926 the company became 'Crystal Glass Ltd' and then in 1926 they amalgamated with Australian Glass Manufacturer's - Crown Glass Works and became known as The Crown Crystal Glass Works Co. Ltd (ref. M. Graham, Australian Glass of the 19th and early 20th Century, p.88). By 1932 The Crown Crystal Glass Co Ltd, was based at Waterloo, and their Trademark resembled that of a 'map of Australia'.
Marjorie Graham was a passionate collector and historian. She is predominantly known for establishing a substantial collection of Australian ceramics and glassware and wrote two books on these topics: 'Australian Pottery of 19th and early 20th Century' (1979), and 'Australian Glass of the 19th and early 20th Century' (1981). In addition to her glass and ceramic collections Marjorie also collected Australian tin kitchenware, dolls, postcards, embroidered linen and cotton work, bookmarks, sheet music and biscuit tins. She was a regular contributor to The Australian Antique Collector, a lecturer on Australian Decorative Arts and an Honorary Associate of the Museum of Applied Arts and Science, Sydney. (28 May 1924-30 May 1994)
The correspondence from Marjorie Graham to Judith Cook consists of 51 letters written between March 1980 and 1994. It records Marjorie's collecting advice to Judith Cook, in which she shares her intricate knowledge of Australian glass and ceramic ware, including details relating to markings of the manufacturers (initials, numbers etc.); details on patterns and motifs presented in particular glass and ceramic pieces, descriptions of different techniques - glazes, pressed etc; and Marjorie's suggestion for Judith to write an article on her collecting experiences for the Australian Antique Collector. Other letters provide information about collecting dolls, toys, jelly moulds, furniture, old sheet music, Australian flora and fauna on Japanese pottery and porcelain, garden edging tiles, embroidery, patchwork, jewellery, WW1 memento, confectionary boxes etc.