James Powell bought a glass factory in 1834, in the Whitefriars area of London, back then the glassworks was called James Powell & Sons. James' three sons, Arthur Powell, Nathanael Powell and John Powell, ran the factory from 1840. Originally the company made stained glass, and scientific and industrial glass. Whitefriars began making glass tableware during the 1860's. in 1875, Nathanael's son, Harry James Powell, joined Whitefriars, and ran the company until 1919 and created many designs. In 1923, the company relocated to a new factory in Middlesex. Designers at Whitefriars during the 20's, 30's and 40's were Arthur Marriott Powell, William Butler, Barnaby Powell, William Wilson, and James Hogan. In 1954 Geoffrey Baxter joined the design team, and launched his very successful textured glass range in 1967, which included bark vases, the banjo vase, and of course the drunken bricklayer vase. The Whitefriars factory closed in 1980.
Sources: 20th Century Factory Glass by Lesley Jackson.