14.11. The Pottery Industry in Staffordshire

The region of the “Potteries” in North Staffordshire was – and is – composed of the “Six Towns” of Burslem, Hanley, Fenton, Longton, Stoke-upon-Trent, and Tunstall.

This industry had a great importance during the second half of the eighteenth century, and the whole of the nineteenth century. The production volume increased from practically zero (sales only to local towns) to being one of the largest export activities of Great Britain. The population of the area increased by a factor of twenty from 1740 to 1860. The male adults were the best paid manufacturing workers in England, many of them earned 30 to 40 shillings a week; but they worked 72 hours a week (they were not included in the Factory Act).

Population of the Borough of Stoke-upon-Trent

173817621785180118111821183118411861
4,0007,50015,00023,62631,01040,40851,96871,123101,302

The industry was marked by a large number of improvements in products and processes (requiring a great deal of experimentation), and also in marketing, logistics, and work-place organization. But there was little use of machinery.

Products

Already in 1700 there was a small industry of pottery-making in Burslem. This was earthenware, that is, made of clay. This clay was excavated in the plots of ground around the cottages of the master potters; the cottages had living quarters, work rooms, cow-sheds, sheds for drying the ware in the sun, and usually only one kiln. The families could divide their time between potting and farming. There were a number of types and colours of clay, which gave different products, which were then painted with “slips”, that is a watery solution of particular clays. The main products in quantity were containers for butter and cheese.  During the first half of the eighteenth century, the main product was “salt-glazed stoneware”, which was produced by firing the ware at a very high temperature, and then shovelling common salt on the product in the moment that it was removed from the kiln; this gave a hard and transparent covering to the earthenware, which made it perfect for tea and coffee pots and cups. 

The next product introduction was the “white body” (1720’s) made with a special type of clay which had been discovered in Devon, mixed with powdered flint. It is clear that the amount of production and sales must have been considerable, in order to make the transport from Devon worthwhile. For the fine grinding of flint, new processes were introduced (1730’s): “flint mills” which ground the flintstones with chert material under water. In 1732, Ralph Shaw invented a way to make earthenware similar to Chinese Porcelain; the “slip” covering was white, and could be scratched away to leave a design of the base, similar to the medieval Italian “graffiato”. Around 1750, a man named Alsager made adjustments to the potter’s wheel, so that its circular motion was much faster, and with absolute consistency in the speed. The method was as follows: “A boy turns a perpendicular wheel, which, by means of thongs, turns a small horizontal one, just before the thrower, with such velocity, that it turns round the lump of clay he lays on it, into any form he directs it with his fingers” 

(Young, 1771, Northern Tour, Vol. 3, p. 254; illustration in Knight’s The Pictorial Gallery of Arts, Charles Knight, 1845-47, Vol. 1, p. 296).            

From 1740, the Staffordshire industry started to export outside England, as the potters in total were able to produce higher weekly volumes. Enoch Booth invented to fluid lead glaze which would aid turning plain earthenware into “cream-colour”; Josiah Wedgwood was experimenting with mixtures which could advance the “cream-colour” to “Queen’s Ware”; John Warbuton was working on enamelling processes which would make the “Queen’s Ware” sellable in the whole world. Whieldon designed “solid agate”, which was the laying together of clays of different colours, which were then pressed into moulds and fired, giving the impression of agate or marble. The larger intention was to make porcelain, that is, pottery with the whole body vitrified. 

The new introduction was that of “cream-coloured” earthenware, which was made from new clay beds in Dorsetshire and Cornwall (from this time onward, 1770, local Staffordshire clays were not used): “Queen’s Ware”. A cheap method of printing designs onto glazed ware was invented in Liverpool in 1755, and was used for all Wedgwood’s “useful ware”, instead of hand painting. 

Between 1759 and 1769 he perfected the cream colour, between 1766 and 1769 the black Etruscan ware was brought to perfection, jasper body and glaze development from 1773 to 1777, jasper dip from 1780 to 1786. 

In 1766-69, Wedgwood built “Etruria”, his factory with housing annexed. The houses had two rooms and a scullery below, and two bedrooms upstairs; they were rented for 2 to 3 pounds annually. Josiah Wedgwood died in 1791.

The porcelain, up to about 1790, received the drawn designs on top of the glaze. But the presentation was much better, if the design could be added to the base material, underneath the glaze. This was generally a “blue printing”, which famously used the “willow pattern”. The mechanization of the process, in this case, the engraving of the pattern on a copper plate, which was then transferred to a sheet a transfer paper, and from the paper on to the ware, clearly reduced costs. This new presentation was “the first opportunity common folk had of getting a decorative plate to eat off” (Wedgwood, p. 132).The new product was introduced by Josiah Spode, who made a fortune out of it, from 1783 until his death in 1797. 

The son of Josiah Spode, also Josiah, introduced “bone porcelain”, as there was no real porcelain (that is, equivalent to the Chinese porcelain) in England; this was a mixture, arrived at after much experimentation, of nearly equal proportions of china clay, china stone, and bone ash, fired to a temperature of 1250º C, and then glazed with a feldspar and china-clay glaze, and refired.  

Resultado de imagen de victoria and albert wedgwood creamware

Creamware. Josiah Wedgwood: Tea and coffee service, c. 1775. Transfer-printed in purple enamel by Guy Green of Liverpool. Victoria & Albert Museum, London

Transport

The inhabitants of Burslem in the year 1762 addressed a Petition to Parliament with the following text, requesting an Act for making a Turnpike Road from the Liverpool and London Road at Lawton, to Stoke-upon-Trent, and then to unite with the Newcastle and Uttoxeter Turnpike Road. 

“In Burslem, and its neighbourhood, are near one hundred and fifty separate Potteries, for making various kinds of stone and earthenware; which, together, find constant employment and support for near seven thousand people. The ware in these Potteries is exported in vast quantities from London, Bristol, Liverpool, Hull, and other seaports, to our several colonies in America and the West Indies, as well as to almost every other port in Europe. Great quantities of flint-stones are used in making some of the ware, which are brought by sea, from different parts of the coast, to Liverpool and Hull: and the clay for making the white ware is brought from Devonshire and Cornwall, chiefly to Liverpool; the materials from whence are brought by water, up the rivers Mersey and Weaver, to Winsford, in Cheshire; those from Hull, up the Trent, to Willington; and from Winsford and Willington, the whole are brought by land-carriage to Burslem. The ware, when made, is conveyed to Liverpool and Hull, in the same manner as the materials are brought from those places.

Many thousand tons of shipping, and seamen in proportion, which in summer trade in the northern area, are employed in winter in carrying materials for the Burslem ware; and, as much salt is consumed in glazing one species of it, as pays annually near £ 5,000 duty to Government. Add to these considerations the prodigious quantity of coals used in the Potteries, and the loading and freight this manufacture constantly supplies, as well for land-carriage as inland navigation, and it will appear, that the manufacturers, sailors, bargemen, carriers, colliers, men employed in the salt-works, and others who are supported by the pot trade, amount to a great many thousand people; and every shilling received for ware at foreign markets is so much clear gain to the nation, as not one foreigner is employed in, or any material imported from abroad for any branch of it; and the trade flourishes so much, as to have increased two-thirds within the last fourteen years.”

(John Ward, The Borough of Stoke-on-Trent, W. Lewis and Son, London, 1843, pp. 28-29)

Once the production volume of the Potteries region had increased, it was necessary to improve very considerably the transport of incoming materials and of outgoing finished product. At the beginning, the clay, china, and stone were brought from Devon, Cornwall and Dorset, and the flints came from the South Coast, to Chester by sailing boat, or on the Severn. The transport from the harbour point to the manufacturing towns was by packhorses or mules. The finished crockery was sent, again on packhorses or mules, to country fairs. The first step was to construct and use turnpike roads, which then enabled the use of carts instead of animals’ backs. But the great step was in designing and excavating the Trent and Mersey Canal (also linked to the Bridgewater Canal), which was opened in 1777. This was specifically organised by Wedgwood and Whieldon, who also administered the subscription fund, in order to transport large amounts of pottery in each vessel, and without the risk of breaking the products or having them rub one against the other. At a later time, the transport was made by railway.

The project which really increased the volume of sellable produce from the Potteries area, was that of long-distance transport. In 1762 the master potters sent up a Petition to Parliament for a Turnpike Road. In 1763, we have the first “pot-wagons” and the first carrier. Transport was generally 9s. per ton for 10 miles; to Liverpool it was 28s. per ton. In 1766, a Bill for a canal to connect the Trent and Mersey rivers, passing through the Potteries area, was assented. It was to cost 300,000 Pounds. It is 93 miles long, with 75 locks, 20 feet broad at the top, 16 feet at the bottom, and 4 feet 6 inches deep. In 1786, the freight for general goods was 1 ¼ d. per ton per mile, that is, one seventh of the earlier overland cost. It was finished in 1777.

The use of all these means of transport meant that the pottery industry indirectly gave employment to a large number of persons:

“Though the manufacturing part alone, in the potteries and their vicinity, gives bread to fifteen or twenty thousand people, including the wives and children of those who are employed in it; he looks upon this as a small object when compared with the many others which depend on it, namely, 1. The immense quantity of inland carriage …. 2. The great number of people in the extensive colleries …. 3. The still greater number employed in raising and preparing its raw materials, …..  4. The coasting vessels, ….. 5. The further conveyance …. by river and canal navegation, …. 6. The re-convoyance of the finished goods ….”

(Aiken, A Description of the Country from Thirty to Forty Miles round Manchester, 1795, pp. 551-552, referring to testimony of Josiah Wedgwood to Parliament in 1785)  

Marketing

With the use of cost-efficient and large-volume transport, it was then possible to extend the volume of product which was sold, to regions outside the Midlands, particularly London and foreign countries. With these volumes, the potter entrepreneurs (particularly Wedgwood) were able to set up showrooms in London, and sell to the Royal Family, the nobility, and the new middle classes. For this type of client, it did not do any harm to offer beautiful objects of new materials, and with classical themes. 

In 1773, Wedgwood was presented with an order of immense size, which would lead to contacts with many aristocratic clients. This was the order of the Empress of Russia, requesting a dinner service of 952 pieces; the pieces had designs of well-known “Landskips” of England. When the service was about to be shipped out of England, Wedgwood had the entirety exhibited in rooms in London; being a good saleman, he arranged that in adjoining rooms, individual plates were shown, and could be bought by interested parties at a good price. 

At this time, another external event took place, which helped to increase the possibility of sales to the better classes. This was the discovery in Italy (especially Pompeii and Herculaneum) of original pieces of classical sculpture. Many were brought to England by the English Ambassador in Naples Sir William Hamilton. These were copied, or used as models, by Wedgwood, to offer really beautiful pieces of art, which could be presented in the houses of the aristocracy or of the rich. These would show what a good aesthetic sense these people had. 

Particularly, new types of pottery were invented, to manufacture the new classical designs: Black Basalt, Jasper ware, Black Etruscan. 

Low prices must beget a low quality in the manufacture, which will beget contempt, which will beget neglect, & disuse, and there is an end to the trade.”

(Wedgwood, letter to Bentley, 1772)

Wedgwood customers received free shipping anywhere in England, and compensation for damage occurred in transport. Guarantee of satisfaction or money back. 

“Josiah I established the role of travelling salesman in the late 18th C. Three travelling salesmen journeyed nation-wide gathering orders during the early 19th century. They carried hand annotated catalogues and unusual half-samples to show to prospective customers, along with earthenware tiles displaying border designs.”

(Wedgwood Museum: Marketing and Commercialisation; https://www.wedgwoodmuseum.org.uk)

Manufacturing processes

The most difficult part of the process at that time was the fine grinding of clays, flints, and stones. Originally this was done by watermills and windmills, but in many cases these machines were situated a distance of perhaps five miles from the potter’s workshop. In about 1775, Mr. Spode purchased a “fire-engine” (probably Newcomen design) for grinding his materials. In probably 1782, Josiah Wedgwood bought a Watt steam engine for use in factory “Etruria”; this was very probably the first Watt steam engine in the country to be used in industrial processes. This machine and its successors were used: to grind flint, to grind enamel colours, to operate a stamper or crusher for saggars, to temper or mix clays (“saggers” were containers made of clay, which were placed in the kilns, with a number of individual articles inside); the extreme fineness of the new grinding process made it possible to produce bone-china and semi-porcelain. Steam engines were also used by the owners of the nearby coal mines, to bring up the coal to the surface, and to pump out the water; coal was the material used to heat the kilns.  

Starting around 1800, mechanical power was also used (only in Wedgwood and Copeland factories)  to rotate the thrower’s wheels and the turning wheel. This meant that the circular movement was absolutely continuous, and thus that the craftsman could concentrate on forming correctly the article. With this exactness of the shape of the finished article, it was possible to paint the object with paper transfer from engraved copper-plates and later using lithography, instead of painting by human hand. 

Josiah Wedgwood was very focused on efficiency in his factory. He had discipline as to the hours of entering and leaving the workplace, enforced by a bell, and later by a system of paper slips which the employee gave to the door porter when he arrived and when he left. The working processes for each area and task were put down in writing (“Potters’ Instructions”). Each worker was set to work on just one type of piece during years; the idea was that he would perfect his work methods and movements (“make Artists… of … mere men”; “make such machines of the Men as cannot err”). In later years the workers were trained in the particular work and piece, from the time they were originally contracted, as Wedgwood did not like the idea of changing a person to another task after years in one task (“the same hands cannot make fine, & coarse– expensivecheap articles so as to turn to any good account to the Master”). The layout of Etruria was by workshops for each function. He was also very strict about quality, and about not wasting material. He was conscious that he was “feared, not loved”.

(McKendrick, 1961, Josiah Wedgwood and Factory Discipline, pp. 30-55)

We have from Dr. Aikin a description of the consecutive processes in making the ware:  

“A piece of the prepared mixture of clay and ground flint, dried and tempered to a proper consistence, is taken to be formed into any required shape and fashion, by a man who sits over a machine called a wheel, on the going round of which he continues forming the ware. This branch is called throwing, and as water is required to prevent the clay sticking to the hand, it is necessary to place it for a short time in a warm situation. It then undergoes the operation of being turned, and made much smoother than it was before, by a person called a turner; when it is ready for the handle and spout to be joined to, by the branch called handling.- Dishes, plates, tureens, and many other articles are made from moulds of ground plaister, and when finished, the whole are placed carefully (being then in a much more brittle state than when fired) in saggars, which in shape and form pretty much resemble a lady’s band-box without its cover, but much thicker, and are made from the marl or clay of this neighbourhood. The larger ovens or kilns are placed full of saggars so full with ware; and after a fire which consumes from twelve to fifteen tons of coal, when the oven is become cool again, the saggars are taken out, and their contents removed, often exceeding in number 30,000 various pieces; but this depends on the general sizes of the ware. In this state the ware is called biscuit, and the body of it has much the appearance of a new tobacco pipe, not having the least gloss on it. It is then immersed or dipped into a fluid generally consisting of sixty pounds of white lead, ten pounds of ground flint, and twenty pounds of a stone from Cornwall burned and ground, all mixed together, and as much water put to it as reduces it to the thickness of cream, which it resembles. Each piece of ware being separately immersed or dipped into this fluid, so much of it adheres all over the piece, that when put into other saggars, and exposed to another operation of fire, performed in the glossing kiln or oven, the ware becomes finished by acquiring its glossy covering, which is give it by the vitrification of the above ingredients. Enamelled ware undergoes a third fire after its being painted, in order to bind the colour on.

A single piece of ware, such as a common enamelled tea-pot, a mug, jug, &c. passes through at least fourteen different hands before it is finished, viz.

 The slipmaker, who makes the clay;

 The temperer, or beater of the clay;

 The thrower, who forms the ware;

 The ballmaker and carrier;

The attender upon the drying of it;

The turner who does away its roughness;

The spoutmaker;

The handler, who puts to the handle and spout;

The first, or biscuit fireman;

The persons who immerses or dips it into the lead fluid;

The second, or gloss fireman;

The dresser, or sorter in the warehouse;

The enameller, or painter;

The muffle, or enamel fireman. 

Several more are required to the completion of such piece of ware, but are in inferior capacities, such as turners of the wheel, turners of the lathe, &c. &c.”

(Aiken, 1795, pp. 533-535)

RME pages 15 and 16

Cuddon, Ambrose (publisher), A Representation of the Manufacture of Earthenware, London, 1827; Spode Exhibition Online

The strange thing is that there was very little use of machines in the pottery factories, although they were certainly well organised. All the factories used machines powered by steam engine to grind the flints and colours. Only Wedgwood and Copeland used steam power to move the thrower’s wheels and the turner’s wheels. Wedgwood invented a lathe moved by steam engine, with which raised and cut designs could be applied to the circumference of the article.

Engine turned Pottery on a 1768 Style Potters Lathe designed by Wedgwood, Don Carpentier:

Spode

A view through the factory gates showing some of the Georgian buildings behind

Drawing of the Spode site as it was in 1834, taken from an over 100 piece scale model of the Spode factory made in that year in ceramic. This astonishing model is one of the Spode Museum’s rarest possessions, we know of no other similar model anywhere. The China Terrace above can be seen on the left of the drawing just in front of two bottle ovens. The remains of the left hand oven can be seen in the photograph.

(Spode Museum Trust, https://www.spodemuseumtrust.org)

We have a large amount of information about the life of the workers – adults and children – in the Potteries in 1841, from the report of Dr. Samuel Scriven to the Commissioners of the Children’s Employment Commission. He specifically collected and commented data as to the possible dangers to the children from: handling materials and products with a lead/arsenic content, long hours, employment from an early age, walking long distances daily to take the ware from the workshop to the kilns, exposure to extreme differences in temperature and excessive currents of air. The handling of materials and products with a lead content also affected the adults. The report includes 300 interviews with children, adult workers, adults who supervise the children in their workrooms, adminstrators and owners of factories, clergymen, doctors, principals of schools, and a police chief. He visited, and took interviews, in the majority of the factories. 

The use of the “slip” (solution of clay with lead and arsenic added, in small quantities) which was painted onto the ware, did cause grave problems to the men; a few had died in the previous years, and some had a paralysis of an arm or a whole side of the body, while others had problems in the stomach and intestines. It appears that those men who who washed their arms well after working, and covered themselves properly, did not suffer these problems. The boys did not suffer much from the “slip”. The excessive walking each day did make them very tired when they went to bed, and they were in general thin. The effect on the men of working very long hours, added to the extreme distances that they walked when they were children, is seen from the fact that from 1840 to 1860, the adult men on average lost two inches of height.     

The children who are employed in painting, flower-making, moulding and engraving have an easy life. These are girls from 8 to 17 years old, and boys from 14 to 17. “They are seen sitting at their clean tables, at a comfortable distance from each other, and in an airy, commodious, and warm room, well ventilated, and heated by a stove or hot plate, on which they dress their meals. The women who superintend their work are generally selected from among the rest on the premises on account of their good moral conduct and long servitude. They commence their duties at six in the morning in summer, and at seven in winter, and leave at six. In the midst of their occupations (which have in reality more the character of accomplishments) they are allowed the indulgence of singing hymns. I have often visited their rooms unexpectedly, and been charmed with the melody of their voices. In personal appearance they are healthy, clean, and well conducted.”(p. C 4, paragraph 14)

The children interviewed were 175 in number. 40 % of them ate “beef and taties” at their midday meal in the house. 14 say spontaneously that they like their work (these are not only the painting and engraving children). Those that work with the “slip” say that it has not hurt them yet. Nearly all the mould-runners say that they go to bed very tired. The childrens’ way of expressing themselves gives the idea that they have had to grow up quickly. 

The boys say that they are never hit by the men that they work for. This is confirmed by men and women who supervise the rooms where the boys and girls work. This is clearly due to the fact that the owners are very decent persons, generally Methodists. One of the supervisors says “… on the whole there cannot be better masters”. Dr. Scriven, at the beginning of his report, writes “The manufacturers are a highly influential, wealthy, and intelligent class of men: they evince a warm-hearted sympathy for those about them in difficulty or distress, contribute as much as possible to their happiness, and are never known to inflict punishments on the children, or allow others to do so.”

There was a large amount of drunkenness in the towns, as the workers had a lot of spare money.

Monetary incomes

The labour costs in 1710-15, as transcribed by Josiah Wedgwood, on the basis of conversations with very old men in the town, were 4 to 6 shillings a week for men, and 1s. 3d. a week for boys. The total production costs for one week (one full charge for a kiln required one week for the whole process), were 4 pounds 5 shillings, including 4 shillings for the clay and 8 shillings for the coals; the profit and own wage which remained with the master was about 10 shillings. The number of potters in Burslem with own installations was about 45. The total sales volume was about 139 pounds a week, or 6,400 pounds a year.  

Wages in 1749 for expert workmen were from 5s. 6d. to 7s., with an “earnest” (signing-on bonus) of about one week’s wages.

Arthur Young gives us information as to wages in 1771:

Grinders                      7s. per week
Washers and breakers 8s.
Throwers                    9s. to 12s.
Engine lath men      10s. to 12s.    (*)
Handlers, who fix hands, and other kinds of finishers,for adding sprigs, horns, &c., 9s. to 12s.
Gilders                        men 12s., women 7s. 6d.
Modellers, apprentices, one of 100 l. a year
Pressers                      8s. to 9s.
Painters                       10s. to 12s.
Moulders in plaister of Paris  8s.  
(* footnote: Mr. Wedgwood was the first person who introduced this machine into a porcelaine manufacture) 

(Young, 1771, Northern Tour, Vol. 3, pp. 254-255)

A report from the Chamber of Commerce in 1836 gives us some data: Men 21s. to 28s., Women 10s. to 15s., Child of 14, 3s. 6d. to 4s. 6d.

(Wedgwood, 1913, p. 174)

“12. Their wages are considered the best of any staple trade in the kingdom, averaging, when in full work – that is, 12 hours per day, or 72 hours per week (deducting 1 ½ hour for meals):-

                                                            
£   s.  d.                                                          £   s.  d. 
Slip Makers             1 19   0                     Gilders                        1   4   0
Throwers                 2   0   0                      Warehousemen        1   4   0
Turners                    1 12   0                      Ground-layers           1   4   0
Plate, Dish, and Saucer Makers         
1 18   0                      Scourers                     0 10   0
Pressers                     1 10   0                     Slip Assistants           0 18   0
Moulders and Modellers 1 10   0           Throwers’ Women     0   9   0
Dippers                       1 12   0                    Turner’s Treader        0 10   0
Oven Man (per Oven) 3   0   0                   Oven Assistants         0 18   0
Printers                       1 10   0                 Transferrers                0 10   0
Painters, Landscape and Flower       
2   0   0                     Sorters                         0   9   0   

Jiggers, Mould-runners, Oven-boys, Dipper’s-boys, Cutters, Handlers, Apprentice Painters, and Figure Makers, boys and girls between the ages of 8 and 13, average weekly 2s. 0 ½ d.

13. The processes being such as to admit of the employment of whole families – father, mother, and some two, three, or more children – their united incomes are sometimes 3 l. or 4 l. per week: but, proverbially improvident, and adopting the adage, “sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof”, they squander the proceeds of their labour in gawdy dress, or at the skittle-ground and ale-house; so that, when overtaken by illness or other casualty, and thrown for a few days out of work, they resort to their masters for a loan, or to the parish workhouse for relief.”

(Scriven, 1841, Report, p. C4, paragraphs 12 and 13)

 “The more providential amongst them work six days in the week, twelve hours each day, and the miserly and penurious more than that, and get a great deal of money. Perhaps there is no manufacturing district in the kingdom where so many freeholds are held by working men – one whole street, called Hot-lane, is possessed exclusively by them, in this immediate neighbourhood.”

(Scriven, 1841, Report, interviewee 204, Mr. Godwin, Principal)

The improvement in the living standards of the people from the 1770’s onwards was impressive:

“Before I take my leave I would request you to ask your parents for a description of the country we inhabit when they first knew it; and they will tell you, that the inhabitants bore all the signs of poverty to a much greater degree than they do now. Their houses were miserable huts; the land poorly cultivated and yielded little of value for the food of man or beast, and those disadvantages, with roads almost impassible, might be said to have cut off our part of the country from the rest of the world, besides not rendering it very comfortable to ourselves. Compare this picture which I know to be a true one, with the present state of the same country. The workmen earning nearly double their former wages – their houses mostly new and comfortable, and the lands, roads and every other circumstance bearing evident marks of the most pleasing and rapid improvements. From whence and from what cause has this happy change taken place? You will be beforehand with me in acknowledging a truth too evident to be denied by any one. Industry has been the parent of this happy change – A well directed and long continued series of industrious exertions, both in masters and servants, has so changed for the better the face of our country, its buildings, lands, roads, and not withstanding the present unfavourable appearances, I must say the manner and deportment of its inhabitants too, as to attract the notice and admiration of countries which had scarcely heard of us before; and how far these improvements may still be carried by the same laudable means which have brought us thus far, has been one of the most pleasing contemplations of my life.”

(Josiah Wedgwood, An Address to the Young Inhabitants of the Pottery, Pamphlet, 1783, cited in: McKendrick, 1961, pp. 52-53)

“Were a person to place himself, in succession, on the hills, at Green Lane, Wolstanton, Basford, Harts Hill, and Fenton Park, and take a Bird’s-eye view of the different parts, he would be much gratified with the many indications of the utility of well-directed industry, and its results, a vast increase of population; numerous and extensive manufactories, with beautiful mansions; maintenance for the employed, and opulence for the employers. While a close investigation of the places, will prove, that of the comfortable habitations of thousands of industrious individual journeymen, a greater number reside in their own houses, the savings of their labours, than can be found in any other place of equal population in Great Britain.” 

(Shaw, 1829, p. 7)

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