Demolition of Bottle ovens, Henry Richards' Pinnox Tile Works, Tunstall

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Date:February 1964

Description:Bottle ovens being demolished at the Pinnox Works of Henry Richard's Tiles Ltd. Bert Bentley noted ..."pictures that will never be taken again". These ovens backed onto Williamson Street in Tunstall.

Henry Richards pioneered the use of downdraught bottle ovens in the early 20th century to make more efficient use of coal. The hot gasses passed over the ware twice, making the most of the heat from the fires. These ovens could fire 200 saggars, containing over 10,000 square yards of tiles, in one go. The oven took five days reach 1250 degrees Centigrade and then a further three days to cool down. Bottle ovens were "intermittent" and produced pottery in batches, unlike modern tunnel kilns which allow almost continuous production.