Wedgwood's Etruria works, Stoke-on-Trent

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Date:June 1963

Description:Etruria Works was opened by Josiah Wedgwood in 1769, replacing the Ivy House and Brick House Works in Burslem. Built on the route of the Trent & Mersey Canal, just where it would be crossed by the Newcastle to Leek Turnpike road. The canal is to the right of the photograph. Once on the canal, mining subsidence explains the works being below canal level.

The works have a Palladian facade and owe much to the layout of Matthew Boulton's Soho Works in Birmingham with a lanthorn or bell tower over the gateway. Here was mounted the bell which was used to summon the workforce in, mark meal breaks and signal the end of the working day. Behind the facade, the works had separate workshops work different ware and different production processes. Wedgwood’s developed the division of labour, with each worker specialising in a different process rather than seeing through the production of a particular piece from beginning to end. The works have been demolished and apart from one listed roundhouse, the site is occupied by modern commercial and light industry buildings. Behind the works are the furnaces of Shelton Steel works.

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Creators: Mr Bert Bentley - Creator

Image courtesy of: Stoke on Trent City Archives.

Donor ref:SD1480/136-23 (204/35946)

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