Elijah Brain and Co Ltd


Location and period of operation:

E Brain and Co Ltd




(See sources)

Manufacturers of porcelain & china at the Foley China Works, Foley, Fenton, Stoke-on-Trent.


Formerly: Robinson & Son   Elijah Brain and his partners took over the business and works from Robinson's in 1885 but retailed the trade name and mark of Robinson & Son until 1903 when they traded under the name E. Brain & Co.

Subsequently: Coalport In 1958 Messrs E. Brain & Co Ltd took over the name and goodwill of Coalport China Ltd. and started to transfer the business to the Foley China Works.
Since 1963 production continued soley under the Coalport name.



The Foley China Works of E Brain & Co. Ltd.
The Foley China Works of E Brain & Co. Ltd.
Pottery factory exterior taken at the Foley China Works, Fenton
Photo - date unknown but pre-1978 
Staffordshire Past Track

- click for more information on The Foley China Works -


there were  5 different companies 
operating in this area which
hade 'Foley' in their name

- click for more -




Initials and marks used on ware for identification:

E B & Co
'L' stands for Longton

E B & Co

'F' stands for Fenton

the factory was located in a district called 'Foley'
it was on the border of the two towns
Longton and Fenton - most marks had 'L'
but occasionally 'F' was used, there
was no difference in the factory 

Early printed mark 1903-05

'Established 1850' refers to
the previous company 'Robinson & Co'
on the same site



click below for more information:-

Foley China Works 

examples of 
E Brain ware

examples of 
E Brain marks 

1956 Article on the Brain pottery.



BRAIN, Elijah (1842-1910), pottery manufacturer, Foley, Fenton. 

Elijah Brain was born in Fenton in 1842. He was educated at Fenton and Stoke National Schools and later attended the Fenton and Stoke Athenaeums to improve his education. 

He began work as a jigger and mould runner at the Foley Pottery of Baker and Co., After leaving Barker & Co. he joined Robinson and Son (who operated the adjoining Foley China Works) and eventually became chief cashier and a partner in Robinson and Son. 

From 1885 Elijah Brain took over the business and was in partnership with A. B. Jones and W. Hawker. 

Brain served as president of the English China Manufacturers Association. He was elected to the Fenton Local Board of Health in1855 and was first chairman of the Fenton Urban District Council in1894 and again in 1897. 

He was instrumental in securing the erection of a bridge at Fenton railway station in place of the level crossing, and was one of the founders of the Fenton Nursing Institution. He was a strong Liberal and an advocate of tariff reform. 

A member of the Fenton Education Committee from its inception and of the committee which helped to establish the Hanchurch Holiday Home pioneered by Millicent Duchess of Sutherland.

From 1875 Elijah Brain was a conductor of the Mount Tabor chapel choir and was also one of the founders of the Stoke Philharmonic Society. In 1878 he inaugurated the Fenton Children's Religious Services, with an annual festival at Fenton town hall. He served on the Stoke upon Trent school board. In 1910 he failed to gain election to the federated council of Stoke on Trent, trailing Phillip Elliot and John Shaw Coddard. 

By his wife Mary Julia he had two daughters and a son. He died on 23 October 1910 and was buried at Fenton cemetery. 

Sources: Staffordshire Sentinel 24 October 1910 (obit.). People of the Potteries. London Gazette



Questions/Comments/Contributions? email: Steve Birks