George Howson (& Sons Ltd)


Location and period of operation:

G Howson



1966 (1985)


Manufacturer of sanitary ware at Eastwood, Hanley, Stoke-on-Trent, England
  • George Howson, born 1818 in Burslem. In 1865 he set up a business as a sanitary ware manufacturer in the Eastwood district of Hanley. The works were off Paxton Street and likely associated with the Eastwood Brick & Marl works.

  • c.1879 the business traded under the name George Howson & Sons. 

  • 1881 - by the time of the 1881 census at the age of 63, George Howson was employing 42 men, 4 boys and 4 women. 

  • In January 1893 the father George Howson retired and the three sons continued the business as George Howson & Sons.  The sons were James Taylor Howson, Bernard Howson and Richard George Howson. 

  • 1896 - George died April 1896, age 78.

  • By 1924 the business had grown and a second works (also called the Eastwood Sanitary Works) was developed on the site of a former flint & stone mill - alongside the Cauldon Canal and Clifford Street (which adjoined the earlier works). 

  • By 1951 the second factory had expanded to take over the works belonging to the Mousecroft firebrick & marl works. 

  • 1966 - the business was aquired by Armitage Ware Ltd (also a manufacturer of sanitary ware since 1817) - subsequently, in 1969, Armitage Ware Ltd merged with Shanks and Co to create Armitage Shanks who by then had 8 factories with its headquaters in Stoke-on-Trent, including Howson & Sons Ltd, who retained their name. 

  • In December 1984 liquidators were appointed. 

George Howson was a Chartist sympathiser and philanthropist



The London Gazette
3 February 1893

notice that George Howson (the father) retired
from the business in January 1893, the 
business was continued by the sons

The London Gazette
3 January 1984

notice of the appointment of liquidators 



from..... 1907 Staffordshire Sentinel 
'Business Reference Guide to The Potteries, Newcastle & District'



1907 advert for George Howson & Sons Ltd 



1927 adverts for George Howson & Sons Ltd, 
Eastwood Sanitary Works, Hanley

courtesy: Graces Guide 



George Howson & Sons Ltd
1922 catalogue

Howsons Vitreous China
1964 catalogue


G H & S

impressed mark on a bath in the Middleport Pottery wash house
thought to date to around 1897

photo courtesy: Phil Knott



toilet in the MARVIC range 

George Howson & Sons Ltd
Made in England 


1933 view of the Eastwood district of Hanley 
the George Howden & Sons works extend from the top of the picture to the Cauldon Canal 


 the George Howden & Sons works are at the top centre 
Lichfield Street runs from top to bottom and Leek Road intersects it at bottom right


Red = the George Howden & Sons Eastwood Sanitary Works

Yellow = Meakin Brothers Eastwood earthenware works

Light Blue = George Goodwin Westwood  Mills

Dark Blue = Hanley Electricity Works

Green = Eastwood marl hole and brickworks

White = Mousecroft marl hole and brickworks


photos: Britain from Above

1951 map showing the two factories of George Howson & Sons Ltd  

The Eastwood Works (earthenware) on the opposite side of Lichfield Street belonged
to the Meakin Brothers and became the home of Emma Bridgewater Pottery 



The Eastwood works of George Howson & Sons - October 1963

The photograph shows the bottle ovens on the site viewed from Regent Road. The area has been redeveloped for housing. The photograph is looking south and in the background are the waste tips of Berryhill and Mossfield Collieries.

photo courtesy: Staffordshire Past Track


Questions, comments, contributions? email: Steve Birks