history of the Borough of Stoke-upon-Trent
|Early Pottery Works|
Early Pottery Works Source: "The Borough of Stoke-upon-Trent" John Ward, 1843
Early Pottery Works:
"At that period, as Dr. Plott informs us, 'a Potter's oven was ordinarily about eight feet high, and six feet wide, of a round coped form.' It was, no doubt, sheltered by some kind of out-work, or penthouse, to preserve the regularity of the heat; which, according to the testimony of elderly people, was in the most ancient times a wall of clods, but afterwards of broken seggars, roofed over with boughs and clods, and appropriately termed a hovel.
One such hovel, with thatched sheds, as workshops, attached, for the Thrower, Presser, Handler, (Stouker) and other operatives, perhaps from five to eight in number, at a single work; and a drying shed, similar to those now used at out Tileries; a tank for preparing the diluted clay, in which it was evaporated to the proper consistency by the heat of the sun, (and thence called a sun-pan,) with a smoke-house, as it was termed , for drying the green ware more expeditiously, - this cluster of mean buildings gives a specimen of the ancient Potwork, until near the middle of the last century (that is the mid 1700's), when a spirit of improvement and enterprize gradually arose, and some of the more successful and spirited of the manufacturers began to erect for themselves respectable houses, and improve and enlarge their old-fashioned laboratories."
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