Discovering Local History 



Overview of Stoke-on-Trent



Growth and Development of the Potteries


In the late seventeenth century only an embryonic pottery industry existed in the area.

The industry was essentially a family affair. The early potters had small kilns and workshops located close to their homes and they also practised various agricultural pursuits.


Rural Potworks c. 1692.
Rural Potworks c. 1692. 
(Slide Library)

During the eighteenth century the area and the pottery industry were to change their character considerably.

The population of the area rose considerable.
The industry became organised on a factory system.



By 1800, most concerns remained small employing only a few people. But by 1800 the larger concerns of Wedgwood, Spode and others had arisen such as Wedgwood's at Etruria. Moreover, the larger factories made use of stream power for some of their processes.


Steam power had also been applied to the mining of coal and this, in turn, enabled larger quantities of coal to be extracted.
Moreover, by 1800 the canal network was complete. Pottery ware could be moved safely and relatively quickly via the Caldon and Trent and Mersey Canals.



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