Elijah Cotton, Ltd., Nelson Pottery, Hanley

 

NOTE: This article which follows originally appeared in a 1956 book 'British Potters and Pottery Today', is based mainly upon accounts provided mainly by the firms themselves.

The firm of Elijah Cotton Ltd. of the Nelson Pottery is and always has been identified with the manufacture of jugs, in the production of which they can undoubtedly claim to be specialists. In fact the firm's remarkable output of these more than justifies their claim to be the largest manufacturers of jugs in the world. At their extensive works jugs of all sizes and shapes are made, from miniatures with a capacity of three fluid ounces to giants of ten pints.

We should hasten to add, however, that jugs are by no means the only line produced by this successful and go-ahead concern. Its activities extend to the making of most kinds of earthenware, including tea and nursery wares and an extensive range of 'Fancies'.

The rise and progress of the business has been in some ways remarkable. It was first founded by Elijah Cotton in 1885, who built the present Nelson Pottery, on the site of an older one dating from 1785. He had commenced his career some years earlier and to meet the needs of his growing business was obliged to find larger works.

He was a man of great individuality who, by his own efforts and the driving force of his strong personality, eventually became one of the leading manufacturers in the Potteries. Long before he died in 1895 his productions had earned a reputation in the markets of the world. From the first he had specialised in jugs, and the family tradition still survives.

At his father's death his eldest son, Edward Cotton became responsible for the direction of the extensive and growing firm and, at a later date, his younger brother Arthur has been associated with him in the management. The latter is still actively directing the business, assisted by his son Nigel.

During the last fifty years the factory has grown to more than three times its original size and output. A very large proportion of its products is exported, principally to Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Canada and the United States, in each of which a leading local firm is proud to represent their interests.

 

NOTE: This article which originally appeared in a 1956 book 'British Potters and Pottery Today', is based mainly upon accounts provided mainly by the firms themselves.

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