Harrison & Son (Hanley) Ltd

Industrial History in Stoke-on-Trent


Harrison & Son (Hanley) Ltd
Colour Manufacturers


Phoenix Chemical Works, Bath Street (later renamed Garth Street), Hanley, Stoke-on-Trent

Thomas William Harrison 

1893 Article on Harrison & Son
1955 Advert for Harrison & Son   
1955 article on Harrison & Son

Messrs. Harrison & Son's Bath Street Offices - 1893
Messrs. Harrison & Son's 
Bath Street Offices - 1893

Charles Augustus Leach worked all his life for Harrison & Sons, the colour specialists in Hanley. 

He went there straight from school in 1898 until his death in 1958, when he was the Commercial Director.  A Grandmother clock exists which was presented to him in September 1923 after 25 years service.


The following article is from a 1957 Stoke-on-Trent Handbook: 

[Handbook Index]

go to the accompanying advert

HARRISON & SON (HANLEY) LTD., of Phoenix Chemical Works, Hanley, are leading manufacturers and producers of most of the wide range of materials that is required for the manufacture and decoration of pottery and other ceramic products, and the business is, therefore, of a very specialised nature, constituting as it does a most essential service to the pottery and allied industries.

The regular supply of high grade and reliable materials is obviously basic to the successful production of good quality wares of all kinds, though equally essential are the artistic and technical skills and ability of the pottery and other manufacturers to turn their materials into high-class finished products.
The first requirement of the pottery manufacturer is a reliable supply of the ground materials such as flint, china stone, felspar and bone, which, by judicious blending with natural clays, are used for the production of the prepared body or clay from which his goods are formed.

Harrisons have four modern mills, and many thousands of tons of materials are ground and supplied to the trade every year.
In addition, they themselves produce large quantities of prepared body for supplying the requirements of certain manufacturers who find it convenient to purchase part or the whole of their prepared body instead of doing this work for themselves.

The next essential need of the pottery manufacturer is a safe and reliable supply of glaze for coating his wares after they have been formed by the skilled potter and then suitably fired to produce "biscuit ware ".
One of the most important sections of the Harrison business deals with the manufacture of a wide range of pottery glazes to meet the very varied needs of the pottery manufacturers. The long experience and the scientific and technical skill of the firm are the main reasons for its pre-eminence in this section of its activities.

Closely allied to the production of the clear transparent glazes of the type that are generally required for the production of white ware, with or without association with applied colour decoration, either under or over the glaze, is the growing use of coloured or tinted glazes.
Such glazes, in great variety of tints and surface texture and temperature fusion, form an important section of the firm's production and are extensively used in the manufacture of domestic ware, sanitary ware, art ware, glazed tiles, etc.

The Harrison firm is perhaps most widely known as ceramic colour manufacturers, and in this respect they have an unrivalled reputation as suppliers of the many different types of fine under-glaze and on-glaze (or enamel) colours which, in conjunction with the artistic and technical skills of the manufacturers, have made British china and earthenware universally renowned.

Special reference should here be made to the leading position held by the firm as the manufacturers of the finest quality gold colours for on-glaze decorations. These include a complete range of pink, ruby, crimson, maroon and purple colours.
Another important branch of the enamel colour section of the business consists of colours fusing at still lower temperatures, for use on glassware and on glass sheets and glass bottles, some of colours are being increasingly used for application by the silk screen process for advertising and branding purposes.

Finally, reference should here be made to the section dealing with the manufacture of Staffordshire Seger Cones for registering and controlling the temperatures of ceramic furnaces of all kinds. The cones are made to bend over and register as they bend in regular sequence throughout the range at temperatures of from 600 to 2,000 degrees Centigrade. They have a world-wide distribution and are noted for the accuracy of their standardisation and the regularity of their melting properties.

The production of so fine a series of these invaluable aids to the controlling of oven and kiln temperatures is a very fine technical and scientific achievement of which the firm may justly be proud.

go to the accompanying advert

questions/comments/contributions? email: Steve Birks

updated: 1/3/2006