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Thrower

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Josiah Wedgwood (1730-1795) was born into a potters family, and in 1744 he was apprenticed as a thrower to his elder brother Thomas.

"my mother is a baller (supplies the thrower with balls of clay)" Testimony of Jos. Wilkinson (age 11) c.1842

 

The Thrower
The Thrower

postcards from Wedgwoods


The following is an 1840/41 testimony of a clay thrower who worked for Mintons:

EARTHENWARE FACTORY, Eldon Place, Stoke; 
Proprietors Messrs. MINTON and BOYLE.
HOT-HOUSE and THROWING ROOM. Temp. 94 Fahren., open air 42.
No. 2: Thomas Kay, aged 46
I have worked for Mr. Minton 18 years next Christmas. Slip-making in the fore part of my service, that is making the clay for use; I now look to the ware in the hot-house; besides that I beat the clay in the adjoining room; beating clay is tremendous hard work; I stand near the open door to do that; the hottest work is in the hot-house; don't keep a thermometer there; heat rises from 90 to 120; 'tis not so hot now by a deal as in the morning; we cool it now for the ware.
I am paid by the quantity of work done; my average wages are about 15s. per week. I have a wife and 7 children; only one is a potter. I come to work at 6 in the morning, sometimes at 5; it depends upon what goods are in heat; leave at 3, 4, 5, and 6; and afterwards do a little job-work for another master, and earn 4s. or 3s. a-week.
Don't find the great change of heat affect my health; it sometimes affects others; very few live to any age in such an employment, 'tis the hardest business of potting. I live at Harford Bridge; do not go home to dinner; I take my dinner in the throwing- house; get bread and cheese, no ale; but get some meat at home at night; can't read or write.

 


Examples of "throwers" from the 1881 census for the Potteries area:-

1881 census:
Dwelling: Frederick Street
Census Place: Stone, Stafford, England

Name

Marr | Age | Sex

  Birthplace Occupation
Jacob SALT  M 47 M  Head Longton, Stafford Potters Flat Presser
Mary E. BARKER (SALT)  17 F  Step Daur Longton, Stafford Potters Thrower Wheel Turner

 

1881 census:
Dwelling: 96 Villiers St
Census Place: Trentham, Stafford, England

Name

Marr | Age | Sex

  Birthplace Occupation
Enoch WARRILOW  U 28 M  Head Longton, Stafford Potters Presser
Elijah WARRILOW  U 25 M  Brother Longton, Stafford Potters Thrower

 

Examples of "baller" from the 1881 census for the Potteries area:-

1881 census:
Dwelling: 23 Woodland St
Census Place: Wolstanton, Stafford, England

Name

Marr | Age | Sex

  Birthplace Occupation
William GREATBANKS  M 48 M  Head Burley Dam, Cheshire Carter
Elizabeth GREATBANKS  M 43 F Wife Wybunbury, Cheshire  
George GREATBANKS  U 18 M  Son Tunstall, Stafford Potter Thrower App
Sarah Ellen GREATBANKS 15 F Dau Tunstall, Stafford Potter Baller

 

1881 census:
Dwelling: 4 Cross Keys Sq
Census Place: Stoke Upon Trent, Stafford, England

Name

Marr | Age | Sex

  Birthplace Occupation
Eliza FINNEY  W 56 F  Head Longton, Stafford Baller For A Thrower
John FINNEY  U 30 M Son Longton, Stafford Coal Miner



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