Friday, August 29, 2008

How it Was Made - 1930s Wedgwood etc.

Just a quick post here to share a web discovery I just made over at the Potteries website: I'll post a link over on my favorites list.

Being that I come home a couple of times a month with a bag full of old pottery, and that lots of this stuff is English, I am frequently over at The Potteries website doing a little research. It's a great resource chock-a-block with free info. about the famous potteries of North Staffordshire. I am not sure how the site is funded but they are doing a great job informing the public about one of England's seminal industries and still one of its most important. Next time someone puts an old plate in front of you, maybe at Thanksgiving, you might want to flip it over and check out the mark. If you can remember anything about it next time you are at your computer, take that scrap of information to their website and you might find out some fascinating bit of history about your dinnerware (or not, but why not try).

One fabulous aspect of the site is that it includes among its riches some period publications on how the pottery was made. Remember poor Charles Dickens at the glue factory? No children in evidence by the time we get to the 1930s but look at the circles around the eyes of the Einstein figure:

Looking through the 22 cards that show Wedgwood manufacture, probably in the 1920s, maybe the '30s, you get a glimpse right back into the industrial revolution. Ditto the brochure from the Parrot &Co. factory of 1936. No wonder the early 20th century involved that huge and cataclysmic divide between bosses

and workers.

Smile everyone, smile - hold still...

Don't these pictures tell a tale of a vanished world? (good riddance too). Check out the state of the window by our lady transferring a print to a plate. I don't think Dickens got a window, so I guess it probably represented a general improvement in conditions.

And what a copywriter! Who'd have thunk of dishmaking as involving any "plunging" or "attacking"? Not I, until now.

What a lot of sweat, dirt and labor went into making pretty dishes.