Grace's Guide

British Industrial History

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Josiah Spode

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Josiah Spode (23 March 1733 – 1797) was an English potter born in a village that is now part of Stoke-on-Trent. He earned renown in the pottery business for perfecting the blue underglaze printing process in 1784 and developing the formula for fine bone china, also known as porcelain.

Spode was a former apprentice of potter Thomas Whieldon, but left when Whieldon took on Josiah Wedgwood as a business partner.

Became works manager for Turner and Banks until he was able buy the old factory.

Spode opened a factory in Stoke-on-Trent in 1767.

1776 he became owner of the current Spode factory, still in operation today. His business in creamware (a fine cream-coloured earthenware) and in pearlware (a fine white-glazed earthenware) was very successful.

Josiah Spode's son, Josiah Spode II (1755–1827), carried on the business. He married Elizabeth Barker, daughter of the potter Thomas Barker in 1775. They had five children: William (1776–1834), Josiah (1777–1829), Elizabeth (b. 1778, d. after 1835), Saba (1780–1811), and Mary (b. 1781, d. after 1834). Both William and Josiah were to become involved in their father's trade but none of them survived their father by many years.

The Spode factory remains in operation in Stoke-on-Trent.

See Also

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Sources of Information

  • Biography of Josiah Spode II, ODNB [1]