It was largely due to Josiah Wedgwood that the making of pottery was transformed into a modern industry in the 18th century. He was ambitious to sell his ware not just loc cally, but nationally and internationally. Hee experimented with different clays to produce a lighter body that didn’t require a heavy glaze. The result was called creamware and, when a dinner service was sent to Queen Charlotte, the name was changed to Queen’s Ware – something of a public relations coup.
To meet his ambitions, he realised d that he needed to revolutionise the industry. He was the chief promoter of the Trent & Mersey Canal, which enabled him to bring in special clays from the south-west of England and flint from East Anglia, as well as distribute his finished products. He then built a new factory at Etruria beside the canal. A 19th- century report described the other works of that time: “There is neither orrder, regularity, nor proportion; the conseqquence is that men, women and childdren are to be passing in and out, too and fro, to their departments all hhours of the day.” However, Etruria wwas very different. The works were oorganised like a modern production line – departments laid out in a loogical sequence.
He also introduced scientific meethods into the works. Experiments with clays and glazes were all carefully recordeed and studied, so that he was able to introduce new designs such as his famous Jasperware. He also designed the very first high-temperature thermometer, which enabled him to control the kiln temperature with greater accuracy. Wedgwood was a true moderniser.