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Since the company’s foundation in 1759, we have made use of a number of very talented female artists in their own right. Women such as Lady Templetown, Therésè Lessore, Louise Powell, Daisy Makeig-Jones and Susie Cooper are perhaps some of the better known ones. One of my favourites, however, is Millicent Taplin who worked for the company for 45 years.

There are lots of items from the company’s history that we would love to have but the ones I’d like most have been missing for many years.

Some of the most important items in our collection are the personal correspondence between Josiah Wedgwood and his friend and business partner, Thomas Bentley.

From 1762 until Bentley’s death in 1780, the two corresponded frequently on a range of topics. From business to family, current politics and news of friends and acquaintances, the correspondence shed a vast quantity of light on the life and work of Josiah Wedgwood.

The history of the museum collection is really very interesting. There is a story that in the early 1900s, a long forgotten room was reopened at the Etruria factory, and inside they discovered a collection of thousands of different ceramic trials that Josiah Wedgwood himself had produced in the 18th century. Keen to preserve what they had found, the company decided that the best course forward was to set up their own museum.

With the Black Lives Matter movement making headlines around the world, we’ve been having a lot of questions and requests about our Slave Medallion and Josiah Wedgwood’s early involvement in the abolitionist movement here in Britain.

Since the museum opened in 1906 we have attracted lots of famous people from many different walks of life. We’ve had famous actors and actresses, celebrities, and our fair share of royal visits.

Our largest object, by far, has to be our Wedgwood Fire Engine.

Nothing could devastate factory production, or risk the lives of employees, so much as fire on the works. Josiah I therefore ordered a ‘one-third’ sized fire engine from Samuel Phillips, engine maker of New Surrey Street, Blackfriars, London, in October 1783. The total cost of the fire engine including fixtures, fittings and transport to the Etruria factory, was £58 18 shillings and 3 pence.

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