Wedgwood, Josiah

Wedgwood, Josiah
baptized 12 July 1730 Burslem, Staffordshire, England
d. 3 January 1795 Etruria Hall, Staffordshire, England
English potter and man of science.
Wedgwood came from prolific farming stock who, in the seventeenth century, had turned to pot-making. At the age of 9 his education was brought to an end by his father's death and he was set to work in one of the family potteries. Two years later an attack of smallpox left him with a weakness in his right knee which prevented him from working the potter's wheel. This forced his attention to other aspects of the process, such as design and modelling. He was apprenticed to his brother Thomas in 1744, and in 1752 was in partnership with Thomas Whieldon, a leading Staffordshire potter, until probably the first half of 1759, when he became a master potter and set up in business on his own account at Ivy House Works in Burslem.
Wedgwood was then able to exercise to the full his determination to improve the quality of his ware. This he achieved by careful attention to all aspects of the work: artistic judgement of form and decoration; chemical study of the materials; and intelligent management of manufacturing processes. For example, to achieve greater control over firing conditions, he invented a pyrometer, a temperature-measuring device by which the shrinkage of prepared clay cylinders in the furnace gave an indication of the temperature. Wedgwood was the first potter to employ steam power, installing a Boulton \& Watt engine for crushing and other operations in 1782. Beyond the confines of his works, Wedgwood concerned himself in local issues such as improvements to the road and canal systems to facilitate transport of raw materials and products.
During the first ten years, Wedgwood steadily improved the quality of his cream ware, known as "Queen's ware" after a set of ware was presented to Queen Charlotte in 1762. The business prospered and his reputation grew. In 1766 he was able to purchase an estate on which he built new works, a mansion and a village to which he gave the name Etruria. Four years after the Etruria works were opened in 1769, Wedgwood began experimenting with a barium compound combined in a fine-textured base allied to a true porcelain. The result was Wedgwood's most original and distinctive ware similar to jasper, made in a wide variety of forms.
Wedgwood had many followers and imitators but the merit of initiating and carrying through a large-scale technical and artistic development of English pottery belongs to Wedgwood.
Principal Honours and Distinctions
FRS 1783.
Wedgwood contributed five papers to the Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society, two in 1783 and 1790 on chemical subjects and three in 1782, 1784 and 1786 on his pyrometer.
Further Reading
Meteyard, 1865, Life of Josiah Wedgwood, London (biography).
A.Burton, 1976, Josiah Wedgwood: Biography, London: André Deutsch (a very readable account).

Biographical history of technology. - Taylor & Francis e-Librar. . 2005.

Игры ⚽ Нужен реферат?

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Wedgwood,Josiah — Wedgwood, Josiah. 1730 1795. British potter who improved the materials and processes of pottery. The wares from his factory (founded 1759) are among the finest examples of British earthenware and neoclassical vases. * * * …   Universalium

  • Wedgwood, Josiah — (baptized July 12, 1730, Burslem, Staffordshire, Eng. died Jan. 3, 1795, Etruria, Staffordshire) British pottery designer and manufacturer. His family had been potters since the 17th century. After an apprenticeship with his elder brother, he… …   Universalium

  • WEDGWOOD, JOSIAH CLEMENT, FIRST BARON° — (1872–1943), British statesman and supporter of Zionism. Wedgwood was a member of the famous pottery family and was educated at Clifton College. He first worked as a naval architect and a military officer. He was a member of Parliament from 1906… …   Encyclopedia of Judaism

  • Wedgwood, Josiah — ► (1730 95) Ceramista británico. Inventó una porcelana de aspecto marfileño. * * * (bautizado el 12 de julio, 1730, Burslem, Staffordshire, Inglaterra –3 ene. 1795, Etruria, Staffordshire). Diseñador y fabricante británico de cerámica. Su familia …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • Wedgwood, Josiah Clement, Baron — (1872–1943)    British gentile Zionist. Wedgwood belonged to the famous Staffordshire pottery family and was a member of the House of Commons (Liberal then Labour) for thirty six years until he became a peer in 1942. An outspoken Zionist… …   Who’s Who in Jewish History after the period of the Old Testament

  • WEDGWOOD, Josiah — (1730–1795)    The innovative eighteenthcentury English pottery manufacturer and social reformer who named his pottery works and house after Etruria. The works formed an estate of some 350 acres, situated between Burslem, Hanley, and Newcastle… …   Historical Dictionary of the Etruscans

  • WEDGWOOD, JOSIAH —    celebrated English potter, born at Burslem, son of a potter; in 1759 started a pottery on artistic lines in his native place; devoted himself first to the study of the material of his art and then to its ornamentation, in which latter he had… …   The Nuttall Encyclopaedia

  • Wedgwood — Wedgwood, Josiah …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • Wedgwood — Wedgwood, strictly Josiah Wedgwood and Sons , is a British pottery firm, originally founded in 1759 by Josiah Wedgwood, which in 1987 merged with Waterford Crystal, creating Waterford Wedgwood, the Ireland based luxury brands group. The company… …   Wikipedia

  • Wedgwood (disambiguation) — Wedgwood is a British pottery firm.Wedgwood may also refer to:Places: * Wedgwood, Staffordshire * Wedgwood, Seattle, Washington, a neighborhood in Seattle, Washington * Wedgwood railway station, in Staffordshire, England.Josiah Wedgwood may refer …   Wikipedia

  • Josiah Wedgwood — (July 12, 1730 January 3, 1795, born Burslem, Stoke on Trent) was an English potter, credited with the industrialization of the manufacture of pottery. He was a member of the Darwin Wedgwood family, most famously including his grandson, Charles… …   Wikipedia

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”