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Working in the Potteries


The life of a Staffordshire pottery worker was not easy. The work was hard, often heavy, and frequently hazardous to health.  Until the factory acts of 1833 children as young as seven or eight  were employed in many branches of the trade, sometimes working a twelve hour day.  Not only were the hours long but the potters were also exposed to industrial diseases, especially lead poisoning from the glaze mix and lung disease from the flint dust. 

Despite the relative poverty and poor working conditions, the people of the Potteries had a strong character.  Cheerful, friendly, and with great pride in the products of their district. 

To learn more about the lives of potters click on one of the themes in the panel to the right.







closeup of firing bottle ovens
Working Conditions

worker housing

Whieldon's account book entry for spode