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Josiah Spode was born in Stoke-on-Trent on 23rd March 1733. From the age of 16 he worked for Thomas Whieldon, a potter in the area, where he remained until the age of 21. Although Spode established a business in 1767, his outright ownership of the present works wasn't until 1776. It was on this site in 1784 that Josiah Spode perfected the process of blue underglaze printing on earthenware, and then went on to discover the formula for fine bone china.
The Spode Papers at Keele were deposited in 1973 by the company, consisting of approximately 1,000 historical papers, mostly nineteenth century. This accumulation includes the original articles of partnership signed by Josiah Spode and William Copeland in 1813, as well as important series of account books, price lists, volumes of technical data and pictorial material. These form a valuable primary resource for students of ceramics, design and industrial history.
The material is on deposit at Keele and is listed.
Upon closure of the Spode Museum in 2008, the Spode Museum Trust Archive was deposited with The Staffordshire and Stoke on Trent Archive Service and is held at Stoke on Trent City Archives. Researchers wishing to consult this archive should contact the City Archives in advance firstname.lastname@example.org
Items on deposit at Keele University Library are unaffected by this change and remain at Keele.