Josiah Spode was born in Stoke-on-Trent on 23rd March 1733. From the age of 16 he worked for Thomas Whieldon, where he remained until the age of 21. Although Spode established a business in 1767, his outright ownership of the Stoke works wasn't until 1776. Josiah Spode had perfected the process of blue underglaze printing on earthenware by 1784, and went on to discover the formula for fine bone china.
The Spode Papers at Keele comprise approximately 1,000 items, mostly nineteenth century and twentieth century. The 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. The material forms a valuable primary resource for students of ceramics, design and industrial history.
The Papers are on deposit from the Spode Museum Trust and there are no restrictions on access. A list is available upon request.