Pieces of Wedgwood ware

Made:
1768-1780
maker:
Unknown

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Items related to test firings. Front 3/4 view of whole object against graduated grey background.
Science Museum Group Collection
© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

Items related to test firings. Front 3/4 view of whole object against graduated grey background. Front 3/4 view of
Science Museum Group Collection
© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

Items related to test firings. Front 3/4 view of whole object against graduated grey background. Overhead view of
Science Museum Group Collection
© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

Items related to test firings. Front 3/4 detail view of object against graduated grey background.
Science Museum Group Collection
© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

Items related to test firings. Front 3/4 detail view of object against graduated grey background.
Science Museum Group Collection
© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

Packet containing three pieces of white Wedgwood ware, wrapped in paper, and 1 Memo. “These are fired by 55 degrees of Wedgwood’s thermo.”

In February 1768, James Watt bought a share in the Delftfield Pottery, Scotland’s first industrial pottery. He hoped that science and experiment would make wares that were stronger and more beautiful than before. In 1773 he announced a new form of ceramic creamware. Watt wrote privately that ‘Our pottery does very well tho’ we make damned bad ware.’ It made money but he gradually gave it up as work on the steam engine brought it to fruition. These test pieces are some of a set of 35 in total present in Watt's workshop, and all kept in the same drawer for storage. They are labelled in Watt's hand as having been fired to different temperatures 'of Wedgwood's thermometer', and although it is not possible to be completely certain may have been made by Watt himself as part of his trials at the pottery into new ceramic bodies.

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Science Museum: Energy Hall: James Watt and our World

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Details

Category:
James Watt's Garret Workshop
Object Number:
1924-792/1167
Materials:
ceramic (unspecified) and paper (fibre product)
type:
packet
credit:
Major J.M. Gibson-Watt

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