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British Industrial History

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Carter, Stabler and Adams

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December 1962.

of East Quay, Poole, Dorset. (1922)

of Poole, Dorset. Telephone: Poole 125. Cables: "Tiles, Poole". (1929)

of East Quay, Poole, Dorset. (1947)

1873 Builder's Merchant and Ironmonger, Jesse Carter, bought a near-derelict pottery in Poole. He knew that there was a large deposit of clay just north of the town, and also had an excellent means of transporting goods out, and fuel in, via the harbour.

By the 1880's the factory was well known for its tiling products, mosaic flooring and advertising panels.

1895 A rival was based at nearby Hamworthy (the Patent Architectural Pottery). The Carter pottery soon outranked the Hamworthy one, and so the Carter family bought the competition.

1901 Jesse Carter retired and handed over control of the potteries to two of his sons, Charles and Owen. Charles preferred the management side, while Owen was more artistic.

1901-20 There were many coming and goings of the Carter family involving sons, uncles, brothers and the like, and World War I did little to help the situation. However, the Carter Co prospered and distinctive styles began to emerge.

1920 Charles Carter introduced Cyril, his son, to Harold Stabler, who in turn met John Adams. Stabler was a designer and silversmith, and Adams a designer and potter. Of as much interest was Adam's wife, Truda, who was to be a huge influence over the following years.

1921 The company of Carter, Stabler and Adams was set up as a subsidiary of the Carter Co to produce ornamental and domestic pottery. Until then, the Carter Co was mainly involved with the manufacture of tiling and architectural products. Carter Stabler and Adams (CSA), with a lot of input from Truda Adams, introduced a range of hand decorated, bright and vivid designs.

1922 Listed Exhibitor - British Industries Fair. Manufacturers of Simple Decorative Pots, Domestic and Table Ware, Fine Pottery, Della Robbia [a], Pottery Figures. (Stand No. G.27) [1]

1929 Listed Exhibitor - British Industries Fair. Manufacturers of Decorative and Usable Pottery, Ceramic Figures and Della Robbia Ware; Decorative Pieces for Furnishing Schemes. Table Wares, Bedroom Wares, Kitchen Pots, Candlesticks, Lamps and Standards for Lighting Schemes. (Stand No. F.21) [2]

1920s/30s. The wide range of products included decorative tiles, stoneware, vases, urns, jugs, bowls, plates, dishes etc. They were made in a variety of colours, decorations, and finishes. In addition Harold Stabler and his wife Phoebe introduced a faience [b] range and a whole series of figures and plaques. Carter Stabler and Adams went from strength to strength.

WWII - The Second World War almost brought an end CSA, as producing highly elaborate and decorative pottery was not a viable prospect. The Poole factory was not geared for munitions, the British Government took a dim view of fancy goods at the time, and put a stop to them. Somehow the CSA factory kept going until hostilities were over.

1945 Harold Stabler died and John Adams was in poor health, so it fell to Cyril Carter to undertake the re-building of the company.

1946 Carter convinced the board of directors to invest in a new type of kiln.

1947 Advert in British Industries Fair Catalogue as Exhibiting Member of the British Pottery Manufacturers' Federation of Federation House, Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire. Composite Exhibit. (Pottery and Glassware Section - Olympia, Ground Floor, Stand No. A.1236) [3]

1948 The factory was in almost full production again.

Post-WWII. Production was based almost entirely on the pre-war designs, with the notable introduction of contemporary 'freeform' pieces.

1958 The company appointed Robert Jefferson as it designer and he developed a whole new range of 'studio ware'.

Cyril Carter died and in 1964 Carter and Co, including Carter Stabler and Adams, was taken over by the Pilkington Tiles group[4], and changed its name to Poole Pottery Limited.

The pottery remains in the same location today. (03/08)


  • [a] Della Robbia is a type of durable glaze used on pottery and terracotta, suitable for outdoor use. It was developed by Luca della Robbia (1400-1481), an Italian sculptor from Florence.
  • [b] Faience is glazed, coloured earthenware - probably from Faenza, in Italy. [5]

See Also


Sources of Information

  1. 1922 British Industries Fair p15
  2. 1929 British Industries Fair p36
  3. 1947 British Industries Fair Adverts 398 and 399; and p55
  4. The Times, Oct 26, 1964
  5. Chambers English Dictionary
  • [1] A History of Poole Pottery