Grace's Guide is the leading source of historical information on industry and manufacturing in Britain. This web publication contains 148,159 pages of information and 233,681 images on early companies, their products and the people who designed and built them.
Spode, a manufacturer of pottery and porcelain, of Stoke-on-Trent
1767 Josiah Spode (1733-1797) opened a factory in Stoke-on-Trent
1776 He developed the current Spode factory. His business in creamware (a fine cream-coloured earthenware) and in pearlware (a fine white-glazed earthenware) was very successful.
1778 Decided to open a London shop at 29 Fore Street, managed by his son, Josiah Spode II.
The firm moved successively to 46 then 45 Fore Street.
1784 Josiah Spode perfected the blue under-glaze printing process for which he earned renown in the ceramics business.
1784 William Copeland started work for Josiah II in London
1794 Finally moved the London shop to 5 Portugal Street, adjacent to Lincoln's Inn Fields. Domestic residences accompanied the premises.
The father and son team of Josiah Spode I and II also perfected the recipe for bone china, which was first produced after much experimentation in about 1799. Early pieces were marked Stoke China. It is this recipe that was to become the standard English porcelain now universally known as Fine Bone China.
From 1800 until 1822 Henry Daniel was in charge of Spode's enamelling studio, producing finely designed and painted scenes, often with exquisite gilding.
1802 Spode bought the Portugal Street warehouse and the adjoining domestic residence, reflecting the firm's growing success and in readiness to market the new bone china his father was producing.
1805 The London business was put in the hands of William Copeland and William Spode as equal partners.
1806 Following a visit by the Prince of Wales, Spode was allowed to title himself "Potter and English Porcelain Manufacturer to H.R.H. Prince of Wales".
1812 Spode retired and Copeland went into partnership with Josiah II in the London business.
1813 Spode adopted the term 'Stone China', which he matched with elaborate Chinese porcelain designs.
1816 Introduction of the 'Blue Italian' range.
1824 William Copeland's son, William Taylor Copeland, became a partner
1826 Following the death of his father, William Taylor Copeland entered into an equal partnership with Spode.
1833 Copeland became sole owner of the London businesses and the factory in Stoke.
1833 Copeland went into partnership with Thomas Garrett, manager of the Stoke pottery, the firm being known as Copeland and Garrett. Copeland was Lord Mayor of London 1835 - 36. The Spode brand name was used alongside the Copeland name throughout the 19th and 20th centuries often styled 'Copeland late Spode'.
1847 The partnership was dissolved; the company was then known as W. T. Copeland
1856 First installation of the newly patented Needham and Kite filter press
1867 The company name became W. T. Copeland and Sons when Copeland's sons joined the business.
1932 Took limited company status
1970 to commemorate the founder, the name was changed to Spode.
2009 Portmeirion Potteries acquired the Royal Worcester and Spode brands and brought much of the manufacturing back to UK