A List of Hands on Works, 1883

The variety of occupations at the Wedgwood factory was recorded in the 'List of Hands on Works compiled by Cecil Wedgwood', a 13 page hand-written document from March 1883. This divides the workforce into seventy-two different trades. The potters (including plate makers, cup and saucer makers, tile makers, handlers, dippers and polishers) represented just over 20% of the total workforce, as did also the painters and paintresses. Printers and transferrers made up 14%of the workforce, followed by the packers and warehouse staff at 10%, burnishers and gilders at 7.5%, and the ovenmen and kilnmen at 7%. The casters, mould makers and mould runners accounted for 5%, and throwers and turners 3.5%. Artists, engravers and modellers totalled 2%, the counting house and showroom 1.5%, and the overlookers just less than 1%. The sundry occupations of oddmen, bricklayers, joiners, and saggar makers accounted for just over 5%, and the sliphouse, engine and mill, and the marl grinders less than 2%.

170 of the 728 employees are recorded either by surname or surname and forename initial only, making any attempt to establish their sex difficult. 375 workers were clearly male (51.5%), and 300 female (41%). The sex of 63 (8.5%) cannot be established.

The majority of the names also have the areas where the employees lived written in pencil. Just under a quarter of the workforce actually lived in Etruria itself, while almost 30% travelled from Newcastle each day. A further 20% came from Hanley while the remainder commuted from nearby areas.

This section is drawn from 'The History of Etruria', by Kevin Salt, 2006 (available for purchase from the Wedgwood Museum).


Extract from list of Wedgwood employees, 1843, © Wedgwood Museum

Extract from list of Wedgwood employees, 1843
© Wedgwood Museum