Etruria (1769-1950)

Opened officially by Josiah Wedgwood I, and celebrated by the throwing of six 'First Day Vases' on 13 June 1769. The land on which the factory was built, known as the Ridgehouse Estate, had been originally purchased by Josiah in 1767 for £3000. The 350 acre estate was chosen by Josiah because he knew that it lay directly in the path of the proposed Trent and Mersey Canal. The motto of the factory (one which appeared on the First Day Vases) was 'Artes Etruriae Renascuntur' - literally, 'The Arts of Etruria are reborn'. The name 'Etruria' actually derives from an area of central Italy, originally inhabited by the Etrusci (the Etruscans were considered a highly civilised people who produced splendid works of art which were greatly admired in the 18th century).

At Etruria, Josiah I employed the architect Joseph Pickford to build a village to house his workers as separate as possible from the factory for health reasons.

Images

Etruria, © Wedgwood Museum

Etruria
© Wedgwood Museum