Friday, May 29, 2009

Stoke-on-Trent 1932

These are scenes taken at the Spode factory in Stoke-on-Trent around 1932. It’s typical of many items in the Film Archive showing the pottery industry. Films began to be made at this time to promote the sale of pottery – particularly abroad. It was the height of the Depression, and so there was a reason for these films to be made. And they show all the processes of pottery making from the arrival of materials through to the finished goods going out.

There are some valuable glimpses here of girls carrying unfired ware to be put into saggars (or safeguards) so that they can be fired in the bottle oven. And here we see the placer placing the ware into a saggar, which is then carried on his head and stacked inside the bottle oven ready for firing. The safeguards – or saggars – are to keep the flame off the ware so that it’s baked inside these protective fireclay cases, This is the era of coal firing. This film also features in the documentary; “Stoke-on-Film, 1930s”, produced by Ray Johnson. Source: Staffordshire Film Archive

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