Grace's Guide

British Industrial History

Grace's Guide is the leading source of historical information on industry and manufacturing in Britain. This web publication contains 145,385 pages of information and 230,731 images on early companies, their products and the people who designed and built them.


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Adamant Victorian Urinals. Exhibit at Chiltern Open Air Museum.
Adamany wash basins. Exhibit at Chiltern Open Air Museum.
“Edinburgh” ‘Combined Housemaid’s Sink and Slop Hopper’ at Avoncroft Museum of Historic Buildings
July 1961.
February 1962.
1935. Urinal installed in the Jeppe Street Post Office, Johannesburg, South Africa when the building was constructed in 1935.

Twyfords of Cliffe Vale Potteries, Hanley, Staffs

1849 Thomas Twyford had established two earthenware factories, the Bath Street works in Hanley and the Abbey works in Bucknall. In 1849 he began the manufacture of sanitary goods at the Bath Street works (including making wash-basins and water closet pans) building up a substantial trade and exporting to markets across Europe and to the United States.

1849 His son Thomas William was born.

1850 Company established.

1872 Thomas Twyford senior died. At the time of his death he was recognised as a leading pioneer in the application of principles of hygiene to sanitary appliances. His son Thomas William took over the business.

1880s Thomas William Twyford designed and manufactured the first one-piece wash-out pedestal closet.

1894 Antwerp Exhibition. Sanitary ware. [1]

1896 Incorporated as a limited company. Thomas Twyford was chairman.

1901 Twyfords boasted 30 trade marks and 20 different toilet models.

1903 Opened their first factory abroad, in Ratingen near Dusseldorf, Germany. The factory still exists today and is now part of the Sanitec Group as Keramag.

1914 Sanitary potters and engineers. [2]

1919 Company became a public limited company.

1921 Thomas William Twyford died. He was recognised as a leading pioneer in the application of principles of hygiene to sanitary appliances. He became known as “The Father of British Bathrooms.”

1956 Twyford’s modern vitreous china factory was established on the outskirts of Stoke on Trent at Alsager and in the 40 years since the first kiln was lit 8 more have been built and the factory expanded many times on its 70 acre site.

1971 Twyfords merged with Reed International to form the Reed Building Products Division.

1985 Company became part of Caradon

1986 Twyford Living Bathrooms retailing concept launched.

1989 Caradon was purchased by MB Group to form MB Caradon.

1999 Twyford’s 150th birthday.

See Also


Sources of Information

  • Trademarked. A History of Well-Known Brands - from Aertex to Wright's Coal Tar by David Newton. Pub: Sutton Publishing 2008 ISBN 978-0-7509-4590-5
  • [1] Wikipedia
  • [2] Twyford company website
  • Biography of Thomas William Twyford, ODNB [3]