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 133,382 pages of information and 211,458 images on early companies, their products and the people who designed and built them.

William H. Goss

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of Falcon Pottery, Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire. Cables: "Goss, Stoke-on-Trent"

  • 1833 William Henry Goss was born in London on 30 July, the son of Richard Goss and Sophia, nee Mann.
  • He studied at the School of Design, Somerset House, London. He initially specialised in ivory porcelain and perfected a method of improving the finish of jewelled porcelain, and invented the body and enamels for the heraldic china by which he is best known today.
  • 1852 He was awarded a medal at the International Exhibition.
  • 1858 A disagreement led to his setting up in business on his own. He was 25 years old. He experimented with making parian porcelain and produced busts and ornaments in this as well as other materials.
  • c1870 He transferred his factory from the Cock Works, Leese Street, Stoke-on-Trent, to the Falcon Works, Sturgess Street.
  • 1883 His son Adolphus joined the firm. Adolphus noted how the lower classes were now able to travel further (due to the expanding train network) and had more spare time and disposable income than ever before. A market had developed for souvenirs for people to take home from their day trips out, helped by Queen Victoria, who had made seaside bathing popular.
  • Goss had been producing small vases and pots with the Arms of Colleges and Schools on for presentations, for several years. Adolphus realised that these would make ideal small cheap items to produce with any town names and crests on. These were an instant success, and Adolphus travelled the country, and eventually around the world, signing-up agents to sell from, as well as drawing pictures of the local scenes to send back to the factory for new designs.
  • 1900 Adolphus left the firm after disagreements with his father, so he handed over the firm to two of his other sons, Victor and Huntley, just before William died in 1906.
  • 1913 Victor died in a riding accident and Huntley was left in charge of the business. He was not interest in progress and the firm gradually fell behind the times.
  • 1929 The Goss firm was sold to Cauldon Potteries but the name of Goss continued to be used.
  • 1929 Listed Exhibitor. Manufacturers of Ivory Porcelain, Teaware, Preserve Pots and Souvenirs. Art Pottery. (Stand No. G.25) [1]
  • Eventually, by liquidation and amalgamation, it became part of the Royal Doulton empire.

See Also

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Sources of Information

  • [1] The Potteries Website
  • [2] Woburn Sands Collection