Notes from the Master Potter – Chris Johnson – March 2016

The third son of Robert, Henry, enjoyed the trappings of the increasing wealth of the family company although as he grew older his contribution diminished. He became something of a spend thrift with a penchant for Rolls Royces with chauffeurs to boot. He had eight children equally divided between the sexes.   The amount of daughters, most who were spinsters, sired by that generation of Johnson men would be the cause of significant future problems as they were all allocated shares. Of his four sons, Reginald was sadly killed in the First World War and the other three came into the ceramic world. Robert ran a subsidiary business quite successfully, Johnson Fireclay, but unfortunately inherited the family trait of a love of alcohol and died at a very young age as a result; Grindley was asked to leave as factory life was not for him and he became a parson ( and surprisingly an amateur wrestler ) and Frank Garnett who followed in his father’s footsteps and did little to enhance the development of the business and preferred to spend the time enjoying the fruits of others. As in all family businesses, the success of Johnson Brothers in the early decades of the 20th Century was due to the outstanding abilities of one or two driven members.