Notes from the Master Potter – Chris Johnson May 2016

The third brother was Robert Lewis who joined the company in its fledgling state. He was a brilliant business man, a true entrepreneur in every sense of the word and was the key figure instrumental in developing both the manufacturing and marketing of the company. The original factory was Charles Street Pottery, followed by Hanley Pottery and then Imperial Pottery. In the Potteries they were known as Johnson’s Top Bank, Hanley was Middle Bank and Imperial Bottom Bank. Why ” Banks “; the name is shrouded in myth but the nearest guess is that Stoke was built on seven hills or banks – hence the factory names to the locals. A further factory followed in the north of the city, Alexandra, and finally a sanitary ware factory, Trent,was built adjacent to Imperial. He lived in grand style at Butterton Hall – a house so large a coach and four horses could turn around in the main hall. He was a devoted father, a larger than life figure and in his short life had created the largest Earthernware manufacturer in the world.