Waterford Wedgwood has fallen into administration (i.e. gone bankrupt). The Guardian‘s article on the history of the company, however, doesn’t do justice to Wedgwood’s historical significance. (Sadly, I’d have to attribute this to too much focus on informationwhich I suggest was taken from wikipedia [hopefully with some fact-checking!] and not enough analysis.) So here’s some long-nineteenth-century context: 1) Wedgwood was a big player in the Industrial Revolution. 2) The Wedgwoods were major supporters of the abolition movement. The Victorians may have been imperialist racist overlords, but their stance on slavery was part of their national identity. 3) Charles Darwin is the grandson of the Josiah Wedgwood.

And Wedgwood and English china manufacture is pretty pertinent to my project. It’s an example of import substitution. The Brits figured out how to make china for tea services, but it wasn’t until the late Victorian age that they figured out how to grow tea in significant quantities.