Richard Dudson opened his first factory in Hanley, Stoke-on-Trent, in 1800. Nine generations on from the founder, Dudson is still a privately owned family business, the oldest in the UK tableware industry specialising in ceramic tableware for the ever expanding world of travel and hospitality.
In the early years, the company produced a wide variety of domestic ware, including Staffordshire figures, Relief Moulded Stoneware, Jasper Ware, Ebony and Mosaic (rouletted) ware.
On the death of his father in 1882, James Thomas Dudson, the great grandson of the founder, became the owner of the Hope Street factory and it was he who master-minded significant changes in production, which would help to ensure the future of the company.
Having travelled extensively for the firm for many years, he identified the potential in supplying a new market. By this time, the railways were well established, shipping lines began to flourish and an increasing number of hotels were being built to accommodate the population which was now ‘on the move’ for the first time. James Thomas Dudson had the foresight to identify the embryonic ‘leisure and tourism’ industry!
The exceptionally strong, vitreous clay body perfected by his father was ideally suited to the production of catering ware and so, by 1891, Dudson had turned its full attention to this new growth area.
Interior of the Centre Circa 1890
Today, Dudson is one of the world’s leading manufacturers of tableware for the hospitality industry, continuing to set the standard in design, production and innovation.