The founder was Thomas Sharpe. He came from a farming background and established the pottery in 1821.
Starting with the manufacture of functional wares such as tea pots and pie dishes the family business quickly responded to a growing demand for making ceramic sanitary wares including toilets, wash basins and urinals.
In 1855, family member Edmund Sharpe designed, then patented an item of sanitary ware that we all still use today; the ‘Wash-Down’ water closet, more commonly known to us as a toilet.
Sharpe’s wasn’t the only pottery to produce these products. The Stoke on Trent potteries including Wedgwood and Minton amongst others, were supplying similar goods to a growing wealthy and elite clientele from the 1800’s onwards.