Out on the tiles - Victorian Style
Victorian tile production
The huge explosion of industry, trade and wealth in Victorian times created an intense interest in the decorative arts and the development of design.
The Victorians were able to use the wide cultural influences from countries that they traded with or had colonised. The development of museums and an intense interest in archaeology enabled them to view not only the vibrant past of other cultures, but Britainís own heritage - archaeological excavations of medieval monastic sites in the early 1800s raised a great deal of interest.
Tile manufacture in Victorian England was intense, it was almost completely mechanised by the 1850s. There was an incredible range of tiles available, mostly down to one man, Herbert Minton. In 1835, Herbert Minton already a very successful manufacturer of tiles, bought moulds and equipment from an inventor Samuel Wright, and a share in his patent for a mechanised process of making inlaid earthenware tiles. Mintonís persistence and knowledge of tile making enabled mass production of tiles on a scale not known before.
You can download factsheets on the design and production of tiles in the Victorian Era, (click on the Worksheet/files links below).