Josiah Wedgwood & Sons, commonly known as Wedgwood, is a porcelain factory founded in Staffordshire in 1759. In its early days it was distinguished by technological innovation and experimentation on the part of Josiah Wedgwood (who was elected a member of the Royal Society in recognition of his scientific achievements). Their designs were frequently influenced by the decorative arts of ancient cultures that were being rediscovered in the late 18th century, including the pottery of the ancient Greeks, Romans and Egyptians. Most famously, the Portland Vase (now in the British Museum) was loaned to Wedgwood, from which he made a number of copies and developed the firm’s signature range of jasperware.
Wedgwood remained a family firm into the 20th century. It was bought in 1986 by Waterford Crystal to create Waterford Wedgewood, which continues to manufacture high-quality porcelain, china and glass.