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Shelley History - The People

Frederick Hurten Rhead (1880-1942)

Frederick Hurten Rhead was born in Hanley in 1880. He was the eldest of six children to Frederick Alfred & Adolphine Rhead. After leaving school he served his apprenticeship at Brownfields working under his father, who was Arts Director at this time. Brownfields were known to produce a wide range of ware, which was considered to be of excellent quality. Whilst serving his apprenticeship he attended evening classes at the Wedgwood Institute, Burslem, and at the Government Art Schools in Stoke-on-Trent, Fenton and Longton. When his father left Brownfields for Wileman, Frederick Hurten moved with him. Just before the turn of the century Frederick Snr. introduced tube-lining at Wileman. Frederick Hurten and Harry learnt this technique and became very proficient at tube-lining. They then taught their sisters Charlotte (who later was renowned for her tube-lining designs) and Dollie. Frederick Hurten also introduced the tube-lining technique at Wardle’s. In 1898, Frederick became the Arts Director for Wardle & Co who were based at Hanley. This position was considered to have been on a part-time basis as he was still working for his father at Wileman’s. Frederick Snr. must have had a watching brief over his son at Wardle’s, as ware with similar designs to Wileman’s were being produced by Wardle’s. In the summer of 1902, Frederick Hurten resigned as Arts Director at Wardle’s and took up the post of Arts Director at Avon Pottery in Tiltonville Ohio. The reason for his sudden departure could be that Frederick had married a paintress from the shop floor. The marriage had been treated with dismay by his family, although the odd circumstances surrounding the marriage suggest that somehow Frederick had either been tricked or forced into it. He continued to work in the U.S.A. moving around and doing various jobs within the industry. In November 1942, Frederick Hurten died of cancer whilst living in New York City.