In 1883 at a small factory called the Charles Street Works in Hanley, Stoke-on-Trent, Frederick and Alfred, established a partnership called Johnson Brothers for the manufacture of durable earthenware, which they called “White Granite”. In 1888, another brother, Henry, joined the firm. They began producing underglaze printed ware for which they became famous. By 1898, they had five factories producing tableware.
In 1896, a fourth brother, Alfred, joined the company and set up an office in New York to promote Johnson Brothers’ products in America. Promotion to overseas markets culminated in the establishment of a factory in Germany in 1913. But the First World War forced the closure of the German operation and the cessation of much of the export business to America because of the danger to sea transportation.
In the 1920s, new shapes, patterns and bodies were introduced, including the “Dawn:” range of coloured bodies but it was not until the mid-1930s that full production was achieved.