History of the Doulton Ceramic Filter
An Amazing Story...
The main products of the original company were ceramic busts, figurines, canning jars and tableware. Influenced by the unrelenting progress of the Industrial Revolution, Doulton placed equal emphasis on industrial applications for ceramic technology. It was John Doulton's son, Henry, however, who carried that tradition of the Lambeth pottery to its zenith.
"Offensive to the sight, disgusting to the imagination and
This was how London drinking water, drawn from the Thames, was described in a pamphlet published in 1827. The Thames was heavily contaminated with raw sewage; cholera and typhoid epidemics were rampant. The first Doulton® water filters were made using various earth and clay materials. By the time Queen Victoria came to the throne, Doulton was well established as a manufacturer of domestic and industrial products in a fine stoneware body that bore comparison with any in Europe.
Doulton created a gravity fed stoneware filter that combined the technology of a ceramic filter with the artistry of a hand crafted pottery water container. By 1846, the Lambeth factory was in the vanguard of the revolution in sanitation technology and products which Chadwick, and the great reformers of the day, brought to metropolitan England. Without the hard work and foresight of Henry Doulton that revolution would have been delayed by decades.
Henry Doulton introduced the Doulton® Manganous Carbon water filter in 1862, the same year that Louis Pasteur's experiments with bacteria conclusively exploded the myth of spontaneous generation and proved that all microorganisms arise from other microorganisms.
Doulton Filters were rapidly adopted by the military, Crown Agents, hospitals, laboratories and domestic users throughout the world.
In 1862, Doulton filters shown at the Kensington International Exhibition proudly wore the Royal arms of Queen Victoria.
King Edward VII
This Royal Warrant authorized the company to use the word ROYAL in reference to its products. Along the way the honors were won at the great international exhibitions in Chicago and Paris and the range of products proliferated. Queen Victoria bestowed upon Doulton the right to embellish each of its units with the ROYAL CREST.
In 1906, Doulton introduced a filter that proved to be equal to the one Louis Pasteur had developed in France. It was rapidly adopted by hospitals, laboratories and for use in domestic water filtration throughout the world. The popularity and effectiveness of even the early 20th century designs has resulted in their continued use world wide. The range and efficiency of Doulton® domestic water filters have been widely extended over the years to meet the demands of increasingly sophisticated uses.
Doulton® ceramics are now in use in over 150 countries.
Today the British Berkefeld® name is the preferred choice for water purification products in world-wide locations where outbreaks of illness are associated with unreliable water supplies.
The Royal Doulton Visitor Center was opened in May 1996 within the heart of the Royal Doulton factory in Burslem, Stoke-on-Trent, the "Mother Town" of the Potteries. Visitors walk through original factory buildings dating back to the mid-nineteenth century, which have been beautifully refurbished as the Home of the Royal Doulton Figure.
In July 1998 the Visitor Center was named Visitor Attraction of the
Year in its category by the Heart of England Tourist Board.