Minton Patent Ovens, Part 2: Plans

Last week we began our series of posts on the Minton Patent Ovens by concentrating on the patent itself, picking out details from the original specification to help gain a better understanding of what made this new type of oven different to those that had gone before. Detailed explanations do make for rather text-heavy blog posts however, so this time we thought we’d showcase some of the wonderful plans found within the Mintons Patent Ovens section.

First up is a drawing we’ve actually featured on the blog once before, though you’d be forgiven for not recognising it as it was being used to illustrate the size of the Minton Archive at the time! Part of a bundle of plans, sections and elevations marked SD 1705/MS1087-MS1098, this particular document shows a vertical section and plan from a Patent Oven built at Minton in September 1873, just 4 months after the patent specification was published.

In this bundle – and in others like SD 1705/MS1100-MS1139 – specific types of Patent Oven are represented, including china and earthenware biscuit ovens (SD1705/MS1093, SD 1705/MS1128), brick ovens (SD 1705/MS1101), and glost ovens (SD 1705/MS1109). There are even drawings for an earthenware kiln (SD 1705/MS1092), suggesting that the Patent Oven improvements could be applied to kilns as well.

Despite the technical nature of these plans many of them are beautifully detailed. Some, like SD 1705/MS1124, show artistic details incorporated into the drawings…

whilst others, such as SD 1705/MS1111 and SD 1705/MS1137 (themselves an interesting pairing up) skew very heavily towards an “artist’s impression” style of representation.

In our third and final final post in this series we’ll sift through some of the correspondence found within the Mintons Patent Ovens section to try to answer a very important question – were the Patent Ovens a success?