The Ashburton Guardian. Magna Est Veritas et Prevalebit. THURSDAY, APRIL 21, 1881. Manufacture of Pottery Ware.
TOWN EDITION. [lssued at 4.30 p.m.]
Now that so much public interest has been awakened in reference to the encouragement of colonial industries, and the feasibility of many schemes which have for their object the opening up of our resources, thereby equally bettering the condition of our agriculturists and their dependants, it would be wise if our local association will at once take steps towards obtaining every information possible on matters which may lead to the establishment of one particular industry, viz., a pottery and glass manufacturing company. In mooting the establishment of such a company, we do so with the greatest amount of assurance, as we feel convinced that in the neighborhood of Mount Somers raw material can be obtained, which we are told will be found equally as good as that worked in Otago. At Milton the pottery works have been in full swing for some time past, and public interest is awakened to such an extent that a public company is now started, in order to increase the manufacture of the many varied kinds of pottery which can be produced at works of this kind, and which a private individual is debarred from doing owing to want of capital. It is a well known fact that Dunedin capitalists are far more alive to their interests than any of their northern neighbors. A glance at the city of Dunedin at once conveys that impression. In the country districts of Otago the same desire to encourage local industries is manifested by the country people straining all the’’r energy towards soliciting outside as well as local aid—and they get it. Do we do the same in Canterbury ? No. When an industry is mooted we are told that it must be in Christchurch, or somewhere near it to ensure success. We know the fate of the proposed Oxford Cement Company. Ourcountrycapitalistsrequire energy, and until that is awakened we must lie content to let our southern neighbors remain before us in all local manufactories. There is ample room for a pottery manufactory in Canterbury as well as in Otago. The value of the earthenware imports into New Zealand during the year 1879 was 1.43,361, and the value of glass bottles imported during the same year was 1.8,569, and window glass Li 5,566. Imported articles of glassware made a total of 1.27,307, and drain-pipes 1.6,259, amounting in the aggregate, including earthenware, glassware, and drain-pipes, to the respectable total of 1.73J55That the products of the Milton works have been proved to be exceptionally good and equal to many of the imported articles of pottery, we have the best of testimony. The Milton pottery exhibited at the Melbourne Exhibition, took a most satisfactory and enviable position in point of merit to that exhibited by foreign countries. In their exhibit, the Milton pottery gained an award of merit in advance of the eminent Austrian Pottery Manufactory, and this is something to be proud of. We have before us a prospectus of the proposed New Zealand Pottery and Glass Company, which is to take over the Milton Pottery works from its present proprietor, Mr Reeves. The capital is put down at in shares of £1 each. The provisional directors appear to be men of sound business capacities, and have issued a very plain and easily understood prospectus. The clay, or kaolin, found at Milton, is said to be the best of its kind for pottery purposes, and the supplypractically inexhaustible, but we can hardly credit the statement that no other clay approaching it in quality has been found in New Zealand. As before remarked, we have a good pottery clay, which will soon be within easy reach of Ashburton, by means of the railway. We have also coal and wood in close proximity, both of which are necessary adjuncts to a pottery manufactory, and only await the completion of the Mount .Somers line to come within the reach of consumers.— This railway, by the bye, will, no doubt, be considered worth while completing, as soon as a good dray road is opened out to the hills from Ashburton. At present it is practically useless. —With regard to the articles made at Milton, we have examined a J number of them, and those who noticed j them at our late Exhibition must have ( been afforded extreme pleasure and \ surprise at the result of such a new 1
industry in New Zealand. As in all probability only a few shares in the Milton Company will be applied for out of Otago, we hope the Ashburton Association will be alive to the interest of the County, and shortly initiate such a scheme as our Southern neighbors have done, and start a manufactory here for a similar purpose —for it can be proved that the demand exists for pottery, &c., and that they can be produced below the cost tf the imported article.