Replacements, Ltd. - Royal Albert

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Royal Albert can trace its roots to 1896. Father and son Thomas Wild and Thomas Clarke (T.C.) Wild acquired Albert Works, a factory named in commemoration of the birth of Prince Albert. Appropriately renamed Thomas Wild and Co., the father and son duo initially specialized in making bone china tea and breakfast sets. Through excellence in manufacturing processes, the company was able to offer Queen's White, an alluring bone white line, to a broad spectrum of customers, and at very competitive prices. The company was given a further boost when English royalty chose Thomas Wild and Co. to produce memorial pieces for Queen Victoria's Diamond Jubilee.

Upon Thomas' death in 1898, T.C. assumed control of the company and managed it to even greater heights. By 1906 it was necessary to acquire larger facilities for the expanding business, and by 1909 the company was doing a brisk export business. With the help of various agents including Mr. John Raine, an influential businessman, the company was able to move into several foreign markets. T.C. understood the newest technologies and process innovations that were being introduced at that time. He moved from the traditional methods of firing dinnerware to using gas and electricity. Considered an almost blasphemous act by his colleagues, the newly adopted measures actually helped create a cleaner work environment. This resulted in T.C. being able to attract the industry's most talented craftsmen.

T.C.'s two sons succeeded him, and continued his vision of quality craftsmanship and innovation, including the introduction of electric firing ovens after World War II. In 1964, Thomas Wild and Co. merged with Royal Doulton Tableware, Limited. The company's name was officially changed to 'Royal Albert,' yet many of Thomas Wild and Co.'s exquisitely ornate original patterns are still being produced.

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