William Blake Collection

View of Daisy Bank Marl hole, Longton, c.1912. William Blake Collection.

The museum holds an archive of around 1,500 images by Longton photographer, William Blake (1874-1957), taken throughout The Potteries and Staffordshire. They are a unique record of working life and social conditions in the region during the first half of the 20th century.

You can browse much of the Blake collection on Staffordshire Past Track. For more information about the collection, or if you would like to use an image, please contact .

A smokey view of Longton c.1910. Caption reads, “A BIT THICK FOR FATHER CHRISTMAS IN THE POTTERIES”. William Blake Collection.

Blake was born in the USA in 1874 but the family moved to England and had settled in Longton by the early 1900s. His mother was originally from the area, born in Newcastle-under-Lyme.

William set up a stationer’s shop and, as a talented photographer, sold his own works as postcards. He was also a member of the North Staffordshire Field Club and acted as a librarian for the society’s photograph collection. William died in 1957 – his unique archive has been acquired by The Potteries Museum and Art Gallery.