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Josiah Wedgwood is arguably the best-known name in the history of pottery - but it's not just his pots that made their mark on history. Tim Harford explains how a business model Wedgwood devised in the 18th Century still underpins the modern fashion industry.

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10 minutes

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Last Monday 04:50GMT

Image credit

Cup and saucer decorated with classical motifs, 1790, green and white stoneware, Wedgwood manufacture, Staffordshire. England, 18th century. Florence, Museo Stibbert (Art Museum). (Credit: DeAgostini/Getty Images)

Sources

Josiah Wedgwood: Entrepreneur to the Enlightenment, Brian Dolan, 2004 Harper Perennial, London

IPhone Owners Crying Foul Over Price Cut - New York Times

Durability and Monopoly, R. H. Coase, Journal of Law and Economics, Vol. 15, No 1, April 1973

How Entrepreneurs Earned Consumers' Trust from Wedgwood to Dell, Nancy F Koehn, 2001 Harvard Business School Press, Boston

La science positive de la morale en Allemagne, Emile Durkheim, 1887

The Theory of the Leisure Class, Thorstein Weblen, 1899

Slaves of the Red Carpet - Vanity Fair

Design Innovation and Fashion Cycles, Wolfgang Pesendorfer, American Economic Review

The Durapolist Puzzle: Monopoly Power in Durable-Goods Markets, Barak Y. Orbach, Yale Journal on Regulation, Vol. 21, 2004

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