At the dawn of the industrial revolution in Britain one of the first global brands created was that of Wedgwood china. Founded in 1759 by potter Josiah Wedgwood, it set standards that others were unable to match. A set of Wedgwood china became the mark of distinction for any aristocratic home and, more importantly, any home of the rapidly emerging middle classes.
At the dawn of de-regulated capitalism, in the 1980's, Wedgwood was acquired by the Waterford crystal company. Not for the first time or the last in this era, the management cultures of the two companies were fatally mismatched, the company went bust in 2008.