Thomas Potter (industrialist)

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The Potter House in Christianshavn, Copenhagen Brostes Gard.JPG
The Potter House in Christianshavn, Copenhagen

Thomas Potter (24 May 1745 12 October 1811) was a Danish industrialist and merchant who founded the first iron foundry in Denmark at Christianshavn in Copenhagen in 1785. The Potter House, his former home overlooking Christianshavn Canal in Christianshavn, now also known as the Brøste House after a later owner, is now listed on the Danish registry of protected buildings and places.

Christianshavn neighborhood of Copenhagen, Denmark

Christianshavn is a neighbourhood in Copenhagen, Denmark. Part of the Indre By District, it is located on several artificial islands between the islands of Zealand and Amager and separated from the rest of the city centre by the Inner Harbour. It was founded in the early 17th century by Christian IV as part of his extension of the fortifications of Copenhagen. Originally, it was laid out as an independent privileged merchant's town with inspiration from Dutch cities but it was soon incorporated into Copenhagen proper. Dominated by canals, it is the part of Copenhagen with the most nautical atmosphere.

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Brøste House

Brøste House, also known as Potter House after its founder, Thomas Potter, a Scottish born industrialist, is a late 18th-century historic property at Overgaden Oven Vandet 10, overlooking Christianshavn Canal, in the Christianshavn neighbourhood of Copenhagen, Denmark.



Born in Edinburgh to unknown parents, Thomas Potter came to Copenhagen at an early age where he obtained a royal licence to establish an iron foundry on rented land at Appelbys Plads in 1769. In 1771, his license was expanded to comprise all sorts of brass and iron products, forged as well as cast. [1]

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In 1779, Potter acquired a lot fronting Christianshavn Canal, constructing the Potter House in 1785. It had offices on the ground floor, packing in the cellar and his residence on the first floor. [2] The foundry was located to the rear of the building. It manufactured "iron pots in all shapes" as well as everything from nails and bullets to ship anchors. Some of its products were exported to both the East and West Indies. [3] Over the years, he built a considerable export of pots, nails and forged anchors to both the East and West Indies.

Christianshavns Kanal canal in Copenhagen Municipality, Denmark

Christianshavns Kanal is a canal in the Christianshavn neighbourhood of Copenhagen, Denmark. Running northeast-southwest, it bisects the neighbourhood along its length. To the north it connects to Trangraven, the canal which separates Christianshavn from Holmen; to the south it makes an angular break and empties in the main harbour a little north of the Langebro bridge. At the middle, Christianshavns Kanal is crossed by Børnehusbroen. This bridge is part of Torvegade, the main thoroughfare of Christianshavn, connecting the city centre across Knippelsbro to the northwest to Amager the southeast. The only other bridge traversing the canal is Snorrebroen, located further north.

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West Indies Island region of the North Atlantic Ocean and the Caribbean

The West Indies is a region of the North Atlantic Ocean and the Caribbean that includes the island countries and surrounding waters of three major archipelagos: the Greater Antilles, the Lesser Antilles, and the Lucayan Archipelago.

Personal life

The Cort Adeler House where Potter lived from 1797 to 1807 Cort Adelers Gard.jpg
The Cort Adeler House where Potter lived from 1797 to 1807

On 20 March 1782 in the German Reformed Church in Copenhagen, Potter married Marie Spengler (1 January 1762 1 September 1785), A daughter of Royal Art Chamber manager Lorenz Spengler and Gertrud Spengler (née Trott), who died just three years later. On 2 March 1789 in St. Nicolas' Church, he then married Inger Marie Wismer (3 August 1768 19 March 1789), a daughter of tea and porcelain merchant Nicolaj Henrik Wismer and Anne Marie Meinerth; she died just 17 days later at 20 years old. Haunted by grief after the early loss of two wives in the building in just six years, Potter sold his house at Christianshavn Canal in 1790 never to set foot in the building again.

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Vordingborg Place in Zealand, Denmark

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  1. "Thomas Potter" (in Danish). Dansk Biografisk Leksikon . Retrieved 8 October 2016.
  2. "Overgaden oven Vandet 10" (PDF) (in Danish). Retrieved 2012-08-15.[ permanent dead link ]
  3. "Brøstes Samling" (in Danish). Selskabet for Københavns Historie. Archived from the original on 2012-02-24. Retrieved 2012-08-15.