Ralph Wedgwood (inventor)

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Ralph Wedgwood (1766–1837) was an English inventor and member of the Wedgwood family of potters. His most notable invention was the earliest form of carbon paper, a method of creating duplicate paper documents, which he called "stylographic writer" or Noctograph. He obtained a patent for the invention in 1806.

Wedgwood was born in Burslem, Staffordshire. He was the eldest son of the potter Thomas Wedgwood II (1734-1788) and his wife Elizabeth Taylor. He married thrice and was widowed twice. His first marriage was to Mary Yeomans in 1790 and they had two children, Mary and Ralph, but he was widowed in 1795. He remarried Sarah Taylor, they had a son Samuel (1800-1863) but she too died in 1807. In 1808 he married for a third time, to Mary Anne Copeland and they had three children, Trianne, Maria and William. His third wife survived him and died in 1867.

Ralph was the cousin and business partner of Josiah Wedgwood. Funding for Ralph's inventions were provided by Josiah's eldest son, Josiah Wedgwood II.


  • "Ralph Wedgwood: Pioneer of Office Copying". Archived from the original on 17 May 2011. Retrieved 14 March 2008.