Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Trenton City Museum First Day of American Art Pottery Conference

Workers at potteries carried saggars on their heads

We wanted to posts images from our trip to the American Art Potters' Conference right after we got back, but with preparing for Cousins in Clay we just did not have the extra time to do it justice. We will post a bit about our trip to Langhorne, PA. this week, and then put our blog into Summertime Journal Blog mode, but more about that later.

On Thursday afternoon, during a down pour that created water up to car doors in some areas, we took a bus into Trenton to see the Trenton City Museum located in the Ellarslie Mansion which was built in 1848. The museum has been located in the building since 1978.

Back in the mid 1880's and reaching its pinnacle in the 1920's, Trenton was one of the two major pottery producing industries in America (next to East Liverpool, Ohio). The city became known as the "Staffordshire of America" where over 150 potteries have operated in Trenton since 1850. Potteries like Lennox China, Ott and Brewer, Fulper (Stangl Pottery), tile companies, saintary companies, and red-ware utilitarian pottery all made Trenton City their home.

I extracted this information from a couple different websites. You can find more history written about the potteries at the Trenton City Museum's website.

There is an organization called the Potteries of Trenton Society which is dedicated to the study and preservation of Trenton's ceramic past. They wrote a guide called "Teacups to Toilets" about the Trenton's pottery industry during the Industrial Revolution.

This is the Ellarslie Mansion in Cadwalader Park
Thomas Maddock's and Sons was a major producer of sanitary ware in Trenton. Also another pottery called J.L. Mott Company, whose claim to fame is the 600 pound - 50 gallon bathtub produced in 1909 for President Taft. (Footnote page 131 of "Reconsidering Trenton Small City in the Post Industrial Age")

Ott and Brewer later became Lennox China makers of fine porcelain.

"The Woodland vase, one of four distinct and highly decorative vases produced for the 1904 World’s Fair in St. Louis, was thought to have been lost or destroyed for decades, until it recently when it surfaced in a California auction. "

Other ceramic objects from the Trenton Museum

A snow cover of pink petals left behind by the downpour of rain.

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