“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Medicine Hat in Cypress County, Alberta — Canada’s Prairie Region (North America)

The Potteries of Medicine Hat

Alberta's History

The Potteries of Medicine Hat Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Cosmos Mariner, June 26, 2022
1. The Potteries of Medicine Hat Marker
Between 1912 and 1989 over a dozen different pottery companies operated in Medicine Hat and Redcliff. The availability of natural gas, suitable clay deposits nearby, and a location on the CPR mainline, were major factors in locating pottery manufacturing in the area. Throughout much of this period Medicine Hat was the largest centre of pottery production in Canada.

The first commercial pottery, the Medicine Hat Pottery Company, was begun in 1912. Financial difficulties led to its closure in 1913, but new investors purchased the building and equipment. A new firm, Medalta Stoneware Limited, opened in 1916 before being reorganized and renamed Medalta Potteries Limited in 1924. The company appealed to Canadian patriotism, advertising that it was "a Canadian factory, employing Canadian workmen, using Canadian clays, manufacturing useful household articles for the Canadian people." By the 1940s Medalta was by far the largest Canadian pottery manufacturer.

In 1937, a second large commercial pottery, Medicine Hat Potteries, opened. Both Medicine Hat Potteries and Medalta boomed during the war years as the Canadian Armed Forces
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purchased virtually their entire production. After the war, however, both companies faced increased competition from other Canadian and foreign manufacturers. Medalta was forced into bankruptcy in 1954, and Medicine Hat Potteries was sold and renamed Hycroft China in 1955. Hycroft China survived until 1989, in part by producing new products such as sinks and toilets. In 1966, a new company briefly revived the Medalta name with a firm based in Redcliff, but the heyday of the Medicine Hat pottery industry had passed.

For a closer look at the history of this industry visit the Medalta and Hycroft factories, restored by the Friends of Medalta Society.
Erected by Alberta Historical Resources Foundation.
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Industry & CommerceRailroads & StreetcarsWar, World II. A significant historical year for this entry is 1912.
Location. 50° 0.722′ N, 110° 41.09′ W. Marker is in Medicine Hat, Alberta, in Cypress County. Marker can be reached from Southridge Drive Southeast just south of Trans-Canada Highway (Provincial Highway 1), on the right when traveling south. Marker is located in the Medicine Hat Tourism and Visitor Center parking lot. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 330 Gehring Road Southwest, Medicine Hat AB T1B 4W1, Canada. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 3 kilometers
Marker detail: Making Pottery Teapots image. Click for full size.
Courtesy Medicine Hat Museum & Art Gallery, PC110.75
2. Marker detail: Making Pottery Teapots
Although Medicine Hat's potteries have manufactured everything from electrical insulators to flower pots, most concentrated on making china for home and commercial use. These teapots were a popular product line for Medalta in the 1940s.
of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Fifth Avenue Memorial United Church (approx. 3 kilometers away); Toronto Street School (approx. 3 kilometers away); First Street South Municipal Historic Area (approx. 3.1 kilometers away); Hull Block (approx. 3.1 kilometers away); St. John's Presbyterian Church (approx. 3.2 kilometers away); Ewart Duggan House (approx. 3.2 kilometers away); Courthouse (approx. 3.2 kilometers away); Monarch Theatre (approx. 3.2 kilometers away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Medicine Hat.
Also see . . .
1. Medalta Potteries. Wikipedia entry:
Three partners established Medalta Stoneware in 1916, starting with 12 employees, to prove that Canadian-made ceramics could compete with those from the United States, and that it was "equal in quality to any made in America". The company's products gradually displaced American-made ceramics at western Canadian retailers. Despite its success, the company made little profit and was constantly searching for used equipment it could obtain inexpensively to expand its business. With a workforce of 82 employees earning an average of $3.25 per hour, Medalta's labour costs were significantly higher than those of manufacturers of imported ceramics from Austria, Czechoslovakia, England, France, Germany, and Japan.
(Submitted on September 5, 2022, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.)
The Potteries of Medicine Hat Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Cosmos Mariner, June 26, 2022
3. The Potteries of Medicine Hat Marker
(Medicine Hat Tourism and Visitor Center in left background)

2. Medalta Potteries National Historic Site, Medicine Hat, Alberta. Parks Canada website entry:
Medalta Pottery was named after its location, Medicine Hat, Alberta, Canada. Medalta was the “longest running company and the largest producer of household crockery and hotelware in Canada,” according to the Royal Albert Museum website.
(Submitted on September 5, 2022, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.) 
Credits. This page was last revised on April 15, 2024. It was originally submitted on September 5, 2022, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida. This page has been viewed 472 times since then and 113 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on September 5, 2022, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.

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May. 23, 2024