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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Trenton in Mercer County, New Jersey — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
 

From Teacups to Toilets

 
 
From Teacups to Toilets Marker image. Click for full size.
By Gary Nigh, November 2007
1. From Teacups to Toilets Marker
Inscription. Trenton burst forth as the premier pottery-producing center of the Eastern United States in the second half of the 19th century, the city skyline soon being dominated by the smokestacks of pottery kilns. Trentonís location as a transportation hub was key to the development of large-scale pottery manufacture in the city. Making use of the canals and railroads, clay and coal could be easily brought in to the factories and finished products could be conveniently shipped out. Potters from other American cities and England converged on Trenton to join companies producing new and high quality ceramic products for the rapidly expanding domestic market.

The first industrial potteries in the city – the works of James Taylor and Henry Speeler, the City Pottery, William Young & Sonsí Excelsior Pottery, all established in the 1850s – produced mostly yellowwares and whitewares for household use. In the 1860s and 1870s, many of Trentonís largest and best-known potteries came into being – the Eturia Pottery of Ott & Brewer, Coxon & Companyís Pottery, John Maddock & Sons Coalport Works and the Mercer Pottery – still mostly producing white tableware and hotel china, but of increasingly high quality. The 1880s and early 1890s saw diversification into other products, most notably sanitary earthenware, electrical porcelain
From Teacups to Toilets Marker image. Click for full size.
By Gary Nigh, November 2007
2. From Teacups to Toilets Marker
View looking north across the Camden and Amboy Railroad and the Delaware and Raritan Canal toward the Enterprise and Anchor Potteries around 1910.
and porcelain hardware, but an important specialty in porcelain sculpture and art pottery also emerged. It was during this period that the Ceramic Art Company, the predecessor of Lenox, Inc, was founded.

Although the industry was beset by labor disputes in the 1890s, it continued to grow apace, reaching close to 50 factories and over 5,000 employees by around 1910. Several changes in ownership and mergers took place in the 1920s, especially in the sanitary earthenware business, where the Crane Company and the Standard Sanitary Manufacturing Company (the predecessor of American Standard) came to prominence. Decline set in with the Depression and by the end of World War II less than 20 potteries were still in operation. Today, only a handful of ceramic manufacturing facilities survive, but Trenton china and sanitary earthenware abounds in households and museums across the country.

Links to learn more – Trenton City Museum (Ellarslie) in Cadwalader Park, Trenton; New Jersey State Museum, Trenton; Hill-Fulper-Stangl Museum, Flemington
 
Erected 2004 by New Jersey Department of Transportation.
 
Location. 40° 11.914′ N, 74° 45.507′ W. Marker is in Trenton, New Jersey, in Mercer County. Marker can be reached from U.S. 29. Touch for map.
The four subject markers under the 19th Century Arch image. Click for full size.
By Gary Nigh, November 2007
3. The four subject markers under the 19th Century Arch
This marker is part of South River Walk Park which is built over Route 29. Marker is in this post office area: Trenton NJ 08611, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Cooper & Hewitt Ö.. Iron & Steel ( here, next to this marker); Canals and Railroads – Arteries to the Heart of Industrial Trenton ( here, next to this marker); Roebling ÖÖ Wire Rope and American Bridges ( here, next to this marker); 19th Century Trenton Timeline ( a few steps from this marker); 20th Century (and later) Trenton Timeline ( a few steps from this marker); Trentonís Early Houses of Worship ( within shouting distance of this marker); Slavery – An “Odious and Disgraceful” Practice ( within shouting distance of this marker); The Battles of Trenton, Turning Point of the Revolution ( within shouting distance of this marker). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Trenton.
 
More about this marker. This is one of four subject markers under the 19th Century Arch.
 
Categories. Industry & CommerceRailroads & StreetcarsWaterways & Vessels
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on December 17, 2007, by Gary Nigh of Trenton, New Jersey. This page has been viewed 1,045 times since then and 22 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on December 17, 2007, by Gary Nigh of Trenton, New Jersey. • Kevin W. was the editor who published this page.
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