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Jersey City And Its Historic Sites

By Harriet Phillips Eaton
Published 1899

This Web version, edited by GET NJ

Jersey City Pottery

In 1833 David Henderson organized the "American Pottery Manufacturing Company," for the purpose of manufacturing various kinds of pottery. By Act of Assembly of January 18th, 1833, the following commissioners were appointed to solicit stock subscriptions: David Henderson, John V. B. Varick, Robert Gilchrist, J. Dickinson Miller, of Jersey City, and Edward Cook,

George Tingle and J. Steele, of New York. During the seven years following there was made at this pottery the first successful competition with England in the manufacture of a buff or cream colored ware of excellent quality, and for the first time in America was adopted the English method of printing transfer in decoration. During the Presidential campaign of 1840 there was made here a large eight-sided water pitcher of cream colored ware; on the four front panels were black under glaze prints of a log cabin above the legend "The Ohio Farmer," and below a portrait bust of W. H. Harrison, with the American Eagle. The mark on the bottom in black under glaze was a flag with the inscription, "American Pottery Manufacturing Company, Jersey City."

In Jennie Young's "Ceramic Art" it is said that at the old Jersey City Pottery the "throwing and turning of earthenware upon the English principle was first performed in America by William and James Taylor." About this time Daniel Greatback, a member of a family of noted English potters, and at one time a modeller for the Ridgeways of Cauldron place, England, came to this factory and designed many ornamental pieces. For its first embossed ware the factory received a medal from the Franklin Institute. One style, a spittoon, was of a glazed white ware with raised white figures on a blue ground, the upper surface fluted and solid blue. About 1850 the name was changed to "The Jersey City Pottery." Many of the best potters in the United States learned their trade here. After several changes, Mr. John Rouse and Mr. Nathaniel Turner became proprietors of the pottery. Mr. Rouse came from the Derby works, England, and Mr. Turner from the Staffordshire potteries at Tunstall, England. They made porous cups for telegraphic purposes and many ornamental forms in white biscuit and glazed ivory white for decorators. One of the most graceful forms was the Worcester vase, a reproduction o` an old pattern at the Worcester works in England. Among others were four different sizes and varieties of Toby jugs, a pitcher with rope and anchor design, a figure of Christ, and Apostle jug; some, if not all, de signs of Greatback. On many of the wares portraits were modelled in relief, that of Daniel O'Connell was among the best. The pottery property was sold in 1892 and the old buildings destroyed. It is said that many priceless old moulds were thrown out upon the meadows and broken up. Mr. John O. Rouse still manufactures porous cups within two blocks of the site of the old pottery.

Table of Contents

Jersey City History
Your Ancestors' Story
Asbury Park
Bruce Springsteen's Jersey Shore Rock Haven!

The Statue of Liberty, Ellis Island, and The Central Railroad Terminal
Visit Liberty State Park!

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