USA Potteries:
An Incestuous Business

Have you ever wondered why it is so hard to tell one type of USA pottery apart from another? Well, in addition to the fact that many of the potteries are closely related through buying, selling, and name changes, the Ohio River Valley was a rich source of clay. For ceramics employees, it was a rich source of employers.

On this page, we will give you a flavor of just how incestuous this business was by showing some of the names we've found in the literature (mostly Lehner's book of marks, and individual references for each of the potteries) and the connections they've had with different USA potteries with which you might be familiar. This list is by no means all-inclusive.
  Addis E. Hull
Salesman for Star Stonery Company. Executive for Globe Pottery (1901-05). Founder and executive of Hull Pottery (1905-30).

Addis E. Hull, Jr.
Son of Addis E. Hull. Executive at Hull Pottery for 6 years (dates unknown). Worked for Shawnee Pottery from 1937-50, and Monmouth-Western Stoneware from 1950-63.

  Rudy Ganz
Designer for Frankoma Pottery; later went to work at Niloak. Spent 5 years at Shawnee.
  George Schwerber
Modeler who worked for both S.A. Weller and Shawnee.
  Clifford Twiggs
Die and block maker who worked for both Roseville and Shawnee.
  Bernard Twiggs
A supervisor who worked at Roseville and Shawnee (1937-61).
  Louise Bauer
Designer who worked for Shawnee (1937-40) and Hull.
  George Rumrill
Executive of RumRill Pottery. RumRill pottery was a distributor and shopped out their works to many different potteries. Red Wing (19??-1938), Shawnee (1938-39), Niloak (1932) and Camark all made pottery for RumRill at one time or another.
  Robert Heckman
Designer who studied under Chester Nicodemus and later went to work for Shawnee (1945-55).
  Arthur K. Grindley
Executive for Grindley Artware Company for 22 years. President of Shawnee in 1953-54. I received e-mail from his son saying Mr. Grindley was also president of Grindley pottery in Lynnfield MA from 1957-59, and he was president and general manager of Vogue Artware in Dennison OH, and Vice President of American Pottery in Marrietta, OH from 1962-65. Art Grindley passed away in 1967.
  Nelson McCoy
Worked for his father, J.W. McCoy, then formed his own company and was executive of the Nelson McCoy Pottery from 1910-45. Was also involved in the Brush-McCoy Pottery until 1918.
  Nelson Melick McCoy
Headed up Nelson McCoy Pottery from 1945-54.

Nelson McCoy, Jr.
Executive of Nelson McCoy Pottery from 1954-81. In 1981, he began his own pottery business, McCoy Pottery Limited.

  James W. McCoy
Although not the first McCoy to make a living in pottery, he was the first fairly well-known McCoy. Founded and ran the J.W. McCoy Pottery (1899-1911), then teamed with George Brush to form the Brush-McCoy Pottery in 1911.
  George S. Brush
Ran his own pottery business from 1907-08, then went to work for J.W. McCoy (1909-1911). Teamed with J.W. McCoy in 1911 to form the Brush-McCoy Pottery. The name of the pottery was changed to Brush Pottery in 1925.
  Fred Ungemach
Worked for the Nelson McCoy Pottery, then left to begin his own company, Ungemach Pottery. His wife worked for Brush.
  J. Martin Stangl
Designer who began his career at Fulper (1910-1914), then designed for Haeger from 1914-1918. He was wooed back to Fulper in 1918, eventually heading up the company. In the 1940's some of the Fulper ware was marked with his name, and by the 1950's the company's name had been officially changed to Stangl.
  Artus Van Briggle
Designer at Rookwood in the 1890's. Moved to Colorado in 1901 and, along with his wife, artis Anne Van Briggle, formed the Van Briggle Pottery.
  Hester Pillsbury
Artist who worked for Roseville and Weller.
  Mae Timberlake
Artist who worked for Roseville and Weller.
  Sarah Timberlake
Artist who worked for Roseville and Weller.
  John J. Herold
Artist who worked for Weller (1 year), Owens (1 year), Roseville (1900-08), and then started his own business..
  John F. Boninstall
An executive who had been involved at one time or another with all the following potteries: Shawnee, Stangl, Terrace (1960's), Stanford Sebring, and American Bisque.
  B.E. Allen
Part owner of Sterling China. Owner of American Bisque beginning in 1922.
  A. Neal Allen
Son of B.E. (owner of American Bisque). Bought half of American Pottery Company in the 1940's.
  Joseph Burgess Lenhart
Owner of American Pottery Company (1944-??) and sales manager for American Bisque (1944-??).
  Al Dye
Designer for American Bisque (1960's-70's) and American Pottery Company.
  Lawrence Rapp
Part owner (with his brothers) of Cliftwood Pottery. Was a mold maker at Niloak in 1944.
  Arthur Dovey
Potter at Rookwood, Ouachita, and Niloak (1910-11).
  Howard Lewis
Potter at Niloak until 1934, when he left to work at Dickota Pottery.
  Stoin M. Stoin
Ceramics engineer at Weller who created glazes at Niloak in 1931-32.
  Charles Hyten
Co-founder of Niloak Pottery. After the pottery was sold due to financial troubles, he still remained on in various capacities (mostly sales and PR) until 1939, when he quit rather abruptly. Later was a representative for Camark.
  Page Created by A. Brown for The Junky Monkey
Updated September 26, 1999.