Drake, Dave – The Slave Potter

Dave Drake, the Slave Potter

The potter known as Dave the Slave was born circa 1800 in an area devoted to pottery making. The Edgefield District of South Carolina had the clay, workforce and demand to make it the area’s pottery capital. Large pottery factories dotted the district, most operating with slave labor. Their products were essential to life on the early to mid-19th century plantation where pottery served as refrigerator, Mason jar and [...] Click here to continue reading.


Timmerman Pottery

Shimuel Timmerman, potter

Shimuel was a man of the times. He was a Justice of the Peace, fought in the Creek Indian War, and was a Confederate soldier. His only sibling, John, died as a POW at Camp Douglas, Illinois. His two sons continued to run the business after their father passed on. He is buried at the Wayfare Primitive Baptist Cemetery, Cow Creek, Echols County, Georgia. (Information provided to p4A by a granddaughter [...] Click here to continue reading.


Rich, Prosper

Prosper Rich

Ohio potter Prosper Rich produced stoneware products at New Castle (originally named West Liberty, later Caldersburg, and then New Castle, in Coshocton County), in the late 1850′s. He moved a pottery operation to Roscoe Village (also Coshocton County) in the 1860′s. He purchased this Roscoe Village property from George Bagnall about 1869. Rich purchased additional local property in 1870 and 1871. Caroline (Kate) Rich, Prosper and Melissa Rich’s daughter, married G. A. [...] Click here to continue reading.


Solomon Purdy and Sons – Ohio Stoneware Potters

Solomon Purdy, Ohio Potter

Solomon Purdy began potting circa 1820 in Putnam, Ohio, where he made utilitarian and slip decorated redware as well as roofing tiles. He lived for a time in the German community of Zoar, circa 1820 to 1850, before returning to Atwater, Ohio in 1850, where his son Gordon was potting stoneware circa 1850 to 1870.

Solomon Purdy’s stoneware is variously marked “S. Purdy Zoar”, “S. Purdy Atwater” as well as [...] Click here to continue reading.


Jim Murphy

James Murphy

James L. [Jim] Murphy (1941 to 2012) of Grove City, Ohio passed away on Oct. 8, 2012. Murphy published widely in the field of archeology and in 2008 was awarded a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Archeological Society of Ohio. He was known to Ohio collectors as one of the state’s foremost experts on the topic of Ohio pottery. He was also an avid collector who was always willing to share his [...] Click here to continue reading.


Ballard Family Potteries

Ballard Family Potteries

In 1854 the three Ballard brothers of Burlington, Vermont, Orrin L, Alfred K, and Hiram N. took over the old Thompson & Co. pottery in Gardiner, Maine. They operated the Gardiner facility for about a year and produced wares with the incised mark BALLARD & BROTHERS/GARDINER ME.

Following this experience, Orrin and Alfred moved to Portland, Maine, where in 1855 they established a pottery at 100 Green Street. The 1856 [...] Click here to continue reading.


Seagle School of Pottery

Daniel Seagle and Seagle School of Pottery

Daniel Seagle (1805 to 1867), a resident of Vale, North Carolina in the Catawba River Valley area, founded what has become known as the Seagle school of potters. About a half dozen potters are known to have apprenticed to Daniel, making their pots at his kiln. These apprentices include Daniel’s son, James Franklin “Frank” Seagle (1829 to 1892); Daniel Holly (1811 to 1899); John Goodman, Daniel’s son-in-law [...] Click here to continue reading.


Hormell, Nelson G

Nelson G. Hormell

A native of Western Pennsylvania, Nelson G. Hormell (1832 to 1902) was a potter who moved to the village of Newport in Tuscarawas County, Ohio in the 1860′s. By the 1870′s he was producing utilitarian stoneware there, either by himself or in partnership with William Smythe.

Hormell stoneware is most often marked in a cobalt script. When working alone, Hormell signed his wares N. G. Hormell; in partnership the wares are [...] Click here to continue reading.


Woodruff, M. & Co. – Stoneware Pottery – New York

M. Woodruff & Co.

Madison Woodruff operated a pottery in Cortland, New York from 1849 to 1870. His wares included stoneware crocks, jugs and flasks. Three marks are known from his pottery: M. WOODRUFF/CORTLAND; M. WOODRUFF & CO/CORTLAND, and CORTLAND.


Norton, Frank B – Pottery

Frank B. Norton Pottery

The F.B. Norton Pottery was operated in Worcester, Massachusetts from 1858 to 1894 by Franklin (Frank) B. Norton in association with Frederick Hancock. It is thought that Frank probably learned the pottery craft from his uncle, Luman Norton, who operated the Norton Pottery in Bennington, Vermont.

Frank’s Norton Pottery made utilitarian stoneware, including crocks, churns, jugs, jars, pots and similar wares. From 1858 to 1876 the firm operated as F.B. [...] Click here to continue reading.


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