Firing Tableware, Trenton, N.J.

Special Collections > Keystone Slides
tiff scanned file from original glass slide
It is the opinion of students of history that all people early discovered how to make pottery from clays. The Indians of North America knew the art for thousands of years before Columbus discovered the western world. The African savage fashioned for himself his crude bowls. Beautiful vases and urns were buried with the Egyptian kings 4,000 years ago. The Greeks were fine craftsmen in clays, and the Romans have left behind many fine jugs, jars, bowls, and vases. But the Chinese are the world's greatest potters. One of the wonders of the Middle Ages was the Chinese porcelain. The art of making porcelain came to Europe in the 16th century by way of Florence. The essential processes of making pottery are the same in all countries. Clays are carefully mixed so they can be handled. These clays are built about a potter's wheel until they have dried to the toughness of leather. Then they are either lightly heated and put back on the wheels or lathed to a dine finish. They are then fired, in much the same manner as bricks or tile are burned in a kiln. Coal is now largely used in these firing ovens, but gas is also used. The problem is to get great heat with little wastage. The view shows the firing room of a big pottery works in Trenton. The picture needs no explanation. Trenton is the center of the pottery industry in America. There are in Trenton 48 establishments that make every kind of clay goods from common earthenware to the finest china and porcelains. The yearly output of the Trenton factories is about $9,000,000. Ohio leads all other states in the industry. It produces about 40% of our clay wares. But the industry is carried on in a number of cities. Trenton easily leads any city in America. In 1915 the United States used $44,000,000 worth of pottery. Keystone ID: 22096 Note: All titles, descriptions, and location coordinates are from the original Keystone Slide documentation as supplied by the Keystone View Company. No text has been edited or changed.
Copyright by the Keystone View Company. The original slides are housed in McConnell Library's Special Collections.