This section is from "Scientific American Supplement Volumes 275, 286, 288, 299, 303, 312, 315, 324, 344 and 358". Also available from Amazon: Scientific American Reference Book.
No advance in any industry has been more sure than in that of pottery and chinaware, under the American tariff, or more rapid in the past four or five years. It took Europe three centuries and the jealous precautions of royal pottery proprietors to build up the great protectorates that made their distinctive trade-marks of such value. The earlier lusters of the Italian faience were guild privacies or individual secrets, as was almost all the craft of the earlier art-worker. Royal patronage in England was equivalent to a protective tariff for Josiah Wedgwood; and everywhere the importance of guarding the china nurseries has been understood. We have in this country broadcast and in abundance every type of material needed for the finest china ware, and for the finer glasses and enamels. The royal manufactories in Europe were hard put to it sometimes for want of discovering kaolin beds in their dominions, but the resources of the United States in these particulars needed something more than to be brought to light. The manipulation and washing of the clays to render them immediately useful to the potteries depends entirely upon the reliance of these establishments upon home materials. The Missouri potteries have their supplies near home, but these supplies must be put upon the market for other cities in condition to compete with the clays of Europe. There are fine kaolin beds in Chester and Delaware counties in this State; there are clay beds in New Jersey, and the recent needs of Ohio potteries have uncovered fine clay in that State. This shows that not only for the manufacture itself, but for the development of material here, everything depends upon the stimulus that protection gives.
Ohio china and Cincinnati pottery are known all over the country. The Chelsea Works, near Boston, however, are as distinguished for their clays and faience, and for lustrous tiles especially (to be used in household decoration) can rival the rich show that the Doulton ware made at the Centennial. Other New England potteries are eminent for terra cotta and granite wares. On Long Island and in New York city there are porcelain and terra cotta factories of established fame, and the first porcelain work to succeed in home markets was made at the still busy factories of Greenpoint. New Jersey potteries take the broad ground of the useful, first of all, in their manufacture of excellent granite and cream-colored ware for domestic use, but every year turn out more beautiful forms and more artistic work. The Etruria Company especially have succeeded in giving the warm flesh tints to the "Parian" for busts and statuettes, now to be seen in many shop windows. These goods ought always to be labeled and known as American--it adds to their value with any true connoisseur. Some of these establishments, more than others, have the enterprise to experiment in native clays, for which the whole trade owes their acknowledgments.
The demand all through the country by skillful decorators for the pottery forms to work upon, points to still greater extensions in this business of making our own china, and to the employment and good pay of more thousands than are now employed in it. A collection of American china, terra cotta, etc., begun at this time and added to from year to year, will soon be a most interesting cabinet. Both in the eastern and western manufactories ingenious workers are rediscovering and experimenting in pastes and glazes and colors, simply because there is a large demand for all such, and they can be supplied at prices within the reach of most buyers. It needs only to point out this flourishing state of things, through the "let-alone" principle, which protection insures to this industry, to exhibit the threatened damage of the attempt, under cover of earthenware duties, to get a little free trade through at this session.--Philadelphia Public Ledger.