Greenwood Pottery was an American pottery located in Trenton, New Jersey.
William Tams and his son James Tams moved to the United States. William Tams had been trained as a “dipper” and kiln stoker in Staffordshire, England (1845–1910). William worked briefly at Young’s pottery in New Jersey, then he and William Barnard opened their own pottery. James joined his father’s pottery, where James P. Stephens and Charles Brearly were partners in Brearly, Stephens, and Tams. In 1866, James took over for his father.
In 1868, the firm was incorporated as the Greenwood Pottery Company. James Stephens was the secretary and treasurer, and James Tams was the president. Until 1875, the pottery made industrial white-granite and cream-coloured tableware for restaurants, hotels, steamships, and railways, as well as ceramic hardware like doorknobs and electrical insulation.
It started making the American China line in 1878, and the success of that line led it to buy the older Eagle Pottery, Burroughs Pottery, and Mountford Pottery.
Some of its industrial ware was decorated in the 1870s. In the 1870s and 1880s, the company began making thin, white porcelain that could be seen through. In 1882, a fire destroyed the factory, which had to be rebuilt. At that time, decorating departments and showrooms were added.
In 1883, Jones, an English porcelain decorator who used to work for the Royal Worcester Porcelain Company, joined Greenwood. Other Worcester artists soon followed. This hiring led to work precisely the same as examples in English. The deep blue glaze on Greenwood’s vases looked like the King’s Blue of Sevres, and they were usually decorated with raised gold, silver, or bronze colours. Its artistic pottery-making didn’t last long. It discontinued its art-porcelain line by the early 1890s, though it continued production of its white granite hotel ware until 1933 when the factory is presumed to have closed. (Frelinghuysen, 1989)
Frelinghuysen, A. C. (1989, January 1). American Porcelain, 1770-1920. https://doi.org/10.1604/9780870995408
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