The Potteries of Trenton Society (POTS) is a New Jersey non-profit corporation.  Our mission is to promote the study and appreciation of Trenton’s ceramic industry by:  gathering and preserving information related to the industry, sponsoring research projects, seminars and conferences, and promoting industry-related heritage tourism activities.

Please explore our website, and if you have any questions or information to share, contact us here.

Why Trenton?

In the 19th and early 20th centuries Trenton, New Jersey was a center of American ceramic manufacture, and its products were shipped all over the country, literally from coast to coast.  Among the Trenton pottery industry’s accomplishments:

  • the city was one of two major ceramic producing centers in the United States, rivaled only by East Liverpool, Ohio
  • table and kitchen wares from Trenton’s potteries were used in dining rooms and kitchens across America during the late 1800s
  • Thomas Maddock, one of Trenton’s ceramic leaders, refined the flush mechanism for the toilet
  • several firms in Trenton perfected the mass production of sanitary ware (wash sets, bathtubs, sinks and toilets)
  • J. L. Mott and Son, a Trenton firm, developed the built-in bathtub, an innovation that quickly became popular as it made cleaning the bathroom easier
  • art porcelain from several Trenton potteries, such as the Ceramic Art Company, Ott & Brewer, and Lenox China, won numerous awards and recognition at expositions and world fairs
  • Ott & Brewer’s parian Baseball Vase was the first piece of American clay officially classified at fine art when it was moved from the hall of manufacturers to the art gallery at the Centennial Exposition in 1876
  • many fine examples of Trenton wares are on display at major museums across the country, including the National Museum of American History (Smithsonian Institution) and the Metropolitan Museum of Art

See About Us for a more detailed history of the industry.


Members receive our quarterly newsletter, advance notice of lectures and exhibits, and reduced rates for conference and symposia registration. You will also be helping to preserve the industry’s history and educate others on Trenton’s importance as a ceramic manufacturing center. Find out more »