Brearley and Stephens Pottery


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In operation




“Fire on Sunday, — The alarm of fire about noon on Sunday was caused by a fire breaking out around the base of one of the kilns in Brearley & Stephens’ Pottery, on East Canal street. The kiln was filled with ware which was in process of baking, and some woodwork on the outside by some accident became ignited. — The Fire Department were promptly on the spot and soon succeeded in extinguishing the flames. The loss was but slight” (Trenton State Gazette, Tuesday, February 5, 1867).

“Be it enacted by the State and General Assembly of the State of New Jersey that Charles Brearley, James P. Stephens, James Tams, Isaac Stephens, George Brearley and their Associates be, and are hereby created a body politic and corporate, in fact and in law, by the name and style of the `Greenwood Pottery Company’ for the purpose of manufacturing, selling and dealing earthenware and crockery of various descriptionsÉ approved March 5, 1868” (Acts of the Ninety-Second Legislature 1868:238).

“The Greenwood Pottery Co. (of Trenton, N.J.) was incorporated in 1865É The business was established in 1861, under the style of Stephens, Tams & CoÉ Until 1876 they made white granite or stone china ware. The mark used from 1865 to 1876 was the coat-of-arms of the State of New Jersey above the words ‘Ironstone China’ and ‘G. P. Co.’ This was printed black underglaze. The first table porcelain made at this pottery was stamped ‘G. P. Co.'” (Newark Museum Association 1914:22).

Established in 1862 by Stephens & Tams Co.; built on the site of a carriage factory; incorporated in 1868 as the Greenwood Pottery Co. (Harney 1929).

Selected References

R.G. Dun & Company Collection, Mercer County. 1862-1875. 1 [44]:68.

“The Manufactories of Trenton. Article II. The Pottery Trade.” Trenton State Gazette, Monday, August 27, 1866.

“Fire on Sunday.” Trenton State Gazette, Tuesday, February 5, 1867.

Acts of the Ninety-Second Legislature of the State of New Jersey, and Twenty-Fourth under the New Constitution. 1868. “Laws of New Jersey” A.R. Speer, New Brunswick, New Jersey.

Young, Jennie J. 1879. “The Ceramic Art: A Compendium of the History and Manufacture of Pottery and Porcelain.” Harper & Bros., New York, New York.

Woodward, E.M. and J.F. Hageman. 1883. “History of Burlington and Mercer Counties.” Everts and Peck, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

“Greenwood Pottery Co., East Canal Street est. 1861, inc. 1862.” State Gazette, July 31, 1897.

Hood, John. 1905. “Index of Colonial and State Laws of New Jersey Between the Years 1663 and 1903 Inclusive.” Sinnickson, Chew & Sons Co., Camden, New Jersey.

“James Tams Dies after Notable Life as Potter.” Trenton Evening Times, November 12, 1910.

Newark Museum Association. 1914. “The Work of The Potteries of New Jersey: From 1685 to 1876 , Being Extracts from ‘The Pottery and Porcelain of the United States,’ by Edwin Atlee Barber and Marks of New Jersey Potteries, as Reproduced from ‘Pottery,’ Published by The Thomas Maddock’s Sons Company.” Newark Museum Association, Newark, New Jersey.

Secretary of State. 1914. “Corporations of New Jersey, List of Certificates to December 31, 1911.” MacCrellish & Quigley, Trenton, New Jersey.

Harney, W.J. 1929. “Trenton’s First Potteries.” Sunday Times Advertiser, July 7, 14, 21 and 28, 1929.

“James Tams, Dean among Potters.” 1938. Bulletin of the American Ceramic Society 17 (January):35-36.

Thorn, C. Jordan. 1947. “Handbook of Old Pottery & Porcelain Marks.” Tudor Publishing Company, New York, New York.

Quigley, M.A. and D.E. Collier. 1984. “A Capital Place: The Story of Trenton.” Historical Society and Windsor Publications, Inc., Woodland Hills, California.

Lehner, Lois. 1988. “Lehner’s Encyclopedia of U.S. Marks on Pottery, Porcelain & Clay.” Collector Books, Paducah, Kentucky.

Frelinghuysen, Alice Cooney. 1989. “American Porcelain, 1770-1920.” The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, New York.

Goldberg, David J. 1998. “Preliminary Notes on the Pioneer Potters and Potteries of Trenton, N.J.: The First Thirty Years – 1852 – 1882 (And Beyond).” Privately published, Trenton, New Jersey.

Conroy, Barbara J. 1999. “Restaurant China: Volume 2.” Collector Books, Paducah, Kentucky.

Other firms at this site:

Other Names

Stephens & Tams Company

Block and Lot:
7C/15; NJ RT 26

Historic Street Address:
E. Canal St. near Grand; E. Canal St. near Creek; E. Canal St. on State St.; E. Canal near Mercer Cemetery; Canal near Creek; E. Canal near Grand Ave.; E. Canal near Clinton; 2 Canal near S. Clinton Ave.

City of Trenton