Brearley and Stephens Pottery

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The Database is organized by location, but you can find a pottery initially by searching for its name, which is at the top of the of the page with dates of operation below. Alternate names and the names of other potteries on the same site are noted at the top of the right-hand column, just above the pottery’s location.

The types of wares made appear below the pottery name in the left-hand column, followed by the references that informed these classifications.

Sample images of maker’s marks may be enlarged by clicking on the image.

Notes include a variety of information compiled from many standard sources and are presented as miscellaneous tidbits.

In the Gallery and Map Gallery in the right-hand column you will see historic images and insurance maps of the pottery’s facilities if available as well as historic advertisements and images of the wares made.

You can download more detailed information in all of these categories by choosing a PDF of the pottery’s full listing, which also includes the documentary sources. The PDF is text only and does not contain any images.  Data from the 1860, 1870 and 1880 industrial censuses area also included in the PDF if they exist for a given pottery. This data gives you a picture of the size of the pottery operation and the age and gender makeup of its work force.

You can help expand the database by contributing pictures and information. Contact POTS by the email address at the bottom of the page.

In operation    1862-1868



“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.”

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


Selected References

“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.

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.

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

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.

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

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