Carroll Street Pottery


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In operation



white ironstone china (Millington, Astbury & Colcough 1865/66 advertisement); porcelain, white ironstone china, white granite, Queensware


“Fire Last Evening. — About six o’clock last evening a fire broke out in the packing shed of Millington, Asbury & Co.’s pottery on Perry Street. An alarm was instantly sounded and the fire department hastened to the scene, but as the building was of wood and contained a quantity of straw used for packing the crates of crockery, the flames speedily consumed it. Fortunately, however, the main building was not damaged” (Trenton State Gazette, Thursday, December 20, 1866).

“The original establishment dates back to the year 1853 and was among the first potteries erected in the city. Millington & Astbury were the founders” (Industries of New Jersey 1882:202).

“This widely known and representative pottery was established in 1853 at its present location by Millington & Astbury. The firm subsequently became in succession Millington, Astbury & Poulson, Millington, Astbury & Colclough, Millington, Astbury & Maddock, Astbury & Maddock, and finally the present firm, Thomas Maddock & Sons. The business carried on prior to 1872 was the manufacture of table ware. In that year they commenced the manufacture of sanitary earthenware” (Quarter Century’s Progress 1887:278).

Established in 1859 and in 1900 was considered the oldest sanitary pottery in the United States. It manufactured sanitary earthenware, “underglaze and overglaze decorated Toilet ware, umbrella stands, Jardinieres, etc.” (Board of Trade 1900).

After the partnership was founded in 1858, the pottery was built in 1859 as Millington & Astbury. There is a complex succession of partnerships: Millington, Astbury & Poulson; Millington, Astbury & Colcough; in 1872 Millington, Astbury & Maddock; and in 1874 Astbury & Maddock (Harney 1929).

According to Goldberg (1998), many of the published references to this pottery are not accurate. Woodward and Hageman (1883) and John Spargo (1925), for example, claimed that Millington and Astbury opened a pottery on Carroll Street in 1853, which is probably a reference to their partnership with William Young at what later became the City Pottery. It was not until John Colcough died in 1868 that the pottery operated under the name of Millington and Astbury, which it retained until Thomas Maddock joined the partnership in 1873. Pieces marked “Millington and Asbury” therefore date from 1868 to 1873 (rather than earlier, as is sometimes claimed).

Millington, Astbury & Poulson are known for producing the “Colonel Ellsworth Pitcher” (Goldberg 1998:23).

Selected References

R.G. Dun & Company Collection, Mercer County. 1862-1875. 1 [44]:40 and 132.

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

“Fire Last Evening.” Trenton State Gazette, Thursday, December 20, 1866.

Federal Census of New Jersey. 1870. Industrial Schedules. On file, New Jersey State Archives, Trenton, New Jersey.

Raum, J.O. 1871. “History of the City of Trenton.” W.T. Nicholson & Co., Trenton, New Jersey.

“Industries of New Jersey, Trenton, Princeton, Hightstown, Pennington and Hopewell.” 1882. Historical Publishing Company, New York, New York, Newark, New Jersey and Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

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

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.

Harney, W.J. 1929. “Trenton’s First Potteries.” Sunday Times Advertiser< July 7, 14, 21 and 28, 1929. Thorn, C. Jordan. 1947. "Handbook of Old Pottery & Porcelain Marks." Tudor Publishing Company, New York, New York. Van Hoesen, Walter Hamilton. 1973. "Crafts and Craftsmen of New Jersey." Associated University Presses, Inc., Cranbury, New Jersey. Abramson, D.V. and T. Karschner. 1978. "An Inventory of Engineering and Industrial Sites, Trenton, New Jersey." On file, New Jersey Historic Preservation Office (NJDEP), Trenton, New Jersey. Lehner, Lois. 1980. "Complete Book of American Kitchen and Dinner Wares." Wallace-Homestead Book Company, Des Moines, Iowa. Robinson, Dorothy and Bill Feeny. 1980. "The Official Price Guide to American Pottery & Porcelain." House of Collectibles, Orlando, Florida. Leibowitz, Joan. 1985. "Yellow Ware: The Transitional Ceramic." Schiffer Publishing, Ltd., West Chester, Pennsylvania. Lehner, Lois. 1988. "Lehner's Encyclopedia of U.S. Marks on Pottery, Porcelain & Clay." Collector Books, Paducah, Kentucky. Wetherbee, Jean. 1996. "White Ironstone: A Collector's Guide." Antique Trader Books, Dubuque, Iowa. 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.

Other firms at this site:

Other Names

Millington, Astbury & Co.; Millington, Astbury & Poulson; Millington, Astbury & Colclough; Millington & Astbury; Millington, Astbury & Maddock; Astbury & Maddock

Block and Lot:
10B; 11A; 12C/29, 103

Historic Street Address:
106 Ewing Street and Perry Street; Perry Street near Canal; 106 Ewing Street and 94 Carroll Street; Ewing & Ogden

City of Trenton

1870 Census

Name in censusMillington & Astbury
Capital Invested60000
Type of power 11 Steam Engine
Horsepower 124
Machine name 1Jiggers, Grinding Pans, etc.
Machine quantity 14
Raw material type 1Coals
Raw material quantity 1900 tons
Raw material value 14850
Raw material type 2Ball Clay
Raw material type 3Kalon Clay [Kaolin]
Raw material type 4Flint
Raw material type 5Spar
Raw material type 6Chemicals
Raw material type 7Lead
Raw material type 8Total
Raw material quantity 2150 tons
Raw material quantity 350 tons
Raw material quantity 4200 tons
Raw material quantity 5150 tons
Raw material quantity 610 tons
Raw material quantity 7500 tons
Raw material value 21420
Raw material value 31275
Raw material value 43000
Raw material value 52720
Raw material value 6320
Raw material value 716200
Raw material value 816200
Product type 1White Earthen Ware
Product value 140000
Male hands above 1629
Female hands above 167
Yearly wages21000
Months operating8