City Pottery


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Duo Reges: constructio interrete. Omnes enim iucundum motum, quo sensus hilaretur. Nihil illinc huc pervenit. Quid censes in Latino fore?

In operation



the first white earthenware (Rhodes & Yates) (Boyd 1877); C.C. (cane-colored) and W.G. (white granite) wares (Trenton State Gazette, Monday, August 27, 1866)


“The second pottery was built by Mr. Attersley [sic], on the property where the establishment of Messrs. Yates & Titus now stands. This he worked in connection with Mr. William Young, and commenced the manufacture of porcelain door knobs and trimmings. These potteries were subsequently purchased by Messrs. Yates & Rhodes, who in 1857 introduced the manufacture of white crockery, known to the trade as C.C. (cane color), and W.G. (white granite) wares” (Trenton State Gazette, Monday, August 27, 1866).

Detailed description of the operation of this pottery in 1866 is provided in “The Manufactories of Trenton. Article III. The Pottery Trade – Continued” (Trenton State Gazette, Wednesday, August 29, 1866).

“The ‘New Jersey Agricultural Society’ awarded them a medal in 1860 for the best assortment of fine stone chinaware, and the ‘Maryland Institute’ awarded them a gold medal for the finest display of superior dinnerware at its exhibition held in the city of Baltimore in 1873” (Everts & Stewart 1875:XII).

“Since its establishment by Rhodes & Yates there have been a great many changes in the firm. After Rhodes & Yates, it was Higginson, Rhodes & Yates. In 1865, Yates & Titus; in 1870, Yates, Bennett & Allen, and on October 1, 1875, it was organized under the manufacturing laws of New Jersey” (Mains and Fitzgerald 1879).

“The first pottery fitted up for the exclusive manufacture of white granite and cream-colored ware was that of Rhodes & Yates, in 1859, at the present City Pottery, on Perry Street” (Young 1879:461).

Detailed retrospective provided in “The Trenton Potteries 20 years Ago and To-Day” (Trenton State Gazette, Monday, October 6, 1879). Narrated by James Yates: “I have said that machinery was comparatively speaking, unknown in the formation of ware twenty years ago, but we soon found it expedient to make the experiment, and we gave a few ideas to more than one of our Trenton machinists which resulted in the introduction of several machines which afterwards became in general use. In 1862 we heard for the first time of the introduction of the clay presses in England, the same which are now in use in all the potteries in Trenton and other places, which superceded the slip kiln. At an expense of four hundred dollars we procured drawings of them, and had two made by Moses Golding, at a cost of about seven hundred dollars more, with the required pipes and attachments. Four years after we were informed the presses were patented in England, when it became necessary to secure by purchase the right for the United States, which was done by three or four gentlemen of Trenton, for which we advanced three or four hundred dollars more. We expected to receive this sum back from the sale of rights. A great many rights were sold, and so were we as we never received a dollar after having paid in all seven hundred dollars more than the presses cost for building. We also bought the first throwers wheel and a turner’s lath, in England, at a heavy expense, which machines were afterwards made in Trenton for the other potteries.”

A new pottery was established here by Rhodes & Yates. Complex succession of ownership: Higginson, Rhodes & Yates; Yates and Titus; in 1865 Yates, Bennett & Allen; in 1870 it was incorporated as City Pottery Co. (Harney 1929).

The City Pottery was the first factory in America to produce only white and cream wares exclusively when it opened in Trenton in 1859 (Goldberg 1998:27 quoting Raum 1871).

Yates and Large tried to sell the pottery in 1859, but were not able to find a satisfactory tenant or purchaser. Yates then entered into a partnership with William Rhodes to operate the pottery (Goldberg 1998:27).

Selected References

R.G. Dun & Company Collection, Mercer County, 1861-1865: 1 [44]:36.

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

“The Manufactories of Trenton. Article III. The Pottery Trade – Continued.” Trenton State Gazette, Wednesday, August 29, 1866.

Webb & Fitzgerald. 1867-1869. “The Trenton Directory, Containing a List of the Inhabitants, Together with a Business Directory and Other Information Valuable to the Citizen and Stranger.” Directory. Webb & Fitzgerald, New York, New York.

J.H Lant & Co. 1868-1869. “The Trenton City Directory, for 1868 1869, Containing the Names of the Inhabitants, Together with a Business and Street Directory of the City, Business Directory of Mercer Co., and an Appendix of Valuable Information.” pp. 187 188. Vannote & Yard, Trenton, New Jersey.

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

Metcalf, Edwin S. 1870. “The Trenton City Directory, 1870, Containing a General Directory of the Citizens, a Business Directory, and a Record of the City Government, Its Institutions, Societies, Corporations.” Webb Brothers & Co.

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

Slade, Charles H. 1871. “Trenton Directory, 1871, Containing a General Directory of the Citizens, a Business Directory, and a Record of the City Government, Its Institutions, Societies, Corporations, Etc.” Directory. Webb Brothers & Co.

J.H Lant & Co. 1872. “The Trenton Directory, 1872, Containing a General Directory of the Citizens, a Business Directory, Together with a Town Business Directory of Mercer County, and Much Useful Miscellaneous Information.” J.H. Lant & Co., Trenton, New Jersey.

Everts & Stewart. 1875. “The Pottery Interest.” Combination Map of Mercer County p. XI-XII. Everts & Stewart, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Mains, Bishop W. and Fitzgerald, Thomas F. 1879. “Mains and Fitzgerald’s Trenton, Chambersburg and Millham Directory: Containing the Names of the Citizens, Statistical Business Report, Historical Sketches, a List of the Public and Private Institutions, Together with National, State, County, and City Government.” Bishop W. Mains & Thomas F. Fitzgerald, Trenton, 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.

“The Trenton Potteries 20 years Ago and To-Day.” Trenton State Gazette, Monday, October 6, 1879.

Woodward, E.M. and J.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.

Trenton Chamber of Commerce. 1929. “Trenton: 250th Anniversary of the Settlement of Trenton.” On file, Trenton Public Library, Trenton, New Jersey.

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

Podmore, Harry J. 1951. “City Pottery.” Sunday Times Advertiser, August 5, 1951.

Robinson, Dorothy and Bill Feeny. 1980. “The Official Price Guide to American Pottery & Porcelain.” House of Collectibles, Orlando, Florida.

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.” 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.

Wall, John P. N.d. “History of the Potteries of Trenton, New Jersey.” Manuscript on file, Trenton Public Library, Trenton, New Jersey.

Other Names

Rhodes & Yates; Rhodes Yates & Co.; Higginson, Rhodes & Titus; Higginson, Rhodes & Yates; Yates & Titus; Yates & Titus City Pottery; Yates, Bennett & Allen; City Pottery Company

Block and Lot:
36B/26-30, 33

Historic Street Address:
Perry St. between East Canal St. and Carroll St.; Canal St. corner of Perry St.; Delaware and Raritan Canal above Rose; Perry near Carroll; Carroll near Perry; Ewing corner of Ogden; Carroll and Ewing; Perry, Carroll and Ewing; Perry corner of Canal

City of Trenton

1860 Census

Name in censusRhodes, Yates & Co.
Capital Invested25000
Raw materials 1Clay
Quantity materials 1275 tons
Value materials 1900
Raw materials 2Quartz
Quantity materials 2100 tons
Value materials 22500
Raw materials 3Spar
Quantity materials 360 tons
Value materials 3720
Raw materials 4Coal
Quantity materials 4600 tons
Value materials 42400
Raw materials 5Other Materials
Value materials 52500
Power type 1Hands and Steam Engine
Male hands employed48
Female hands employed3
Male wages1220
Female wages36
Kind of productQueens, White Granite & Rockingham Ware
Value of product30000

1870 Census

Name in censusYates & Titus City Pottery
Capital Invested70000
Type of power 11 Steam Engine
Horsepower 115
Machine name 1Grinding Pans & Jiggers
Machine quantity 115
Raw material type 1Clay
Raw material quantity 1400 tons
Raw material value 16000
Raw material type 2Quartz
Raw material type 3Feld Spar
Raw material type 4Coal
Raw material type 5Wood
Raw material type 6Other Materials
Raw material type 7Total
Raw material quantity 2100 tons
Raw material quantity 3100 tons
Raw material quantity 41200 tons
Raw material quantity 550 cords
Raw material quantity 660 tons
Raw material value 22500
Raw material value 32000
Raw material value 48400
Raw material value 58000
Raw material value 6250
Product type 1White Earthen Ware
Product type 11600 crates & casks
Product value 158550
Male hands above 1631
Female hands above 166
Yearly wages26000
Months operating10