Clinton Street Pottery


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In operation



cream-colored ware, white granite ware (Mains & Fitzgerald 1877); white granite, c.c., and druggists' ware, decorated ware (Industries of New Jersey 1882:173)


“In July 1869, about six years after he had started the enterprise which met with such deserved success, Mr. Coxon died. His interest passed to his widow, Mrs. Mary Coxon, who is still in the firm. Mr. Thompson retired in the spring of 1870, having sold his interest to Messrs. James E. Darrah and M.M. Bateman. The firm name was then changed to Coxon & Co. Mr. Bateman sold out to Mr. J. W. Johnson in 1874, and the later disposed of his interest to Mr. J.G. Forman, one of the members of the present firm, in April 1876, Mr. Darrah sold out to Mr. S.M. Alpaugh, also of the present firm, in November 1876. No other changes having been made since that time, consequently the firm is now composed of Mary Coxon, J.G. Forman and S.M. Alpaugh” (Mains & Fitzgerald 1877: Historical Sketches).

“The new workshop of Messrs. Coxon & Co. will be finished in about six weeks.” (Trenton State Gazette, Monday, March 8, 1880).

“One of the largest and most important of the various potteries of Trenton is the ‘Clinton Street Pottery Works’ of Messrs. Coxon & Co., which are located on Clinton Avenue, and were established in the year 1865 by Joseph Coxon. In 1876, the firm of Coxon & Co. was formed, and consisted of Joseph Coxon, J.G. Forman and Spencer M. Alpaugh. At the death of Mr. Coxon in 1879, his interest in the firm was continued by his widow and the firm name remained the same. April 1st, 1882, Mr. Forman retired from the firm, and the business is now conducted by M. Coxon, Spencer M. Alpaugh and Frank A. McGowan, under the name of Coxon & Co. Many extensions and enlargements of the premises have occurred of recent years, until now the Clinton Street Pottery Works is unsurpassed in its facilities elsewhere in the United States, while the trade is probably the largest in that in this country. The premises have a frontage on Clinton Avenue of 225 feet and are 303 feet in depth. The buildings present a solid front and unbroken sides, all of brick, with three floors and basement and two-story wings. The kilns, nine in number, are arranged to occupy the centre of the premises, a railroad switch dividing the bisque from the gloss. Every facility for the well-doing of the business is employed, together with 250 hands, competent and experienced work-people. A 75-horse power engine furnishes the motor and heats the building. The manufactures are white granite, C.C., and druggists’ ware. Special attention is also given to decorated ware, and numerous handsome designs are on exhibition in the salesrooms É ” (Industries of New Jersey 1882:172-173).

Additional historical information can be found in Woodward and Hageman 1883:691 and Goldberg 1998:36-37.

Selected References

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.

R.G. Dun & Company Collection, Mercer County. 1871-1876. 2 [45]:351.

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.

Boyd, Andrew and William H. Boyd. 1874. “Boyd’s Trenton City Directory: Containing the Names of Its Citizens, a Compendium of Its Government and of Public and Private Institutions, and a Business Directory of the Principal Towns in Mercer County, a List of Farmers.” Andrew Boyd and W. Harry Boyd, Syracuse, New York and Pottsville, Pennsylvania.

Mains, Bishop W. and Fitzgerald, Thomas F. 1877-1879. “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 Pottery Enterprise.” Trenton State Gazette, March 8, 1880.

Fitzgerald, Thomas F. 1880-1883. “Fitzgerald’s Trenton and Mercer County Directory, Together with a Directory of Bordentown, Burlington, Mount Holly and Lambertville, NJ and Morrisville, PA, Included a Fund of Information Concerning Public and Private Institutions, National, State, County, City and Borough Governments, Gathered from Reliable and Official Sources.” Thomas F. Fitzgerald, 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.

Trenton Board of Trade. 1900. “Industrial Trenton and Vicinity.” George A. Wolf Publishers, Wilmington, Delaware.

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.

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.

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

Nottle, Diane. 1997. “Beauty, Utility & Paychecks, All Built on a Base of Clay.” New York Times, November 9, 1997.

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 Names

Clinton Street Pottery; Coxon & Company

Block and Lot:

Historic Street Address:
Clinton Avenue on Belvidere and Delaware Railroad; Clinton Avenue on Perry Street; North Clinton Avenue corner of Ott Street

City of Trenton

1870 Census

Name in censusCoxon & Co.
Capital Invested60000
Type of power 1Hand
Raw material type 1Clay
Raw material quantity 1250 tons
Raw material value 15000
Raw material type 2Minerals
Raw material type 3Acids
Raw material type 4Lead
Raw material type 5Cobalt
Raw material type 6Coal
Raw material type 7Total
Raw material quantity 2260 tons
Raw material quantity 32400 lbs
Raw material quantity 430 tons
Raw material quantity 5100 tons
Raw material quantity 61000 tons
Raw material value 25200
Raw material value 3600
Raw material value 44000
Raw material value 5400
Raw material value 65000
Product type 1W.G. & C.C., Crockery Ware
Product type 11700 Packages
Product value 168373
Male hands above 1625
Female hands above 1611
Yearly wages25000
Months operating9

1880 Census

Name in censusCoxon & Co.
Number of hands165
Males above 16110
Females above 1535
May to Nov hours8
Nov to May hours8
Skilled wages2.5
Ordinary wages1.25
Total wages in year65000
Full time months12
Value of raw material45000
Value of product200000
Number of engines1
Horse power130