East Trenton Pottery


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In operation



white granite, stone porcelain, and decorated ware, a specialty being made of hotel ware (Industries of New Jersey 1882:152; Woodward and Hageman 1883:860); dinner, tea and toilet sets (Trenton Evening Times, January 31, 1884); opaque china, thin ware, hotel ware, white granite, c.c., and decorated ware, tea sets, dinner sets, toilet wares (Quarter Century's Progress 1887:273)


“In 1867, Mr. C.S. Cook became the sole proprietor and continued the business up to August, 1873, when the East Trenton Pottery Company was formed and incorporated by an act of the Legislature. Mr. C.S. Cook was then chosen President and Treasurer and Mr. W.M. Marshall was made Secretary, both gentlemen serving down to the present time. Under the new management various alterations, enlargements, improvements and extensions have been made to the works, until now they rank among the foremost in the country. The manufactures are white granite, stone porcelain, C.C. and decorated ware, hotel ware being made a specialty. The premises are 275×300 feet in dimensions, on which is erected nine commodious stone and brick buildings, three stories in height É The engine is of forty-horse power and serves to heat the premises by means of steam pipes. Six kilns are in use and the ware here produced enjoys an excellent reputation throughout the land, Employment is given to one hundred and fifty hands. There are sheds, stables, railroad-switch, canal basin, etc.” (Industries of New Jersey 1882: 152).

“É the business was conducted by Mr. Brewer until the establishment was purchased by Asa F. Skirm, Edward Cook, and Charles S. Cook, who were known as C.S. Cook & Co. This firm was succeeded by the East Trenton Pottery Company, of which Charles S. Cook is president and treasurer, and W.W. Marshall, secretary” (Woodward and Hageman 1883:860).

Detailed description of the pottery and its products is provided in the Trenton Evening Times, Thursday, January 31, 1884.

Detailed description of pottery and production in 1887 provided in Quarter-Century’s Progress of New Jersey’s Leading Manufacturing Centres.

“The East Trenton Pottery Company dissolved on April 24, 1895” (Secretary of State 1914).

On August 8, 1909 fire severely damaged the property. The old stone still house was partly removed during renovations after the fire (Harney 1929).

The surviving buildings are described within the text. The pottery was É run by Charles S. Cook from 1867-73 when he founded and incorporated the East Trenton Pottery Company. The firm made “white granite and stone porcelain, cream colored and decorated wares, hotel ware being made a specialty.” The text gives further details on makers marks. Later on, the plant switched to manufacture of sanitary ware only. In 1906, William Cook (son of Charles) sold to the Excelsior Pottery which was bought a year later by Imperial Porcelain Works whose plant further east on Mulberry had burned down (Abramson and Karschner 1978:15).

Selected References

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. 1873. “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.

Federal Census of New Jersey. 1880. Industrial Schedules. On file, New Jersey State Archives, Trenton, New Jersey.

Fitzgerald, Thomas F. 1880-1900. “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.

“East Trenton Pottery. The Productions of an Old Plant.” Trenton Evening Times, Thursday, January 31, 1884.

Quarter-Century’s Progress of New Jersey’s Leading Manufacturing Centres. Dover. 1887. International Publishing Company, New York.

Fitzgerald, Thomas F. 1901-1905. “Fitzgerald’s Trenton and Mercer County Directory, Together with a Directory of Bordentown, Burlington, Mount Holly and Lambertville, NJ.” Thomas F. Fitzgerald, Trenton, 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.

Abramson, D.V. and T. Karschner. 1978. “An Inventory of Historic Engineering and Industrial Sites, Trenton, New Jersey.” On file, New Jersey Historic Preservation Office (NJDEP), Trenton, New Jersey.

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.

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

C.S. Cook & Company; East Trenton Pottery Company; East Trenton Pottery Works

Block and Lot:

Historic Street Address:
New York Avenue and Mulberry Street; Mulberry Street and Delaware and Raritan Canal; Mulberry Street and Pennsylvania Railroad; 457 Mulberry; 491 Mulberry

Lawrence Township; Millham Township; City of Trenton

1870 Census

Name in censusC. S. Cook & Co. East Trenton Pottery
Capital Invested60000
Type of power 1Steam
Horsepower 140
Machine name 1Press
Machine name 2Jiggers
Machine name 3Pans
Machine name 4Steam Engine
Machine quantity 11
Machine quantity 24
Machine quantity 37
Machine quantity 41
Raw material type 1Flint
Raw material quantity 1150 tons
Raw material value 12250
Raw material type 2Spar
Raw material type 3Clay
Raw material type 4Coal
Raw material type 5Total
Raw material quantity 2200 tons
Raw material quantity 3500 tons
Raw material quantity 41000 tons
Raw material value 23000
Raw material value 35000
Raw material value 45000
Raw material value 515250
Product type 1White crockery of all description
Product value 150000
Male hands above 1630
Female hands above 1610
Yearly wages20000
Months operating10

1880 Census

Name in censusEast Trenton Pottery Co.
Number of hands200
Males above 16100
Females above 1525
May to Nov hours10
Nov to May hours8
Skilled wages2.5
Ordinary wages1.25
Total wages in year65000
Full time months9
3/4 time Months3
Value of raw material60000
Value of product140000
Number of engines1
Horse power120