Enterprise Pottery

  

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In operation

1880-1892

Wares

earthenware closets, druggists' vitrified ware, plumbers' earthenware, stationary wash-stand basins, decorated toilet ware, and other earthenware (Woodward and Hageman 1883:860) "oval washout closets, tall f. r. hoppers, round Philadelphia f. r. hoppers, traps, urinals, bidet pans, ship closet basins, plug basins, closet bowls, and other sanitary specialties … " (Quarter Century's Progress 1887:280)

Notes

“New Pottery on the Co-operative Plan. — A party of operative potters, sanitary and druggists’ ware makers, have formed a company and will start a pottery on the co-operative plan, at Millham. The small pottery formerly occupied by Willet Hicks, will be remodelled and enlarged, for which the architectural plans have already been issued. Building will be commenced on Monday. The new company will be known as ‘The Enterprise'” (Trenton State Gazette, Saturday, February 21, 1880).

“Work was begun yesterday in Shreve & Skirm’s new sanitary pottery, in East Trenton, giving employment to about fifty hands” (Trenton State Gazette, Tuesday, July 27, 1880).

“The business of the Enterprise Pottery, on New York Avenue, was established in 1880. Earthenware closets, druggists’ vitrified ware, plumbers’ earthenware, stationary wash-stand basins, decorated toilet ware, and other earthenware in general are manufactured, a specialty being made of sanitary goods, and shipped principally to New York and Philadelphia. The manufacturing capacity of this establishment is one hundred and twenty-five thousand dollars annually, and fifty hands are employed” (Woodward and Hageman 1883:860).

“This business was established in 1881 by the present proprietors, Messrs. C.H. Skirm, W.H. Umpleby, and Richard Brian, all of whom are thoroughly practical men, fully conversant with every detail of this important business and the requirements of plumbers and sanitary engineers. The premises occupied are spacious and have a frontage of 350 feet on the canal and 300 feet on the railroad track. The works comprise several extensive buildings, which are fully supplied with all the latest improved appliances, apparatus, and machinery necessary for the successful conduct of the business. A fifty-horse power steam engine is utilized to drive the machinery, while one hundred and twenty experienced workmen are constantly employed. There are five regular 22×6-foot kilns in constant operation. The average production of the works is $200,000 worth of sanitary earthenware annually. The Enterprise Pottery Company manufactures largely oval washout closets, tall f. r. hoppers, round Philadelphia f. r. hoppers, traps, urinals, bidet pans, ship closet basins, plug basins, closet bowls, and other sanitary specialties É ” (Quarter Century’s Progress 1887:280).

“É the main building has a frontage along the canal of 350 feet, and along the railroad of 300 feet. There are several buildings on the premises, in all covering about five acres, and making one of the most extensive, if not the largest in its special line in the country. The output of the Enterprise Pottery consists of sanitary earthenware exclusively É The plant consists of seven 16 feet 6 inches kilns, which since their erection have been running to their full capacity; a seventy-five-horse power engine furnishes the motive power, and to its aid is called the services of one hundred and fifty skilled operatives. They have a decorating establishment, where customers can always find a full line of decorated washouts, basins, etc., equal to any produced in the country” (J.M. Elstner & Co. 1889:90).

Selected References

“New Pottery on the Co-operative Plan.” Trenton State Gazette, Saturday, February 21, 1880.

“City and County.” Trenton State Gazette, Tuesday, July 27, 1880.

Fitzgerald, Thomas F. 1880-1892. “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.

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

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

J.M. Elstner & Co. 1889. “New Jersey’s Leading Cities Illustrated: Historical, Biographical, Commercial Review of the Progress in Commerce, The Professions and in Social, Municipal Life.” J.M. Elstner & Co., New York, New York.

Naar, Day & Naar. 1899. “A Review of the Department of Police, Trenton, New Jersey, with Copious Illustrations and Sketches Descriptive of its Economy.”

Lee, Francis Bazley. 1907. “Genealogical and Personal Memoir of Mercer County, New Jersey.” Lewis Publishing Co., New York.

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 Historical 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.

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

Geo-Graf Geophysical Investigations. 1994. “Ground Penetrating Radar Survey, NJDOT Route 1 Exit Ramp Site, New York Ave., Trenton, New Jersey.” On file, New Jersey Department of Transportation, Trenton, New Jersey.

Hunter Research, Inc. 1995 . “Cultural Resource Survey, U.S. Route 1 and New York Avenue Off-Ramp, City of Trenton, Mercer County, New Jersey.” On file, New Jersey Historic Preservation Office, Trenton, New Jersey.

John Milner & Associates, Inc. 1995. “Historic American Engineering Record Documentation of the Enterprise Pottery, Route 1SB Over New York Avenue, City of Trenton, Mercer County, New Jersey.” On file, New Jersey Department of Transportation, Trenton, New Jersey.

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

Enterprise Manufacturing Company; Enterprise Sanitary Manufacturing Company; Enterprise Pottery

Block and Lot:
212A/19

Historic Street Address:
New York Avenue near Olden Avenue

Municipality:
Lawrence Township; Millham Township; City of Trenton