Imperial Porcelain Works


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In operation



hard porcelain (Industrial Directory 1906); porcelain electrical supplies (Harney 1929)


“In 1892-3 Mr. Frederick A. Duggan purchased the Dowds Stilt Works and converted it into a porcelain manufactory for the making of electrical supplies. It was called the Imperial Pottery É On February 3, the Imperial Pottery, located on the northwest corner of Mulberry Street and Klagg Avenue, which had formerly been a stilt works, was totally destroyed by fire. It was owned by F.A. Duggan and the loss is said to be about $70,000. – True American, February 4, 1907” (Harney 1929).

“The first high-voltage porcelain for line insulators (plastic process) made in the United States, was produced by Mr. B.B. Dinsmore, of the Imperial Works, Trenton, in 1894” (Brown 1930).

This site was initially developed by John and William Dowd in 1876 as a stilt and spur works. It was operated in this capacity by John and William Dowd as Dowd and Brother until 1884 and then by John Dowd on his own from then until 1892 when the property was bought by Frederick A. Duggan. Under the Dowds the site was known as both Dowd’s Pottery and the United States Stilt Works (Federal Census of New Jersey 1880 [industrial schedules]; Industries of New Jersey 1882:172; Woodward and Hageman 1883:860; Quarter Century’s Progress 1887:286).

Selected References

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

Fitzgerald, Thomas F. 1892-1907. “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.

New Jersey Bureau of Industrial Statistics. 1906. “The Industrial Directory of New Jersey.” Trenton, New Jersey.

Harney, W.J. 1929. “Trenton’s First Potteries.” Sunday Times Advertiser, July 7, 14, 21 and 28, 1929.

Brown, George Herbert. 1930. “History of the Ceramics Industry in New Jersey.” New Jersey: A History, edited by Irving S. Kull, pp. 1258-1277. The American Historical Society, New York, New York.

Lehner, Lois. 1980. “Complete Book of American Kitchen and Dinner Wares.” Wallace-Homestead Book Company, Des Moines, Iowa.

Other Names

F.A. Duggan; Imperial Porcelain; Imperial; Imperial Porcelain Works; Imperial Pottery; Imperial Pottery Works

Block and Lot:

Historic Street Address:
Klagg Avenue corner Mulberry Street; Mulberry Street near Canal

City of Trenton