Speeler, Taylor & Bloor Porcelain Works


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In operation



porcelain, Queensware, Rockingham and cane-colored fire proof ware (1854/55 advertisement); all kinds of porcelain, Queensware, Rockingham, cane colored fire proof ware (Harney 1929)


“The first pottery in Trenton was established about thirteen years ago by Mr. Taylor of the firm of Taylor & Houdayer, who was the pioneer of the trade in this vicinity. His earliest labors were confined to the manufacture of yellow and Rockingham ware. Messrs. Speeler & Bloor were associated with Mr. Taylor for a while, and subsequently started potteries of their own” (“The Manufactories of Trenton. Article II. The Pottery Trade.” Trenton State Gazette, Monday, August 27, 1866).

“The firm, composed of William Young & Sons and Astbury & Millington, were the first to make white goods and put them in the market — such ware as is now known as C.C. or cream colored. This they did in 1853. They produced a large lot of strawberry bowls for a trucker near Rocky Hill, and burned them in the yellow ware kiln of the above mentioned firm of Taylor & Speeler” (Mains & Fitzgerald 1877-78).

“É the works are the oldest in the city, having been built by Taylor & Speeler in the fall of 1852. About two years after their opening Mr. Bloor joined the firm. The business was conducted for some four or five years by Taylor, Speeler & Bloor. About the year 1859, Mr. Bloor sold his interest to his partners, and the firm assumed its original name of Taylor and Speeler. However this only continued a short time, when Mr. Speeler disposed of his interest to Mr. John F. Houdayer. The firm was then Taylor & Houdayer. The latter remained in the firm for about ten years, when in August 1870 he sold his interest to John Goodwin” (Mains and Fitzgerald 1879).

“The Trenton firm [Taylor & Speeler] made yellow and Rockingham ware, with which they were successful from the first. They also attempted porcelain and parian; but these wares, though of fine quality were not received with such favor as to make their production a commercial success”É Taylor & Speeler were making white granite in 1856, but only to a limited extent and in connection with yellow-ware and Rockingham.” In 1856 the firm received a medal for the “manufacture of superior pottery” from the Franklin Institute as a memento of the skill shown in the early days of American pottery it will bear description. It is made of silver, and has on one side the inscription, ‘Reward of skill and industry to Taylor, Speeler & Bloor, Trenton, New Jersey, for china, granite, and earthenware, 1856’; on the obverse is a likeness of Benjamin Franklin, and the words ‘Franklin Institute of the State of Pennsylvania, 1824’ ” (Young 1879:460).

“The new pottery commenced operations in 1852 under the name of ‘Taylor and Speeler.’ The equal partnership was modified two years later. In September 1855, Taylor conveyed his interest to Speeler who three months later reconveyed two-thirds of his interest in equal shares to Taylor and their East Liverpool, Ohio associate, William Bloor. Thereafter the pottery conducted business under the name of Speeler, Taylor and Bloor É Based on name changes, it is possible to date pieces marked or inscribed ‘Taylor & Speeler’ to the period from May 1853 through 1855; pieces marked Speeler, Taylor & Bloor date from 1856 to early 1860É In 1860, Henry Speeler sold his interest to John F. Houdayer. Taylor and Houdayer incorporated the pottery in February 1865 as the Trenton Pottery É” (Goldberg 1998:17-18).

“James Taylor was born on May 16, 1810 in Staffordshire, England”

(Goldberg 1998:19).

The production of relief molded pottery in Trenton first occurred at this pottery (Goldberg 1998:17).

Selected References

Boyd, William H. 1857. “The Trenton City Directory: Containing the Names of the Citizens, a Business Directory, State and City Record, and an Appendix of Much Useful Information: Also an Historical Sketch of the City of Trenton from Its Earliest Settlement to the Present Time.” C. Scott & Co., Trenton, New Jersey.

Boyd, William H. 1859. “Trenton City Directory: Containing the Names of the Citizens, a Business Directory of Mercer and Burlington Counties, and an Appendix Containing Much Useful Information.” William H. Boyd Directory Publishing, New York, New York.

Federal Census of New Jersey. 1860. Population Schedules. On file, New Jersey State Archives, Trenton, New Jersey.

R.G. Dun & Company Collection, Mercer County. 1862-1875. 1 [44]:317.

Acts of the Eighty-Ninth Legislature of the State of New Jersey, and Twenty-First under the New Constitution. 1865. “Laws of New Jersey,” Newark Printing and Publishing Co., Newark, New Jersey.

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

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.

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

Hood, John. 1905. “Index of Colonial and State Laws of New Jersey Between the Years 1663 and 1903 Inclusive.” Sinnickson, Chew & Sons Co., Camden, New Jersey.

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 Historical Society. 1929. “A History of Trenton 1679-1929: Two Hundred and Fifty Years of a Notable Town with Links in Four Centuries.” Princeton University Press, Princeton, New Jersey.

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

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.

Leibowitz, Joan. 1985. “Yellow Ware: The Transitional Ceramic.” Schiffer Publishing, Ltd., West Chester, Pennsylvania.

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

Denker, Ellen Paul. 1989. “Lenox China: Celebrating a Century of Quality 1889-1989.” Lenox, Inc., 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

Taylor & Speeler; Speeler & Taylor; Speeler, Taylor & Bloor; Taylor & Houdayer

Block and Lot:
52B; 52C; NJ RT 26

Historic Street Address:
Greenwood Avenue corner of Jackson Street; Railroad between Jackson & Mercer; Taylor near Mercer; Mercer corner of Taylor; Taylor near Broad

City of Trenton

1860 Census

Name in censusSpeeler & Taylor
Capital Invested25000
Raw materials 1Clay
Quantity materials 11000 tons
Value materials 15000
Raw materials 2Spar
Quantity materials 2500 tons
Value materials 21250
Raw materials 3Flint
Quantity materials 3500 tons
Value materials 31250
Power type 1Hands & Mill Power
Male hands employed60
Female hands employed3
Male wages1580
Female wages20
Kind of productAll Kinds Porcelain & Earthen Ware
Value of product50000