Trenton Fire-Clay & Porcelain Company

  

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In operation

1895-1915

Wares

plumbers' porcelain (Industrial Directory 1901); fire clay and porcelain goods (Industrial Directory 1906); plumbers' supplies, fountains (Industrial Directory 1909); porcelain sinks & bathtubs (Industrial Directory 1909); sanitary plumbing & fittings (Industrial Directory 1912)

Notes

On August 7, 1896 severe fire broke out destroying three buildings at the plant. The first Trenton fireman to die in the line of duty perished while fighting that blaze (Daily State Gazette, August 8, 1896).

In 1895 this factory was purchased by Trenton Fireclay & Porcelain Co. and later sold to J.L. Mott Co. (Harney 1929).

“Trenton Fireclay and Porcelain Co. made the first porcelain bathtub without feet and the first built-in bathtubÉ The Trenton Fireclay and Porcelain Co. was the last of a series of terracotta and porcelain companies on the site which had been owned by members of a family named Bowman since 1867. It was originated in 1894 and was the first company in this country to make a porcelain bathtub. They also made porcelain sinks and lavatories as well. In 1895, they began making all the porcelain requirements of the J.L. Mott Iron Works of Mott Haven, New York, a company which had been in operation for one hundred years making brass fittings, enameled iron fixtures, soil pipe, heating equipment, and since 1883 enameled cast iron tubsÉ” (Abramson and Karschner 1978:15-16).

“T.F.C & P. Co. was founded in 1893 by O.O. Bowman, R.K. Bowman, and W.J.J. Bowman. They were primarily producers of sanitary wares” (Robinson and Feeny 1980:347).

Selected References

“A Fireman Killed. Three Others Badly Injured Fighting a Fire. The Porcelain Works Burned.” Daily State Gazette, August 7, 1896.

“To Rebuild at Once. Work will Resume as Quickly as Possible. How the Injured Firemen Fare.” Daily State Gazette, August 8, 1896.

Fitzgerald, Thomas F. 1897-1900. “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.

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

Fitzgerald, Thomas F. 1901-1931. “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.

New Jersey Bureau of Industrial Statistics. 1901. “The Industrial Directory of New Jersey.” Trenton, New Jersey.

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

New Jersey Bureau of Industrial Statistics. 1909. “The Industrial Directory of New Jersey.” Trenton, New Jersey.

New Jersey Bureau of Industrial Statistics. 1912. “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.

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.

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

Other Names

Trenton Fireclay & Porcelain Company

Block and Lot:
75B

Historic Street Address:
Third Street and Landing Street; Third Street on Second Street; Davies Street corner of Lalor Street

Municipality:
City of Trenton