Trenton Pottery Works


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In operation



yellowware; Rockingham ware (Trenton State Gazette, Monday, August 27, 1866).


“Be in enacted by the State and General Assembly of the State of New Jersey that Appollinaire Husson, James Taylor, John F. Houdayer, Edmund Husson and their Associates be, and are hereby, created a body politic and corporate, in fact and in law, by the name and style of the ‘Trenton Pottery Company’ for the purpose of manufacturing, selling and dealing in earthenware or crockery of various descriptionsÉact approved February 9, 1865” (Acts of the Eighty-Ninth Legislature 1865:17).

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

Detailed description of the operation of this pottery in 1866 is provided in “The Manufactories of Trenton. Article III. The Pottery Trade – Continued” (Trenton State Gazette, Wednesday, August 29, 1866).

“É in August 1870 he [John F. Houdayer] sold his interest to John Goodwin. This changed the firm name to Taylor & Goodwin. In 1871 Mr. Goodwin sold his half interest to his son James and Mr. Isaac Davis, and the firm was known as Taylor, Davis & Goodwin. In the same year Mr. Davis purchased from James H. Goodwin his interest, which gave to Mr. Davis, along with his own, a half interest in the firm, which then changed to Taylor & Davis. In 1875 Mr. Taylor being anxious to retire from business life, sold his interest to Mr. Isaac Davis, making him sole proprietor of the establishment, which he continues to be” (Mains and Fitzgerald 1879).

Elijah Tatler worked as a decorator for this firm in the mid-1870s. Shortly after establishing his own decorating business, Tatler passed away (January 12, 1876), and one of his sons took over the business, W.H. Tatler Decorating Company of Trenton (Newark Museum Association 1914:30).

“Taylor and Houdayer incorporated the pottery in February 1865 as the Trenton PotteryÉ” (Goldberg 1998:18).

Selected References

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 III. The Pottery Trade – Continued.” Trenton State Gazette, Wednesday, August 29, 1866.

Webb & Fitzgerald. 1867-1868. “The Trenton Directory, Containing a List of the Inhabitants, Together with a Business Directory and Other Information Valuable to the Citizen and Stranger.” Directory. Webb & Fitzgerald, New York, New York.

J.H Lant & Co. 1868-1869. “The Trenton City Directory, for 1868 1869, Containing the Names of the Inhabitants, Together with a Business and Street Directory of the City, Business Directory of Mercer Co., and an Appendix of Valuable Information.” pp. 187-188. Vannote & Yard, Trenton, New Jersey.

Crosley, William F. 1869. “The Trenton City Directory, for 1869, Containing the Names of the Inhabitants, Together with a Business and Street Directory of the City and an Appendix of Valuable Information.” Murphy & Bechtel, Book and Job Printers, Trenton, New Jersey.

Federal Census of New Jersey. 1870. Industrial Schedules. On file, New Jersey State Archives, Trenton, New Jersey.

Metcalf, Edwin S. 1870. “The Trenton City Directory, 1870, Containing a General Directory of the Citizens, a Business Directory, and a Record of the City Government, Its Institutions, Societies, Corporations.” Webb Brothers & Co.

Slade, Charles H. 1871. “Trenton Directory, 1871, Containing a General Directory of the Citizens, a Business Directory, and a Record of the City Government, Its Institutions, Societies, Corporations, Etc.” Directory. Webb Brothers & Co.

Boyd, A., and W. H. Boyd. 1873-1875. “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.

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.

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.

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

Trenton Pottery Company

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

1870 Census

Name in censusTrenton Pottery Co.
Capital Invested50000
Type of power 1Hand
Raw material type 1Coal
Raw material quantity 1800 tons
Raw material value 15000
Raw material type 2Koln [Culm?]
Raw material type 3Clay
Raw material type 4Lead
Raw material type 5Cobalt
Raw material type 6B[oric] Acid
Raw material type 7Zinc
Raw material type 8Flint
Raw material type 9Feldspar
Raw material type 10Straw
Raw material type 11Package
Raw material type 12Total
Raw material quantity 2150 tons
Raw material quantity 3150 tons
Raw material quantity 42 tons
Raw material quantity 5150 lbs
Raw material quantity 62000 lbs
Raw material quantity 72000 tons
Raw material quantity 8100 tons
Raw material quantity 9100 tons
Raw material quantity 1025 tons
Raw material quantity 11600 tons
Raw material value 24000
Raw material value 31500
Raw material value 4250
Raw material value 5500
Raw material value 6600
Raw material value 71700
Raw material value 81700
Raw material value 92000
Raw material value 10300
Raw material value 11750
Raw material value 1216780
Product type 1Pottery
Product value 140000
Male hands above 1620
Female hands above 165
Yearly wages18000
Months operating6