Trenton Terra-Cotta Works

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The Database is organized by location, but you can find a pottery initially by searching for its name, which is at the top of the of the page with dates of operation below. Alternate names and the names of other potteries on the same site are noted at the top of the right-hand column, just above the pottery’s location.

The types of wares made appear below the pottery name in the left-hand column, followed by the references that informed these classifications.

Sample images of maker’s marks may be enlarged by clicking on the image.

Notes include a variety of information compiled from many standard sources and are presented as miscellaneous tidbits.

In the Gallery and Map Gallery in the right-hand column you will see historic images and insurance maps of the pottery’s facilities if available as well as historic advertisements and images of the wares made.

You can download more detailed information in all of these categories by choosing a PDF of the pottery’s full listing, which also includes the documentary sources. The PDF is text only and does not contain any images.  Data from the 1860, 1870 and 1880 industrial censuses area also included in the PDF if they exist for a given pottery. This data gives you a picture of the size of the pottery operation and the age and gender makeup of its work force.

You can help expand the database by contributing pictures and information. Contact POTS by the email address at the bottom of the page.

In operation    1867-1895


Bricks, terra cotta (Webb & Fitzgerald 1865)

Drainpipes, chimney tops and chimney flues (Everts & Stewart 1875)


“This company manufactures all varieties of fire-brick, salt-glazed, drain- and sewer-pipe, chimney tops and flues, and garden ornaments. Seventy-five men are employed here, and twenty-five thousand dollars are annually paid for labor. Two thousand five hundred tons of coal and six thousand tons of clay are annually consumed, and one million fire-brick, thirty thousand saggers, and a large variety of terra-cotta ware are annually produced.  The officers of the company are Joseph McPherson, president; O.O. Bowman, treasurer and manager; and G.W. McPherson, secretary.”

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

Selected References

Everts & Stewart. 1875. “Various Enterprises.” Combination Atlas, Map of Mercer County. P. XII. Everts & Stewart, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

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

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

“History of the Bowmans: O.O. Bowman and His Sons.” 1940. Bulletin of the American Ceramic Society 19:175.


Other Names

O.O. Bowman & Company; O.O. Bowman's Trenton Terracotta Works; Trenton Terra-Cotta Company

Block and Lot:

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

City of Trenton