Potteries of Trenton Society

New Jersey Stoneware

18th Century Stoneware From New Jersey by William B. Liebeknecht

The origins of the New Jersey stoneware industry -- and perhaps even the American stoneware industry -- seem to lie in the late 17th century with an awareness that high-grade clays suitable for making dense, hard, durable pottery were present in the South Amboy area of Middlesex County in the Province of East Jersey.

As early as 1685-86, there are indications in the court records of Burlington County in West Jersey that such clays were known to early settlers. If this is indeed correct, one wonders if the deposits in question were in fact those along the south shore of the Raritan Bay, in the vicinity of the "Morgan clay bank." It remains unclear, however, when these particular clays were first exploited for stoneware manufacture, or when stoneware was first successfully manufactured in New Jersey.