In 1905, Addis Emmet Hull founded the A. E. Hull Pottery Company in Crooksville, Ohio. Hull soon expanded to include two potteries in 1907, when the company bought the Acme Pottery Company, also in Crooksville. This acquisition brought Hull’s workforce numbers up to an impressive 400 total. Hull Pottery was growing quickly.

The company introduced its first line of art pottery in 1917, and it sold these pieces to florists and gift shops. By the early 1920s, Hull’s business was booming thanks to its diverse product line—in addition to art pottery, the company manufactured florists’ pots, garden ware, stoneware, and semi-porcelain, as well as reasonably priced toilet ware. Its lusterware lines included pieces in a variety of attractive colors, like lavender, slate, emerald, iridescent blue, golden glow, and others.

With the company expanding, Hull built a 310-foot kiln in 1923 for the then-princely sum of $75,000. This investment increased its production capability by more than 3 million pieces per year. Combined with the plant Hull purchased from Acme, the company’s overall production was almost 8 million pieces of pottery annually.

From 1927 to 1929, the company also produced decorative tile, mostly for the William H. Jackson Company. These tiles were made on special order and were fairly expensive. Hull produced two types of tile—plain and faience.

Additionally, the company realized that importing European art pottery for resale was actually substantially cheaper than manufacturing its own. Every year from 1921 to 1929, Hull sent a representative to Europe to buy pottery to bring back to America, as a supplement to its manufacturing.

When the Depression struck in 1929, Hull stopped importing and renewed its emphasis on domestically produced pottery. It continued to produce large quantities of affordable stoneware in order to maintain revenue streams in tough times. The American Clay Products Company, for example, marketed semi-porcelain and stoneware items that Hull produced.

In 1937, Hull took on yet another major project, this time producing about 11 million pieces for New York’s Shulton Company and its Old Spice brand. Hull produced Old Spice shavi...

Hull achieved its first runaway success in 1943 with its release of the Red Riding Hood cookie jar. The item was so popular that well into the 1950s Hull created a full line on this theme. Hull crafted the pieces and then sent them to the Royal China and Novelty Company in Chicago to be decorated. Today, the Red Riding Hood casserole dish is extremely rare and collectible.

During the same period, Hull produced a variety of novelty items, including foot-long piggy banks and elephant and pig liquor bottles. The company also manufactured lamps, which are tough to find today.

After World War II, many companies, Hull among them, ran “Buy American” ad campaigns; these efforts helped insulate Hull and others from international competition. As the 1940s came to a close, Hull began producing the pastel-tinted art pottery pieces that would define the Hull look, with embossed, realistic floral sprays. Vases, baskets, and other pieces came in a variety of colors, including rose, blue, peach, sweet pink, and apricot, and generally sported Hull’s distinctive matte finish. The Rosella line and a few others, however, were high-gloss.

In June 1950, Hull’s plant burned down after a disastrous flood. Yet the company was so popular and trusted that orders came in even while the plant was closed and even though customers knew their orders would have to wait until the new factory opened in 1952.

After 1952, under the leadership of J. B. Hull, pieces were no longer marked with “Hull Art U.S.” or “Hull U.S.A.,” but with the simple “hull.” With this new era, the A. E. Hull Pottery Company changed its name to the Hull Pottery Company, as it resumed production at about 100,000 items per week.

With the new factory came florist ware, kitchenware, and novelty items. From 1957 to 1958, for example, Hull produced about 5,000 piggy banks per day, most of which were bought and distributed by Jim Burns of Chicago.

Hull’s House ’n’ Garden line debuted in 1960. These durable, multicolored serving pieces came in mirror brown, tangerine, green agate, and butterscotch. Naturally, Hull advertised the ware as an attractive “rainbow table” that the consumer could assemble with its products. Hull followed House ’n’ Garden with Crestone in 1965.

In the mid-1970s, Hull’s production was about 75 percent casual serving ware and 25 percent florist ware. By the 1980s, this balance shifted to about 90 percent casual serving ware and 10 percent florist ware.

Faced with mounting international competition and multiple labor strikes, however, Hull closed for good in March 1986, but the company’s legacy was a wide array of patterns and lines, including Woodland, Parchment and Pine, Flora, Tropicana, and Continental.

About our sources | Got something to add?

▼ Expand to read the full article ▼

Best of the Web (“Hall of Fame”)

Gouda Design

Gouda Design

Stuart Lonsdale and Kim Lindley's excellent tribute to and reference on Gouda Dutch Art Pottery and Delftware. The … [read review or visit site]

Cowan Pottery Museum Associates

Cowan Pottery Museum Associates

Dedicated to raising awareness of the ceramic art work of R. Guy Cowan and his Cowan Pottery Studio in northeastern… [read review or visit site]

The Pottery Studio

The Pottery Studio

This 7,000-plus page site lives up to its self-billing as a 'knowledge base' with examples of work from all major a… [read review or visit site]

Clubs & Associations

Other Great Reference Sites

Most watched eBay auctions    

Hull Pottery, Gingerbread Junction Cookie Jar - CannisterHull Pottery Htf Bow Know Bowknot B 29 12" Lg Basket 1940's Ex/mint - No ReserveHull Pottery Htf Bow Knot Bowknot 1940's Teapot Creamer & Sugar Ex/mint No Res!!Hull Pottery Sitting Pig Piggy Bank-tan/cream/beigeHull Pottery Dime Corky Pig Bank Pastel Colors Rare 1958 Vgc!Vintage Hull Multicolored Planter Pristine Pot Mccoy Shawnee HaegerHull Brown Drip Pottery Pie Plate Baking Vintage Dish Bowl Oven Proof No ReserveHull Pottery Bow Knot Bowknot Htf 1940s Plate Wall Plaque B 28-12" - No Reserve!Vintage Hull Corky Pig Bank 1957Hull Art Pottery Poppy Vase 607-8 1/2 Circa Mid 1940'sHull Pottery Wildflower Cornucopia W-2- 5 1/2" Vase (no Reserve) Vintage H. P. Hull Pottery Beige Drip Nesting Duck Covered Casserole Baking Dish Vintage Beautiful Hull Orchid Vase 307 - 4 3/4 Inch Usa Yellow PinkHull Art Blue Pink Basket With Handle Bow Knot B-12-10 1/2 - Crack, ChipHull Art Pottery Magnolia 20-15 Vase - Tall At 15.5"Vintage 1957 Corky Pig Piggy Hull Pottery Bank~brown~turquoise Drip GlazeHull Little Red Riding Hood Standing Poppy Floral BankHull Pottery Corky Pig From 1957 Pink And BlueVintage Hull U.s.a. 303 - 6" Pastel Vase (gl-131)Vintage Hull Brown Drip Onion Soup/individual Casserole Bowls With Lids EucVintage Hull Usa #72 Pottery Wedding Basket Circa 1953 Burgundy/rose PinkVintage Hull Art Pottery Vase Bow Knot Bowknot Excellent Cond EstateMccoy Pottery Dealer SignHull Pottery Corky Pig Brown Cream Drip Glaze Piggy Bank 1957Hull Brown Drip 2 Individual Casseroles With Lids Chili Bowls 5.5" Diameter Vintage Hull Duck Swan Pottery Bandanna Planter Candlestick Holders CandleVintage Hull Pottery Pink Duck Green Raised Head AshtrayVintage Hull Usa Pottery Vase 6 3/4 In. TallVintage Hull Ewer Magnolia 1946 VaseVtg Hull Pottery Sun Glow Butterfly Pitcher Wall Pocket #81 In Pink Lot Of 2 Art Deco In Design Hull Pottery Unicorn Vase Circa 1952 - Hard To FindVintage Antique Mid - Century Hull Tokay Tuscan Grape Art Pottery PitcherHull Pottery | Pink Blossom Flite | Creamer And Sugar Set T15/t16 | Excellent!Hull Pink Wildflower W-1 Two-handle 5 1/2" Pottery VaseHull Blossom Flite T3 Green Interior PitcherVintage Hull Art Pottery Magnolia Vase 15 - 6 1/4" Usa Light YellowU.s.a Hull Art Flower Vase H-3-51/2" Punk With Gold TrimVintage 1955 Hull T11 Blossom Flite Candle Holder W Finger Loop Pink Blue GreenVintage 1957 Hull Art Pottery Porky Pig Piggy Figurine BankUsa Hull Art Bowknot Pottery Cornucopia B-5-7 1/2, Aqua Blue With Pink Bow KnotHull 1950"s Green Woodland Ewer - Wild Flower W Series - W6 - 6 1/2"Hull Pottery 4.5" Swan Planter Satin White #815