Posted 8 months ago
This is a 1921 advertisement from the Temple Cookbook for the Western Stoneware Company, Monmouth, Ill. "The World's Largest Stoneware Manufacturers". --- In 1905, The Monmouth Pottery Company was sold, and in 1906 it was merged with six other stoneware companies to create The Western Stoneware Company of Monmouth Illinois. The six companies that merged with The Monmouth Pottery Company to create The Western Stoneware Company were The Weir Pottery Company, Macomb Stoneware Company, Macomb Pottery Company, D. Culbertson Stoneware Company, Clinton Stoneware Company, and Fort Dodge Stoneware. Each of the seven stoneware companies that merged to form The Western Stoneware Company had one or two stoneware or pottery specialties and each was designated with a specific Plant Number. The Monmouth Pottery Company was designated as Plant Number One, and continued to produce the utilitarian stoneware bowls, churns, and crock jars it had become well known for.
The Weir Pottery Company, established in 1899, was designated as Plant Number Two after the merger that created The Western Stoneware Company. The Weir Pottery Company was famous for creating promotional pieces for the Heinz Company, for their fine stoneware fruit jars, and for manufacturing the original Old Sleepy Eye pitchers and steins for the Old Sleepy Eye Milling Company of Minnesota.
Macomb Stoneware, established in 1899, was designated as Plant Number Three but a fire destroyed the facilities in 1913. And, Macomb Pottery, incorporated in 1880, was Plant Number Four. Macomb Pottery produced the Cardinal brand of redware along with other specialty lines of stoneware and pottery until the facilities were sold in 1956.
The D. Culbertson Stoneware Company of White Hall Illinois was known as Plant Number Five and remained in operation until 1916. Clinton Stoneware of Clinton Missouri, established in 1898, was designated as Plant Number Six and produced stoneware until 1910. And, Fort Dodge Stoneware of Fort Dodge Iowa, established in 1892, was designated as Plant Number Seven until a fire destroyed the facilities one year after the merger.
After the merger, The Western Stoneware Company retained the stamped maple leaf logo of The Monmouth Pottery Company and simply changed the company name. Early vessels can be identified by the stamped maple leaf emblazoned with The Western Stoneware Company name and one of the seven plant numbers.
With seven stoneware and pottery companies operating under The Western Stoneware Company name, a wide range of stoneware and pottery products developed. From basic utilitarian stoneware vessels such as bowls, crocks, and butter churns to designer quality pottery lamps, flower planters, water coolers, and art inspired pottery pieces, The Western Stoneware Company became well known for offering a diverse collection of products.
Among the most popular of The Western Stoneware Company's lines were the the blue and white stoneware collections, the highly collectible spongeware collection, the Marcrest dinnerware line, and the Monmouth Pottery art and garden wares.
The Western Stoneware Company logo, derived from Monmouth Pottery's original stamped maple leaf design, was used fairly consistently but slight variations occurred throughout the years. The Western Stoneware Company is still in operation today and stoneware is produced at the last remaining factory, Plant Number Two. The Western Stoneware Company has been purchased several times over the years, most recently in 2006. As a company that has been in operation for over 100 years, The Western Stoneware Company is known for highly collectible pieces and many collectors enjoy learning to identify the history of specific stoneware items by studying their Plant Number, unique markings, and company logo stampings.