By EDWIN ATLEE BARBER.
THE DEVELOPMENT OF AMERICAN INDUSTRIES SINCE COLUMBUS. XI.
THE revelations of the Centennial Exhibition set our potters to thinking and stimulated them to greater competition. Never before was such an impetus given to any industry. The best productions of all nations were sent here and exhibited beside our own modest manufactures, and it was only too apparent that America had been left behind in the race. Up to that time there had been a few sporadic instances of attempts at originality, but comparatively little had been accomplished of a really artistic nature. The existence of a true ceramic art in this country may be said to have commenced with the fair of 1876, because greater progress has been made within the fifteen years which have elapsed since that important event than during the two centuries which preceded it. Let us see what rapid strides have been made in this period.
At the United States Pottery in Bennington, Vt., was a young man, Mr. L. W. Clark, son of the superintendent, Mr. Decius W. Clark, who, on the closing of that factory, accompanied his father to Peoria, 111., and remained with the firm of Fenton & Clark for about two years, when he left to enter the army. In 1875 he went to Boston, and, in partnership with Mr. Thomas Gray, assumed control of the New England Pottery. This establishment was founded in 1854 by Mr. Frederick Meagher, who made Rockingham and yellow ware. It was afterward taken by Mr. William H. Horner, from whom the plant was purchased by the present proprietors, who now produce the usual lines of useful services in cream-colored and white granite ware. For the past five years