Wisconsin Stoneware

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We are looking for photographs of early Wisconsin decorated stoneware, earthenware, and advertising stoneware with a focus on earlier pieces (before 1880 or so.) If you are will to contribute please send cropped jpg photos to steve@mrbottles.com. This will take some time to build up content so we are missing pictures of some very basic pieces. Check back often because we are adding frequently to this gallery.

L. J. Farwell was a Merchant in Milwaukee from 1840 to 1847. Leonard later served as governor of the state of Wisconsin from 1851 to 1854. Although his stoneware is not marked as territory pieces with "WT", they were made before Wisconsin became a state in 1848. While it's not clear who manufactured stoneware for Farwell it is possible that it was made by Isaac Brazelton who was producing stoneware in Milwaukee starting in 1844.

Wm. Cunningham was a druggist and merchant in Milwaukee. Signed pieces are marked WT (Wisconsin Territory). These may also have been made by Isaac Brazelton.

L. Ransom & Co. Milwaukee operated the Milwaukee Stoneware Co. from 1848 to 1850. This factory was later operated by the Maxfield brothers.

O.F. Baker Oscar Baker made stoneware at the Milwaukee Stoneware Co. (formerly L. Ransom) from 1851 until 1853 in Milwaukee. He sold the business to J.B. & A. Maxfield.

John B and Amos Maxfield purchased the pottery works of O.F. Baker in Milwaukee in 1854. In 1855 Amos sold out to his brother. In 1858 John stopped making stoneware. It appears that all of their decorated stoneware was signed, but many pieces are not decorated.

C. Hermann Milwaukee operated a stoneware manufacturing factory from 1856 to 1886. Charles Hermann Co. produced huge amounts of stoneware. His wares were mostly stenciled after 1875. It appears that all of C. Hermann's decorated stoneware was signed. Many of the undecorated pieces were not. Clay was brought in from Ohio.

L.M. Pierron Chas. Hermann's stepson became a partner with him in 1882 and the sole owner of the company in 1886. The company was in business for nearly 50 years when it closed in 1935.

C. Bachelder (Carlton and Calvin) operated a stoneware manufacturing business from 1855 to 1868 in Menasha, Wisconsin. Products were branded as OHIO STONE. This company was also a big operation. Many of their pieces were decorated and some were also signed. Here is a brief article about the company by a family member Chery Degner. link

Th. Gunther & Berns In 1863 Theodore Gunther bought an interest in the earthenware company that was started by Peter Berns in Sheboygan in 1850. Together they built a new factory and kiln and started producing stoneware using clay from Ohio. Bern left the partnership in 1866.

Th. Gunther Sheboygan operated the Eastern Stoneware Factory from 1866 to 1885 making decorated stoneware and other crocks, jugs, bottles, etc. Theodore had previously worked for Charles Hermann in Milwaukee for four years before starting his own company in Sheboygan with Peter Berns.

Conrad Langenberg started a redware pottery in Sheboygan County(now Franklin) in 1856 using local clay and lead glaze. His wares have a distinctive red glaze but are not signed. It appears he continued making pottery until about 1891.

Portage City Wisconsin there were several pottery businesses in Portage City Wisconsin in the 1850's and 1860's including FARRAR & RUSSELL, SPRAGUE & RUSSELL, and FARRAR & CO.

Whitewater Wisconsin there were at least four earthenware factories in Whitewater between 1846 and 1882. They used local clay and produced mainly unglazed flower pots and urns, but also used lead-based glaze on some of their wares that gave them a distinctive yellow/orange color. Some pieces were also brush decorated with magnesium. They are difficult to attribute to a particular Whitewater factory because they were rarely if ever signed. Some principals of these companies include Warren and Michael Cole (father & son), George G. and James.C. Williams (father & son), George Dann, John Milz, Michael Ohnhaus, Rufus Cheney and probably others.

New Ulm Minnesota Several companies made stoneware in New Ulm Minnesota starting in 1867. Potter/owners included John Stoeckert, Christian Dauffenbach and William Gieseke. Dauffenbach formerly worked for Charles Hermann in Milwaukee. New Ulm which is just southwest of Minneapolis. For more information by Dennis Johnson on New Ulm stoneware follow this link.


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