Western Wisdom

Over this weekend I listed some soup bowls with handles in my shop.

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Soup Bowls by Western Pottery for Heinz

I liked their look and the sturdiness of them. On the unglazed bottom they were marked “Heinz USA Made by Western.” Well, I know who Heinz is but I didn’t know who Western referred to so I had to research them. As you know, I like as much information as possible for the items I list and because I find this stuff fascinating.

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Western Stoneware Drip Glaze Bowls (Photo courtesy of DocsOddsandEnds)

 

Turns out Western refers to the Western Stoneware Company. According to the University of Illinois Extension,Western Stoneware came into existence in 1906 when seven different stoneware and pottery companies merged.

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Western Pottery Mug (Photo Courtesy of LeVintageGalleria)

These companies were Monmouth Pottery of Monmouth, Illinois, Weir Pottery Co. of Monmouth, Illinois, Macomb Stoneware Company of Macomb, Illinois, Macomb Pottery of Macomb, Illinois, D. Culbertson Stoneware Co. of White Hall, Illinois, Clinton Stoneware Co. of Clinton, Missouri, and Fort Dodge Stoneware of Fort Dodge, Iowa.

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Western Stoneware Bowl (photo courtesy of SwanCreekCottage)

These seven were referred to after this point as Plant 1 or Plant 2, etc. but all were under the Western Stoneware company. They kept the maple leaf logo that Monmouth had started with before they were merged. They produced many lines of stoneware such as crocks, butter churns, jugs and also decorative pieces.

The University of Illinois Extension also notes that some of their more popular lines were Marcrest dinnerware and the Colonial line of stoneware. Monmouth Pottery artware was also popular.

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Western Stoneware Bowl (photo courtesy of WildCrockophile)

They were also happy to put advertising on their pieces. That’s where the Heinz reference comes in. Heinz was just one of the companies that had pieces commissioned by Western. If you remember the post from last week about Watt Pottery, they were doing the same thing. Hey, it paid the bills!

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Western Pottery Covered Casserole (photo courtesy of AstridsPastTimes)
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Western Pottery Jug (photo courtesy of OpalsVintage)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The company had weathered many storms and kept Americans working during some tough times in our history, but according to the Quad-City Times, Western closed their doors in 2006. They lasted longer than many but in the end, they fell prey to out-sourcing and cheap imports, as did other potteries across the U.S. Their pieces, especially their advertising pieces, are still very collectible.

I hope you found this look at Western Stoneware as interesting as I did. If you get a chance, leave me a note to say hi or stop by Vintage Eve’s shop and take a look at some great vintage treasures. See you next week!

Where I like to party Adirondack Girl @ Heart !

 

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2 thoughts on “Western Wisdom

  1. Hi, I inherited from my great aunt who was born in 1902 in Pittsburgh, PA 4 Heinz by Western soup bowls with handles in 4 different colors, as illustrated on some websites. How can I find their value and age? The Western Stoneware Company signature is etched in the bottom but no year. Thank you.

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    1. Judith, I would look around some of the sites like Etsy, Ebay and RubyLane to see what people are selling them for. As far as age, I would search any of the resources I listed in my post. One not listed that is an excellent resource is “U.S. Marks on Pottery, Porcelain and Clay” by Lois Lehner. It all depends on exactly how the mark looks when it comes to dating a piece. There are also Facebook groups that you can join, one specifically for American Pottery. You can upload pictures of your item and the stamp on the bottom to the group and there are many people that can help you date it. I hope that helps!

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