Cool Gadget 101

My apologies for being so long away from the blog. Life had a way of intervening at the end of last year, and I lost someone very dear to me. I decided to ease back into the swing of things with a quick post about a very interesting little gadget that I found in my travels. Usually, I put them in my Vintage Eve’s Etsy store, however, this one was something that I found too invaluable to sell!

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Top Off Cap Remover

This thing is called a “Top Off” and it was produced by the Edlund Company out of Burlington, Vermont. This company came into being in 1928 according to UVM.edu. They were a manufacturer of can openers and other kitchen items; founded by Henry, Oscar, and Walter Edlund.

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Top Off Jar & Bottle Opener

In 1931, the company had about 75 employees and “five different size can openers, ranging in price from $10 to 75 cents” (UVM.edu).  I can’t imagine buying a can opener in 1938 for $10 which would now be the equivalent of $162 in today’s market! That must be a fearsome can opener! But I have to say, this one is still going strong even after all these years.

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Underside of the Top Off Jar & Bottle Opener

You just put this beauty on the jar, turn the top piece clockwise to open the sliding sides until the two sides fit over the jar, and then turn counter-clockwise. This simple machine uses the leverage of the handle and the steel grippers to pop the top off any jar I’ve had to open. Works like a charm! And is as solid as the day it was manufactured. This little gadget was developed sometime in the 1940s.

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Side View Shows Sliding Ends

Turns out Edlund is still in business in Vermont, and they continue to produce high-quality kitchen and industrial items. I for one though, down to my vintage soul, will continue to love and use my 1940s Top Off. Don’t fix it if it ain’t broken!

I hope you enjoyed learning a little about this handy little gadget. It will never be in my Etsy store, unless I find another one. Then I may be convinced to sell any others I come across … maybe.

 

Lovely Old (and sold) Things

I thought it would be interesting to look at some lovely old things that have passed through my store in the last month or so. They are a mix of vintage items that I really couldn’t dig up a lot about so I thought I’d make one post out of 5 of them.

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Rumpp Shot Glasses with Leather Case 1940s

I loved these old shot glasses from the 1940s. Let me tell you, they weren’t in the shop long before they sold! They were produced by a company named Rumpp. The 4 shot glasses are silver-plated and fit snugly in their soft leather case with a snap. The bottom of the glasses say “Made in Germany U.S. Zone.” I’d never seen that mark before. My research says this mark was used between the years of 1945 to 1950.

C.F. Rumpp & Sons was a leather manufacturer that was open from the mid-1800s to 1959. It closed in 1959 and was demolished in 1965. They were well-known while they were around.

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1930s Children’s Puzzle by Tudor Press

This little puzzle wasn’t in the shop long either! By Tudor Press, it was from the 1930s and had Porky Pig and Puppy Sam. I thought it interesting that Porky Pig was named on the puzzle. The bow-tie-wearing pig I remember from the cartoons looks nothing like this but they appeared around the same time in the 1930s.

 

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Dru Enameled Cast Iron Butter Warmer Mid-Century Modern

 

As I’ve mentioned many times, I’m a huge fan of Mid-Century Modern. This little piece is enameled cast iron by a company called Dru Holland. It’s a small trivet that goes with the butter warmer by the same company, and in the same pattern. There is little to no information about the company online. They were in business during the 1960s; out of business by the 1970s. That’s about all I know of the company, but their stuff is classic Mid-Mod.

 

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Ned Smith Highball Glasses Signed

These are highball glasses all signed by an artist by the name of Ned Smith. He was a painter born in 1919 who became a nature artist. He was known for his very detailed and accurate drawings of wildlife for books and magazines. There is a website with a short biography about him at the Ned Smith Center. He died in 1985. I’m not sure exactly when these glasses were commissioned. I can tell you they didn’t stay long in the shop!

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Covered Casserole by Sadek from the 1970s Oven to Table Cookware

Lastly, there is this lovely lady. This piece is from the 1970s, a covered casserole dish with vibrant flowers. I love the shape of the handles. The Sadek Company was founded in 1936 by Charles and Norman Sadek. The Andrea line was named after Charles’ granddaughter and is still in production.

I love the pieces that I sell, that’s why I sell vintage. Each one has it’s own little history. I may not always be able to find more than a paragraph, or an entry at a licence or patent site, but each piece has an origin. If they could only talk … okay, seriously that would creep me out, but it would definitely be interesting!

I hope you have enjoyed a look at some lovely old pieces and their brief histories. Thank you for sharing your time with me and have a great week!

Raise the Anchor

I have been away for a bit from the blog due to a very hectic schedule over the last few months! In my other life, I am a Special Ed Teacher and as such, the last few months before school ends are rounds of grading papers, meetings, testing and taking advantage of the good weather if at all possible! But here we are, together again, and I’d like to touch on a company that we have probably all invited into our houses at one point or another.

Anchor Hocking. This company has been around more than a century in many different forms. We’ve all seen their stuff. I have a couple of their pieces in the shop currently. Like these ones.

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Anchor Hocking Relish Dish (available at Vintage Eve’s)
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Anchor Hocking Moonstone Hobnail Divided Dish (available at Vintage Eve’s)

They originally started as the Hocking Company back in 1905 near the Hocking River — hence the name. At the time, according to the Anchor Hocking Museum website (AH), Isaac J. Collins and 6 of his friends had raised about $8,000 to buy Lancaster Carbon Company when they went into receivership. Even back then, though, $8k was not enough and they needed to bring on one more investor by the name of Mr. E.B. Good. He gave them another $17,000 which sealed the deal and Mr. Collins had himself a glass factory.

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Hocking Glass Co. Elegant Glass Pink Mayfair (available at I Do Pink)

During their first year in business, with 50 employees, Hocking Glass Company sold about $20,000 worth of glassware. Not too shabby! As they expanded they began to sell some stock in the company.

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Ruby Red Berry Bowl Coronation Banded (available at Vintage Creative Accen)

They were going along pretty good until there was a huge fire which destroyed their main facility. How many times have we seen this played out with some of these early 20th century companies?! They worked it out, though because out of those ashes rose a new facility called Plant 1 — specifically designed to produce glassware. The one that burned down had originally been a carbon company when they bought the facility.

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Hocking Glass Co. Yellow Cameo Open Sugar (available at Places to Put Things)

Hocking Glass began buying up some other companies such as the Lancaster Glass Company (Plant 2) and the Standard Glass Manufacturing Company. This was all during the 1920s. Just before the Great Depression hit, they developed a revolutionary machine that pressed glass automatically. It allowed them to make over 30 items per minute, whereas before they could only make 1 per minute.

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Anchor Hocking Fire King Bowls with Handles (Treasure Evermore)

Once that was perfected, they then created a machine with 15 molds that could turn out 90 pieces of glass per minute! That allowed them to lower their costs considerably. During the Depression they were able to sell tumblers “two for a nickel” and still stay in business.

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Anchor Hocking Berwick Boopie Sherbert circa 1950 (available at Red River Antiques)

In 1931 they purchased a 50% share of the General Glass Company which was in the process of acquiring Turner Glass Company of Winchester, Indiana. The information on the Anchor Hocking Museum website (AH) says that this merger is what ended up creating the Anchor Hocking name. What happened was that Hocking Glass and the companies it was now merged with developed the first one-way beer bottle. Before that, beer was sold in refillable bottles.

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Anchor Hocking Maxwell House Pressed Glass Jar (available at The Jelly Jar)

On December 31, 1937, Anchor Cap and Closure and all its subsidiaries merged with Hocking Glass. They had closure plants all over the Eastern seaboard and in Canada. They also had glass container plants in New Jersey and Pennsylvania. This led the now Anchor-Hocking Glass Company into glassware, containers and then into tableware, toiletries, cosmetic containers, and more.

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Anchor Hocking Milk Glass Mugs (available at The Discerning Hoarder)

They continued to expand through the next decades. In 1969 they dropped the “Glass” part of their name because they were so far beyond just producing glass. Actually during the prior year, 1968, they had entered the plastics market after their acquisition of Plastics Incorporated.

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Plastic Anchor Hocking Cups for the 1984 Olympics (available at Luxurys Warehouse)

In 1970 they purchased Phoenix Glass Company in Pennsylvania and entered the lighting field. They also bought Taylor, Smith & Taylor putting them squarely into the earthenware, fine stoneware, and institutional china dinnerware business.

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Anchor Hocking Hobnail Perfume Bottle (available at MidCenturyMad Shop)

Over the years they have bought and sold different divisions. You can go to the Anchor Hocking Museum website (AH) for a very detailed listing of all the subsidiaries and divisions that have been acquired, merged, or sold. The list gets complicated. In 2006 Anchor-Hocking filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection due to heavier than expected losses. They were bought by Oneida which in turn was acquired by EverywhereWare, Inc. So they are still in business under the Anchor-Hocking name.

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Mid-Century Ice Bucket Anchor Hocking (available at Gentry Antiques)

They apparently only used 3 marks during their production years. There is a mark that has an “HG” over “Co.” which was used from 1905 to 1937. The anchor with an H in the middle used from 1937 to 1968. Finally, the anchor inside a square used from 1968 until now.

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Anchor Hocking Ruby Glass Pitcher (available at Heather’s Collectibles)

It is amazing how intertwined so many of these companies became. It is like trying to unravel a knotted ball of yarn; they start out simple and then it’s almost impossible to separate one from the other. It’s all interesting though!

I hope you have enjoyed this week’s post. Please join me at the link parties on the right — lots of wonderful blogs — and have a great week!!

 

 

 

Danish Modern

I love Mid-Century Modern. In fact, my dream is to have a house filled with Mid-Mod furniture. Not sure if I’ll ever get that dream fulfilled but it’s out there. It definitely sells well in the Vintage Eve’s shop.

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Lundtofte Danish Modern Pans (available at Vintage Eve’s)

What I like about Mid-Century Modern are the lines of the furniture and other items that came out of this era and while it can be said that Danish Modern is part of the Mid-Century Modern movement, not all Mid-Century Modern is Danish Modern. So what exactly is Danish Modern?

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Chair by Kaare Klint circa 1930s (available at MidCenturyMobler)

Danish Modern started in the early part of the 20th century. According to Collectors Weekly, the grandfather of Danish Modern is considered to be Kaare Klint. He was a founder of the furniture school at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Copenhagen around 1924. Klint believed that we didn’t need to reinvent furniture, just change the lines to give it a more modern look. Many of Klint’s followers were trained as architects which explains the architectural lines to the furniture.

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Fritz Hansen Tray Table (available at Hearthside Home)

Danish Modern is a period of time that runs from the 1930s to the 1970s. Collectors Weekly says it really took off post-WWII, though. It sort of grew out of the Bauhaus movement which used geometric design and art. This movement was about showing the structure, not hiding it. Danish Modern used these tenets.

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Danish Modern Teak Candle Holder (available at The Groove Vintage)

Another designer that was big in the Danish Modern movement was Arne Jacobsen. He was the creator of the Ant chair. It had 3 metal legs and was made out of a single piece of plywood. Danish Modern is all about keeping the materials real. They wanted people to see the structure of the furniture.

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Arne Jacobsen Ant Chair (available at Xcape Vintage)

He is also the guy who developed the Egg chair in 1958. The chair completely enveloped the sitter creating its own mini interior space around them. It was very sculptural. The material used in Danish Modern design was of the highest quality while still appealing to the middle class.

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Original Arne Jacobsen Egg Chair (available at Retro Appeal)

One of the materials that you will see a lot of in Danish Modern design is teak and other woods. Teak done right can be beautiful, as well as functional. It’s lightweight, too. Another wood was rosewood — paired with steel or other metals it gives these pieces their distinctive look. These items were always meant to appeal to the masses. Although they were made with the best of materials, they were meant to be mass produced for the middle class. The pieces were not just modern in line but also very functional for family life.

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Danish Modern Condiment Set circa 1960s (available at Little Cows)

According to Andrew Hollingsworth in “For the Love of Danish Modern Furniture” (Collectors Weekly, Keane & Monte), the reason Danish Modernism came to an end was progress. New ways of making furniture with colorful molded plastics, the late 60s and 70s, quality of materials declining to meet the demands of lower prices, all sort of converged to bring about the end of the movement.

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Georg Jensen Stainless Blue Shark Dinner Forks (available at Luola)

It’s definitely a look you either love or hate. I happen to love it, but many older people who grew up with it hate it. Go figure! Well, that is Danish Modern in a nutshell. Collectors Weekly has a great article on it for more in depth info. Have a great week and join me in the link parties to the right!

 

 

 

 

Kitties and Pixies

Oh my! It has been a whirlwind month! An exchange student from Japan came to our home and for two and a half weeks, shared her culture with us as we shared ours. It was an experience that I know our family will never forget. It was an awesome 2 1/2 weeks and I was surprised how much we missed her when she left. I say all of this to explain my absence for the last few weeks. Along with other obligations the blog has been a little neglected!

But here we are, together again and I would like to take a look at a prolific importer and designer of the mid-century, Holt-Howard. Their designs, like these cat S&P shakers, started off my small S&P collection. Here are the cats …

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Holt Howard Cozy Cats S&P

And some more of my collection. These are not for sale in the shop, because I love them too much!

The cats actually have a meowing canister in them so when you turn them upside down they meow. They don’t meow anymore, but they would have back in the day. Holt-Howard imported, designed and sold a lot of these cute items using cats, pixies and other animals. They started back in 1949 when John and Robert Howard and Grant Holt started the company.

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Cocktail Mice by Holt Howard circa 1960s (available at The Log Chateau)

According to Kovels the company started selling Christmas items made and sold in the U.S. Holt-Howard was originally based in New York City and moved to Stamford, Connecticut in 1955. Over the years they were sold a couple of times before closing in the 1990s. During their heyday, though, they produced different lines that are well-known in the vintage world.

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1958 Holt Howard Christmas Planter (available at Vintage Quality Finds)

 

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Double Taper Holder Holt Howard (available at Burst of Bambino)

As I said, they started with U.S. made goods but soon turned to overseas manufacturing to keep costs low. Some of their U.S. made Christmas stuff included the winking Santa and Merry Whiskers beverage sets.

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Holt Howard Merry Whiskers (available at The Pokey Poodle)

As their manufacturing moved overseas, they began to produce sort of cartoon type figures made into useful kitchen/household items. One of their lines was Pixieware. These are brightly colored kitchen items like the ones below.

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Holt Howard Pixieware Jam’n Jelly Jars with Spoons (available at House of Alexie)

This line was produced from about 1958 to the early 1960s. Many of the condiment jars are pretty easy to find but some of them are rarer than others. Those ones are the honey or chili sauce jars and there is also one for instant coffee (ahh can’t you just smell the Sanka!).

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Rare Liquor Decanter (available at My Daughters Matter)
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Rare Chili Sauce Pixieware by Holt Howard (available at My Daughters Matter)

The Pixieware line also included Spoofy Spoons, liquor decanters, salt and pepper sets, teapots and more. Another line was the Cozy Cats and Kittens line. That’s where my S&P shakers come in. In this line there were all sorts of things from string holders to ashtrays, spice sets and grease crocks.

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Holt Howard Cozy Kitten Cottage Cheese Container (available at Paul’s Retro Lounge)

They also produced the Exotic Rooster Line. I personally love roosters and during the 50’s and 60s they were very popular for decoration. Holt-Howard’s Red Rooster Coq Rouge dinnerware line, introduced in the 1960s, was designed by Bob Howard. This line was carried through the 1970s in finer department stores.

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Holt Howard Rooster S&P (available at So Fresh So Vintage)

Holt-Howard was copied by any number of copy cats. ThoughtCo., another blog, has a list of these copy cats and how to tell the difference between the knock offs and the real HH.

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Holt Howard Trivet in Coq Rouge Pattern (available at Rediscovered Retro)

As the years wore on, Holt-Howard was bought by General Housewares Corporation in 1968. By 1974 the Howard brothers and Holt had left to follow other dreams. The company was then again sold to Kay Dee Designs of Rhode Island in 1990. In fact Grant Holt and John Howard formed another company called Grant-Howard Associates which produced Pixieware pieces but nothing from the original Holt-Howard Pixieware line.

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Holt Howard Instant Coffee Jar (available at Mary’s Business)

I love the Holt-Howard pieces myself. Whimsical and fun but with a definite mid-century look. The pieces today just don’t capture the same look. Well, I hope you have enjoyed this post. Have a great week and look for me at the link parties on the right all week!

The Real McCoy (I couldn’t resist)

Over the years I have seen many pieces of pottery. As you all know, I love pottery, especially kitchen stuff like bowls. There’s probably some psychological stuff about all that, but I choose not to delve too deep into it. Suffice it to say, pottery catches my eye. One company that is a name to look for in pottery is McCoy. Just watch Antiques Roadshow, one of my favorite shows, and once in a while you will see some McCoy come up.

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McCoy by Lancaster Colony Company (available at Vintage Eve’s)

I have these pieces in the shop which are McCoy but they are also marked LCC which I will get into further down into this post. They are still McCoy — but not before it was bought out by Lancaster. Let’s take a look at where McCoy started as I wait out this snow storm that is supposed to drop about 14″ of snow on my small NH town.

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McCoy Squirrel Planters (available at Magpie Mary’s Market)

According to the McCoy Pottery website, The Nelson McCoy Sanitary Stoneware Company in Roseville, Ohio was formed in 1910 by Nelson McCoy and his father J.W. McCoy. This company made functional and decorative stoneware. They also provided clay to lots of potteries in their area as well, mining and selling it as part of their business.

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McCoy Jardiniere & Pedestal (available at Constance Collections)

After 15 years, in 1925, they began to expand the company. They increased their production and added more modern equipment to their facility. They were the first in their area to install a tunnel kiln which was over 300 feet long. It allowed them to increase their production considerably and expand into specialty art pottery.

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McCoy Clown Cookie Jar (available at Goshen Pickers)

On a side note, there was Brush-McCoy Pottery which really didn’t involve Nelson McCoy. In 1911 George Brush and J.W. McCoy Pottery joined forces until 1918 which is a completely separate story with some of the same players. The McCoy name in Brush-McCoy was not dropped until 1925, however.

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Brush-McCoy Cleo Vase (available at 521 Vintage Elements)

So back to Nelson McCoy and his 300 foot tunnel kiln. This kiln allowed them to make more and bigger pieces which included pieces such as Jardinieres and their pedestals, umbrella stands, vases and other pieces for a more affluent customer. With this increase is more art pottery pieces they hired more designers and artisans. However, we haven’t reached the Great Depression era yet. This was during the early to mid 1920s.

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Vintage McCoy Bowl (available at Even Stephen Antiques)

As the Depression loomed McCoy had to scale back slightly. They did a lot of blended glazes and earth tones. Lots of green which seemed to be the most inexpensive. Their motifs during this time were a lot of leaf and berry designs. Made in mass during the 1930s, they were back to functional but attractive.

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McCoy Sprinkler Turtle (available at Amity Leigh’s Vintage)

The Depression took its toll in the 1930s. An alliance of potteries formed in order to stay in business. The co-op was called American Clay Products Company. It included among others the Nelson McCoy Sanitary Stoneware Co., Burley Pottery Co., Crooksville Pottery Co., Muskingum Pottery Co., Star Stoneware Co. and Logan Pottery Co.

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McCoy Green Spinning Wheel Planter (available at RetroRea)

The way it worked was that they had one marketing and sales program that all funneled through the same sales force. At this time these companies all produced many similar products and designs. The Co-op eventually lost its usefulness as the economy picked up and McCoy went on.

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McCoys WWII Sailor Bank (available at 2Numerous)

As a need for sanitary wares decreased in the 1930s the name was eventually changed to Nelson McCoy Pottery Co. Apparently, they didn’t use any marks prior to the 1930s so you just have to know what they made to identify early pieces. Their first mark was a large M superimposed on a small n that was used from 1934 to the late 1930s (Lehner, 1988, p. 287). They had a few marks through the years but not too many.

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McCoy Feather Bowl (available at Jeannerrondeau)

There doesn’t seem to be any particular reason why they were sold when they were doing great; in the 1960s they were known all over the world, with over 300 employees, facility covered over 150,000 square feet. But sold they were to David T. Chase and Chase Enterprises in 1967. They in turn sold it to Lancaster Colony Company (where the LCC mark comes from) in 1974. It was sold again in the 1980s.

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McCoy Coal Kitty Cookie Jar (available at Plethora of Junk)

McCoy is one of the most well-known names in the pottery business. It managed to outlive the Great Depression and other economic downturns. Due to their lack of markings on their pieces, knowing which pieces they made will take some research and just getting to know what you are looking for.

Thanks for sharing your time with me today. Join me at the link parties on the right and have a great week!

 

 

Vernon Kilns’ Deep Roots

Now this is an interesting history! I love these bowls I picked up for the shop a few months ago. Aren’t they pretty?! I love the design.

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Vernon Kilns Hibiscus Lugged Chowder Bowls (available at Vintage Eve’s)

Well, these particular bowls are from a company I had never heard of before I found these. They are by a pottery known as Vernon Kilns, out of Vernon, California. I say the history is interesting because I’m going to back it up to a period just before Vernon Kilns came into existence.

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Vernon Kilns Butter Dish May Flower (available at Coming Around Again)

According to “Collectible Vernon Kilns” by Maxine Feek Nelson, the beginning of the story starts with 2 brothers, Robert and James Furlong. They lived in Ireland and set out to find their fortune in the California Gold Rush in about 1848.

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Vernon Kilns Lei Lani Pitcher & Glasses (available at Mid Century Kind of Mood)

The weird thing is that they set out separately and somehow they managed to find each other in San Francisco a few years later. They actually found gold, unlike some unlucky souls who searched for years and found nothing. They decided to settle in Bakersfield, California, as ranchers and sent for their wives in Ireland.

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Vernon Kilns Plaid Coffee Pot Homespun Line (available at Alveta Vintage Items)

When Robert’s wife, Martha, arrived, they decided to move to Southern California and bought a ranch in Vernon, a town with a population of a few hundred people. It was a pretty good sized ranch where they raised their 4 children, Tom, James, Annie and Judith.

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Vernon Kilns Rockwell Kent Our America Transferware Commemorative Plate (available at Well Picked)

Tom and James became leaders of their community and well into the 20th century kept their hand in the government of Vernon. It was Judith where the Vernon Kilns piece of this gets going. As she grew up and became a teacher, a guy over in England with relatives in the pottery business set out for the States. His name was George J.W.(Wade) Poxon.

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Vernon Kilns Rio Vista Coffee Pot (available at Memories to Restore)

He worked his way through the states once he got here visiting many potteries along the way, especially those in Ohio. Until, lo and behold, he found himself in Vernon and decided to buy the ranch adjacent to the Furlong ranch. There he met, fell in love with and wooed Judith into marriage.

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Vernon Kilns Carafe and Mug Set (available at Quince Cottage Home)

As he settled down into married life, the china company he had started the year before, Poxon China, began taking off. They eventually had 65 people working at Poxon. They started making tile but switched to heavy hotel restaurant ware with the onset of WWI. So what does this have to do with Vernon Kilns? I’m almost there.

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Poxon Bowl (Worthpoint)

Sometime in July of 1931 Poxon China, which had had a good run, was sold to Faye G. Bennison. Vernon, by this time, had become part of Los Angeles, CA. Bennison continued to produce many of the successful lines of the Poxon China Company until an earthquake in 1933 destroyed the molds. This meant they had to develop their own shapes.

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Metlox Poppy Trail Pitcher (available at DK Collectibles)

In the late 1940s they almost closed due to fires but they kept going. They actually did quite well until, in a story we’ve seen many times, a flood of foreign imports sank the company. Vernon Kilns sold out to Metlox in 1958. Metlox continued to use the Vernon Kilns shapes under the Vernonware line until 1989.

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Metlox Vernonware Ovoid Bowls (available at Vintage Pottery)

The Vernon Kilns products were made from clay from Tennessee, Kentucky, North Carolina and England (Oocities.org). Many of their patterns were hand-painted.

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Metlox Poppy Trails Butter Dish (available at This and That 4 You)

So that is the story of Vernon Kilns. It started as one thing and ended as another. It didn’t have a long run, only 27 years. But since Vernon Kilns used Poxon molds and Metlox used Vernon Kilns molds, it can be difficult to tell from the shape which manufacturer you have when you are trying to date something.

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Vernon Kilns Disney Designed Dish or Planter (available at Butterfly Wing Vintage)

Am I the only person who found it amazing that 2 brothers managed to find each other in the Old West during the gold rush?! If it wasn’t for them settling in California and one of them moving to Vernon, this might have had a very different ending.

Join me at the link parties on the right this week! Do you have any Poxon or Vernon Kilns china? Tell me about it. I’d love to hear your story! Have a great week!

 

 

 

 

Fiesta at the Laughlins!

If you’ve written a blog for any length of time, it is hard to keep track of all the things you’ve talked about. Luckily, I can do a search, which is what I did today to make sure I hadn’t covered what I wanted to talk about today. I was honestly surprised to realize I haven’t done a post on Homer Laughlin! It’s one of those companies that has given us some really well-known lines.

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Homer Laughlin Creamer Hotel Ware Line (available at Vintage Eve’s)

I myself have a number of Homer Laughlin pieces in my shop. The piece above and the piece below, both Homer Laughlin.

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Homer Laughlin Ferndale Nautilus Salt & Pepper Shakers (available at Vintage Eve’s)

This company is actually still in business today which is commendable considering they rode out the Great Depression, recession and other economic issues that have taken down any number of great pottery houses. They began in 1871 on the banks of the Ohio River in Liverpool, Ohio. A lot of potteries started in Ohio during the turn of twentieth century.

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Homer Laughlin Art Pottery circa 1910 (available at Wild Crockophile)

According to the Homer Laughlin website, the Laughlin Brothers, Homer and Shakespeare, wanted to make quality china at a fair price. They started out making yellow ware and stoneware. In 1873, the town of East Liverpool kicked in $5,000 (a lot of money in those days!) to build a “white ware plant which was still to be known as the Laughlin Brothers.” (Lehner, 1988, p. 245).

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Homer Laughlin Kwaker Rosewood 4 Piece Set circa 1920 (available at Lindsay Jane’s Cottage)

By 1903 they had outgrown their factory and expanded to Newell Farm in West Virginia which was just across the Ohio River. They also began the framework for what was to become the town of Newell. So definitely an important company to that area of West Virginia!

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Homer Laughlin Riviera Sugar and Creamer circa 1930 (available at Antiques by Granny)

They landed some government contracts supplying hotelware known as “double thick” in both WWI and WWII. In 1949 they started to produce hotelware full time. This includes products for the restaurant and food service business. That market is still a large part of their business today. Their Best China, a vitrified china product, puts them in the top 3 leaders in this field (Lehner, 1988, p. 245).

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Homer Laughlin Best China Dishes (available at Mud in the USA)

They continued to expand through the 1930s when in 1936 they introduced a line of china that became a huge success. Any guesses? Fiesta!! Yes Homer Laughlin is the maker of Fiesta ware. Fiesta was made in a bold range of colors with some really unique designs. Fiesta has many collectors that seek out the vintage pieces. It was discontinued in 1973 but then reintroduced in 1986. The colors are slightly different on the new pieces so it can be difficult to determine old and new but the marking will be different. Check out this section on Laurel Hollow Park on identifying them.

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Vintage Homer Laughlin Fiestaware (available at The Freckled Berry)

Interesting fact…from 1943 to 1959 the most popular Fiesta color, Fiesta Red, was not produced due to government control of the depleted uranium that went into making the color. During the 40s and 50s the color choices of Fiesta were forest green, chartreuse, grey and rose.

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Homer Laughlin Fiesta Red Pitcher (available at Molto Belle)

Apparently Fiesta Red was a complicated color to produce because when most of the original technicians who worked on producing the color retired by 1972, the new manufacturing processes could not reproduce the color and they decided, rather than make an inferior product, they would stop producing it. By 1973 all Fiesta production ceased.

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Homer Laughlin Kitchen Kraft Covered Casserole Dish (available at Blue Plate Special 2005)

There are A LOT of different backstamps identifying Homer Laughlin. Check out Lehner’s Encyclopedia of U.S. Marks on Pottery, Porcelain & Clay for a comprehensive list. Some of their lines include Sunrise, Zylco, Kenmark, Royal, Priscilla, Swing and many, many more.

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Homer Laughlin Harlequin Nut Bowls (available at Coleblk)

Homer Laughlin China has innovated over the years becoming a multi-generational employer. They worked hard to introduce some green production, and actually have always produced and manufactured what they sell. I loved learning their story and sharing it with you. Hats off to one of the remaining great American potteries!

I will be partying at the blogs to the right all week, please join me if you have some time. Have a great week!

 

 

 

 

 

Napco Time!

Look at this adorable little cat figurine I unearthed the other day for the shop!

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Napco Kitty circa 1960s (available at Vintage Eve’s)

Look at that happy face! The kitty has lost its original foil sticker but has some numbers on the bottom that helped identify it as a piece of Napco pottery. Napco has been around for awhile. According to my favorite source for ceramic and pottery, “Lehner’s Encyclopedia of U.S. Marks on Pottery, Porcelain & Clay” by Lois Lehner, they started in 1938.

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Napco Deer Salt Shaker (available at The Laden Branch)

Their whole name is National Potteries Corporation and they were located in Bedford, OH. They were actually distributors of pottery and glass. They manufactured only a few pieces themselves. Mainly they imported and distributed.

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Napco Rooster Sugar Bowl (available at Max and Maddie Vintage)

The original founders of Napco were Irwin Garber, a guy named Payner, and David Rein. Garber eventually left to start his own company, Inarco (which you may have heard of) in the 1960s. At first Napco manufactured planters and utilitarian items.

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Napco August Birthday Girl (available at Paula D Jewelry)

They eventually moved to importing from their Asian factories in Seto and Nagoya, Japan. From these factories came those famous lady-head vases, figurines like mine above, and other decorative items.

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Napco March Angel (available at Old World Country)

During the early 1980s they moved from Ohio to Florida to be closer to a new distribution facility and ocean ports. I do not believe they are still in business from what I am able to see. It seems as if their last annual report came from 1989. In 1990 they filed for admin dissolution, which says to me that they closed.

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Napco Lady Head Vase (available at Fem By Design)

Napco was a prolific distributor during the 20th century. They, along with Lefton, gave us some of our favorite knick knacks, kitschkies, and collectibles. If you have a story about one of your favorite Napco pieces, let me know. I love to hear your stories! Also, join me at the link parties listed on the right this week.

Here’s to a Happy New Year!

 

 

 

 

Mid Mod Meet Buenilum

Buenilum. If you can say that 10 times fast you should get an award! It does not exactly trip off the tongue. It is, however, an important name from the last century. As I am always on the look out for cool vintage pieces for the shop, hammered aluminum with that mid-century vibe catches my eye. Over the last year I’ve picked up this piece …

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Buenilum Covered Dish (available at Vintage Eve’s)

And this one, too…

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Buenilum Hammered Aluminum and Wood Covered Casserole Holder (available at Vintage Eve’s)

Buenilum is a brand name of the Buehner-Wanner Company. It was produced from the 1930s through the 1960s when the the company was sold to Pfaltzgraff in 1969.

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Buenilum Aqua and Aluminium Chafing Dish (available at Gazaboo)

One of the owners, Frederick Buehner, was a craftsman from Germany. He had studied at the Deutscher Werkbund which was an association of artists, craftsmen, architects and industrial designers. The other owner was Franz Wanner. The castle that is featured in their BW logo represents Buehner’s home town of Lindach and came into use around 1945.

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Buenilum Leaf Dishes (available at GRITSGirlz)

The name “Buenilum” was a smash-up of Fredereick’s last name and aluminum. It wasn’t a new formulation for aluminum but a brand name for the BW Company. Many of these pieces have Pyrex liners so there has to be some connection there.

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Buenilum Bowl (available at Fourth Estate Sale)

The company started in New York in an office near the 59th Street Bridge but eventually moved to Norwalk, Connecticut where they stayed until they closed for good in 1973.

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Buenilum Ice Bucket with Tongs (available at Night Shift Vintage)

 

There is not a lot of information on this company. I needed to use multiple sources to put this post together; each with just a little bit of info. I did want to highlight this company though, because a lot of their pieces epitomize the mid-century modern aesthetic. The hammered aluminum mixed with teak and other woods is, in my book, beautiful.

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Buenilum and Corning Carafe (available at Vintaretto)

Thanks for stopping by. If you have any memories of Buenilum at your table growing up, please share! I will be on the link-parties to the right this week; if you have a second, check them out. Have a great week!