Present Situation of the Electrical Porcelain Industry

[Trade Journal]

Publication: Brick and Clay Record

Chicago, IL, United States
vol. 60, no. 12, p. 932, col. 1-2



Discussing the present situation in the electrical porcelain industry, Paul G. Duryea, vice-president of the Cook Pottery Co., Trenton, N. J., specializing in this line of manufacture, says that conditions are satisfactory and that the outlook for the future is most encouraging. Incoming orders indicate that surplus stocks are rapidly being absorbed and the immediate trend is towards healthy improvement and betterment.

This company, it is pointed out, produces low tension, or dry process porcelain, or the material that forms the standard items generally sold to jobbers, and which enter directly into the construction of a building, as well as the standard porcelains for wiring devices, and the like. As this material forms a basic feature in the trade, improvement, naturally, is expected in this line first. That such a situation exists, is indicated by Mr. Duryea's statement that the aggregate value of standard porcelain shipped during March last was 67.5 per cent, of the total of the corresponding month in 1921, but as the price level is now 55 per cent, below that of the previous year, the increase in volume approximates close to 50 per cent, for the 1922 period. Standard porcelain, it is set forth, is being marketed today at less than the actual cost of manufacture, and it is believed that a price advance is not far distant; it will come just as soon as building operations have proceeded to a point to stimulate demand.

Speaking of special electrical porcelain, it is explained that the high tension material made under the wet process forms a distinct business in itself, and as a rule, the manufacturer of standard porcelain cannot produce satisfactory designs of this character, where accuracy, dielectric strength and superior finish are essential, nor could the producer of special porcelain, on the other hand, invade the field of the standard material and secure successful attainments.

In the special porcelain branch, the improvement has not been shown to the same extent as in the standard porcelain market. Factories in this line, it is stated, are operating at from 25 to 45 per cent, of regular capacity. Prices are approximately doubled over those of 1915, and the average buyer finds it hard to understand why special porcelain figures should not recede to pre-war levels, the same as in the case of various other commodities.

The explanation, Mr. Duryea says, is in the fact that raw materials, including flint, feldspar and imported clays are costing about 100 per cent, more than heretofore, while American clays and coal are running about 150 per cent. higher. Labor, always a primary factor in manufacture, is receiving from 100 to 300 per cent, in advance, as compared with 1915 levels. As all costs of production rest on these features, and transportation, it is easy to understand, it is said, that further liquidation in manufacturing costs must come, before there can be any further reduction in market quotations.

The course of action, Mr. Duryea sets forth, lies "straight before us. To reduce the cost of production to the lowest point possible consistent with the highest quality, to work hard in season and out of season, and to look forward with confidence. Do these, and our success is assured."


Keywords:Cook Pottery Company
Researcher notes: 
Supplemental information: 
Researcher:Elton Gish
Date completed:February 1, 2010 by: Elton Gish;