Publication: Crockery & Glass Journal
New York, NY, United States
TWENTY-FIFTH ANNUAL CONVENTION OF THE UNITED STATES
In the banquet hall of the Hotel Raleigh, Washington, D. C., last Tuesday the United States Potters' Association met in annual convention. More than ordinary interest attached to the occasion from the fact that it marked the twenty-fifth anniversary of the organization's existence. The growth of the Association since that time is perhaps best indicated by the attendance of the following members:
East Liverpool — H. A. McNicol, H. P. Knoblock, Col. John N. Taylor, Joseph G. Lee, George S. Goodwin, John Goodwin, John W. Vodrey, Robert T. Hall, George C. Thompson, Louis I. Aron, Charles I. Aron, W. E. Wells, Fred B. Lawrence, J. T. Smith, H. A. Keffer, W. L. Smith, J. R. Warner, W. L. Taylor, Edwin M. Knowles, Joshua Poole, Co. W. A. Rhodes, Charles E. Macrum, Harry W. Smith.
Trenton — William Burgess, Daniel Willets, James E. Norris, Howard B. Moses. Abe. H. Hays, Thos. P. Donoher, John Guild Muirheid, Chas. Howell Cook.
Harry Wintringer, Steubenville; C. W. Franzheim and Thos. Carr, Wheeling; Joseph Mayer, Beaver Falls; James Pass, Syracuse; Henry Brunt, Edwin Bennet and F. R. Haynes, Baltimore.
Associate Members — Wilson F. Smith, John J. Purinton, R. S. Miller and C. Nick Muessig, East Liverpool; Charles W. Harrison and E. M. Pearson, Trenton; H. L. Harris, New York; G. Harry Frank and H. M. Preston, Pittsburgh; J. A. Lafferty, Kaolin, Pa.; John Burgess, Hockesson, Del.; Percy Marvel, Avondale, Pa.; Frank. W. Thorp, Trenton; Rudof Gaertner, New York.
Honorary Members — Geo. M. Jacques; CROCKERY AND GLASS JOURNAL, New York City; China, Glass and Lamps, Pittsburgh; Glass and Pottery World, Chicago.
Others present — Watler T. Griffin, United States Consul at Limoges; Joseph M. Kelly, Trenton, N. J.; Daniel Taylor, New York City; A. N. Haltom, East Liverpool, O.
The convention was opened by President Lee, who said:
GENTLEMEN: One more year in the life of this Association has passed into history since last we met. It will be remembered as the year when perhaps more new factories have been placed in operation than in any year in the history of the industry. I cannot say that we are to be congratulated on this phenomenal growth, nor am I able to predict what the results will be. I, however, do not predict any dire disaster, as I feel that it will work out its own salvation. I do not propose to go into detail as to the causes that have brought about this unnatural growth. This I will say, however, that I do not think there is an industry in the whole country that has been so grossly misrepresented as ours. I refer more particularly to the profits accruing to the business. All sorts of statements are being made to induce capital to invest its money in this business, and many of the investors, I understand, now regret their hasty action.
The manufacturing potter is as patriotic, generous, and liberal in his views as any citizen in this country; and when we ask a continuance of the wise policy of protection to American industry and American labor we only voice that which that patriotic, broad minded stateman, the late lamented William McKinley, believed in and spent the best years of his life to investigate, and because of which the people of this whole nation have prospered.
We have every reason to congratulate ourselves upon the advancement we have made from year to year in producing a product that is equal in many respects to that produced by our competitors on the other side. This is particularly true of our bodies and glazes and our decorative art, in which the advent of decalcomanie has been quite a factor. I regret, however, to say that we have not reached that high degree of efficiency in workmanship that we have every reason to expect, and for which we are so generously paying. I trust, however, I may be permitted to see the day when the product of our American factories shall receive the admiration of not only our own people, but that of the whole civilized world.
While there has been no alarming evidence of tariff tinkering or changes in the past year, we should ever be on the alert and prepared to combat any legislation that will in any way tend to be of injury to our industry. Perhaps the most serious question that has confronted us is the reported, and I might say actual, undervaluation of many classes of goods coming into this country. We should advocate the appointment of men to Customs positions who by their experienee have gained a knowledge of the true value of the goods they are called upon to inspect and appraise, so that the interest of protective and marine laws may not through lack of knowledge, be made inert. Our Customs Committee, however, are awake to the situation as it exists and have already done considerable and efficient work along these lines, and it is our duty to lend this committee all the assistance in our power, and we should not hesitate to contribute any amount of money necessary to prosecute this work.
Another matter I consider of very grave importance is the reported discrimination in freight rates. I believe it is true that the rates from foreign points to interior points in the United States have been as low as 33c to 35c, while factories in New Jersey and Ohio, three or four thousand miles nearer to points of delivery, have been compelled to pay rates equal to twice this amount, and in many cases much more. This is in direct violation of the intent and provisions of the interstate commerce law, and I am glad to learn that within the last two weeks the Interstate Commerce Commission has taken steps to remedy this matter.
Last year this convention conceived the idea of forming an auxiliary organization, and at a subsequent meeting in Pittsburgh the Pottery Association was organized. While perhaps the final height of perfection has not been attained, it has done much for the object for which it was formed, and is well worth of a continuance for many years to come. The officers should have the appreciation of us all for the very efficient manner in which they have conducted the work of this Association, and we should do all we can to help them make the success it so richly deserves.
At the solicitation of a representative of the St. Louis exhibition who was with us in convention last year a committee was appointed to take the matter in charge. This committee did not receive the encouragement that was justly due such a project, and I sincerely trust this convention will again take up the matter so that some arrangements may be made by which the manufacturers can see their way clear to make an exhibit that will be a credit to our industry.
Just here let me say a word of welcome to those who are with us to-day for the first time. We want you to feel at the very outset that you are in good fellowship when you are associated with this body of men. We want you to come, as we know you do, in the spirit of frankness and candor, and I can assure you that we greet you in the same spirit. Enter into our councils, let us mingle our wisdom, and we shall so mutually agree that there will be no grounds for differences.
It has been said of Napoleon, when on the eve of the ill-fated battle of Waterloo the floodgates of heaven were opened and the rain poured down in torrents, that though ill and well-nigh exhausted he spent the night in the saddle, ever on the alert for advantage. In the darkness of that fearful night he was buoyed by the same ambition that had characterized his life, and as the lightning flashed across the sky his countenance was seen to be marked by a stern, grim smile, and these mysterious words passed his lips: "We are agreed."
Now, gentlemen, this should be the sentiment of every member of this convention. To be successful we must agree. I believe this will be the sentiment, and I think I see written on your faces this determination.
The convention then went into executive session, at which the presentation of committee reports occupied the bulk of attention. All were indicative of the growth and the present prosperity of the pottery industry in the country. Particularly convincing evidence of this fact was embodied in the report of the Committee on Statistics. There are at present 741 kilns in operation in the United States and between sixty and seventy plants manufacturing general ware. Of the output two per cent. is yellow and Rockingham, 10 per cent. C. C.; 15 per cent. china; the remaining 73 per cent. white granite and porcelain.
The Wednesday morning session was taken up principally by the election of officers, the former incumbents all being renamed, and the appointments of new committees.
The election of officers resulted as follows: President, Jos. G. Lee; vice-president, James E. Norris; secretary, H. A. Keffer; treasurer, Geo. C. Goodwin.
Following are the committees:
Executive — Wm. Burgess, chairman; Jno. N. Taylor, Chas. W. Franzenheim, W. L. Smith, John A. Campbell, Daniel Willets, W. E. Wells, Geo. C. Thompson.
Art and Design — W. A. Rhodes, chairman; Fred. B. Lawrence, Robert T. Hall, C. G. Gosser, F. R. Haynes, Jas. Moses.
Historical — Henry Brunt.
Transportation — H. P. Knoblock, chairman; John A. Campbell, Chas. Howell Cook, Geo. C. Thompson.
Statistics — Louis I. Aron, chairman; J. R. Warner, H. D. Wintringer, Thos. Carr, H. B. Moses.
Audit — W. L. Taylor, chairman; James E. Norris, Chas. I. Aron.
Machinery — Joshua Poole, chairman; Henry Brunt, Jno. W. Vodrey, Jno. S. Goodwin, W. S. Brunt, Jas. Pass.
Membership — Jos. Mayer, chairman; John T. Cartwright, W. W. Harker, Chas. Ashbaugh.
Selling Price — Chas. Franzenheim, chairman; A. M. Maddock, Chas. Howell Cook, W. E. Wells, Jno. Taylor, J. T. Smith.
Reception — W. L. Smith, chairman; Edw. M. Knowles, Thos. P. Donoher.
Kilns and Fuel - Moses Collear, chairman; J. E. Jeffords, J. T. Moore, N. A. Frederick, H. N. Harker, W. E. Vodrey.
The following concerns were admitted to membership: Colonial Company, Hall China Co., East End Pottery Co., George C. Murphy, East Liverpool; Buffalo Pottery Co., Buffalo; Cameron China Co., Cameron, W. Va.; Pope Gosser Co., Coshocton, O.
Adjournment took place at 11:45 o'clock, immediately after which the members repaired to the White House, and were received by President Roosevelt. The President was in a particularly happy mood, and said:
"Before enjoying a personal meeting with each of you, I wish to say that it has long been my desire to visit East Liverpool. And, "he continued, as the Trenton contingent began to look disappointed, "New Jersey also. I fully appreciate the importance of your industry, not only from a commercial, but likewise from an artistic standpoint. Permit me also to express my sincere regret because of my inability to accept your very kind invitation to attend the banquet of your Association. Already this year I have been obliged to refuse fully twenty requests from various organizations. I must therefore content myself with enjoying a personal introduction to each of you, and I sincereluy trust your Association and the industry you represent will continue to prosper."