Bennington Display at the Crystal Palace

[Trade Journal]

Publication: Gleason's Pictorial Drawing Room Companion

Boston, MA, United States
p. 261, col. 1-3



The fine engraving given herewith relates to the United States department of the Crystal Palace, and shows the articles contributed by the Bennington (Vt.) Pottery Company, including a great variety of useful articles and ornaments, such as can be made of earthen and stone ware. The articles here given are, of Porcelain, Parian, Lava and Enamel Flint Wares. The articles are not only manufactured in this country but the materials from which they are made are of this continent exclusively. Indeed, we have not only no lack of good delft and porcelain material, but a surplus of mineral matters of a character very superior to the European minerals, and which have now become an article of export trade to England. The neighborhood of Bennington, Vermont, is one well adapted for the establishment of a pottery manufacture, as there is a considerable deposit of plastic clay, which is met with in large


Porcelain and Flint Ware, Exhibiting at the Crystal Palace.


quantities, and of great purity in at least a dozen other places in Vermont. Indeed, there is no State in the Union better adapted for manufacturing porcelain and other earthen wares, containing all the mineral elements, and also ores of iron and manganese. These, however, in themselves, constitute but a portion of the success of any branch of manufacture, and it is to the untiring industry and skill of Mr. C. W. Fenton that this country is indebted for the establishment of this art, at Bennington. He has labored over thirty years to advance the manufacture, and, with great pecuniary expenditure, has advanced it to the condition in which it is exhibited in this collection from Bennington. At the sacrifice of time and health he has also succeeded in introducing the manufacture of Parian Ware in this country; produced the Flint Enamel Ware, for which he has secured a patent; and is engaged in extension of porcelain manufacture, which has been followed by other establishments in this country, but by no means to the same satisfactory developments as by him. The United States Pottery Company are now erecting a very large manufactory at Bennington, which, when completed, will furnish Porcelain or Parian wares, equal to French or English, at a more moderate price, owing to the cheaper cost of the materials, the facilities possessed to prepare them, and the superior construction of the kilns, in which an economy of fuel, with a more steady and clearer heat, is obtained. To the artist and superintendent of the premises, Mr. D. W. Clark, the company owe much of their success in the beauty and execution of the designs and articles. The articles exhibited by this company are of Porcelain and Parian Ware, Lava and Enamel Flint Wares. Among the articles the most prominent is a tile floor, which underlays the whole of the articles, embracing a space of seven square feet. The tiles are inlaid with variegated colors, the borders displaying the American flag. Upon the centre of the floor stands a monument, ten feet in height. The first or lower section represents the Lava Ware, or variegated stone; the second section their Flint Ware, the third, open colums [sic] columns, inclosing a bust of Fenton, the designer of the articles on exhibition; the fourth section crowns the monument, and is a Parian female figure, presenting a bible to a child, on a monument, by her side. Around this monument are displayed table and scale standards, Corinthian capitals, figures, vases, urns, toilet sets, and a great variety of other specimens in Porcelain, plain and inlaid. The pitchers in Porcelain are deserving of notice, as a branch of national industry; though not decorated, beyond a gilt moulding, and, therefore, not so attractive as China, yet they possess the first elements of good ware that is, a uniform body without any waving, and of well mixed and fine materials. It is upon such ware, only, that decorations and ornaments can succeed, and Mr. Fenton has overcome the great obstacle in the producing of ornamental China, namely, the formation of a ware having the essential properties of good Porcelain, density, whiteness, and transparency. The Parian Ware of this company if remarkably fine, especially in the form of pitchers. They are light in material, of graceful outline, and of two tints one fawn colored, from the presence of a little oxide of iron, and the other white, from its absence. To us, the former appears the more pleasing to the eye. These are made of the flint from Vermont and Massachusetts, the feldspar from New Hampshire, and the China clays from Vermont and South Carolina. This company has the credit of first producing Parian Ware on this continent. China has been heretofore made in Philadelphia, and, also, at Green Point, Long Island; but the manufacture is now only carried on to a small extent, and that in the latter locality. The United States Pottery Company are at present enlarging their works, at Bennington, owing to the increased consumption of their wares, where they are fitting up a main building, 160 feet in length, and giving employment to one hundred operatives, using water power for grinding the materials, and six kilns of an improved construction, for the firing of the wares. With the increased facility of manufacturing, which this extension affords, this market will be supplied with China wares, of a superior kind, manufactured at home, and which will, no doubt,, remunerate the company for the outlay incurred, and add another to the new manufactories established among us. The superiority of the Flint Enamel Ware, over the English, consists in the addition of silica, combined with kaolin, or clay, from Vermont, which, when in properly adjusted proportions, produces an article possessing great strength and being perfectly fire-proof. Telegraph insulators in white flint, are on exhibition, this material being one of the best electric non-conductors that can be found. Various forms of insulators are in the collection. This ware has been employed on the telegraphs in the vicinity of Boston; among these specimens is a patented form, recommended by Mr. Bachelder [sic] Batchelder, which has a shoulder with a re-entering angle of forty-five degrees; this angle causes the wind and rain to pass downward, and prevents the inside of the insulator from being wet. This Enamel Ware comprises a variety of assorted articles, candlesticks, pitchers, spittoons, picture-frames, teapots, etc. This ware has become a favorite article in New England, and deserves much merit as cottage furniture. The Lava Ware is a combination of clays from Vermont, New Jersey, etc.; Carolina, composed of silica and feldspar, intermixed with the oxides of iron, manganese, and cobalt. It is the strongest ware made from pottery materials; the glaze upon this lava ware and upon the flint ware, is chiefly of flint and feldspar, and has, therefore, to be subjected to such an intense heat to fuse it, as would destroy the glaze upon common crockery. The colors upon the flint ware are produced by different metallic oxides applied on the glaze, which latter serves as a medium to float them about upon the surface, while in a state of fusion, thus producing the variegated tints. The depot for this ware, in Boston, is at No. 62, Broad Street.


Keywords:Bennington Pottery : United States Pottery Company : Elliott : U-979 : U-980 : U-981 : U-982 : U-983
Researcher notes:3 insulators are visible on the left side, top tier, surrounding the urn. They are left to right; U-979, U-980, and U-981. The article further mentions the Batchelder patent which is for an insulator with a corresponding skirt design that has a returned 45 degree angle like the U-982 and U-983 styles.
Supplemental information: Patent: 8,418
Researcher:Bob Stahr
Date completed:October 5, 2008 by: Bob Stahr;