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Continental Kilns & Vincent Broomhall
Continental Kilns was a pottery company in Chester, West Virginia which operated from 1944 until 1957. It was spearheaded by designer Vincent Broomhall who intended to make translucent ware similar to Bellek.[1].

Most examples of Continental Kilns found today will be hand-painted patterns on semi-vitreous bodies. Some of the most common patterns and pieces are:

  • Green Arbor - an embossed shape with pink or yellow flowers. Solid colors such as yellow also exist.
  • Woodleaf - yellow and brown floral on a square shape. Some pieces in contrasting brown.
  • Cat Tail - brown and green cat tail decoration. Some pieces in contrasting green.
  • Tropical - brown and green leaves
  • Tahiti - palm tree in browns and greens
  • Puritan - the Green Arbor shapes with gold trim
  • Bali Hai - red, green and brown floral
  • Stardust - brown leaves with green bursts
  • Child's Duck plates, bowls, and mugs in blue and pink
  • Borden's Elsie mugs
  • Jumbo "mother" and "father" cups
  • Snack plates
  • Trade Winds - coral and brown leaves
  • Luster - various pieces with pearlized glaze and gold trim
After the pottery closed, the building was taken over by Metsch Refractories. The refractory plant was founded in Newell, WV in 1919. After it was damaged by fire in 1957, it moved to the Continental Kilns location the same year. Today, Metsch Refractories, Inc. produces ceramic components for electrical and industrial applications.



Metsch Refractories in Chester, West Virginia. Nov. 2013.


Continental Kilns examples

"Green Arbor" jug, sauceboat, and liner.

"Green Arbor" creamer and sugar/marmalade.


"Woodleaf" gravy fast stand.

"Woodleaf" dinner plate.


Handled Tray

"Lotus" 22K Gold Vase


Vincent Broomhall looking over his wares at a trade show in the 1950s.

Vincent Broomhall (1906-1991) worked at the Edwin M. Knowles China in Newell from 1935 until 1944 when he left to start up Continental Kilns. From 1962 to 1975, he was art director at the Homer Laughlin China Company. He also designed wares for some of the surrounding potteries such as Cannonsburg, Harker, Salem, and Sterling.[2]. Some of the lines featured on this site Broomhall designed for Knowles and HLC are in the table below.

Knowles

* Deanna
* Plaid
* Utility Ware
* Yorktown

HLC

* Dover
* Granada
* Orbit
* Victoria


[1] Lehner, Lois. Lehner's Encyclopedia of U.S. Marks on Pottery, Porcelain & Clay. Paducah, KY: Collector Books, 1988
[2]Nossaman, Darlene. "Vincent Broomhall. Master of Abstract Design." The Dish Vol. 15, No 3, Spring 2013, pp 8-9

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