The first image below shows the outside of Hall China at the main office. The little red arrow points to the top of an old bottle kiln. At one time there were hundreds of these types of kilns in the East Liverpool area, however today there are only three: the one at Hall China, one along the Ohio River, and another several miles away in Wellsville, Ohio. The second picture shows the base of the Hall China bottle kiln from inside the plant. Remarkably, this kiln was still being used in the 1960s.
One of the first things I saw in the plant were various molds being made. In the same area were shelves of molds of pieces no longer in production.
Hall China used two forms of casting hollowware. In one case, wet clay or slip was poured into a mold then allowed to harden. Once the slip had hardened, excess slip was poured out and the piece is removed from the mold. Shown are teapots - each with little caddies on either side. Hall also used automatic casting machines. The third image shows an automatic finishing machine "sponging" off the rough edges and reading the piece to be placed into the kiln.
The three images below are of pieces ready to be fired. The first picture shows Zephyr water bottles -- a favorite piece among vintage Hall collectors. This was being made for China Specialties which were decorated with decal treatments.
The two machines seen here are spray glaze machines. The circular one wasn't in use that day, but as you can see in the image, the other one was. Shown are plates spinning on thin metal wires while hoses sprayed on glazes. The plates moved along a conveyer belt and then loaded on racks to be fired.
These next images show pieces loaded on racks ready to be fired. There were two types of ways to move large amounts of dishes, one was on rollers and the other was by using tracks mounted on the ceiling which run throughout the plant. The first picture is of rim soups ready to be fired. These bowls have been sprayed with a black glaze, but at this stage they look red. They will not become black until they are run through the kiln. The second picture shows racks of dishes suspended from the tracks on the ceilings.
Here is one of the kilns used at Hall China. The first image shows little trays of pieces making their way to the entrance of the kiln. The second is looking down the kiln where the racks of fired pieces will come out.
Shown are some finished pieces for Longaberger ready to be boxed and shipped. Longaberger was made with decals and in solid colors.