The American Chinaware Corporation was a short-lived combination of potteries into one company.
Louis M. Porter, a former salesman for Sebring potteries, came up with the idea to bring together nine firms consisting of eleven dinnerware factories and one
enamled ware plant. The corporation was formed in the spring of 1929 with a captial of $25,000,000.
According to the Pottery Glass and Brass Salesman, Thursday, May 29, 1929:
The American Chinaware Corp was made up of the following:
"He [Porter] first interested prominent Chicago and New York bankers in the propostion and then began his conquest of the prejudices of the manufacturers who didn't warm up to his idea with any great alacrity, because it meant disclosure of business secrets which they had alwasy jealously guarded. This unfriendly attitude overcome, there began the long and tedious work of auditing the affairs of the various plants by expert accountants. While it is understood this work is not yet completed in some plants invited into the merger, it had been finished in a sufficient number on March 31 to go ahead with organization, which was effected last Friday. Other plants may be taken in later."
American Chinaware pieces were often given over the glaze backstamps. The example shown in the upper right hand corner with the overlapping CCA is rather common. Another marking uses an ACC special trade name, Amerce Dinnerware
- Carrollton Pottery Company. Carrollton, Ohio
- French China Company. Sebring, Ohio
- Knowles, Taylor & Knowles Company. East Liverpool, Ohio
- National China Company. Salineville, Ohio
- Pope-Gosser China Company. Coshocton, Ohio
- Saxon China Company. Sebring, Ohio
- E. H. Sebring China Company. Sebring, Ohio
- Smith-Phillips China Company. East Liverpool, Ohio
- Strong Manufacturing Company. Sebring, Ohio (enamel ware company)
- Morgan Belleek-China Company. Canton, Ohio (added sometime after the announcement)
The venture did not last long and on October 8, 1931, the following notice on the company's bankruptcy ran in the Pottery Glass & Brass Salesman:
$25,000,000 merger of 9 well-known pottery concerns wtih total of 12 plants and 1 enameled ware concern, formed in April, 1929, goes on the rocks of business depression -- 1,000 Jobless.
Many of the potteries involved closed their doors for good. Carrollton Pottery was able to continue. Pope-Gosser reopened in 1933, and the Saxon China Company was purchased and renamed French-Saxon.
The American Chinaware Corporation filed for bankruptcy on October 5, 1931. Assets were listed at $3,525,910 and liabilities at $2,988,591. Company president, Edwin McEwen said the descision to file was based on business depression and foriegn competition.
J. Palin Thorley
Most, if not all, of the shapes and patterns for the American Chinaware Corporation were created by ceramicist, Joseph P. Thorley. The trade publication, Ceramic Industry, ran the following on Thorley in July 1929:
When the formation of American Chinaware Corp. was announced, the statement was made by the executives of the organization that "one primary purpose of the merger was the development of better china and the creation of more beautiful and improved styles in American made chinaware."
Professor J. Palin Thorley (1892 -1987) would go on to create pieces for the Taylor, Smith & Taylor Company of Chester, West Virginia and Hall China of East Liverpool, Ohio. He also wrote a series of articles on ceramic design and production titled, "Pottery Fundamentals" for the Pottery, Glass & Brass Salesman starting in Decemeber 1938.
To accomplish this purpose, the corporation has engaged Joseph Thorley as assistant to the president on art and styling.
Mr. Thorley has a wide and enviable reputation both in this country and in Europe for his artistic ability and unusual craftsmanship. He comes from a well-known Staffordshire family of artists, sculptors, and potters. His connection with the chinaware industry began with an apprenticeship with the Josiah Wedgewood Pottery, where a 12-year connection gave him unusual and valuable experience in the design and production of ceramics.
As a student, Mr. Thorley studied at the College of Art, Stoke-on-Trent and at the Staffordshire College of Science. He was at one time Lecturer and Instructor of Ceramic Design and Technology at the College of Art, Stoke-on-Trent.
During the World War, Mr. Thorley served with the British forces, and at the close of the ware took a responsible position on the board of directors of an important Staffordshire pottery.
A few years ago, Mr. Thorley made a business trip to the United States and Canada, where he became much interested in the chinaware industry of this country. As a result of the friendships formed here, he decided to make the United States his permanent home and has now lived in America for over two years.
The engagement of Mr. Thorley by the American Chinaware Corp. is particularly significant to the trade, since it assures the conception of many advanced designs in American-made dinnerware.