Modern Farmer by Homer Laughlin
The following originally appeared on pages 127-129 of An Overview of Homer Laughlin Dinnerware ©2002,
and is being posted on www.laurelhollowpark.net with permission along with corrections and updates.

The Modern Farmer shape is one of the most unusual lines made by HLC. The flatware can be best described as a coupe shape with pleated ripples. Creamers, sugars and sauceboats have a stretched appearance and exaggerated handles. It was based on a shape originally made by James River Potteries of Hopewell, Virginia and once in a while a James River version will be found with a "JR" or "James River Potteries" backstamp.

The first time Frederick Rhead mentions Modern Farmer in his notes is on June 19, 1940: McDonald, Sears Roebuck here. Wants to make James River line. McDonald was the buyer for Sears who worked closely with HLC and other potteries. During the next month, most of the Modern Farmer items were modeled and by August 3, 1940, they were released into production.

Sears picked up the new shape and sold it for several seasons with various decal treatments. They offered at least two: "Gascon," a blue floral treatment and "Breton," a multicolored and multi-sprig decal line that would later become known as "Priscilla" on other shapes. Other commonly found treatments include one with small yellow daisies and another with the popular petit point rose. Several other treatments can be found, but don't expect the large library of decals commonly associated with other shapes of the time such as Virginia Rose and Eggshell Nautilus.

At one point, HLC toyed with the idea of making Modern Farmer in solid colored glazes from Fiesta and Serenade. Samples of Modern Farmer in Serenade pastel glazes were made for Sears in 1941, but the line never materialized.

Modern Farmer is marked with a general HLC backstamps. Production did not continue beyond 1943.

See also section on James River Potteries.

“Breton” on James River's Modern Farmer shape. Note the tear drop style shakers.
This treatment also appears on Republic, Eggshell Nautilus, and Kitchen Kraft as “Priscilla”
Courtesy: Candy Fagerlin

Homer Laughlin's version of Breton

Treatment MF-14. This was also used on Theme Eggshell

Modern Farmer shakers

Modern Farmer platter

Fruit decal with green trim.

"Gascon" or pattern MF-3 plate.

Special "Gascon" marking.

The 16-oz. Modern Farmer sugar, pattern MF-31.

"Gascon" creamer.

Baker with Gascon treatment. Inset shows its 1941 marking and treatment number, MF-3.

Modern Farmer sugar and creamer with pattern MF-25.

Assortment of Items:
  • Teacup
  • Saucer
  • 9" Plate
  • 6" Plate
  • 7" Plate
  • Fruit cup
  • Lug soup
  • Coupe soup
  • Shakers
  • Casserole
  • 13" platter
  • 11" platter
  • Pickle
  • Sugar
  • Creamer
  • Sauceboat
  • Nappy
  • Baker

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