11:02 AM


As a historian, one of the biggest questions I ask myself is, “Does this ring true? What supporting evidence can I find that verifies that this Salesman isn’t making this up?”  I developed this skill as a child and it aided me when I freelanced as a photo researcher on several of their Civil War Series during the merger of Time-Life Books and Warner. Time-Life required only two primary sources for confirmation, I always strived to find three as my mentor said, “It can’t be disputed.

What is a primary source documents you ask? Per, Wikapedia, it is, 
A historical document that was created at or near the time of the events studied, by a known person, for a known purpose.” 
Everything else is called secondary sources which are based on later documents. Rarely will you find that I use secondary sources because unless it has been done right, these sources vaguely resemble the original information.

If you recall in the posting called, Salesman's Journal: Glassware, Chinaware, Queenware and Pottery 04, our Journalist met Mr. Harker in East Liverpool who told him his ex-partner Taylor was manufacturing pottery in Trenton, New Jersey. Finally, in this section, we meet the ex-partner while our salesman is in Trenton.


With all that in mind, you can imagine how thrilled I was to see The Trenton City Museums’ web page titled History of Trenton Pottery Making, which confirms my journalist is accurate. Further the partnership between Harker and Taylor may have dissolved but they kept in touch with one another. (I found this the same case with Steamboat Arabia's consignee's.)

 “For more than 100 years, Trenton, New Jersey was one of the two major pottery centers in the United States, the other being located at East Liverpool, Ohio. In 1850, the only pottery in Trenton was a small redware pottery operated by the McCully family. The development of a major industry in Trenton started with the opening of two potteries in 1853. Taylor and Speeler began production of a line of Rockingham in May 1853. It was followed shortly thereafter by William Young & Co. William Young, together with his sons and Richard Millington and John Astbury were associated in this endeavor for about six years. These two companies formed the nucleus of a rapidly expanding industry.
Taylor and Speeler - James Taylor previously had been associated with Harker & Taylor in East Liverpool. His firm was the first to start Trenton operations in May 1853. It concentrated initially on Rockingham (Brownware) products. It also followed Young's lead in the development of white ware. From 1855 to 1859, it operated under the name of Speeler, Taylor & Bloor. The three partners separated in 1859 and 1860. The pottery continued to be operated as the Trenton Pottery Company by Taylor until he retired in 1875.”
Now, let us resume in our Salesman’s Journal where we find he arrived in Trenton, New Jersey. I have kept the journalist formatting style with all the dashes this time. He thoughts are flying by and he really can be a busy man when he puts his mind to it.

Trenton, New Jersey
            At five o’clock left in the cars for Trenton and arrived safe about seven o’clock. Sunday the 21st- I walked about the town (or city) it is the capital of New Jersey -- some hours later I wrote letters to my friends and also read back numbers [issues] of Era & Telegraph [National Era & Spiritual Telegraph newspapers].  Weather rather wet.

Monday 22nd- Visited the two rather large chinaware factories here and showed them samples of our kaolin.-Both men were very much pleased, and especially Merrs. Speeler, Taylor & Bloor. (Previously, Mr. Taylor was in partnership with Mr. Harker who I met in East Liverpool.) They tested our kaolin to some extent, having a kiln at very high heat.-I left them liberal samples and feel very sure that they will want large quantities of us.  – They buy their kaolin ready washed.  It costs them $20 per ton and they’d told me that five dollars per ton more is a small matter with them, the object is to get good material.-

New York, New York & Jersey City & Green Point
            At half past six o’clock I left for New York and arrived before 10 o’clock.

            Tuesday the 23rd- Spent the day in getting samples ready and visiting the men in Jersey City that I hoped would be interested in kaolin-There is but one pottery there and they make a good fair article of common White ware and seemed indisposed to change.  I left small samples and they promise to test them.

At the crucible factory (which is large) they were much interested in the clay and anxious to test.  -- I gave Mr. [Joseph] Dixon some 20 pounds.  -- He is a shrewd, practical man and I hope to hear from him. [Joseph Dixon Crucible Company- also produces graphite as a stove polish and eventually manufactures lead pencils and is still in business today].

Wednesday the 24th- Keeping my promises, I spent part of the morning, repacking some six or seven boxes of the kaolin. Two I sent to Taunton [Trenton NJ] and one for Mr. Dixon at Jersey City. The four remaining boxes (80 pounds) were forwarded by Adam's Express to Boston (2) and Bennington, Vermont (2).

Then I went over to Green Point, which is across the East River.  Near the ferry at foot of 10th Street I found two large chinaware factories, both were interested and one very much so in our kaolin. Both manufacturers promise to carefully test samples and to send to the express office for the boxes I offered them.

Among all of whom I have shown the kaolin since I started I have found no one who has ever seen anything like it before.  I have shown it to many foreign workmen who were reared in various foreign manufactories but none have ever seen an article like ours. I believe it will be much wanted when it is well known.