I was a little girl when I first saw a piece of Hall China. The various pieces of Hall China I grew up with we used. We mixed pancake or cake batter in the big 9″ bowl. We baked scalloped potatoes in the little 6″ bowl. We ate meals on the 10″ dinner plates and drank hot coco out of the Irish Coffee Mugs.
Who would have thought at that time that the pieces we used everyday, would wind up being sought after collectors items.
The Pottery Capitol of the World and Hall China
Between 1840 and 1930, pottery companies in East Liverpool, Ohio made half of the pottery used in the United States.
East Liverpool, Ohio (dubbed the pottery capitol of the world), at one point had 200 pottery companies in business there. 30 of the companies became very large. Hall China was one of the largest.
For Hall China, it all started on July 7, 1903. A man named Robert Hall invited his former partners of the inoperative East Liverpool Pottery company, to settle and distribute assets. They met at his home.
At that meeting, Mr. Hall agreed to take over the plant located on the S.E. corner of E. 4th St. and Walnut. The plant, had been known as the “West, Hardwick and George pottery company” in East Liverpool, Ohio.
Just a little over a month later (on August 14, 1903 of that same year), Mr. Hall formed the Hall China Company. The company had difficulties in the beginning. Funds were tight and local competition was high (there were 20 other small local potteries at that time).
By the time a year had gone by, Mr. Hall had passed away.
A Son Steps In Then a Partner Takes Over
After his father’s passing, one of Mr. Hall’s eight children (Robert Taggert Hall), stepped in.
For pottery, single firing had been used in China during the Ming Dynasty (A.D. 1368–1644). At this point in time, pottery was fired in two steps. Robert worked with staff to come up with a fire glazing process (a bisque firing), that would return firing to a one step process.
In 1911, Hall China came up with the first leadless glaze. Lead had to be removed because it couldn’t withstand the 2400 degree temperature that the new one step process used. With this new process, pieces produced were strong, smooth, non-porous, craze proof and lead free. They continued to look good over extended use.
Around 1914, a new person was added (Francis Simmers). Through the combined efforts of Robert Taggert Hall and Francis Simmers, the company remained afloat.
By 1919, Hall China was the worlds largest producer of decorated tea pots.
Unfortunately, in 1920, Robert Taggart Hall died of a heart attack.
It was in that same year (1920), that The Hall China Company began an association with the Jewel Tea company. Jewel Tea started distributing Hall China teapots as premiums.
You might be wondering what a premium is. A premium is an item that a customer could get through a redemption of coupons.
A customer would receive a determined quantity of coupons with each grocery purchases. They would collect up those coupons and through redeeming some or all of their coupons, they could choose a premium item offered through the Jewel Home Shopping Service.
Later in this post I will go into more detail about the Jewel Home Shopping Service. Also, at the bottom of this post, I have provided a link for you (in case you would like to read more on this subject).
Hall China Survived and Thrived
Despite the loss of Robert Hall and later his son Robert Taggart Hall, The Hall China company continued to thrive.
By 1927 a third plant was added.
In 1929, 23 acres were purchased in the East End of East Liverpool, Ohio and a 170,000 square foot, single level plant was built.
In 1933, the first Autumn Leaf pattern was introduced.
Way Before My Time
So much pertaining to Hall China took place before my time. All I can do for you now is show you pieces my mother purchased and pieces that I have collected in my time.
My mom loved the Autumn Leaf Pattern.
She never bought any other pattern.
She wanted to use them at breakfast for fruit….
Here is the same tea pot as above, but with the Infuser (inside), under the lid.
My mom really loved the Autumn Leaf tea pots.
Breakfast, lunch and dinner would be served on autumn leaf plates. Sadly, all were broken before they came to my home.
After dinner, she wanted to serve cake….
….and coffee with them.
Lots of coffee.
I still have all of the mixing bowls, a 9″, a 7½” and a 6″.
The Jewel Tea Man
The Autumn Leaf pattern was made for the Jewel Home Shopping Service. A man driving a truck that said Jewel Home Shopping Service would drive a rout. He would go from home to home, taking and delivering customer orders.
The Jewel Tea man would take orders for those things Jewel Tea sold. That being groceries, linens, cleaning supplies (amongst other things), and Hall China. This is how my mom purchased all of her pieces.
As a kid, all I knew was these items came from the Jewel Tea Man.
Hall China stopped producing pieces for Jewel Tea in 1980.
When my mom passed away I was fortunate enough to receive all of her Hall China.
I grew up with these things. They were her treasures. I think due to the combination of me growing up with them and them being her treasures, they became my treasures both in possession and heart.
Hall China Made Refrigerator Ware and Other Things, with Other Colors and Patterns
I own only a small fraction of the items made by the Hall China Company. They made scores of cookware. They made serving pieces. They made some decanters. They made some lamps and also electric percolators. Hall China made so many things.
They even made items designed and sold for refrigerators (for liquid and food storage). The items were sold to the general public, but they were also sold as accessories for refrigerators. Items like these were built to go with General Electric, Hotpoint, Montgomery Wards, Sears and Westinghouse refrigerators.
My Favorite Hall Items are the Tea Pots
Hall China was especially famous for their tea pots.
I love tea pots. I also collect tea cups and their saucers.
I have a large collections of tea cups and saucers. You can see some of them in my post “Collecting – Occupied Japan“).
These are some of the treasures I collect.
I do have a few of those, found while I was treasure hunting.
Is it obvious that I love tea pots?
Do You Already Have Some Hall China, Or Would You Like to Treasure Hunt for Some?
I treasure hunt all the time. I don’t always buy something, but I get out there and look. Most of the items I have collected, I got treasure hunting. If you have read some of my other posts, you will see I collect books, crystal, china, tea cups and saucers, figurines, coins and rocks (amongst a host of other things). Oh, I may not have written anything yet about coins or rocks, but I will.
I go to thrift stores and garage sales looking for treasures. I have found treasures online too.
The yellow Aladdin tea pot actually belongs to my husband (he loves to treasure hunt with me). He saw a tea pot like it online and commented how beautiful it was. Guess what he got for Christmas.
Get Familiar With the Quality, The Look, The Feel and the Stamps of Hall China
Familiarize yourself with what Hall China pieces feel like and what stamps are supposed to look like.
There is a great book out there that you might want to get “Hall China Third Edition by Margaret & Kenn Whitmyer.
I have an earlier copy (their second edition). I turn to it every time I want to look up anything related to Hall China.
Here are some of the stamps from the bottoms of some of my pieces. These are on my Autumn Leaf pieces.
These stamps are seen on a couple of my teapots that are not Autumn Leaf pieces.
From the Beginning to the End
Many pieces and a lot of time rolled by for the Hall China Company.
The beginning of Hall China was in 1903. Then there was a celebration in 2003. Hall China celebrated their 100th anniversary with the publication of a book “A Centennial History of the Hall China Company by Catherine S. Vodrey“.
In 2010, Homer Laughlin China bought The Hall China Company.
Somewhere in 2020 Steelite International purchased Homer Laughlin and Hall China.
Later in 2020 it was announced that the Hall China company would be shuttered some time in February of 2021.
Per everything I have read, that took place February 28th, 2021.
The website, http://www.hlcdinnerware/hall_china is no longer active.
Even though the company is no longer producing Hall China, you can find lots of their beautiful creations out there. Begin your treasure hunting soon!!!
My thanks to Wikipedia, the Carnegie Public Library, the National Autumn Leaf Collectors Club, Chicagology and thepotteries.org’s “Pottery Works at East Liverpool Ohio, USA”, for all of the historical information they have provided to the public on this topic.
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