Dorchester Pottery Works

Founded in 1895 by George Henderson, Dorchester Pottery Works successfully produced commercial and industrial stoneware until the 1970s. Dorchester Pottery's wares evolved over the years from primarily agricultural products to decorated tablewares. Mash feeders and chicken fountains were cast from molds for the farmer. Acid pots and dipping baskets were in demand by jewelry manufacturers, and Henderson's popular foot warmer was known as a "porcelain pig." In 1940, Dorchester Pottery's line of distinctive gray and blue tableware was introduced. In 1914, Mr. Henderson built an enormous beehive kiln 28-feet in diameter of his own design made of unmortared bricks. When it was carefully stacked with two or three freight car loads of unfired pottery , the opening was sealed and the kiln was slowly heated with 15 tons of coal and four cords of wood to a temperature of 2500- 3000 degrees Farenheit. After days of cooling, the door would be opened, brick by brick, and the fired pieces removed. The entire process took about one week to complete. By the 1950s when the Pottery turned out 1,700 distinct items twenty-five percent was tableware, and by the 1960s tableware was one hundred percent of the production.

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