A Brief History of Nelson McCoy Pottery

McCoy Pottery

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Nelson McCoy Pottery

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  • With help from his father along with five stockholders, Nelson McCoy Sr. established The Nelson McCoy Sanitary and Stoneware Company in 1910 in Roseville, OH.
  • Produced Utilitarian stoneware products and operated successfully until 1919.
  • In 1919, together with eleven other stoneware potteries, they form the American Clay Products Company located in Zanesville, OH.
  • These companies produced stoneware to be marketed by the new parent company, ACPC.
  • In 1926, ACPC was liquidated, and the former member potteries were free to produce their own products in direct competition with each other.

Nelson McCoy Sanitary Stoneware Co.

  • By 1929 the company had slightly adjusted its name and dropped the “and” in between Sanitary and Stoneware.
  • It was around this time that the company began the practice of marking its wares. No evidence has been found that the company had ever marked any of its wares prior to this time.
  • In 1933, in response to a further decreased demand for food and sanitary wares, and an increased demand for decorative pieces, the name of the pottery was changed again. The pottery became simply, the Nelson McCoy Pottery Co.
  • It was at this time in the 1930’s that the company started to produce some of its most recognizable and sought-after products like cookie jars and planters.

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McCoy in Name Only

  • Nelson McCoy Sr., Nelson Melick, and later Nelson McCoy Jr., in turn, operated the pottery for 57 years until it was sold in 1967 to the owners of the Mt. Clemens Pottery Co., although Nelson McCoy Jr. remained as president of the pottery.
  • In 1981 Nelson McCoy Jr. retired and in 1985, the pottery was sold once again. This time to Designer Accents of New Jersey.
  • Selected items previously made by the McCoy pottery, and some newly designed items, were marketed by Designer Accents under the name Nelson McCoy Ceramics.
  • Some of these items have the familiar McCoy name on them. The Floraline line with its distinctive mark, first produced by the Nelson McCoy Pottery in 1960, was also continued.
  • Designer Accents operated for about five years until late 1990 when the doors were finally closed. The portion of the pottery containing the offices burned in the fall of 1991.

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Notable Examples

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