Of the many and diversified industries in Niles just after the
beginning of the 20th century, the Bradshaw Pottery, which provided
employment for approximately 200 people, ranked high in the industrial
development of Niles.
in 1901 an announcement was made regarding the construction of
a pottery plant which was to be built on Hunter street, on 11
acres of land in the Roundstown area on the west side of town.
The building was built of brick and tile, 72 feet by 400 feet.
By late October of that year, the Bradshaw Pottery was in full
operation, producing tableware with decal style decorations. By
December the company had a large domestic trade established and
was shipping their ware as far away as Honolulu.
Only the latest and most improved machinery was used and the highest
skilled labor employed in producing good quality earthenware.
However by 1910 the Bradshaw China was in receivership. Frank
A. Sebring purchased the business in 1912 and named it Tritt
China, a subsidiary of the Sebring Pottery in Sebring, Ohio.
Tritt China Co. made improvements at the pottery and new kilns
were built in order to produce porcelain tableware. Austin
Clewes and William Mellor of Niles, built kilns
in Canada, New Jersey and East Liverpool and were well-known for
their abilities and skill. William Mellor patented a rotating
kiln which he had developed while working in Niles.
the Tritt had been in operation for a period of time, it didn’t
do well enough to satisfy the officers of the company, so Frank
Sebring sold the plant. A new company bought it and named it Atlas
China in 1923. The business began to grow, employing 345 persons.
During the next year $250,000 was spent on improvements in the
various departments in the plant. But a fire, which started in
the boiler room, swept through the Atlas China on March 30, 1925,
leaving the firm with a devastating loss.
Fortunately there was enough stock on hand to fill
orders for the next 30 days; In the mean time the chief stockholders
located a site in Cambridge, Ohio, which had facilities suitable
for the manufacture of dinnerware. This property was acquired and
a new company, The Globe China Company was organized.
In 1926 Atlas China of Niles and Globe Company of
Cambridge were consolidated, resulting in the Atlas-Globe China
Company of Cambridge, Ohio. During late 1927 and 1928 all operations
of the Niles plant were phased out and sometime during the 1930’s
were sold for salvage purposes.
small sample of Bradshaw china and 110 piece set of Atlas china
is on display at the Ward-Thomas Museum in Niles. The Atlas has
a pink floral design and is outlined around the edge with 18 carat
coin gold. The gold trim was painted on by hand by the workers at
the factory. Turning the plate over is the trade mark “Atlas
China, Niles, O” One can still find Atlas china made in Niles
at flea markets and antique stores.