The History of China Companies in Niles, Ohio

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The Bradshaw China Company was located on Hunter Street in Niles.

The Bradshaw China Company was located on Hunter Street in Niles.

Workers at the Atlas China Company.

PO2.117

Workers at the Atlas China Company.

China Companies in Niles, Ohio 1901-1930

Of the many diversified industries in Niles just after the beginning of the twentieth century, the Bradshaw Pottery Company, which provided employment for approximately 200 people, ranked high in the industrial development of Niles.

Early in 1901, an announcement was made regarding the construction of a pottery which was to be built on Hunter Street on eleven 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. Only the latest and most improved machinery was used and the highest skilled laborers were employed in producing good quality earthenware.

By late October of that year, the Bradshaw Pottery was in full operation, producing tableware with decal styled decorations. By December, the company had a large domestic trade established and were shipping their chinaware as far as Honolulu.

However, by 1910, the Bradshaw China Company was in receivership. Frank A. Sebring purchased the company and renamed it ‘The Tritt China Company” a subsidiary of the Sebring Pottery Company in 1912.


The trademark of Atlas China Company.

The trademark of Atlas China Company.

Form used to shape the small bowls at the Atlas China Factory on Hunter Street.

Form used to shape the small bowls at the Atlas China Factory on Hunter Street.

Tritt China Company 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 skills and abilities. William Mellor patented a rotating kiln which he had developed while working in Niles.

After the Tritt Pottery 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 company. A new company bought it and named it Atlas China in 1923. The business began to grow, employing 345 people. During the next year $250,000 was spent on improvements in the various departments of 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 thirty days. In the meantime, the chief stockholders located a site in Cambridge, Ohio which had facilities for the manufacture of dinnerware. The property was acquired and a new company, The Globe China Company was organized.

In 1926, Atlas China and the Globe China Company of Cambridge were consolidated, resulting in the Atlas-Globe China Company of Cambridge, Ohio. During late 1927 and early 1928, all operations of the Niles plant were phased out and sometime during the 19330s were sold for salvage purposes.

A small sample of Bradshaw China, a complete 110 piece set of Atlas China, several pieces of Tritt China and Globe China are on display at the Ward-Thomas Museum at 501 Brown Street.

Atlas China can still be found at flea markets and antique stores.

 


Samples of Atlas China.

Samples of Atlas China.

Samples of Atlas China.

Samples of Atlas China.

 
 
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