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Hull Pottery History

Hull Pottery began production in 1905 in Crooksville, OH under the leadership of Addis Emmet (A.E.) Hull. The company’s early lines consisted of common utilitarian stoneware, semi-porcelain dinnerware and decorative tile. The company quickly established a firm market and enjoyed an excellent reputation for producing quality ceramics.

In the 1920s, the pottery maintained its general offices and factories in Crooksville along with an office and showroom in New York, offices in Chicago and Detroit, and a large warehouse in New Jersey. As the company’s success grew, Hull began experimenting with a line of art pottery and also began using a wider variety of colors and glazing techniques.

A.E. Hull died in 1930. Addis E. Hull, Jr. succeeded his father in the management of the business but left the company in 1937 to become the General Manager of the Shawnee Pottery Company. Gerald F. Watts became the new manager.

By the late 1930s through the 1950s, Hull was producing a variety of lines. One of the most popular lines was Little Red Riding Hood. The line included cookie jars, canisters, sugar bowls and creamers. The art pottery lines with matte pastel finishes continued to develop primarily along floral themes: Orchid, Magnolia, Calla Lilly Open Rose, Irish, and Tulip to name just a few.

Hull’s product lines expanded to include piggy banks, liquor bottles, and kitchenware. The company’s Floristware line was one of its most successful. From the 1940s through the 1960s, a plant or flower bouquet delivered from a florist was often contained in a Hull pot or figural planter.

In June 1950, the plant was destroyed in a flood and resulting fire. Primarily because of Hull’s excellent reputation with its customers and buyers, the company was able to quickly rebuild and re-opened on January 1, 1952 as “The Hull Pottery Company”. J.B. Hull became General Manager.

Through the 1950s and 1960s the company continued to expand and diversify its product lines to coincide with the times. New artistic lines such as Ebb Tide, Tropicana, Continental, Parchment and Pine, and Tokay were introduced.

In the late 1960s through the mid-1980s, the company changed its production from artistic lines to predominately House ‘n’ Garden serving ware and Imperial florist ware. J.B. Hull died in 1978. Henry Sulens and, later, Larry Taylor succeed Hull as President of the company.

In the mid-1980s the company was hit with multiple union strikes and foreign competition. In March, 1986 the company ceased operations and closed the plant. The building was sold to the Friendship Pottery Company. In August 1993, the building caught fire during renovation and was destroyed.

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