Earth is a Potters Playground
Salt-glazed stoneware was one of the most common household items in nineteenth-century America. These utilitarian stoneware products could be found in every kitchen, barn, dairy, laundry room, and tavern across the state! J.M Pruden, or the Elizabeth Pottery Works, as it was commonly referred to, was founded by John Pruden on the banks of the Elizabeth River in 1816. Pruden’s earlier stonework wares dating pre-1855, can be identified by form or shape and by the “ELIZ-TOWN” mark on the pottery. Post-1855 examples reveal a simple “ELIZABETH” reflecting the city’s name change. Though earlier examples of their pottery were largely redware, the firm gained its greatest notoriety for its stoneware, so much so that at least one example of their handiwork was displayed at the World’s Fair Centennial Exhibition in Philadelphia in 1876! While the company was no longer under the Pruden name, it ceased production in 1922.