Today in Texas History – January 26

From the Annals of Crockery –  In 1893, the new McDade Pottery plant produced its first wares. The McDade plant was the successor to a “jug shop” begun in 1853 near present-day Bastrop State Park.  The plant moved to McDade in the late 1870s. Robert L. Williams, an experience ceramicist, recognized the potential for McDade clay, bought the business in 1890. He built a new plant with two brick beehive kilns, clay-grinding equipment, and a railroad siding. He continued production of garden pottery, specialty items and kitchen ware. Williams invented an extrusion press with assorted sizes of dies for the rapid production of flowerpots and other hollowware. The business flourished until Williams’ death in 1924.  By the forties mass produced plastic ware and other developments led to the demise of the pottery business.

Photo of early McDade potters from the McDade Historical Museum.

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