Sheboygan – Eastern Stoneware Co.

This article covers three pottery operations at two sites:

  • Peter Berns Pottery (1855 to 1863) located at 9th and Superior Streets made earthenware pottery from local clay. No pottery examples or sherds have been attributed to this property yet.
  • Gunther & Berns pottery (1863 to 1866) at 8th & Wisconsin Streets made salt glazed pottery.
  • Eastern Stoneware Company (1866 to 1885) also at 8th & Wisconsin Streets made salt-glazed stoneware.

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Gunther & Berns and Eastern Stoneware Co. Stoneware Examples

Most of the decorated stoneware from the Eastern Stoneware Company had a floral motif referred to as a "water plant" or simply as a variation on the tulip. While larger crocks and churns commonly had cobalt blue decorations, smaller pieces were often left unadorned because the additional time required could not be justified economically given the low return on small wares sold at a fixed rate per gallon.

Gunther & Berns - 1863 to 1866

Decorated stoneware from this period are relatively rare compared to those from the Th. Gunther era after Berns sold out in 1866.

Th. Gunther - 1867 to 1885

Many examples of both signed and unsigned stoneware from the Th. Gunther era survive today. In the early years the flower buds were large and long and stamps were placed in the upper left. Over time, the flower buds evolved into more compact form and the stamps were in the upper right position.

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