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Vol. 1 Issue 6

Homer Laughlin began between 1871 and 1874. There has been some question as to which date is correct. The first plant was in East Liverpool, Ohio as the "Laughlin Brothers Pottery". Homer and Shakespeare Laughlin started the company, but in 1877, Shakespeare withdrew his partnership. In 1896, it was incorporated as "Homer Laughlin China Company". Also, during that period, it was announced that their pottery had won the medal and highest diploma for Best White Granite at the Centennial Exposition of 1876. A plant was built in Newell, W. Virginia in 1905. In 1929, the East Liverpool plant was closed. Homer Laughlin produced semi-porcelain dinnerware, kitchenware, novelties, china, vitreous dinnerware and institutional ware. Fiestaware and Homer Laughlin's name are synonymous. It is a popular line to this day. Other lines of dinnerware are of interest to collectors. In particular are lines by Frederick Hurten Rhead, head designer from 1928-1942 (Century, Fiesta, Newell, Wells, Kitchen Kraft, and Trellis); and by Don Schreckengost, head designer from 1945-1960(Epicure, Rhythm, and Jubilee). Frederick Hurten Rhead Century was designed in 1931. It has a square shape with scalloped corners. Some pieces can be found with either a square or oval center well. This can cause some size differences. The square butter dish with a round lid was replaced by the 1/2 pound butter from the Jade shape. The square butter dish has only been found with the decal decoration. Century is the basis for the Riviera line. Fiesta was designed in 1936 and some pieces were redesigned in the 1960's. The line began in solid colors; Blue, Green, Ivory, Red, and Yellow. In 1937, Turquoise was introduced. Chartreuse, Forest Green, Gray, and Rose were added after 1944 and Medium Green was introduced in the 1950's. In 1969, Fiesta was restyled and called Fiesta Ironstone. All the previous colors were dropped, except for Red (renamed Mango Red). Antique Gold and Turf Green were added. It was discontinued in 1972. In 1986 Fiesta was reissued. Some pieces were restyled and colors either discontinued or added. In the late 1920's the Newell line was designed. It has a scalloped shape and was decal-decorated on a white or yellow body. Although decal decorations on a green body have been seen, it is considered rare. The Wells line was manufactured from 1930-1940. It can be determined by the thin rim and openwork handles. Kitchen Kraft began in mid 1937. It's official name is Kitchen Kraft OvenServe. It can be found in the solid Fiesta colors. The Trellis line was made in 1929 and is basically the same shape as Newell. The difference between the two being Trellis has alternating areas of either cross-hatch or scallop embossed on the rims. Although Trellis is basically a decal-decorated line on either a yellow or white body, some pieces have been seen glazed in green or blue. Don Schreckengost Epicure was pre-1953. It can be identified by its very thin, angled rim. It is decorated in solid colors of Charcoal, Pink, Turquoise, and White. In 1948, Jubilee was issued to celebrate Homer Laughlin's 75th anniversary. It was glazed in solid colors of Celadon Green, Cream Beige, Mist Grey, and Shell Pink. Suntone (brown with white finials and handles) and Skytone (like Suntone but blue instead of brown) were introduced in 1952. The Rhythm line came in solid colored glazes of Burgundy, Chartreuse, Gray, Dark Green, and Yellow and was decorated with decals. American Provincial was the first silk-screened decal used by Homer Laughlin and was designed by Don Schreckengost. Other decals were: Golden Wheat, Rhythm Rose and White Flower(White Flower was made for J.J. Newberry). MARKS AND DATING There are various marks used by Homer Laughlin China. Some pieces had specific marks relating to the shape. The first mark beginning in 1871 identifying their pieces as Laughlin Bros. was used until around 1890. The second mark shows an American Eagle astride a lion, signifying the end of the domination of the British. This was used until 1900. The third mark is the HLC with some slight changes. This mark continues until today. In 1900, the mark also had a single number identifying the month, a second number identifying the year and a number "1", "2", or "3" identifying the plant where it was manufactured. From 1910-1920, the first number identified the month, the next 2 numbers identified the year. The third figure identified the plant. Number "4" was N, number "5" was N5, and The East End plant was "L". In 1921-1930, a change was made. The first letter indicated the month of the year ("A" for January, "B" for February, "C" for March, etc.) The next digit number was used to indicate the year and the last figure was for the plant. In 1931-1940, the month was shown as a letter, but the year was shown with two digits. Plant No. 4 was "N", Plant No. 5 was "R", and Plants No. 6 and 7 were "C", and No. 8 was "P". For more information on dating and marks of Homer Laughlin see:Dating Homer Laughlin Resource Information: Official Price Guide to Pottery and Porcelain, Eighth Edition Schroeder's Antiques Price Guide, Fourteenth Edition, 1996

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