Domestic pottery of the northeastern United States, 1625-1850

Front Cover
FROM THE PREFACE: The subject of this volume is the growth and development of ceramic production in the Northeastern United States and its relation to changing consumption patterns and more general cultural processes. It is an examination of domestic pottery manufacture in the Northeast from its beginning as a small, family-based enterprise in the 1620s to the entrepreneurial, mechanized mass production of wares in many communities by 1850. Major themes considered include the cultural, social, and economic significance of the domestic ceramic industry as indicated by the extent and nature of regional production in the Northeast; the relation of these production patterns to consumption, distribution, and trade with settlements along the colonial Eastern seaboard and in Europe; and the recognition of patterned cultural variation and change in the Northeast as revealed through ceramics in the archaeological and historic record. One major theoretical orientation dominates the volume: the relevance of ceramic studies to the anthropological concept of tradition. After an introductory description of specific external and internal mechanisms of change that operate on all traditions, we consider archaeological ceramics in their temporal and spatial contexts as material correlates of human behavior. Patterns revealed in the archaeological record of the Northeast are viewed as suggestive of more general cultural processes operating in the region. The conservative, emulative nature of ceramic traditions initially transplanted to the Northeast is detailed, and subsequent transformations of these traditions are explored. The eventual emergence of a distinctive American industry that was nevertheless still subject to continuing nondomestic influences is also addressed. By concentrating on domestically produced earthenware--in addition to other domestic ceramic classes such as stoneware--for cultural interpretation, we stress an artifact class that was of great importance in the Northeast, where it usually comprises upward of 80% of the total ceramic sample from typical early colonial sites. Yet, due mostly to lack of available documentation, red-bodied earthenwares in particular have been underemphasized or ignored in many historical archaeological studies of the Northeast. Here, considerable emphasis is placed on these poorly documented wares. The authors integrate recent archaeological and historical considerations of specific domestic ceramic types, varieties, forms, and functions, documentary research, and kiln excavation data for the entire Northeast. We also compare these wares to their European antecedents and to contemporary European and colonial Southeastern wares to interpret their significance in colonial lifeways. The volume is organized into an Introduction and three thematic Parts. Largely for clarity of presentation, each Part is introduced with an overview. In the chapters of each Part, trends in the development and growth of the domestic pottery-making industry are described and interpreted. Chapters are ordered in a topical and loosely chronological way according to the thematic emphasis of each Part. Part I, "Transplantation: Early Regional Production," is a consideration of the conservative, emulative nature of many of the ceramic traditions that were transplanted initially from Europe to colonies in the Northeast. In Part 2, "Transformation: Access to Local and World Trade," we define subsequent transformations of these ceramic traditions in terms of specific external and internal mechanisms of change common to all types of traditions, interpreting evolving ceramic traditions in relation to changing cultural processes and also considering the impact of continuing in-migration of European potters, techniques, forms, and influences on the budding domestic industry. In Part 3, "Legacy: Emergence of an American Industry," the development of a distinctively American industry by early Industrial Re

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Contents

Introduction
1
Traditional Early Regional Production
27
Traditional Patterning of Earthenware Entries
49
Copyright

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