My great great Uncle Otto was a Wyoming cattle rancher and this teapot was a part of his odd collection of dishes. Nothing matched. He did not have a complete set of anything and in fact I remember one tea cup, one saucer, a few plates, a few pieces of silverware and this teapot. He didn’t care one bit. He was a lifelong bachelor and he was happy in his old log ranch house.
I used to love to go and visit him. He always wore jeans and a hat and spit chewing tobacco and he loved me and my blonde hair. I can still hear him saying my name with that odd hint of German lilt that he had to his voice. When he passed away I was around 12 years old and I remember asking my grandmother (his niece) if I could have that teapot.
This teapot was made in the USA, either in Ohio or Pennsylvania between 1927 and 1954 by the Porcelier Manufacturing Company. The company opened for business in 1927 in East Liverpool, Ohio and moved to South Greenburg, Pennsylvania in the 1930s. The factory was forced to close its doors in 1954 when plastic became an inexpensive manufacturing alternative to replace costly porcelain in the house wares market. During its 27 years in production Porcelier made a wide range of household goods, manufacturing everything from light fixtures and electric waffle irons to tea cups and tea pots. Their “vitrified” china teapots, bowls, cups, sugar bowls and creamers were made when powdered glass was heated to a liquid and then used to coat the china, giving it an added strong shiny quality. They called it vitreous china.
I have no idea how it came to live in Uncle Otto’s kitchen. Perhaps it was acquired when it was new as part of a set by his mother or some other female relative and it was left to him to use, or maybe he himself acquired it somewhere along the line. I didn’t care, when he passed away, I wanted something I knew he had used every day to remember him by. I am so glad that I asked for this teapot. It sits on a high shelf in my kitchen.
I can see it every day when I look that way and it always takes me back in time . . . . . when I was a young girl . . . . visiting an old Wyoming cattle rancher. I can hear him saying my name. . . . . .