Pittsburg Scenes - Buildings & Businesses
       
  v Home
v
Pittsburg Scenes
v
Buildings/Businesses
v
Contact Me

Pittsburg Pottery Company
2801 N. Broadway


 

   
 
 
Pittsburg Pottery Company
2801 N. Broadway
photos - courtesy Dorothy Benskin, Crawford County Genealogical Society
 
 

A Pittsburg industrial concern which long has played an important role in Pittsburg’s economy is the Pittsburg Pottery Co., Inc., 2801 N. Broadway. The history of this firm goes back to 1913, when it was established through the concern of local businessmen unselfishly interested in starting an industry as a means of helping the city of Pittsburg grow. Tests revealed that clay deposits here were the equal of the famous Akron, Ohio clay. As a result, a tract of land on a hill located on the west side of Broadway north of Pittsburg was purchased on April 1, 1913 and a small building was constructed and equipped with machinery for producing clay products. A small quantity of flowerpots was made and submitted to the trade. Dealers reported the pots were excellent. Then a competent superintendent for the plant was sought and Fred W. Maxwell of Texas became the first superintendent. Although he was a good pattern maker with an understanding of pottery manufacture, he ran into trouble because he was unable to temper the clay so it would not crack during the drying process. Because of Maxwell’s difficulty, another man was sought to direct activities of the plant. A. C. Williams, an experienced pottery man from Monmuth, Ill., was obtained. Williams purchased stock in the Pittsburg plant but he was not able to keep costs sufficiently low to justify continued operation. Although labor and freight rates were part of the problem, Williams’s greatest difficulty was his inability to understand the clay. Finally, the plant was turned over to other local people with J. Luther Taylor, Frank Curnow, M. O. French and W. W. Patterson heading it. And reconstruction of freight rates helped to meet competition of rivals in the East. The concern was known as the Pittsburg Pottery Co. the Pittsburg Clay Product Co., and finally again as the Pittsburg Pottery Co. In 1939, the company was sold to a group including Henry Mattarazi, Selvatore Mattarazi, Frank Billello, James Sannipoli and Chester Giacometti. This group operated the business as a cooperative until Feb. 16, 1944 when it was incorporated. During the years that followed, Victor Mattarazi, the present owner, purchased the interests of the old stockholders as they died, the last of those being his father, Henry Mattarazzi and his uncle, Salvatore, and became President and general manager. He has been sole owner since 1946. Now associated in the business with Victor Mattarzzi [rs] his son, Mark, a graduate of Notre Dame University where he majored in business and marketing. Pittsburg Pottery produces stoneware, flowerpots and garden pottery. It serves a 20 state area in the Middle West. It at one time served a larger area but increased demand for its products made it necessary for the firm to concentrate on the 20-state area. Only three plants in the United States now manufacture stoneware. In addition to Pittsburg Pottery here, the other plants are located in Marshall, Tex., and Roseville, Ohio. The bulk of the clay used by Pittsburg Pottery comes from south of Pittsburg where it is mined by Wilkinson, Inc. Pittsburg Pottery employees 30 persons but its impact upon the city’s economy is much greater than this indicates. An abstract of the property shows the Pittsburg Pottery plant is located on land once platted as part of the Weir Zinc Co. addition of the City of Pittsburg. “Pittsburg Almanac: Plant One of Three to Make Stoneware,” pg 234, published 1976.

 
Links to more information on the web about The Pittsburg Pottery Company
* Underground Ozarks - This site has some history and pictures of what is left of the Pittsburg Pottery site from about 2008.
*True Stories: Pittsburg Pottery Molded More than Stoneware - 2007 Reprint of an article from The Morning Sun about what it was like to work at the pottery company.
 
 
pittsburgksmemories.com
copyright 2008-2012