Private Stash: Glidden 300 Divided Tray

My family just returned from a cross-Iowa trip to spend Easter with the family. This marks week two of little to no thrifting over the weekend, and if garage sales don’t start up soon I’m going to knock door to door. A couple weekends ago (where Austin got his big yellow fantastic couch), we drove by earlier in the week to peer through the windows like complete creeps and see what our individual paths to snagging greatness would be. I spotted this little divided tray, and when I couldn’t go to the sale, I was bummed and kept thinking about how adorable that tray was. Tammy stopped by the next week with a present.

Glidden Pottery Tray

The tray! And thanks to a mark on the bottom, I could figure out a bit of history on the company.

Glidden Pottery Mark

This tray was produced by Glidden Pottery in Afred, NY. Glidden Parker started the company in 1940 with just him and his wife. The pieces were created by hand with a secret mix of clay from three states, then duplicated with molds. Commercial glazes were never used, and each piece was hand-decorated. What started as a small operation eventually gained popularity, and Glidden Pottery was featured in several national magazines.

GliddenPottery_Ashtray

Glidden Pottery Ashtray, from eBay.

Fred Press even created a series of designs (I will be on the lookout!). Throughout the 1950s, wood, wrought iron and wire were incorporated to some designs. However, in the late 1950s imports started showing up in the United States from Italy and Japan. Many pottery companies took huge losses. Glidden Pottery reorganized, became a public company, and refined their production techniques. However, this wasn’t enough; Glidden Pottery produced its last pieces in 1957 and filed for bankruptcy in 1958.

GliddenPottery_FredPress

Fred Press! From eBay.

This story breaks my heart. I love reading about small start-up companies that gain popularity and are critically acclaimed, and wish the story didn’t end this way.

If you’re interested in reading a more in-depth history of the company, check out this pdf. There are tons of patterns and styles, and hopefully we can snag a few more!

 

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