Stoneware crocks and jugs manufactured by U.S. companies held butter, cookies, moonshine and pickles in the 20th-century American home. Stoneware is fine clay fired at a high temperature; the clay is usually gray, yellow or white. The manufacturer created the outer surface or glaze by throwing salt into the kiln, and the pottery is commonly called salt-glazed stoneware as a result. Stoneware is fired once in the kiln, sealing the crockery and the glaze. The crown mark came from one of the largest American stoneware companies operating at the turn of the 20th century.
Ohio was a center for U.S. stoneware and pottery production in the early 20th century, and Zanesville and Roseville were the centers of Ohio production. Robinson-Ransbottom started as the Ransbottom Brothers Pottery in 1900. This pottery, the largest stoneware plant in the world at the time, was sold to the Robinson Clay Products Company in 1919. Stoneware demand and production declined, and Robinson-Ransbottom produced pottery as well as stoneware after that time. Robinson-Ransbottom produced stoneware with the blue crown logo; some some marks show "RRP" in the crown. Others have a number inside the crown, often indicating the size of the crock or bowl.
Robinson-Ransbottom advertisements through the 1940s often referred to "Crown Pottery" and "Crown Brand Ware." The stoneware business continued through 1990 and sold personalized crocks and stoneware at "The Pot Shop" retail outlet at the factory. Robinson-Ransbottom celebrated its centennial in 2000 with small crocks with the crown logo and the 1900-2000 dates.
Crown Pottery Company
Don't confuse Robinson-Ransbottom crockery with the ironstone production of Crown Pottery Company of Evansville, Indiana. This mark often has REX below the crown and is a very white ironstone product made from 1891 to 1955. English companies also used the crown mark for ironstone and pottery products. Ironstone is whiter than stoneware and harder than pottery or earthenware. Ironstone was commonly used for dinnerware at the turn of the 20th century.
Additional Stoneware Companies
Red Wing Stoneware Company, known as Red Wing Union Stoneware Company after 1906, was an American producer of stoneware. The mark most often seen on the Red Wing crocks and jugs was the wing. Production of all Red Wing pottery and stoneware discontinued in 1967, but new purchasers started production of Red Wing stoneware in 1984 under new ownership. Seven small potteries combined in 1906 to form Western Stoneware. Monmouth Pottery was one of the seven potteries, and it used a maple leaf as the logo. After the merger, Western Stoneware continued to use the maple leaf as a logo. Stoneware with the maple leaf logo is usually Western Stoneware.