Monday, February 4, 2013

H is for Haeger Pottery

David H. Haeger came to Chicago, Illinois via Germany, taking over the Dundee Brickyard while experimenting with manufacturing clay products of sophisticated designs and glazes.  Upon David Haeger's death in 1900, his son Edmund took over the company, changing the name to Haeger Potteries and parlaying it into an art pottery company of high caliber.

In 1914, well known ceramicist J. Martin Stangl joined Haeger to transition the  pottery company from plain to spectacular works of art.  Stangl had been employed at Fulper Pottery Company in New Jersey, which had became known for its innovative forms and stunningly rich glazes.  Although Stangl left Haeger to acquire Fulper Pottery in 1919 (which he renamed Stangl Pottery during the 1930's),  his artistic influence remained with the company and was evident in the product designs.  It was the 1934 Chicago World's Fair that exposed Haeger to an international clientele.  Edmund's son-in-law Joseph Estes became President in 1938 and hired designer Royal Hickman, thus creating the Royal Haeger line  which is best known for its distinctive shapes for lamps, figurines, and vases.  

Upon the death of Barbara Haeger Estes the company reevaluated its ability to compete. The flood of inexpensive imports as well as the closing of many mom and pop gift stores took its toll on the business  and 2004 marked the last and 133rd year of production of yet another Made in the USA product.            


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