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UHL Pottery Stoneware Crock, 1910


The UHL Pottery Company was first located in Evansville around 1854. In 1908 it moved to Huntingburg, Indiana, but closed in the mid-1940s. The UHL logo was an acorn or combined acorn and waves.

Stoneware is a low-grade, rough textured ceramic ware; it is fired at high temperatures, making it very hard and nonporous. Crocks were used in the days before refrigeration to store pickles, sauerkraut, and other items. Fried meat could be preserved in them by packing it in lard.

Stoneware crocks are glazed to protect the surface and make them easier to use for food storage. The glaze in the kiln is like molten glass. A century ago, crocks were not glazed on the bottom or on the rim so that they could be stacked during firing. If there were glaze on the bottom or rim, firing would bake the crocks together. Crocks are hand-thrown, not poured into a mold. Most potters today use purchased clay, but there are still many clay deposits around Indiana suitable for use. After the Wabash River floods and recedes, a large deposit of clay remains that could be cleaned and used for pots.

  • Stoneware Crock, 1910
  • 10 3/4″ x 10 1/2″
  • Private Collection
  • Keywords: ceramics, vessels, stoneware
  • Subjects: bowls, logos

This is an example of a type of utility crock manufactured by UHL Pottery. Notice that the rim is a different color because there is no glaze on it. The logo was applied by dipping a stamp into blue glaze and then marking it on the crock before firing. Crocks were used as measures and made in many different sizes. The number marks the size; this one holds three gallons.

Some Points To Consider

  • Ask students to describe what a logo with an acorn and waves might say about its owner. (Art 4.1.3)
  • Ask: What did a number on a storage crock mean? Why were the crocks not glazed on the top or bottom? (Art 4.1.2)
  • Have students compare containers of today with some from 1910 and discuss which is most functional, longer lasting, or attractive. Ask: Which do you think would be harder to manufacture, a hand-thrown crock or a pressed-glass container? (Art 4.1.2)

Suggested Activities for Classroom Follow-Up

  • Provide newspaper, magazines, or online computer time for students to study symbols in advertising. Then help them create a logo they can use to identify their own artwork.