General History and Points of interest McCoy Pottery

McCoy pottery has a unique history dating back to at least 1848 with the start of pottery making by W. Nelson McCoy and W. F. McCoy the founding fathers of McCoy pottery. As with most pottery makers of the day they set up shop in what is now Zanesville, Ohio. These two gentlemen started the dynasty by making and selling stoneware crocks and jars, selling these products through the general stores in the area. Most of these crocks and jars were not marked but there were a few that were stenciled with W.F. McCoy on the side of the ware.

The next generation of McCoys to work in pottery was J.W. McCoy the son of W. Nelson McCoy. In 1899 he started the J.W. McCoy pottery company in Roseville, Ohio which is close to Zanesville, Ohio. This conpany was the start of the art pottery in the McCoy pottery line. One of the earliest art pottery lines from this company was the Loy-Nel-Art line named after the three sons of J. W. McCoy.

It was from this company that we find the beginning of the Brush McCoy line of pottery. In 1911 J.W. McCoy merged his company with several other small pottery companys and then it became known as the Brush-McCoy Pottery Co. In 1925 the McCoy family sold their interest in the company which then became known as the Brush Company.

Once again the McCoy family went back into the pottery business in 1910. Nelson McCoy the son of J.W. McCoy started the Nelson McCoy Sanitary Stoneware co in Roseville, Ohio. Nelson McCoy started making stoneware, churns and jars usually marked with an "M" above a clover pattern inside a shield. later they began to mark some of the pieces on the bottom inside the pottery with a number inside the shield.

Finally in 1933 the company became the Nelson McCoy pottery company and changed the design of their product to a more art form of pottery. The company did well through the 40s and Nelson McCoy died in 1945. In 1948 Nelson McCoy jr. Took over the reins of the company as president at the early age of 29. He would remain in this position for over thirty years.

In 1950 the company was almost destroyed as a fire burnt down the manufacturing buildings. This was rebuilt with the the lastest technology allowing the company to stay in the forefront for many years. In 1967 the company was sold to the Mount Clemens Pottery co. In this period some of the pieces were marked with MCP on the bottom of the item. In 1974 the company was once again sold to Lancaster Colony Corporation which added a logo to the bottom of the items as LCC.

In 1985 the company was one again sold off to Design Accents who finally closed the doors in 1990. In all of the McCoy history there were three different companies that produced art pottery and all of it is equally important, but one has to recognize which era of pottery is represented and which one they wish to collect.

Perhaps the most interesting and significant fact about the company is the trademark of the company logos. Although there were many different logos used not one was trademarked throughout the real history of McCoy pottery. There have been several attempts to trademark the name in the past few years with little or no success.

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