Portland Stone Ware Company, Deering Point, Portland, Maine.

Portland Stone Ware Company

From Portland: Its Representative Business Men and Its Points of Interest by George Fox Bacon, 1891:

PORTLAND STONE WARE COMPANY, Winslow & Co., Proprietors, Manufacturers of Fire Brick, Shapes and Tiles, Grease Traps, Chimney Tops, Terra-Cotta Garden Vases, Stone Ware Beef Barrels, Stone Ware for Chemical Purposes, Red Land Tile for Under Draining, Wind Guards to Fit Any Size of Pipe, Fire Clay Flue and Chimney Linings, and Dealers in Fire Clay, Fire Mortar, Kaolin, etc. Nearly 45 years have elapsed since the business now carried on by the Portland Stone Ware Company was founded by Mr. John T. Winslow, and for more than 30 years it has been under the control of the present proprietors, Messrs. Winslow & Co., consisting of J. N. and K. B. Winslow both of whom are natives of this city. At this late day no eulogy of the company’s productions is needed for they are as widely as they are favorably known, and the extent of the demand for them is indicated by the fact that the works are capable of turning out about a mile of pipe per day. Portland Vitrified Salt-Glazed drain and sewer pipe has so long held the leading position that it is only necessary to say that that now produced by this company is unsurpassed in any essential, it being now as ever remarkable for uniformity of size, finish and composition, and being the strongest, most durable and consequently the cheapest to use in the long run. Special prices are quoted on car load lots from factory, and the most extensive orders can be filled at very short notice. The company also manufacture fire brick, shapes and tiles, grease traps, chimney tops, terra-cotta garden vases, stone ware beef barrels, stone ware for chemical purposes, red land tile for under-draining, wind guards to fit any size of pipe, fire clay, flue and chimney linings, etc. A catalogue of vases and tests of sewer pipe will be sent on application, orders addressed to P. O. box 1538 being assured prompt attention. A branch house is maintained at No. 42 Oliver St., Boston, and goods are shipped to all parts of New England. The factory is located at the north end of Deering’s Bridge, and is connected by telephone, No. 549 B. Very spacious premises are utilized, the main building being four stories in height and 66 x 175 feet in dimensions, and employment is give to about 123 assistants, so it is not surprising that even the largest orders can be filled at very short notice.

From A Gazetteer of the State of Maine by Geo. J. Varney, published by B. B. Russell, 57 Cornhill, Boston in 1886:

Near Deerings Bridge are the pottery, tile, and fire-brick works of the Portland Stoneware Co., occupying nearly four acres of ground. They have some of the largest kilns in the country, and turn out monthly about 30,000 firebricks and $2,000 worth of stone ware. About 70 men are employed.

From Representative Men of Maine prepared under the direction of Henry Chase, 1893:

EDWARD B. WINSLOW, the enterprising and well-known manufacturer and business man of Portland, was born in Westbrook, Me., the portion now forming the City of Deering, September 20, 1846. His father was John T. Winslow, who for many years has been identified with the manufacture of stone ware in Portland. His grandfather, Moses Winslow, was one of the early settlers in Falmouth, and was long and favorably known as a business man in Portland. The Winslows in those days were distinguished Quakers, and were instrumental in forming the first Quaker Society and building the Quaker meeting-house which stood for many years on the banks of the Presumpscot River in Falmouth, near the covered bridge. It was for a long time a familiar landmark. David Winslow, great-grandfather of Edward P., was the leading Quaker in church affairs here for many years.

Edward was educated in the public schools of his native town and at the Westbrook Seminary. After graduating from school he at once turned his attention to business. His father was connected with the Portland Stone Ware Company, and young Edward entered the employ of that concern. Its line of manufactures at this time was very limited, being confined chiefly to the manufacture of drain pipe and coarse stone ware in a small way and by a slow process. Edward was imbued with energy and a spirit of enterprise, which soon began to tell in the sales and business of the company with which he was connected. His business abilities soon became apparent, and he was taken into the company as manager of their outside business, principally. For the past thirteen years he has been a member of the firm of Winslow & Co., who are now proprietors of the Portland Stone Ware Company. Under the able and enterprising management of Mr. Winslow this concern has grown, in the past fifteen years, from a small manufacturing establishment, employing only a few hands, to be now one of the leading industries in or around the City of Portland, and one of the leading manufacturers of clay goods in this country, by the most approved processes.

Mr. Winslow has held many offices of public trust. At the present time he is President of the Portland Board of Trade, President of the Central Wharf Tow Boat Company, member of the Board of Water Commissioners, a Director in the Casco Loan and Building Association and also in the Portland Loan and Building Association.

Mr. Winslow has been a resident of Portland for the past twenty years, and represented the city in the Board of Aldermen for the years 1881, 1882, and in 1883 was elected chairman of the Board. He was a member of the Police Commission for two terms.

He has, for several years, been an efficient member of the Board of Manufacturers, the most important standing committee in the Board of Trade. He has taken deep interest in helping to promote many other industries of our State, and, with his well-known ability and public spirit, inspires confidence in all his undertakings, and, at all times, has at heart everything that will promote the interests of the City of Portland and the State of Maine.

He married, in 1871. Miss Alice J. Leavitt, daughter of James A. Leavitt of Portland. They have had no children. A portion of the year Mr. Winslow resides in a handsome cottage on his fine farm in Deering, where he takes great pride in cultivating fruits, shrubbery, and all kinds of flowers, and enjoying all the luxuries of rural life and the entertainment of his friends.

From Brick Vol. 6, No. 1, January 1897:

Early Days at the Portland Stoneware Works.

The extensive plant of the Portland, Maine, Stoneware Works, are a monument not only to its builders, but likewise represent an interesting history in the development and manufacture of many articles made from clay. A writer in the Portland Argus, reminiscences recently as follows:

The passing away of Mr. John T. Winslow, of Deering, takes me back to my boyhood days when the old pottery from which the present extensive stoneware works started was a pleasant rendezvous. In memory I see the large two-story building with its huge square kilns, the roaring wood fires in which made the pottery a cheerful place for young and old to assemble on cold winter evenings. Those were merry times and many are the happily remembered faces that pass in review as 1 conjure up the congenial spirits that were wont to gather about the clay ovens. I occasionally wonder how the world has used the good fellows who were members of that story-telling, fun-loving circle. Some I know have passed into eternity, several I see now and then hereabouts, while most of them have drifted away, their fate and fortune unknown.

At that time the present head of the Portland Stoneware Works was superintendent of the pottery for his father, and he doubtless has in his possession a fine gold watch and chain as evidence of his popularity with the workmen who all knew him as ” Ed.,” as in fact did everyone who was favored with the acquaintance of the genial and hustling overseer of the modest plant which he was even then scheming to develop into the large and flourishing industry of today. He saw the opportunity for something more pretentious than the manufacturing of pots and jugs, and the purpose to achieve that end once formed, there was no such thing as failure for a man possessed of such rare business capacity and tireless energy.

I well remember how the wiseacres shook their heads deprecatingly when the young man began his experiments in the making of drain pipe. Nor have I forgotten the not altogether satisfactory results before the proper combinations of clays and glazing were struck; nor how the beforementioned old fashioned fellows would exchange their ” I told you so” after each new trial ended unsatisfactorily. But pluck and brains won a victory after awhile, and one day a lot of pipe came from the oven done to a turn. From that time the old pottery began to assume new life. The knowledge of the superiority of the Winslow drain pipe extended day by day and the orders steadily increased. So rapidly did the business grow in fact that it was not long before the manufacture of pottery became an insignificant side issue, to be shortly abandoned altogether. In the meantime a fine quality of fire brick had become a part of the product, as well as terra cotta ware. These innovations necessitated extensions of the plant from time to time, and even with the two immense shops and the labyrinth of kilns now constituting the Portland Stoneware Company’s Works, in the busy season the facilities are found inadequate. In fact it is often the case when the pipes have to be shipped almost “piping hot.” It is still known among the “old boys” as the pottery, but there is litlle indeed to remind one of the place as it was a quarter of a century or more ago.

From the Board of  Trade Journal, Vol. XVI, No. 9, January, 1904:

Portland Stoneware Co.

One of the largest industries of the kind in the country is located in Portland on what is locally known as Deering Point and this is the Portland Stoneware Company or the Winslow Company, of which Edward B. Winslow is now the only member. The works of the company occupy about ten acres, and consist of numerous buildings, divided into two large independent plants, each provided with boilers and engines for furnishing motive power. The company also maintains an electric light plant. The two main buildings are each 175 feet long and 75 feet wide. The twenty-four kilns are each thirty feet in diameter, and capable of holding at one time six carloads of pipe or 75,000 bricks.

The best of facilities for shipping and receiving by railway are given by two spurs of the Worcester, Nashua & Portland division of the Boston & Maine, while the ship channel through Back Bay affords ample water communication. At high tide, vessels of 1500 tons, can readily come up to the company’s large wharf.

The leading product of the company is the famous Portland vitrified salt-glazed sewer pipe which finds a ready market throughout all sections of the United States and in some foreign countries. Other products are fire brick and tire brick patterns, such as locomotive arches and lining for boilers; digestor linings, vitrified paving brick, smoke jacks, vases for hall-ways and gardens, as well as many other useful and ornamental articles in stoneware.

The immense stock carried may be inferred from the fact that at times over 100 miles of sewer pipe, ranging from the ten pound pipe to the thirty inch pipe, weighing 660 pounds, may be seen piled up in the yards. From 50,000 to 60,000 tons of the finest clays are worked up annually. The company gives steady employment to about 360 men whose wages aggregate over $150,000 a year. In Boston the company maintains extensive yards, the office being at 42 Oliver street, under the charge of (Jeorge C. Dunne, Manager of sales department of the concern. Besides managing the business of this great industry, E. B. Winslow is prominently identified with many other interests, which demand more or less of his time and attention.

For example, he is President of the Casco Bay Steamboat Company, a Director of the First National Bank, the Union Safe Deposit and Trust Company, and of the Casco and t’ortland Loan and Building Associations. From 1892 to 1896 he was President of the Board of Trade. Mr. Winslow’s labors in the management of this great plant are materially lessened by the efficiency of the Superintendent, Seth W. Hersey, and of the chief accountant, Carroll A. Leavitt. Founded as far back as 1845 in a small way, the Portland Stoneware Company, owing to judicious management and to the high excellence of its products, has step by step reached its present magnitude, and gained a flawless reputation at home and abroad.

From Strange Maine at Blogspot:

Winslow Park, in its original site, appears to have been a simple memorial and green space between the pre-highway (and thus larger) Deering Oaks and nearby Baxter Boulevard. The small park’s location and name had great significance. Just across Forest Avenue was Portland Stoneware Company (Winslow & Company), popularly known as the Old Pottery. Before the landfilling and highway construction in the late-1960s began, 253 Forest Avenue and its adjacent neighbors were commercial locations with industrial docks on Back Cove. The Cove was regularly dredged, to accommodate ships parallel to Marginal Way- west to Forest Avenue. According to the Portland City Guide (1940), Portland Stoneware had been established in 1846 by John T. Winslow (1820-96), and “for many years produced crocks, jars, and ornamental stoneware. In 1870, however, the pottery started mass production of more utilitarian objects and today [as of 1940] produces digester brick, tile pipe, wind guards, flue linings, and chimney tops.” The Old Pottery closed in 1946, and the successor to its address was the large Maine Canned Foods, Inc. Winslow Park’s original manifestation dates back to 1903, as a bequest to the city of Portland and one of the Portland Park System’s first neighborhood parks. The park covered barely two-tenths of an acre, on the triangle formed by the sharply-angled Winslow Street and the broader Forest Avenue. The continuation of Winslow Street, traversing east across Forest Avenue and heading into Portland Stoneware was the now-ghost-street Pottery Lane. The Old Pottery and Winslow Park pre-dated the bakery building.

Brickfrog found some Portland Stoneware Company firebrick on the beach by the bridge in Wiscasset. There were quite a lot of brick slowly sinking into the mud there right by Red’s.


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