Pyrex and Lotus Ware fanatics, this one is quite possibly for you.
If you are interested in the history behind the crockery you so dearly love, I’d suggest a visit to The Pottery Capital of the Nation: East Liverpool, Ohio. East Liverpool was/is the home to many ceramic manufacturing companies, so naturally this is where you can visit the MUSEUM OF CERAMICS- 400 E. 5th St., East Liverpool, OH.
Original photo link: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Museum_of_Ceramics_(East_Liverpool,_Ohio)
The museum is housed in the old post office, and has since been added to the National Registry of Historic Places. That means the building is kind of vintage and cool.
Original photos from http://www.themuseumofceramics.org.
Admittedly, my travel companion Mel and I are not that into ceramics or the like, but some of the displays are pretty and I always enjoy learning new things. Little did I know that this time the learning would be so basic and epiphanic.
We got to the museum a little later than perhaps we should have, a mere half hour before closing, so we browsed more than studied. In the basement, there are some displays of what the old manufacturing plants and warehouses would have looked like at the height of East Liverpool’s ceramics age in the 19th century.
Suddenly, Mel turned to me. “Wait,” she said, “is that why they call it a warehouse?!”
I looked blankly at her.
“Because that’s where they store the wares!” she said.
What an obvious explanation, yet who ever stops to think about the origin of an everyday word? I felt enlightened and stupid all at once.
“I think you just blew my mind,” I told her.
For those of you not interested in ceramics but are being dragged to East Liverpool by a ceramics lover, it may interest you to know that this is the city in which “Pretty Boy” Floyd met his timely end. Charles Arthur “Pretty Boy” Floyd was a Prohibition era bank robber and all around ne’er-do-well most notorious for the Kansas City Massacre and being named Public Enemy No. 1 after John Dillinger’s death. He was shot and killed by law enforcement officials just north of town. “PRETTY BOY” FLOYD’S DEATH SITE MARKER can now be seen off of Sprucevale Rd. (County Hwy 428), 1.3 miles north of Spruce Court, in what is now known as Beaver Creek State Park.
Original photo link: http://www.hmdb.org/marker.asp?marker=39894
In town, close enough to the Museum of Ceramics to walk, is The Sturgis House Bed and Breakfast that houses “PRETTY BOY” FLOYD’S DEATH MASK- 122 W. 5th St., East Liverpool, OH. The house is apparently the building in which he was embalmed. In the downstairs laundry room is a small mortuary museum including information on the embalming of the gangster; hanging over the dryer is his death mask.
… which was made out of “flip,” a material used to make… you guessed it, pottery! See how it all ties in together?
Supposedly, you can call the Sturgis House for a museum tour. However, no one answered the phone when we called nor the door when we knocked, so we did not actually see this. I encourage you, however, to try for yourselves and get an experience we did not.
Until next time, dahlings…