Robinson Ransbottom Pottery

Examples of Ohio PotteryThe Robinson Ransbottom Pottery began operation in 1900. Its founders had close ties with the world famous Weller and Roseville Potteries.

During the late 1890's, Frank Ransbottom was one of the area's best known and most successful jobbers of the stoneware and earthenware products made in Roseville, Crooksville and Saltillo. The young Mr. Ransbottom, was born in 1872, started selling at an early age and succeeded so quickly that he formed his own company to distribute products made by both the small and large potteries of the area. Frank established a thriving business and outstanding reputation. Despite his success, he lacked the control and security that only a captive source of supply could insure.

Then in the summer of 1900, Frank learned that the Oval Ware and Brick Company, located in Beem City - now Ironspot - was for sale. This was the opportunity he had been waiting for and he arranged a meeting with three of his brothers - Ed, Johnie and Mort, to talk about forming a new business.

The Ransbottom brothers enjoyed fine reputations in the growing pottery industry in southeastern Ohio. Ed and Mort held important positions at the nationally famous Roseville Pottery founded by G.F. Young. The Ransbottom brothers had learned about pottery making from their father, Alfred, a pioneer in the Ohio pottery industry. Alfred had been actively engaged in pottery making before volunteering for service in the Union Army at the outbreak of the Civil War. Following his discharge in 1865, he operated the Bluebird Potteries on farms in Perry and Muskingum Counties. One of these was located just north of Roseville. It was here that Alfred taught the age old skills of pottery making to each of his sons.

The four brothers acquired "Oval & Brick" in the fall of 1900 and after repairs and remodeling, began production early in 1901. Among the earliest products were jardinieres, cuspidors and red flower pots. The pottery grew rapidly and established itself as a leading producer of stoneware jars. By 1906, production reached 12,000 gallons of stoneware a day. Production expanded further and by 1916, a carload of stoneware jars was produced every hour. The Ransbottom Pottery had become the world's largest manufacturer of stoneware jars, a position it still holds.

In 1920, in a step toward diversification, the Pottery merged with Robinson Clay Products Company, a manufacturer of tile and brick products.

In the early 1920's the product line was expanded to include gardenware, a category which now is a major contributor to sales. Included are bird baths, planters, pots, jardinieres, vases, urns and strawberry jars. In addition to gardenware, the company produces a broad range of housewares, giftware and tabletop products, as well as pet feeders.

Many items that were among the company's first products were still made when the company entered into its second century. In addition, many hand crafting techniques that were trademarks of Robinson Ransbottom 's earliest production, were retained until the very end.

The company ceased operations around 2007 (I am not sure of the exact date).