Tuesday, January 20, 2009


Union Porcelain Works Q: I have a platter marked Union Porcelain Works. The front of the platter has a star that says "Memphis Route." Can you tell me what that means and how old my platter is?

A: Union Porcelain Works was established at Greenpoint, New York, in 1848 by Charles Cartlidge. The pottery made bone china. C.H.L. Smith and Thomas Smith bought the company and began making porcelain about 1863. Union Porcelain Works is known for its white porcelain decorated in bright colors, often with patriotic motifs or fanciful shapes, like a vase shaped like a jack-in-the-pulpit held by a turtle or frog. The pottery also made railroad china and other dinner sets. Your dish with the well to catch juices is a meat platter. Memphis Route is a nickname used by the Kansas City, Fort Scott & Memphis Railroad. Union Porcelain Works closed in the 1920s.

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