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Finding Aid to the Decora Ceramics Records H2009.18
H2009.18  
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Box 1

Series 1:  Decora Ceramics Records. Circa 1947-1953

Physical Description: 19 folders.

Scope and Contents note

This series contains collection contains catalogs, price lists, designs, photographs, which constitute the documentary records of Decora Ceramics, and its predecessor, Ylyne Studio, makers of Smithware and Florencita, circa 1947-1953. The designs are watercolors of some of the earliest products in the Smithware and Florencita lines. Other materials include a history of the company, 1946-1953, by co-owner Bill Russell; posed and candid photographs of the owners and employees of Decora Ceramics; extensive photographs of Decora Ceramics' products; and the pocket book of Bill's father and co-owner, Smith Russell, indicating the cash amount paid to employees for each item manufactured.
Box 1, Folder 1

Bill Russell, History of Decora Ceramics, Inc., 1946-1953. August 20, 2009.

Physical Description: 1 folder.
Box 1, Folder 2-9

Designs. Circa 1947.

Physical Description: 8 folders.
General Physical Description note: Handpainted water color designs on paper.
Box 1, Folder 2

Florencita Magnolia Bowls (Product #1221-1231). Circa 1947.

Physical Description: 1 folder.

Contents:

"Balinese Girl" (product #1221); "Pink Petunia" (#1222); "Flower Boy" (#1223); "Radishes" (#1224); "Pixie Boy" (#1225); "Night Glory Flower" (#1226); "Fruit" (#1227); "Russian Dancers" (#1228); "Persian" (#1229); "Autumn Swirl" (#1230); "Blue Leaf" (#1231); "Catalina Island" (not numbered).
Box 1, Folder 3

Florencita Seashell Bowls (Product #1311-1316). Circa 1947.

Physical Description: 1 folder.

Contents:

"Anthurium" (product #1311); "Gold Star" (#1312); "Fawn" (#1313); "Hibiscus & Butterfly" (#1314); "Pepper Branch" (#1315); "Wild Rose" (#1316).
Box 1, Folder 4

Seashell Bowls (Product #1317-1328). Circa 1947.

Physical Description: 1 folder.

Contents:

Flower, fruit, peasant, and fawn motifs. Product #1317-1326, 1328.
Box 1, Folder 5

Florencita Desert Dishes (Product #1502-1509, 1654). Circa 1947.

Physical Description: 1 folder.

Contents:

Cherry, flower and grape motifs. Product #1502-1509, 1654.
Box 1, Folder 6

Coal Oil Lamps (Product #2114-2123). Circa 1947.

Physical Description: 1 folder.

Contents:

Cherry, flower and grape motifs. Product #2114-2123.
Box 1, Folder 7

Hurricane Lamps (Product #2211-2214) / Lanterns (Product #2301-2305). Circa 1947.

Physical Description: 1 folder.

Contents:

Hurricane lamps: flower or fruit motifs (product #2211-2214). Lanterns: flower, pirate or train motifs (product #2301-2302, 2304-2305; "Catalina Island" model features a pirate motif and no product number).
Box 1, Folder 8

Smithware Bud Vase, Candlestick Holders, and Salt & Pepper Shakers (Product #6101, 6151, 6251). Circa 1947.

Physical Description: 1 folder.

Contents:

Candlestick holders (product #6101); bud vase (#6151); salt & pepper shakers (#6251).
Box 1, Folder 9

Smithware Ashtrays (Product #6301-6304). Circa 1947.

Physical Description: 1 folder.
Box 1, Folder 10-16

Photographs. Circa 1950-1953.

Physical Description: 7 folders.
Box 1, Folder 10

Biltmore Trade Show. 1953.

Physical Description: 1 folder.
Box 1, Folder 11

Building and Facilities. Circa 1950.

Physical Description: 1 folder.

Scope and Contents note

Features photographs of the slip room, the kiln, the store front, the finishing department, and the casting department. Descriptions are written on the reverse of the photographs.
Box 1, Folder 12

Negatives. Circa 1950-1953.

Physical Description: 1 folder.

Contents:

Black and white negatives of photographs found in folders 11 (Building and Facilities) and 13 (Owners and Employees).
Box 1, Folder 13

Owners and Employees. 1950-1952.

Physical Description: 1 folder.

Contents:

Individual and group photographs of Decora Ceramics owners and employees, 1950-1952. Includes pictures of Smith Russell, Florence Dodge Russell, John Richardson, Bill Ben, Bill and Virginia Russell, Cora Peters, Mary Long. and Eleanor Lorenze. Also features images of the store front, ceramics casting, painting, glazing, mold making, kiln firing, the decorating department, the shipping department, the finishing department. Most photographs have hand written descriptions on the reverse, and most are dated 1952.
Box 1, Folder 14-16

Product Photographs. Circa 1950.

Physical Description: 3 folders.
Box 1, Folder 14

Photographs with Product Numbers. Circa 1950.

Physical Description: 1 folder.

Scope and Contents note

Wall plates/plaques, stove savers, decorative wall hanging human faces, ash trays and dishes. Designs feature square dancers, peasants, flowers, fruit, roosters, domestic scenes of a woman ironing, washing dishes, cooking, sweeping, vacuuming, flower picking, grocery shopping and baking, flasks featuring temperance slogans, Victorian scenes of proposal, marriage, and a man tightening a woman's corsette, ash and nut trays with anthropomorphic nuts and cigarette butts, a bank in the shape of a vacation suit case, a razor blade sharpener in the shape of a grinding stone, and individual containers labeled "Buttons", "Needles 'n Pins", "Look in Here", "Safety Pins", "Odds 'n Ends", "Bobby Pins".
Box 1, Folder 15

Photographs without Product Numbers. Circa 1950.

Physical Description: 1 folder.

Scope and Contents note

Additional photographs of many of the items pictured in the preceding folder. Additional items include covered ashtrays and cigarette storage boxes, wall hanging plates featuring a cowboy lassoing and on a bucking horse, and a Chinese woman and man holding chopsticks and a fan.
Box 1, Folder 16

Color Slides / B & W Negative. Circa 1950.

Physical Description: 1 folder.
Box 1, Folder 17-18

Price Lists and Catalogs. 1946-1953.

Physical Description: 2 folders.
Box 1, Folder 17

Price Lists. 1946-1947.

Physical Description: 1 folder.
Box 1, Folder 18

Catalogs. 1950-1953.

Physical Description: 1 folder.

Scope and Contents note

Includes Bill Russell's personal 1952 Decora Ceramics Catalog with price lists hand written and typed out.
Box 1, Folder 19

Smith Russell's Pocket Book. Circa 1950.

Physical Description: 1 folder.

Description:

Contains notes on prices to pay employees per item.
Box 2, Box 3

Series 2:  Decora Ceramics Products. Circa 1950.

Physical Description: 7 items.

Scope and Contents note

This series consists of seven ceramic items--three plates, a jelly plate, two butter melters, and a jar for bobby pins--produced by Decora Ceramics circa 1950.
Box 2, Item 1

Circular plate with an apple, grapes and plums design (Product #1380). Circa 1950.

General Physical Description note: 6 inches in diameter.
Box 2, Item 2

Scalloped plate with a blonde girl in floral dress design. Circa 1950.

General Physical Description note: 8.5 inches in diameter.
Box 2, Item 3

Scalloped plate with a floral design (Product #1240). Circa 1950.

General Physical Description note: 6.5 inches in diameter.
Box 3, Item 1a-b

Bobby Pins Jar with a brunette girl with green bow portrait. Circa 1950.

General Physical Description note: 2 pieces.
Box 3, Item 2

Butter Melter with a Rooster design. Circa 1950.

Box 3, Item 3

Butter Melter (plain). Circa 1950.

Box 3, Item 4

Jelly plate with a purple and red jelly jar caricatures, circa 1950. Circa 1950.

General Physical Description note: 6 inches in diameter.