Monday, January 10, 2011

A piece of History... Only a potter could love!

So during the xmas break my Daughter and I were out walking Jack when on a path, surrounded by forest, we came across a pottery jackpot! Well, maybe an historical, industrial, pottery jackpot.

We found Sewer Pipe!

Now, I realize that most people would find that terribly disgusting, as my daughter did. But I had little resistance when I told her we had to dig it up. So why is this important you ask? Because it's pottery history!

Before steel pipes, and now plastic pipes, sewer piping was made from clay. But not just clay, stoneware, and it was salt fired stoneware. And all of this came from the home of clay products, Medicine Hat, Alberta.

Taken from the Historic Clay District's web site (http://www.medalta.org/companies/acp.html) Alberta Clay Products ( notice the 'MEDICINE HAT A. C. P. Co.' stamp on my pipe) began in 1910 and continued to supply sewer pipe to Western Canada through the '40's and '50's.

For many years A. C. P. was the only manufacturer of sewer pipe in western Canada. It continued to expand and make money even through the height of the great depression; so much so that the Yuills set up two separate stoneware pottery companies: Medicine Hat Potteries Ltd. in 1937, and Alberta Potteries Ltd. in 1941.

And the large bee hive kilns on site, now the Museum were the original kilns used to fire all this pipe. And it just so happens that while I was at ACAD we were able to tour the museum. So here are some pics.





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