Stein Collectors International
Featured Stein ~ September 2021

Whites of Utica

By Michael Finney
Pennsylvania Keysteiners

Noah White bought the Samuel Addington pottery in Utica New York and renamed it Whites of Utica in 1839. In the 1870s a new building was added, expanding the operation, with both modernization and improved production processes. A 65-horsepower steam engine was added. Whites major production items included jugs, chamber pots, preserve jars, beer bottles, and fire bricks. During their heyday they employed 20 to 25 people. They used the rich New Jersey clay in two of their three kilns which were geared for stoneware firing. The third kiln was used for bricks. The two stoneware kilns were fired with slab wood, mostly spruce. It took approximately six to eight days for the salt glazed items and approximately forty-eight hours for the Bristol glaze pieces.

At right, employees of Whites outside the Whites Pottery in 1905.

Production of beer mugs and steins was first introduced in 1885. They can be broken down into four major categories: relief, etched, reverse etched and a few characters (Bismarck and Owl). Most of these steins were a monochromic gray with cobalt blue, very few had green or brown highlights. Most were cast-molded rather than spun on a wheel. This left seams under the handle and in the front. They were made to be displayed English style, so you see the handle and the main design at the same time. Whites never used capacity marks. The base number is not a mold number but identifies the size of the stein or mug body minus the lid. Over the years Whites used three different numbering systems. These numbers refer to a corresponding price list for Whites wares.

The pewter lids and attachments were not normally as fancy or heavy gauge as the lids made in Germany. Sometimes Whites silver-plated them, but it was poorly done and wore off easily. Whites almost always used a criss-cross pattern cut into the front part of the tang. During different periods Whites used different types of interior and exterior glazes. From approximately 1885-1897 a salt glaze exterior with a clear silica glazed interior was used. Later a white Bristol glaze was often employed on the interior. This stein does not have a white interior, I would guess it was made between 1885-1897. The pottery ceased making stoneware in 1907.

This stein is marked 35 on the base and has four colors. The pewter work is heavy gauge and seems well done. In my opinion this is one of the better steins made by Whites of Utica. Reference David Roche Beer Stein Article - "Whites of Utica"