Light beige-colored ovoid stoneware jug with a small coil handle attached to the lip, which is stamp-impressed "L. NORTON & SON" over a large ochre butterfly. Although most of the Nortons' early jugs and pots were decorated with cobalt slip, some were decorated with ochre (a natural earthy pigment colored by iron). Cobalt and ochre were among the only oxides which were not negatvely affected by the high temperatures of the stoneware klin. A native of Goshen, Connecticut, Capt. John Norton (1758-1828) bought a large farm in Bennington in 1785 and began making redware. By 1804, the pottery was making stoneware, first using "stone clay" carted from Dorset, Vermont, and by 1806, using New Jersey stoneware clay mixed with local redware clay and possibly the local kaolin until about 1830. Capt. John Norton's sons, Luman Norton (1785-1858) and John Norton, Jr. (1787-1850), worked in the factory and became partners as early as 1811-1812; by 1812, Luman was virtually running the factory. Capt. John Norton retired in 1823, and by 1828, John Norton, Jr. transferred his interests to his brother. From 1828-1833, Luman stamped his wares, "L. NORTON / BENNINGTON." In 1833, Luman both moved the pottery to the area known as East Bennington where it remained until the business closed in 1894, and took his son, Julius Norton (1809-1861) into the business, stamping the products, "L. NORTON & SON / BENNINGTON" or "L. NORTON & SON / EAST BENNINGTON." Julius took over when his father retired in 1840, and took his brother-in-law, Christopher Webber Fenton (1806-1865) into partnership. In 1847, that partnership dissolved; in 1850, Julius took his cousin, Edward Norton (1815-1885), into the firm (J. & E. Norton), and his son, Luman Preston Norton (1837-1906), in 1859. After Julius' death in 1861, Edward continued with Luman Preston as "E. & L. P. Norton" until 1882 when Luman sold his share of the firm to Edward, and Edward in turn sold that half share to Charles W. Thatcher (1857-1944) in 1833. Edward continued until his death in 1885 when his son, Edward Lincoln Norton (1865-1894) assumed his half-interest. NOTE: In 1999, Henry Baldwin attributed this jug to Edward Lincoln Norton; however, Catherine Zusy only lists this mark in connection with Luman Norton and Son from 1833-1840, and also shows a similar jug made by them with orchre decoration.
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