Tucker Factory, Philadelphia, 1826 - 1838
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Tucker Factory was among the first successful porcelain manufactories in the United States. Following on other short-lived successes in New York City and New Jersey, William Ellis Tucker established his porcelain manufactory in Philadelphia in 1826 at Center Square, the site of Philadelphia’s current City Hall. William Tucker died in 1830, and thereafter his brother Thomas Tucker oversaw the day-to-day operations and design, while investors, in particular Judge Joseph Hemphill and the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, were able to provides the funds necessary to produce the high-quality porcelain that rivaled popular English, French, German, and Italian porcelain of the same date. The factory closed in 1838.
The Philadelphia Museum of Art has the largest Tucker porcelain collection in the world, with over 500 pieces. The objects range from monumental vases and complete dinner sets to small, personal mementoes of the Tucker family and Thomas Tucker’s coveted pattern and recipe books recording factory production from 1832 to 1838.