Thanks to hearty clay soils in southeastern and east central Ohio, early pioneers who settled in the area were able to outfit themselves with utilitarian pottery that made their lives much easier.
As transportation along the National Road improved, businessmen saw an opportunity to capitalize on this rich natural resource. Turning to art pottery manufacture, potteries progressed from hand crafting individual, fragile pieces to mass produced styles. Through experimental chemistry new glazes that hallmarked specific pottery companies were developed.
Weller, Roseville, J.B. Owens, and McCoy potteries gained fame and praise that resulted in Zanesville’s title of Pottery Capital of the World.
Following opportunity, others who worked in clay made Zanesville a tile center as well. American Encaustic Tile Company and Mosaic Tile Company employed thousands of people from 1875 to 1967 and, together with potteries, became the economic life blood of the region.
Visit the museum’s central courtyard area and enjoy beautiful examples of this combined local art and science.