Common Clay: A History of American Terra Cotta Corporation, 1881-1966

by George A. Berry III with Sharon Darling


Only 2 left in stock


This is the definitive history of American Terra Cotta Corporation, the company that made TECO pottery – and much more.  Founded in 1881 by William D. Gates, the company operated for eighty-five years in the little town of Terra Cotta, Illinois, manufacturing architectural terra cotta (Latin for “burnt earth”) for more than 8,000 buildings in the United States and Canada. Much of the company’s production went into buildings designed by Prairie School architects including so-called “jewel box” banks by Louis Sullivan and buildings by the firm of Purcell & Elmslie scattered throughout the Midwest.

The author, a former president of American Terra Cotta, divided his book into three sections:  A history of the company describing the manufacture of architectural terra cotta and TECO art pottery, and reprints of every known issue of the company’s publication, Common Clay, published approximately monthly from 1920 to 1923 featuring articles and photographs directed primarily to architects and contractors describing the company’s work and showing some of its completed commissions-many beautiful buildings that they just don’t make anymore..

A word about this book: This book is a high quality first (and only) edition that was limited to 1000 copies. Many copies of the book were reserved for company customers and friends of the author; hence, even used copies in the marketplace are not that common.  We have acquired a limited number of new copies of the book in its original shrinkwrap that we offer here.

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by George A. Berry III with Sharon Darling