Pottery Knobs Offered Affordability and Durability

Pottery Knobs Offered Affordability and Durability

Pottery knobs located in parts of Louis Dupuy’s Hotel de Paris were made of baked clay glazed in brown, white, or black. Catalog advertisements published and distributed by Sears, Roebuck and Company, Montgomery Ward & Company, Penn Hardware Company, Charles A. Strelinger & Company, Branford Lock Works, Bliven, Mead & Company, and several other firms made the products widely available. Finishes were marketed as mineral (mottled brown), porcelain (white), and jet (black). Doorknobs came with Japanned mountings in quantities of 12 to a box or 25 dozen to a case.

Bennington Knobs

Christopher Webber Fenton of Bennington, Vermont acquired Patent No. 6907 from the United States Patent Office on November 27, 1849 for an improvement in glazing pottery-ware.

Patent tag for Fenton’s glazing technique

Fenton invented a “new and useful improvement in the applications of colors and glazes to all articles made of potters’ materials,” including doorknobs and shutter knobs.  Also known as Flint Enamel Ware and called Agate Ware, his process of coloring and glazing with deep and light shades closely imitated seashells, variegated stones, and fluids in motion.

C. W. Fenton

Several years after Fenton’s patent was granted, former slip script pottery button maker D. Wheeler of South Norwalk, Connecticut produced in 1853 mineral knobs for doors, furniture, and shutters out of red, white, and black clays.

Wheeler’s pottery knobs were finished in Rockingham glaze, which is described as a thick brown finish.

Commercial Kitchen-mineral shutter knob

Pottery Knob Inventory

Hotel de Paris employed pottery knobs in staff quarters, public spaces, and back-of-the-house locations.

2nd Story (Powers Bldg., c. 1870)

Room 3-porcelain set

Room 4 (exterior)-mineral knob

Room 4 (interior)-porcelain knob

Room 7-jet set

Room 8-porcelain set

1st Story (Hotel de Paris, 1878)

Commercial Kitchen (northeast)-mineral set

Commercial Kitchen (southeast)-mineral set

Commercial Kitchen (west)-mineral set

Commercial Kitchen (south exterior)-porcelain knob

Commercial Kitchen (south interior)-mineral knob

Laundry-mineral set

Passage to SR2-mineral set

Passage to Room 13-mineral set

1st Story (Hotel de Paris, 1882)

Cellar (exterior)-mineral knob

Cellar (interior)-porcelain knob

Cellar (Hotel de Paris, 1882)

Passage from Butcher’s Shower to Coal Room-porcelain set

2nd Story (Hotel de Paris, 1882)

Lodger’s Half-Bath-porcelain set

2nd Story (Hotel de Paris, 1889)

Room 5-jet set

Room 6-jet set

Room 6 Bath-mineral set

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