Redware from St. Louis and Quincy This is an ongoing study that attempts to record folk pottery found by bottle collectors and avocational archaeologists digging on construction sites in the cities of St. Louis, Missouri and Quincy, Illinois, where private development has heavily impacted the urban archaeological record.

In Quincy, a number of redware vessels have been recovered from privy features dating circa 1845-1865. Many of these appear to represent the work of an single, unknown area pottery, while others have been imported from other parts of the region. The city’s German heritage is strongly reflected in the wares of the unknown potter, with cooking vessels such as pipkins and small handled pots being far more common that in other parts of the region. General purpose kitchen bowls are also numerous, while storage pots and jug are slightly less common. The latter may have been supplemented by stoneware products.

In St. Louis, pottery-making was sporadic during the first half of the 19th century. A few earthenware potters were working before 1830, but their output was small. During the mid-1800s, most of the stoneware sold in the and consumed in St. Louis was made south and west of the city. A number of archaeological samples have produced redware vessels that appear to be products of one or two kilns operating near the city - perhaps in nearby St. Charles. These wares are well made, thin-bodied, utilitarian products that include small and medium capacity pots, bowls, and chamber pots - which are the most common redware vessels found in 1850s contexts in the city.
Redware pipkin from Quincy, circa 1860 Handled cooking pot from Quincy
 circa 1850 Redware chamber pot from St. Louis
circa 1850. Redware chamber pot from St. Louis
circa 1850.