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Welcome to Carr China Company

RIVER HOPPING 2017 | A week appeared in April completely free of obligations, so we grabbed it – loaded up the car with dogs and paraphernalia – and headed back to the mountains ... and the rivers. Mainly one river: The Ohio.

Both Southerners, we'd never gotten the chance to appreciate over the course of almost a week what a working river looks like. The coal breakers. The barges. And the joy of seeing the myriad bridges crossing it.

This year we backtracked to McNicol China in Clarksburg, W.V., to actually find it for sure this time, and moved on from there to Wheeling, Wellsville, East Liverpool, Bedford Heights (with a little side trip by Cleveland and Lake Erie) and ending in Zanesville.

As you'll see from the photos, it was a gray week that included a couple of thunderstorms, but the shards were there regardless, waiting for us! Click anywhere in this text for the link to the trip. Hope y'all enjoy it!

A collector of restaurant china since the 1970s, my special interest in Carr China began in Spring 2010 when I had the opportunity to visit the plant site in Grafton, W.V., on the cusp of its final clean-up of lead contamination. There has been a lot said about the connection that is made once collectors have the chance to dig in the dirt, and that is certainly true for me and Carr.

Built in 1913 as the Consolidated Manufactories Company, that operation went bankrupt in 1916 and the site then became the Carr China Company. The business closed in 1952.

Over the years, the Carr China Company produced a vast array of restaurant ware for hotels, resorts, diners, hospitals, fraternal organizations and the military, in addition to a smaller line of china for household use. My wife and I have created this website to help document and preserve the history and products of this company.

Among the great experiences we've had while putting together the site has been the opportunity in October 2011 of meeting James Mitchell, curator of the West Virginia State Museum, in Charleston, and viewing and documenting the collection of Joy Bachman, who was the wife of Wheeler Carr Bachman, the last president of Carr China and the man who shut it down in July 1952. Click here to see the collection and to see a video with Mitchell produced by the museum.

And we've enjoyed the kind restaurant ware collectors we've met through Tygart Trading Post, the e-commerce arm of the site. The store features a wide variety of restaurant ware and other collectibles that are available for purchase. Currently there are just a few pieces of Carr China listed, but more will be coming in the near future. If you are a restaurant ware collector, I think you will find the site very interesting.

I'm still hoping to add pages with Carr's lines and shapes, but those are still in the planning stages. Stay tuned!

The navigation bar at the top of each page will direct you to the various sections, which we hope you will truly enjoy. If you have questions or information to share, please use the Contact page and we will respond as quickly as we can.

— Ed Phillips




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