Biography: Fulper Pottery was active during the 19th and early 20th centuries and sold a variety of products over the course of its lifespan. Founded by Samuel Hill, the company was originally known as Hill Pottery and operated out of Flemington, New Jersey, specializing in red clay pipes and jars. In 1858, company employee Abraham Fulper purchased Hill Pottery and renamed it after himself; subsequently, his sons, who took over the business, renamed it Fulper Brothers. Fulper Brothers manufactured stoneware, earthenware, and other functional pottery products. Its most famous item was the “Germ-Proof Filter,” a forerunner to the contemporary water cooler.
At the turn of the 20th century, William Hill Fulper II incorporated the company as Fulper Pottery Co., and began broadening the product line to include decorative and ornamental objects. In 1910, Fulper brought on Martin Stangl, who designed the Fulper Vasekraft lamp. After the First World War, William Fulper made Stangl the vice president of the company and began to expand production, opening a second plant in Flemington. Stangl soon became associated with Fulper’s new dinnerware line, which was named for him and became popular due to its bright colors and simple designs. Demand for Stangl Pottery was so strong that the company opened a third plant in Trenton.
Following William Fulper’s death in 1928, Stangl became president of Fulper Pottery. After a fire at the original Flemington plant in 1929, manufacturing was consolidated into the other two plants. Over the next several years, Fulper Pottery produced ceramics and “artware” in Art Deco styles. By 1935, Fulper had been discontinued; Stangl Pottery continued production until 1978, when it was purchased by Pfaltzgraff. Pfaltzgraff, which was acquired by Lifetime Brands in 2005, now operates as an online-only pottery business.