Sunday, June 19, 2011

HLC History - Chapter 2

In 1877 Homer bought his brothers share of the company and renamed the business "Homer Laughlin". In 1896 it was renamed "The Homer Laughlin China Company".

At this time there was stiff competition with European and especially English China. The public perceived that the American ware, which was more expensive, was of lesser quality. Many potteries disguised their ware with marks reminiscent of English marks or named their ware "Royal" to give the connotation of English ware. Homer Laughlin however, designed a mark that showed the American Eagle on top of the British Lion. He wanted to show his confidence in the American ware.

Homer Laughlin was aware of the conditions of his employees but safety standards were non-existent in industry at this time. The hazards of the job were many, mostly from the inhalation of the dusts associated with the production of the ware. In 1877 he was paying his employees more than their European or Asian counterparts. A skilled worker earned $2.33/day, an unskilled man $1.29/day, boys 0.82c/day and women and girls 0.75c/day. In 1880 he took 300 of his workers and their families by chartered train to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania for an exposition in the afternoon and the opera in the evening. Laughlin was mindful of his workers and saw quality ion them. In 1880 Homer hired W.E. Wells as bookkeeper. He would eventually become the general manager and today his descendants are still managing the company. He hired the first female secretary in 1888. Later in the companies history the plant would include a recreational park.

May Your Dishes Bring a Smile To Your Face!

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