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Sovereign Potters Ltd. Picture from Superior Engravers Hamilton 1936 (from Hamilton Public Library)


Sovereign Potters Limited -282 Sherman Avenue North. 1933-1973.


Sovereign Potters Limited was formed in 1933 by W. G. Pulkingham and Alfred Etherington with the

financial support of a group of local businessmen, and was one of Canada's largest manufacturers of

fine porcelain and earthenware.

Operations began on a modest scale; however, with the outbreak of war the company boomed, supplying

army china. At its peak in 1946 and 1947 it employed about 450 people. On July 1 1947, the company was

purchased by British dinnerware manufacturer Johnson Brothers(Hanley) Ltd.

In 1952. W. H. Hall was sent by the parent company to become president of its Canadian operations. It

continued to manufacture dinnerware until 1958 when it concentrated on the production of ceramic wall

tiles and decorated blanks sent out from England. The company underwent a name change (H. & R.

Johnson (Canada) Ltd.) and a new address at 15 Biggar Avenue.


I suspect that one of the gents in in pictures # 09 & #10 is W. H. Hall


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History of the property


Hoepfner Refining Company (1899) Set back from Biggar Avenue, you can still see a red-brick building

and chimney where this company was formed by many of the same men who had such success with the

Hamilton Blast Furnace Company (later, Stelco) in 1895. They wanted to turn Hamilton into the Canadian

centre for primary metals. In 1899, industrial promoter John Patterson led the formation of the

Hoepfner Refining Company. The company built this brick refinery building and others in 1899. Patterson

and his colleagues wanted to break the nickel-refining monopoly of the Canadian Copper Company. In the

end, company officials failed to develop a cost-efficient refining process that would make production

worthwhile. The buildings were never used for their intended purpose. The company put the unused

refinery buildings up for lease in 1905. That year, the Pittsburgh Perfect Wire Fence Company set up in

the complex of buildings north of the Toronto, Hamilton & Buffalo Railway spur that ran through the

property. Two years later, the E.C. Atkins and Company of Indianapolis, Indiana started a saw blade and

machine knife factory in the rest of the buildings, which were set back along Biggar Avenue. In 1933,

Sovereign Potters began making semi-porcelain tableware and vitrified hotelware here. Although it no

longer occupies the building, most recently, Royal Recycling operated on this site. This view looks

southeast towards the mountain. The factory between the two smoke stacks in the center is the Hoover

Co. (workerscity)

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The above is the history of the property. The picture shows a working Sovereign Potteries in ~1936.

Note the Bottle Ovens (kilns) and the automobiles.




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