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Haeger Potteries - A Collection Of Vases 125 Years In The Making

How did a brick manufacturer from Germany end up migrating to Dundee, Illinois, in the 1870s and start one of the most collectible pottery businesses in the nation? David Haeger, a proud and wise brick-maker, seized a supply-and-demand situation in 1871 when the Great Chicago Fire destroyed nearly 17,500 buildings. Haeger formed Dundee Brickyard and prospered greatly from solely producing bricks and roof tiles during this reconstruction period of 25 years. Through time, Dundee Brickyard has readjusted its focus and even split into a division called Haeger Pottery, which celebrated its 125 anniversary in 1996.

Haeger Potteries' beginnings came after David Haeger's death in 1900 when his sons decided to expand the product line and include red clay pots for florists. By July 16, 1919, David's son Edmund purchased this pottery division and renamed it Haeger Potteries. To this day, these timeless vases remain a popular item in the floral industry. Inside Haegar Potteries' 125th anniversary product catalog, Haegar Potteries attributes its success to producing "the most collected accessories for the home~ destined to continue into the 21st Century and beyond". Some products added to its wonderful collection are planters, vases, figurines, candleholders, bowls, urns, ashtrays, bookends and lamps.

What makes Haegar Potteries so collectible? From the time when Edmund initially introduced glazed ceramic products in 1912, the Haeger glaze became and remains a distinctive feature. Haeger Potteries doesn't always carry a mark;
instead, this pottery stands out by its characteristic color and finish mixture, which changed each decade. For instance, pink or lime green is the distinct coloring for Haeger Potteries of the 1950s. The 1970s Haeger Potteries
line is best identified by orange and brown. Once better department stores of the 1920s started to carry Haeger Potteries, its factory output tripled.

Haeger Potteries scored a marketing coupe when the company participated in the 1934 Chicago World~s Fair, also known as Century of Progress. For the yearlong exposition, Edmund Haeger exhibited a complete ceramic works that
demonstrated both current and southwest Native American pottery techniques. Over four million people were introduced to Haeger products during the fair.

The year 1938 marked two major events at Haeger Potteries. First, management leadership passed to Joseph Estes, son-in-law to Edmund Haeger. Joseph Estes became president of the company upon the death of Edmund Haeger in 1971. Joseph Estes subsequently passed the torch to the fourth
generation of the Haeger dynasty, his daughter Alexandra Haeger Estes, in 1979. Alexandra Estes remains president of the entire corporation, Haeger Industries, to this day.

Who would want to collect common red clay pots used by florists? Well, this ordinary product doesn't hold much more than sentimental value. However, the finer and unique vases and figurines are highly collectible and sought after
antiques. The better quality antiques can get as much as several hundred dollars from dedicated collectors.

From the grand vision of one man's desire to introduce glazed ceramic pottery out of his father's brickyard, Edmund Haeger went on to create an enthusiastic market for his products. These quality goods, new or antique, are still on
the market today and sold around the nation.

About the Author:

George Coggle is the owner of FG Collectible which is a principal web site for collectible related information. For questions and comments please visit his archive of articles at: http://www.fgcollectible.com.

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