The Alexandria Archaeology Museum houses one of the most comprehensive collections of 19th-century American stoneware: a major ceramic industry of Alexandria, Virginia. Much of this assemblage was recovered from archaeological excavations in 1977 on the 600 block of Wilkes Street in Old Town, Alexandria. The artifacts recovered from these excavations provided archaeologists with the opportunity to define major characteristics of Alexandria’s stoneware while recognizing the attributes of three specific stoneware potters and merchants in operation from 1813-1867:

The Goal of this Exhibit

The purpose of this digital exhibit is to define aspects of Alexandria Virginia’s locally produced 19th -century stoneware industry and its three most noted producers. In addition to being a resource for people with diverse interests, this exhibit is intended to promote an active dialogue about Alexandria’s past through the greater awareness of 19th-century stoneware.

For Community Members:

  • Learn about the rich history of Alexandria, Virginia, including its artistic and economical influence as a port city in the 19th century.
  • Learn about the benefits of Archaeology and Alexandria’s efforts to preserve its buried past.
  • Connect with the Alexandria Archaeology Museum to visit, volunteer, and learn about Alexandria, Virginia.

For Educators:

  • Understand background information about the creation of stoneware as it relates to Alexandria’s 19th -century history.
  • Create student lesson plans that coincide with educational programing at the Alexandria Archaeology Museum.

For Researchers and/ or Private Collectors:

  • Utilize this digital resource as a comparative collection for placing stoneware vessels in their proper historic context according to their defining characteristics and decorative motifs.
  • Obtain a bibliography of 19th – century American stoneware.