These are just a few of the potters that worked in the Falls region. We will be adding more information about the other as we continue this project, so please stay tuned for updates.
John Bauer & Brothers
John (Johan) Bauer was born in Indiana in 1852. John Bauer was the oldest son of Andreas and Juliana Schlosser Bauer who emigrated to this country from Bavaria in 1851. John established a pottery in Louisville in 1878, though the first time his pottery is listed in the City Directory is 1879 as the Preston Street Pottery. He manufactured stoneware and jugs. The products were consumed locally, with a gradual broadening of the market with time. John’s younger brother Andreas (Andy), born 1856, joined him at the Preston Street Pottery in 1878 working alongside brother Christian (born 1854). Caron’s 1886 City Directory lists the company as John Bauer and Brother, describing the operation as one making “all kinds of stoneware, fruit jars, milk pans, and sample jugs as a specialty. Correspondence solicited”. Brother John Andrew Bauer left and began the Paducah Pottery in Paducah, Kentucky in 1885, where he manufactured stoneware and earthenware jugs and crocks.
Anton Melcher 1824-1856
Another well known local potting family, Anton was was one of several brothers engaged in the pottery business who arrived from Baden, Germany in the mid 1800s. in 1851, a pottery was operating under the name of Anthony Melcher & Co. It was located on the corner of Portland Turnpike and 14th Street in the Portland area. According to his 1851 as in the Louisville City Directory Melcher stocked “a large assortment of all kinds of stone pipes and stoneware” along with smoked pipes of all sorts. by 1855-56 however, Anthony had died and the pottery was renamed Mrs. A. Melcher & Co.
Henry Melcher 1830-?
Henry was another of the Melcher brothers from Baden Germany. Louisville cit directories bracket his pottery operation from roughly 1855-1868, after Anton had died. Henry marked is stoneware with the label “MAKER” whereas Anton used the the term “MANUFACTURER”. His mill was hand-operated. He employed ten men who made an average of $250 a month in wages. Henry made stoneware and terra cotta. He was one of the earliest to use the name Louisville Pottery.
George Unser 1828-1881
George Unser’s career as a stoneware potter spanned 22 years, from about 1866-1881. In 1869 Unser is listed in the City Directory as working as a stoneware potter in Louisville, Kentucky at 74 W. Main Street, “upstairs”. Afterwareds he operated his pottery at Jeffersonville on the southwest corner of Utica Pike in Port Fulton, now Jeffersonville, Indiana. In the year 1973 he said to have manufactured 1,800 gallons of crocks and jugs per week. Unser’s pottery remains very collectible today.
James Miller 1814-1896
James Miller, originally a potter in Strasburg in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia. He was born in 1814 and moved to Mauckport in Harrison County, Indiana in about 1833-37. After moving to Indiana he established his stoneware pottery just across the Ohio River in Brandenburg, Kentucky which he operated from circa 1840-1884. Miller’s pottery is one of the few, if not only, in Kentucky to make use of cobalt in his glazes. His pottery is often very ornately decorated in cobalt and commands high prices at auction.