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Did You Know…

August 2, 2010

Mary Alice & George Hadley's Houseboat 1939-40's

…that a wish for personalized dinnerware designed by Mary Alice for her family’s houseboat on the Ohio River was what gave Hadley Pottery its start?

Houseboating was in its heyday during the 1930s, enjoyed both by families who chose to actually live on the water for a variety of reasons (including economic) and those, like the Hadleys, who enjoyed their cruisers as a way to spend more time together on the water on weekends and holidays.

circa 1939

In 1939, Mary Alice Hadley, at the time already an accomplished watercolorist, applied her artistic talents to designing a complete set of dishes to complement the interior color scheme of the family’s pleasure craft.  The pottery for the boat’s gallery and dining room caused such a sensation among the Hadley’s guests that she was besieged with requests for similar sets of their own.

The success of these customized dish sets was totally unanticipated, but soon became the major expression of Mary Alice’s artistic talents.

Mary Alice preparing dinner in houseboat galley kitchen

Interestingly, the newer Nautical Hadley patterns, introduced in the last decade, are among the most popular in the collection, so Mary Alice’s love of the water has truly come full circle!

Do you know…what the very first Hadley patterns painted for the cruiser depicted?  Leave us your comments here and we’ll compare notes.

7 Comments leave one →
  1. Suzanne Gibson permalink
    August 2, 2010 3:38 pm

    Nautical flags and fish perhaps?

  2. August 2, 2010 3:41 pm

    nautical flags and fish perhaps

  3. Janet permalink
    August 3, 2010 1:33 pm

    I see a clipper on the piece by the sink!

  4. Marcia permalink
    November 16, 2010 9:18 am

    Love it!

  5. Valerie permalink
    July 25, 2013 10:23 am

    M.A. Hadley Pottery is an American Iconic collection. I think we should tell ABC World News w/David Muir about this fabulous handmade pottery. For 70 Years this has been hand
    pottered at your facility. God Bless the USA! Thank you M.A. Hadley for continuing
    to keep America Strong!

    • July 25, 2013 8:31 pm

      What a great suggestion, Valerie! Thank you for your support of Hadley and ALL companies who are still manufacturing in the US.

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