Tuesday, May 10, 2011

TEPCO Pottery El Cerrito, CA

Technical Porcelain and Chinaware Company, once a major West Coast producer of restaurant ware, had contracts with the U.S. Navy, Army and Veterans Administration, and was at one time, El Cerrito’s largest employer. Tepco outfitted many local restaurants including the Polynesian themed Trader Vic's, the dinnerware for Berkeley Spangers' Fish Grotto, and Mel's Diner. 

In operation from 1918-1968, designs that were deemed flawed or unfit for sale were dumped into the San Francisco Bay off of Point Isabel. Walking along the shoreline, countless pieces of china fragments can still be found on the beach.  Pictured are pottery patterns green Banana Leaf, Spenger's Fish Grotto, a US Navy mug, Needles & Pine (my patterns at home).

5 comments:

The Vintique Object said...

What an interesting story? I love hearing tidbits like this about our area...

Sandy Pronsolino said...

Do you know who owned Tepco China? I was always told we were related to the owners and my parents received a large serving platter for a wedding present.

Sandy Pronsolino said...

Do you know who owned Tepco China? I was always told we were related to the owners and my parents received a large serving platter for a wedding present.

MPSharn said...

http://www.photostruct.com/ucbthesis/id5.html
This article has some info about the family who owned TEPCO. Maybe it will help?

Stu Davis said...

I grew up on Elm Street Next to Manila. We used to ride our bikes down the street and look for useable stuff in the pile of throw aways.One interesting fact was that there was a major strike by workers in 60-61.On Sunday mornings after delivering our paper route(on our way for fresh donuts) we would ride by the strikers and their 30 gallon barrels burning with wood to keep warm.Not sure how it worked out as I was only10.