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The Carolina, Clinchfield, and Ohio Railroad was trying to develop commercial enterprises along its lines as sources of revenue, so it built during 1916 a pottery in Erwin. Southern Potteries went public in 1920, and Charles W. Foreman bought it in 1922. From 1917 through 1938, patterns were primarily applied by decals, commonly used by other china producers of the period. Beginning in 1938, most patterns were hand painted on the bisque prior to glazing. Trained by the pottery to produce the brush strokes and techniques to be used for each pattern, local women (and a few men) fashioned leaves, stems, flowers, scenes, and animals commonly seen in Blue Ridge patterns. Southern Potteries had a reputation of accommodating its customers, both large and small. Unfortunately, the company never produced a sales catalog, so many of the patterns are named by collectors. The pottery hit its peak production of an estimated 17 million pieces a year in the 1940s. However, like many American pottery companies, Southern Potteries could not compete with the lower-priced china imported primarily from Japan. The company shut down in 1957. (Abstracted from southernpotteries.com)