As I mentioned in a blog post back in June, I was pleased to learn that Upton Tea Imports, a fan of the patented Chatsford Strainer System in teapots, has entered into a license agreement with the London Teapot Company to use the strainer system in some new US-manufactured teapots. In the Fall 2016 issue of the Upton Tea Quarterly, Upton gives us an update and explains how the Homer Laughlin China Company and their sister company, Hall China, are working together to produce the new version of the Chatsford teapot.
I know that some of you are real teapot geeks like me, and I believe you will thoroughly enjoy this issue's explanation of the great lengths they have gone to in order to make the best teapot possible. I also learned some new things about the history of both Homer Laughlin and Hall's china companies. Some fun facts:
• "Homer Laughlin was founded as The Ohio Valley Pottery by Homer and Shakespeare Laughlin in 1873." (Shakespeare? Really? Do you mean to tell me that if Shakespeare hadn't sold his share of the business to Homer, we could be sipping tea out of Shakespeare Laughlin teacups?)
• "Hall China Company was founded by Robert Hall in East Liverpool, Ohio in August 1903," and when he died in 1904, one of his eight sons took over. Teapots were some of their most successful products.
• Some of the most difficult years for Hall and for Homer Laughlin were in the middle of the twentieth century. Why? A) Teapot sales declined because of coffee drinking and B) cheap ceramics from post-war Japan were flooding the markets.
Those are just a few of the tidbits I gleaned from this article, and I highly recommend reading the whole article here. (You won't believe what they did to test one of the new teapots — it was a big no-no — but the teapot survived!) The new Chatsford teapots aren't for sale yet, so I've got my fingers crossed that perhaps they'll be listed by Christmas. (Santa, are you listening?)