Although the history behind the name McCoy and Pottery starts much earlier than 1910, that was the year when J.W. McCoy formed a new, separate company with son Nelson McCoy. The company was called the Nelson McCoy Sanitary Stoneware Company and it was this company that lasted through most of the twentieth century.
Was the location of the new pottery, as well as the location of the J.W. McCoy Pottery that was founded in 1899 by J.W.’s father W.Nelson McCoy.
Brush-McCoy Pottery Company:
Was the new name of the company when general manager George Brush became a partner. It remained the Brush-McCoy Pottery Company until 1925. At this time the McCoys went their own way and the Nelson McCoy Sanitary Stoneware Company was once again.
Note:The Brush-McCoy Company DID NOT make cookie jars during this time period, thus no cookie jars marked Brush McCoy are legitimate.
More Ownership Changes:
According to Mike Schneider’s The Complete Cookie Jar Book, the company was acquired in 1967 by Chase Enterprises, sold in 1974 to Lancaster Colony Corporation and in 1991 was owned by Designer Accents of Sebring, Ohio. The McCoy Pottery Company is no longer in business.
- The McCoy Pottery mark has been copied and misused on a multitude of jars and other pottery items.
- A McCoy mark has been used on reproductions of authentic McCoy jars. At one time it was just the more valuable jars, but now even inexpensive McCoy jars have been copied.
- It has also been used on reproductions of jars from other companies. Brush, Treasure Craft, Shawnee jars have all been copied and had the McCoy mark applied on the base.
- ‘McCoy’ is also put on jars that are apparently new designs or ceramic molds.
McCoy Cookie Jars:
McCoy was one of the most prolific makers of cookie jars and is considered one of the giants of the industry. It started producing jars in the 1930s. It is claimed that the first figural jar was the mammy with cauliflowers — a jar that is very valuable today, but unfortunately also has been reproduced quite often. See picture.
The Bottom Line:
McCoy Pottery is probably the best known name in American pottery. In fact many people seem to feel if it has a USA mark, it must be McCoy. Not always true!
If you want to collect McCoy pottery, you have a huge variety of items to choose from — too many to even mention, but if it’s been made in pottery, McCoy probably made at least a few.
There also numerous resources for McCoy Pottery, including books, associations, newsletters and web sites. As in all collecting, be smart in your purchases and don’t always believe everything you read in an auction description. Check out the resources to make sure you’re always getting the Real McCoy!