Home Vernon Kilns' History

Martha cooking breakfast with a Tam O'Shanter teapot in the background. Vernon Kilns was founded in July 1931 after Faye G. Bennison purchased Poxon China Company in Vernon, California. Poxon China Company was built at 2310 East 52nd Street, Vernon, California, now part of Los Angeles. Bennison continued to produce Poxon lines, using Poxon shapes for some time before an earthquake in 1933 forced Bennison to develop original shapes for Vernon. Two fires in the late 1940's almost brought the end of Vernon Potteries, Ltd., but Bennison decided to rebuild and continued to flourish during a time when imports were not available. The company was not able to compete when a flood of foreign imports hit the American shelves and in 1958 Vernon Kilns sold its holding to Metlox.  Metlox continued to market some Vernon shapes and patterns under the division Vernonware until 1989.

The company produced dinnerware, art pottery, figurines, ashtrays and other popular lines. All products were of earthenware, with clays from Tennessee, Kentucky, North Carolina and England. Glazes were developed from minerals mined in California and many patterns including all of the plaids were hand painted.

Martha preparing breakfast in 1955. A Tam O'Shanter teapot sits on the counter to the left. I love the rhinestones mom!

Vernon Kilns' Web Sites & Electronic Mailing Lists:

  • Tim Colling's Vernon Kilns' Web Site: In addition to tons of informationon Vernon Kilns dinnerware, Tim and Linda Colling host an e-mail list devoted to the discussion of Vernonware. For details check out their site.
Books and Collectors Guides:

Maxine Feek Nelson has written three books on Vernon Kilns. Her interest in Vernon Kilns originated just after the close of World War II. She received a set of starter set of Vernon's Brown Eyed Susan from her family. She was living in southern California, not far from where the set was made and one day she would develop a passion for Vernon pottery that would lead to the publication of three books. All of these books are now out-of-print.

  • Versatile Vernon Kilns was published in 1978. Ms. Nelson filled this volume with the history of Vernon as told in interviews with Faye G. Bennison, founder and president of Vernon Kilns, former employees of the company and family from the original Poxon/Vernon China Company.
  • Versatile Vernon Kilns Book IIwas published in 1983 with expanded information on collecting Vernon Kilns.
  • Collectible Vernon Kilns was published in 1994 and fostered an entirely new generation of Vernon collectors. This 8.5 x 11 inch full color hardback was the culmination of more than 20 years of research and sharing information about Vernon Kilns' many lines of dinnerware and art pottery.

Versatile Vernon Kilns

Collectible Vernon Kilns

Newsletter:
  • Vernon Viewsnewsletter is a great source of news on collecting all Vernon Kilns'. The newsletter is published quarterly and subscriptions are $10/year and subscriptions run on the calendar year. Once you subscribe you will receive all issues published in that calendar year. To subscribe send a check or money order for $10 to Vernon Views; Box 945, Scottsdale, Arizona, 85252. Subscriptions include a free 50 word ad in each issue.

2002 Kevin H. Souza
Updated on May 22, 2005
souzakh@yahoo.com