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July 2, 1829: Potter and Businessman A.P. Donaghho Born

A.P.Donnaghho pottery
WV Humanities Council

Potter and businessman A. P. Donaghho was born in Washington County, Pennsylvania, on July 2, 1829. After learning the pottery trade in his native state, he moved to Parkersburg in 1870 and opened a pottery operation there in 1874.

Donaghho made pottery by hand, “throwing” it on a potter’s wheel just as it’d been done for hundreds of years. It was salt-glazed, meaning that damp salt reacted in the hot kiln to produce a sodium aluminum silicate glaze. When thoroughly dry, the ware was placed in a bottle kiln to be fired.

Most of Donaghho’s pottery items were cylindrically shaped with slightly bulging sides. Virtually all of his crocks or wide-mouth pots featured a bold top molding and two ear handles. Each jug had a small top opening for a plug and a one-ring handle.

The ware was stenciled with cobalt oxide. Most were marked with some combination of the words “A. P. Donaghho,” “Excelsior Pottery,” and “Parkersburg.” Many were decorated with advertisements for local businesses. Donaghho crocks and other items are avidly collected today.

A. P. Donaghho died in Parkersburg in 1899 at age 70.

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