Meeting

In June 2014, Turk McCleskey (right) and Paul Balassa (photographer) began working with Homer Laughlin China Company’s Director of Design Ed Wonder (left) and Chris Park (center) to replicate the original U.S.M.C. 1917 mug.

The original vitreous china mugs stamped U.S.M.C. 1917did not include a makers mark.  Probably they were produced for the United States Marine Corps by Thomas Maddock and Sons, one of the numerous potteries located in Trenton, New Jersey.  We found dated fragments of Maddock and Sons dinner plates, soup bowls, small plates, and condiment crocks from as early as 1911 and as late as 1919.  (See Finding the Sherdsfor additional details.)

The 1917 Centennial Watch Mugreplicates both the shape and the industrial process of the originals.  The replica measures about 4wide at the rim by over 3½” tall.  There are variances in shape and taper between the mugs produced in other years for the Marine Corps, but The 1917 Centennial Watch Mugfaithfully reproduces the geometry of the model produced in 1917.  The industrial process, known as jiggering, mechanically pressed clay into a mold with a curved template.  Weighing 1.4 pounds, the heavy result is at once durable, functional, and elegant.