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Historic Potteries

Site Contact:
Jon Byk
On-Scene Coordinator


Site Location:
Trenton, NJ 08638

During a site investigation into a former solder manufacturer in East Trenton, EPA identified several historic potteries that operated nearby and upwind. EPA found elevated lead levels nearby the former solder manufacturer in residential yards but was unable to tie the elevated lead levels to the manufacturing of solder. The pottery industry was prevalent throughout many parts of Trenton beginning in the 1850s. The industry grew rapidly and Trenton was one of two major pottery centers in the United States. The industry began to decline by the 1930s. Lead was commonly used in glaze throughout the existence of the industry. EPA received a referral from the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection in January 2020 for an Integrated Assessment to investigate whether releases of lead during the pottery manufacturing process impacted the downwind residential properties as well other areas of Trenton with significant historical pottery operations.