Salem China Collage

Vintage Feature – The Salem China Company

Southern Vintage Table Vintage China Rental NC
Photo by Tugba Tuncer

The lovely floral pattern, SLM158 (not a suitable name for this work of art, huh?), has a lot of history. It was produced by the Salem China Company, which was founded in 1898 in Salem, Ohio. The American company manufactured china for over 60 years, ending the production in 1960 and then becoming a distribution, sales and service company until 2003, when the main building was destroyed by fire.

Their patterns followed the trends of the time, with elegant florals, art deco creations, and traditional scenic designs. Also, if you love Christmas china, Salem had an extensive line of this favorite holiday. One particularly popular design from the 1930s, the triangular-shaped Tricorne, is now highly collectible – this explains why we have not come across these! Click to see some of the most popular Salem China designs and advertisements found at Laurel Hollow Brook,

~ Mount Vernon ~

Our quest to learn more about Salem China started with this set of salad plates in the once-popular Mount Vernon pattern. Enamored by its artistry and condition, we learned how to gauge the age of this particular plate. The “52” reveals that it was made in 1952 and the three starts signify the quarter of the year. With this information, we looked through our collection to find more about this American china company.

Mount Vernon, Salem China Company
~ Sovereign ~

Meet Sovereign, a gorgeous gold-rimmed pattern. We’ve actually had these for quite some time but now will certainly appreciate it more. We believe the V in the backstamp might reveal its age but we couldn’t find anything about the letter markings. We do know it had to be produced before 1960.

Sovereign, Salem China Company
~ Sandra ~

This gorgeous, delicate pattern is Sandra. Again, her mark includes a W which tells us nothing about its age. But, that doesn’t diminish how sweet she is. (So is my sister, Sandra!)

Sandra, Salem China Company
~ SLM43 ~

How in the world can a beautiful pattern with a green and gold encrusted rim and sweet lily of the valley have such a name? Certainly, we are perplexed but we do know from the backstamp that it was made in 1956.

SLM43, Salem China Company
~ SLM158 ~

Again, the name does not convey the gorgeousness of this pattern. From her mark, SLM158 belongs to a line called Quaker Girl, as homage to the Quaker residents and founders of Salem, Ohio. Her mark reveals that she was produced in 1952 during the first quarter.

SLM158, Salem China Company

And, on International Women’s Day, we serendipitously found this fascinating tidbit on Salem, Ohio on Wikipedia.

“In April 1850, Salem hosted the first Women’s Rights Convention in Ohio, the third such convention in the United States. (The first was the Seneca Falls Convention of 1848; the second was the Rochester Convention two weeks later.) The Salem Convention was the first of these conventions to be organized on a statewide basis.[17] All of the convention’s officers were women. Men were not allowed to vote, sit on the platform or speak during the convention. The male spectators were supportive, however, and when the convention was over, they created an organization of their own and endorsed the actions of the women’s convention.[18]

Salem China, we salute you! Your patterns are unique, lovely, and timeless. We love that you were manufactured in the town of Salem, a place known for its progressiveness in the 1800s, whose residents fought against slavery and for women. Hurrah!

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