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|Brief description||Earthenware roofing tile, Bernard Klais, Mineral Point, 1858-1883.|
|Alternate object name||Roofing tile|
|Maker||Klais, Bernard, 1801-1883|
|Dimensions||7/8”H x 13 ½”L x 6 ¾”W|
|Materials and techniques||Molded and glazed earthenware|
|Original location||Mineral Point, Iowa County, Wisconsin|
|Current location||Mineral Point, Iowa County, Wisconsin|
|Description||Molded earthenware tile with black glaze on front side.|
Mid-nineteenth-century Wisconsin earthenware potters like Bernard Klais of Mineral Point took advantage of the state's rich natural resources. They dug locally for their red and yellow clays, mixed glazes from lead mined in the southwest part of the state, and powered kilns with wood from nearby forests. Like many of Wisconsin's early potters, Klais learned his craft in his homeland--Prussia--before immigrating to America. In 1858 he established a pottery in Mineral Point in the area now known as Shake Rag Alley. Two of his sons, John (b. 1839) and Michael (b. 1855), worked with him to produce utilitarian earthenwares such as flowerpots and food storage vessels.
The pottery's primary product was molded earthenware roofing tiles, which Klais used to shingle his own home and workshop. An 1876 notice in the Mineral Point Tribune states that "Mr. Klais, proprietor of the Mineral Point Pottery, informs our readers that he is prepared to do tile roofing, and warrant the exclusion of water . . . It would be cheaper than tin and more durable; better than pitch or gravel, and perfectly fire-proof."
|Sources||"Roofing Tiles" Mineral Point Tribune, March 15, 1876; Wayne B. Horney, Pottery of the Galena Area (1965); Kenneth Dearolf, Wisconsin Folk Pottery in the Collection of the Kenosha Public Museum (1986); "Bernard Klais Family" transcribed by Michelle Harder, Clark County, Wisconsin Internet Library (accessed April 24, 2007): http://wvls.lib.wi.us/ClarkCounty/clark/data/bios3/3013.htm|
|Owner||Pendarvis (Wisconsin Historical Society)|
|Rights||(c) 2006 by the Wisconsin Historical Society--Pendarvis Historic Site. Contact the owner for more information. http://pendarvis.wisconsinhistory.org/|
|Digital collection||Wisconsin Decorative Arts Database|
|Keywords||Ceramics; Pottery; Earthenware; Redware; Roofing tile; Weather tile; Ceramic tile; Building Component|
|Object name||Tile: front|
|Rights||(c) 2006 by the Wisconsin Historical Society at Pendarvis. Contact the owner for more information. http://pendarvis.wisconsinhistory.org/|