Labor Day Facts

September 1, 2014 — Leave a comment

Labor Day, the first Monday in September, is a creation of the labor movement and is dedicated to the social and economic achievements of American workers. It constitutes a yearly national tribute to the contributions workers have made to the strength, prosperity, and well-being of our country.

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Through the years the nation gave increasing emphasis to Labor Day. The first governmental recognition came through municipal ordinances passed during 1885 and 1886. From these, a movement developed to secure state legislation. The first state bill was introduced into the New York legislature, but the first to become law was passed by Oregon on February 21, 1887. 

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More than 100 years after the first Labor Day observance, there is still some doubt as to who first proposed the holiday for workers.

Some records show that Peter J. McGuire, general secretary of the Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners and a cofounder of the American Federation of Labor, was first in suggesting a day to honor those “who from rude nature have delved and carved all the grandeur we behold.”

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But Peter McGuire’s place in Labor Day history has not gone unchallenged. Many believe that Matthew Maguire, a machinist, not Peter McGuire, founded the holiday. Recent research seems to support the contention that Matthew Maguire, later the secretary of Local 344 of the International Association of Machinists in Paterson, N.J., proposed the holiday in 1882 while serving as secretary of the Central Labor Union in New York.

Content from the US Department of Labor here.

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Teapot Cakes

August 31, 2014 — Leave a comment

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General Schablikine was bred in by Gilbert Nabannond in France and named for a Russian General living and/or holidaying on the French Rivera. It is sometimes referred to as ‘Vestey’s Pink Tea’. This lovely old Tea Rose makes an upright bushy shrub that is seldom out of bloom. The blooms are very double, cherry to coppery-red that open from rather long buds to nearly flats.

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The growth habit of General Schablikine is bushy and upright, growing to 5′ or 6′ in height. General Schablikine is unusually well-foliated with medium green and smooth leaves. It is seldom out of bloom during the growing season and has a good tea fragrance. General Schablikine is a very useful rose, with very double flowers that open flat. General Schablikine is a very hardy and disease free rose, it is easily propagated by cuttings and requires sunny locations to thrive. It is suitable for growing in pots and in greenhouses.

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A quote from Henry Charles Brougham about General Schablikine and the qualities of this beautiful Tea Rose, “If a law was passed that one man should cultivate but one variety of rose, I should without hesitation choose General Schablikine ; for general utility it is without rival, flowering continuously from October to Summer, flowers of fine shape and wonderful evenness, a hundred blooms could be gathered off one plant, and everyone exactly resembling its neighbor; the flower-stalk was a peculiar curve, which identifies it from other sorts. But little is known in England, which is surprising, as its good constitution and hardiness would almost guarantee success in a colder and gloomier climate. This of all roses serves us the most faithfully and generously.”

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Content Sources: Antique Rose Emporium, Rose Petal Nursery and Peaceful Habitations Rose Gardens.

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Orchids

August 29, 2014 — Leave a comment

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Royal Albert China

August 27, 2014 — Leave a comment

Royal Albert China is the trading name of the small pottery company established by Thomas Clark Wild in 1894. It was located in Longton, Stoke-on-Trent in England. Thomas Wild and his sons, Thomas and Frederick built up the family business. The company grew to be known for tis fine quality bone china. From 1905 to 1917, the business traded simply as Thomas C. Wild and as business prospered Thomas Clarke Wild purchased several pottery businesses and factories nearby including St. Mary’s Works in Longton in 1905, the Park Place Works in 1910, the Royal Albert China Works in 1917, the Shore & Coggins Ltd in 1918 and William Lowe pottery in 1919.

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Thomas Clarke Wild’s sons Thomas E. Wild and Frederick C. Wild joined their father in the business in the early 20th century. In 1932, Thomas Wild retired from active management and his sons Thomas and Frederick worked as permanent directors. The first backstamp used by the company had their initials, but it was phased out around 1905. The second backstamp added Royal Albert to its name and the third was introduced in 1907. It was around this time that the Old Rose pattern was started. The pattern, designed by  Harold Holdcroft, has achieved sales of over 100 million pieces since its introduction and is still highly sought after today.

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The company became incorporated as a Limited Company in 1933. One of the company’s highlights is the creation of their first royal items in 1897, to honour the Diamond Jubilee of Queen Victoria. Their products were originally called Albert Crown China, the company added Royal to the brand name in 1904 and this is named after Prince Albert, who was crowned King George VI in 1936.

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The company had its first overseas agencies setup in New Zealand, Australia, Canada and US in around 1910. By 1970, the company was renamed Royal Albert Limited and in 1972 it became a part of the Royal Doulton group. Originally production of all Royal Albert items was in England but in 2002 it was moved to the company’s state of the art facilities in Indonesia.

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Breakfast Breads

August 26, 2014 — Leave a comment

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Raspberry Lemon Muffins

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Buttermilk Blueberry Breakfast Cake

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Toasted Coconut Pound Cake

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Pretty Pastels

August 25, 2014 — Leave a comment

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“You make the prettiest things” – Ruby

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Clarice Cliff

August 24, 2014 — Leave a comment

Clarice Cliff was born on January 20, 1899 in Meir Street, Tunstall, Stoke-on-Trent England. Her father Harry worked at a local iron foundry in Tunstall and her mother Ann took in washing to supplement the family income. She was the middle of seven children. She started working in the pottery industry as a gilder at the age of 13. At the age of 17, she switched to different pottery company and apprenticed for A.J. Wilkinson. She was rather ambitious and chose to acquire various skills instead of maximizing on one. In the early 1920s, her immediate boss brought her to the attention of one of the factory owners, Colley Shorter who noticed her artistic skills.

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By 1924, at the age of 25, she worked as a modeler but also worked with factory designers John Butler and Fred Ridgway. They produced conservative Victorian style ware and she was allowed to decorate some of the defective pieces with her own freehand patterns. She covered the defective pieces with simple triangle designs in bright colours calling the style Bizarre. To the surprise of everybody it was an instant hit. Clarice was then joined by Glady Scarlett who helped her decorate more wares.

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In March 1927, Colley Shorter sent Clarice to the Royal College Art for two periods of study in March and May. From 1927 onwards, Clarice was credited for shapes she designed, the designs she produced from 1929 onwards were considered more modern and was later termed Art Deco. In 1928, she produced a simple hand painted pattern of the Crocus flower in orange. She only had one other decorator produce the Crocus pattern but by 1930s the orders skyrocketed that they needed more decorators to produce the piece. Her team of decorators had grown to a team of 70 young painters mainly women who she calls her Bizarre Girls.

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In 1920, she was appointed art director to Newport Pottery and A.J. Wilkinson, the two factories producing her wares. Together with Colley Shorter they worked closely to catch the attention of buyers in the middle of a major economic depression. Between 1929 and 1935, she produced a mass range of shapes, Conical, Bon Jour/Biarritz, Stamford, Eton, Daffodil, and Trieste. All designs were well received that even through the depths of depression she was able to sell volumes. Her Bizarre and Fantastique ware was sold throughout America, New Zealand, Australia and South Africa.

After the death of Colley Shorter’s wife in 1940, he married Clarice who then moved into his home in Staffordshire. During World War II only plain white pottery was permitted so Clarice assisted with management and focused her artistic energy on gardening at the 4 acre garden at Chetwynd House. When her husband died in 1963, Clarice sold the factory to Midwinter in 1964. Clarice died on October 23, 1972.

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Blue & White for Fall

August 23, 2014 — Leave a comment

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“I have gotten so many compliments on this bracelet. It has a very neutral color scheme, and goes with almost anything. Very high quality piece, and this is one of my favorite shops!” – Bernadette

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