Our First Factory
In 1894 brothers Henry B. and George B. Pfaltzgraff joined forces to create the first Pfaltzgraff company called simply "The Pfaltzgraff Stoneware Co." and soon outgrew their home-based York pottery. They decided to build a new, modern plant that would streamline production, and to locate that facility on a railway line to expedite shipments to customers in a wider geographic area. Up until that time a Pfaltzgraff potter's market had been defined as the distance a horse and wagon could travel and still return home within a day.
The following year the brothers constructed a three story plant next to a railroad near the western outskirts of York City in south central Pennsylvania. They added two additional buildings over the next eight years. This comparatively large facility was the first "true" Pfaltzgraff stoneware factory.
The photograph to the left shows factory employees standing in front of and sitting upon a boxcar with the factory visible behind them. The gentleman standing in the boxcar door, on the right, is George W. Pfaltzgraff, son of George B. Pfaltzgraff. George W. would play a key role in the expansion of the company in the Twentieth Century.
This first factory burned to the ground in 1906. The Pfaltzgraffs managed to salvage some bricks and girders and used these materials in the building of a new factory further west. The new "West York" facility still stands today.