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Grueby, William Henry (10 February 1867–23 February 1925), ceramist, was born in Chelsea, Massachusetts, the son of Samuel A. Grueby, a spar maker, and Elizabeth W. Rich. Grueby attended public school until he was thirteen. In the Chelsea school system Grueby received practical training in drawing and design through the first state-mandated art curriculum introduced in the United States. After working for a Boston decorating firm and the J. and J. G. Low Art Tile Works in Chelsea, Grueby founded an architectural ceramics company in 1890. He and his partner, Eugene Atwood, produced faience—glazed terra cotta—for interior and exterior decoration at the South Boston plant of the Boston Terra Cotta Company. Atwood and Grueby dissolved their partnership around 1893, each man establishing his own faience company. Atwood Faience Company operated in Hartford, Connecticut, until 1899, when new owners changed the name to the Hartford Faience Company. Grueby Faience remained in South Boston....

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Ohr, George E. (12 July 1857–07 April 1918), potter, was born George Edgar Ohr in Biloxi, Mississippi, the son of George Ohr, an Alsatian-born blacksmith, and Johanna Wiedman, who had emigrated from Württemberg, Germany. He was the second of five children. He attended the local elementary school and then a “German school” in New Orleans, but his formal education was not extensive. He learned the blacksmith trade from his father and worked in his father’s shop until his mid-teens, when he went to New Orleans. There he worked for a couple of years for a ship’s chandler and served on a sailing ship for one voyage. By the late 1870s he was back in Biloxi working for his father....