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CLAY CHRONICLES: STORIES FROM A POTTERY FACTORY
Medalta Potteries Historic Site
Medicine Hat , Alberta

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   From 1912 to 1954, Medalta
Potteries Limited in Medicine
Hat, Alberta was one of
Canada's largest pottery
producers, turning out sturdy
hotel dinnerware, kitchen
ware and china souvenirs that
are still highly prized today
as collectibles. Medalta's
achievement is all the more

remarkable given the lack of
clay suitable for pottery
making in the Medicine Hat
area. Clay had to be imported
from Saskatchewan but the
area's abundant supply of
cheap fuel, easy access to
the Canadian Pacific Railway,
low taxes and affordable land
made pottery production an

attractive, and profitable,
investment.
   Medalta's pottery factory
provided consistent
employment for residents of
"The Hat," especially when
the economy was robust. At
its most productive the
factory's payroll topped 300,
mostly unskilled workers

trained on the job who earned
from 40 to 50 cents an hour.
Some were as young as 14
years of age, fresh off the
farm or from school. Some
needed to bring in an
additional income to their
families. Old or young, those
from a rural background
frequently returned to their

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