Manufacturer: Maddock Pottery
User: Fort Pitt Hotel – Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Date of examples: circa 1909-1924
Notes: The Fort Pitt Hotel, on the corner of Penn Avenue and 10th Street in Pittsburgh, opened in 1909. When it opened it contained 400 guest bedrooms. Additions in 1912 and 1915 brought the room count up to 800 rooms, 500 of them with private baths. There were several dining venues, including the Vine Room and the Rose Room, as well as a ballroom.
In 1928, the Fort Pitt became one of the hotels in the Eppley Hotels Company chain. Eppley had its own china pattern, so the original china services may have been replaced around this time. In 1942, the Fort Pitt was operated by Lebis Hotel Management Company. It is listed in the 1958 Hotel Red Book as a Lebis Hotel. It is not listed in 1959. It was still operating in May 1966, when Penn-Central Railroad announced that it had acquired the land and planned to demolish the hotel. The Fort Pitt was razed in 1967 as part of the Penn Park redevelopment project.
Maddock Pottery made a Fort Pitt china service that is crested with the hotel shield and castle logo in color. The border is decorated with an orange pin line below a thicker black line. The only know piece is a match box holder / ashtray. This service may have been used in the hotel bedrooms, or in some of the public rooms. One example, in the collection of Charles Sovine, has the same back stamp used on the Norse Room service. Another example contains the "M" in wreath mark, which could be from a later reorder.
Historic Pittsburgh.org – History and photo of hotel being demolished
Photo of match box holder: Charles Sovine
Author and photos: Larry Paul