Manufacturer: Syracuse China
User: Turtle Brand Teas and Coffees
Pattern name: Squares – Overglazed Pattern #57908
Date of coffee cup and saucer: April 1909
Date of teacup and saucer: July 1909
Notes: Charles Leslie Purinton (1865-1954) was born in Portland, Maine, but settled in Massachusetts where he founded the Chas L. Purinton Company in the Boston area. The company registered "Turtle" as a trademark for tea and coffee in 1909. When the company opened and closed is not known.
It is interesting to note that according to two articles in the Boston Sunday Post concerning the "World's Greatest Food Fair," published in late September and early October 1909, they stated: "Close by will be found the booth of the Turtle Brand Coffee, handsomely decorated in green and white trimmings. The products of Charles L. Purington & Co. are being explained and shown up by a courteous corps of demonstrators. The exhibit is one that is bound to attract the public's attention to the various blends of the Turtle Brand of teas and coffees, which have already been taken up by many of the hostelries of the country."
And they follow up with the following: "Nearly every visitor at the fair has tried the merits of Turtle Brand coffee and many have become thereby permanent friends of this brand. The booth is located in about the center of the main hall and is one of the most popular of the exhibits."
The examples of the coffee and teacups were manufactured in April and July 1909 respectively, and the Food Fair was held in late September and early October of 1909. For that reason, it seems logical that that this pattern might have been used as an advertising giveaway in the Food Fair exhibit.
White body china with two red pin lines around the middle of the cup's body and on the bottom of the saucer's verge. The pin lines are broken by the placement of two adjoined green crosses with white centers. On the saucer, the red pin lines are also broken by the placement of the company's logo, which consists of a red oval with a green turtle facing right, with the words "Turtle Brand" in white block letters on its shell. The turtle is standing on a black bar, which has the word, either "Coffee" or "Ceylon Tea," also in white block letters. Short green ribbons extend from each end of the black bar. Underneath the black bar are the stacked words "Chas L.", "Purinton", and "& Co." in black block letters. On the cup, the company's logo is placed inside along with a thin red pin line near the inside top rim.
The pattern name is Squares – overglazed pattern #57908, found in a binder of overglazed Syracuse patterns (shown above). These cups and saucers are a lighter weight and might have been intended solely as a giveaway – as at the Food Fair in Boston 1909 – rather than intended for commercial use. Not shown in the backstamp photo of the coffee saucer, above, is the impressed number 67 inside a circle that equates to the April 1909 date for it.
Boston Sunday Post: Sept. 26, 1909; Oct. 3, 1909
For additional info:
Squares – Syracuse Pattern Series #57901 – #57908 by Syracuse China
Coffee cup and saucer photos: Glenna Cathers
Teacup and saucer photos: Patrick Carie, Vincinnes, Indiana
Research info: Eric Scheirer Stott
Pattern ID: Susan Phillips
Author: Ed Phillips