by Scott Hamilton Suter, 2019
Born into a traditional culture in 1833, Emanuel Suter cultivated the art of pottery and expanded markets across the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia, creating a thriving company and leaving thousands of examples of utilitarian ceramic ware that have survived to the present. Suter’s great-great-grandson Scott Hamilton Suter tells the story of how a farmer with a seasonal sideline developed into a technologically advanced entrepreneur who operated a modern industrial company.
As a farmer, Emanuel Suter innovated by adopting new time-saving equipment; this progressive thinking bled over into his religious life, as he endeavored to change the traditional way of choosing ministers by lot and advocated for the formation of Sunday schools in the Mennonite church.
But Suter largely made his mark as a potter, and A Potter’s Progress is enhanced by nearly two dozen color images and a close study of the techniques, products, shop organization, marketing, and labor of Suter’s shops, revealing the revolutionary role they played in the world of Rockingham County potter manufacture.
“This is a well-researched, engaging, and easily accessible case study that will be a welcome addition to the scholarship of Progressive Era history, material culture studies, Mennonite history, and Shenandoah Valley regional history.” – Mark Metzler Sawin, author of Raising Kane: Elisha Kent Kane and the Culture of Fame in Antebellum America.
Hardback, 149 pages with color photographs and index.