Dating frankoma pottery
The method is this: Wet the end of your finger and touch the unglazed portion (usually the bottom) of the item in question.
The theory is that, if it is Ada clay, it will not change color. This method is generally, but not 100 percent, accurate.
Frankoma Pottery was originally known as The Frank Potteries when John F. The name “Frankoma,” a combination of his last name and the last three letters of Oklahoma, was used beginning in 1934. The factory opened in Ada, Oklahoma, then moved to Sapulpa, Oklahoma in 1938.
Early wares were made from a light cream-colored clay from Ada, Oklahoma, but in 1956 the company switched to a red burning clay from Sapulpa.
I will be posting scans of all of the FFCA newsletters as they contain much valuable information.
Many people use the "wet finger method" to determine whether a piece is made of Ada Clay or Sapulpa Clay. The pottery operated under various owners for a few years and was bought by Joe Ragosta in 2008. The buildings, assets, name, and molds were sold at auction in 2011.One of the many interesting things about collecting Frankoma pottery is to learn about, and identify the pieces according to what clay was used.This mineral rich clay significantly changed the appearance of many of the glazes, especially the rutile ones (Prairie Green, Woodland Moss, Peach Glow, Desert Gold, Brown Satin).Further, during the 1980's, the clay was infused with additives which affected the color.