Formally known as the American Terra Cotta Tile and Ceramic Company, the Illinois-based Teco Pottery started in 1885 by William Day Gates. “Teco,” composed of the first two letters in “Terra” and “Cotta,” is known for its smooth, micro-crystalline matte glaze green pottery. Most of its 500 designs are best described as architectural, or geometric, and are inspired by the Prairie School Movement. Teco Pottery additionally can be found with buttresses and handles, or applied elements such as flowers and leaves.
Teco Pottery is often marked; early examples have a stamped, elongated “T” with the letters “ECO” aligned vertically, while later pieces were stamped “TECO” within a rectangle. It is important to note that the founder, William Day Gates, did not work alone in creating the legardenary Teco Pottery. Fellow architects and artisans Frank Lloyd Wright, George Grant Elmslie, and Louis Sullivan and helped design Teco pots.