It's been nearly three years and staff and volunteers at the Onondaga Historical Association are still unpacking tens of thousands of pieces from Syracuse China. All of the company archives were donated to the OHA after it closed in 2009. Our Kat De Maria got a look at the china Friday.
SYRACUSE, N.Y. -- The building may be gone. But memories are far from all that's left of Syracuse China. Nearly three years ago, the remaining artifacts were dropped off at the Onondaga Historical Association.
"We knew it was a lot. But in the end, we received six tractor trailer truckloads of ware, about 25,000 pieces of ware," said Tom Hunter, curator of collections at the museum.
Staff says they knew some of the company's history. But they became experts, and fast, as they started making their way through more than a hundred years' worth of plates, cups and more that went to various uses all over the world.
"We have beautiful residential ware, we have Imperial Geddo, which was designed by James Pass, the company president at time. We have early airbrush, which was called Shadowtone. We have embassy ware, used at the U.S. embassies and a host of very interesting things that were used on the railroads, on ships, on airplanes," Hunter said.
Staff and volunteers have been unpacking the Syracuse China all along and still aren't done.
"Three years later, we're still going through material: Sorting it, cataloguing it, deciding which we should keep," Hunter said.
What's left in boxes represents only about a third of the archive from Syracuse China. While staff and volunteers continue going through it, people can enjoy what's on display and also what's for sale.
"It's in very good condition. And even the broken pieces, we're converting it into jewelry," Hunter said.
Even with some up for sale, the Onondaga Historical Association will still have thousands of pieces of Syracuse China for a long time to come: Keeping the products, and the memories, of the hometown company safe.
Anyone who wants to see the Syracuse China can stop by the Onondaga Historical Association. The museum has a free and also a more extensive pay-per-view exhibit.