Mason Color Works was origianally founded in 1842 as Bleak Place Color Works in Stoke-on-Trent, Straffordshire, England by James and Mary Skerratt Mason. Mary was a well known color chemist and developed many of the inorganic pigments which are still used in the whitewares industry today. Together they operated the plant until James' death in 1865. Their only child, Augustus Fredrick Mason, with his wife, Keziah Jones, took ownership and continued producing pigments at Bleak Place. Their son, Fortunatus Quartus, or F.Q. as he was widely known, took interest in the family businessand started his apperenticeship under his parents. He also obtained degrees in both inorganic chemistry and analysis from the Wedgewood Institute.
In 1902 F.Q. Mason, with formulas in hand, sailed to the united states with a vision of continuing his family's legacy. He settled in the small town of East Liverpool, Ohio which was known as The Pottery Capital of the World. There he established Mason Color and Chemical Works. Through perserverence and hard work, the great deperession, and three wars he managed to maintain his business and sold his colors to potteries locally and throughout the U.S. F.Q. died in 1961. His son and daughter, Ronald K. Mason and Gertrude Lowe, continued manufacturing pigments. Ron became highly respected in the ceramic industry for his knowledge of ceramic colors and applications. In 1964 he and his business colleague, Josephine Gitter, the first women ceramic engineer in the U.S., began research for the investment casting lost wax process. They developed a cobalt nucleating agent which is an integral material for the manufacturing of ceramic pigments to potteries, the tile and sanitaryware industries, and now supplying high quality ceramic pigments to potteries, the tile and industries, and now supplying Cobalt Aluminates to Investment Mason Color's sales.
Ron, and his wife, Majorie Franklin, had three children, David, Ann and Carol. They were all active in the busines. When Ron passed in 1991, David became president and Ann and Carol served as Vice Presidents. During this time, Mason Colorexpanded into supplying pigments to the ceramic gas log industry. George Vardy , a family friend and ceramic engineer, joined the sales force at Mason Color in 1995. He had an idea that our inorganic pigments could be used in the Pool and Spa industry. His hunch was correct. With research and many expos later, Pool Pigmets became an integral part of Mason Color's sales.
After Davids untimely death in July 2000, a new board of directors was formed to assist in the development of the company, with ownership still residing with the family. Carol asked Don Linger, a close family friend and business advisor, to serve as President of Mason Colorduring this critical time. Don accepted and focused on the Investment Casting Industry, a field where he was well known and respected. Over the course of the next 10 years, Don and Carol added onto the buildingto improve the flow of production. They purchased two shuttles kilns, new dryers, and a large ball mill.
In 2002, George Vardy, preparing for his retirement, brought in Mike Henderson to continue in the development of Mason's stains. Together they set standards for Quality Assurance, introduced new colors to the ceramic industry and improved pigments for the pool and spa industry. Although George is now retired, he remains on the Board of Directors and enjoys doing consulting work from home.
In 2009, Carol made the decision to research the Coatings and Plastics Industry. Inorganic pigmentswere being introduced in this field as an alternative to organic pigmentsin some applications. A new research and development lab went into effect and a vibro mill was purchased. Mike began to develop pigments that are used in vynil siding, paint and acrylics.
In 2010, Don Linger passed away of sudden illness. Carol, with 25 years of experence behind her, became president. She spent her first 4 years in the lab running tests and learning about production. When her aunt Gerturde passed awa, her father moved into the office. She then focused her sights on the business end of the company. Today, she is the majority stockholder and is involved in all aspects of the company. Her daughter, Erica Davis, who obtained her bachelor of science in business of administration from Robert Morris University, also works for the family business and serves as Vice President. Erica's husband, Eric, serves as Secertary Tresurer and Plant Manager. He aslo is in sales and maintains the investment casting customers. Erica and Eric have three children, Micheal, Matthew and Hannah.
A company cannot be successful without a dedicated team. The employees of Mason Color care deeply about the future of the company. Some have been employed here for over 30 years. They take pride in their work, and it shows. From the production workers, to the lab and office personnel, Mason Color is very grateful to have such a devoted league.
Mason Color ships it
s products to many countries throughout the world including, Canada, New Zealand, Ireland, France, Germany, Switzerland, and the Philippines. But while the company has grown, we have maintained our personalizedsmall-business mentality. Customer service remains a key priority with 3 main goals: 1) to provide the highest possible quality. 2) to charge as little as possible, and 3) to ship orders as quickly as possible. To ensure that this high level of service is met well into the future, Mason Color continually invests into the company. We pride ourselves in the ability to support and supply out many customers with superb color quality and maintain inventory for speedy shipping. We have earned the trust of many different industries over the course of the 174 years. We are dedicated to the continuation of Mason Color's high standards for generations to come.