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Q:Is ironstone ware really made with iron?

A:The first products called "ironstone ware" were shaped pieces of cast iron covered with a heavy tin glaze, usually white, that were decorated to look like ceramic pieces. It was indestructible but expensive. In 1813 C.J. Mason developed a china body that was made with cinders from iron furnaces as well as clay. He patented it and named it "ironstone," a name that aided sales. "Mason's ironstone" sold with or without decorations for many years. Other makers publicized their products by using the name "ironstone" or "granite ware" on pieces, even though their dishes were not like Mason's.

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