| A small factory known as the Calcutta Pottery Works
was set up in 1905 at 45, Tangra Road, Calcutta by the Maharaja of Cossimbazar
and his friends for the manufacture of porcelain toys. The factory was not
able to work economically and eventually a company was incorporated-Bengal
Potteries Limited-as a limited company, in 1919. From 1919 to 1934 the company
produced some toys and low-tension insulators and a small amount of crockery.
It had around 600 workers and soon ran into financial problems.
M.G. Bhagat, a well-known ceramist, was working at the Gwalior Potteries in Delhi, as the Chief Executive, sometime in 1925 and was there till early 1934. In those days Gwalior Potteries made attractive vases, figures, jars and some tableware. The factory had circular Bottle Kilns. The basic products were attractive vases, stoneware jars and some tableware. The products made by Gwalior Potteries were sold mostly North India, particularly in and around Delhi. In 1934, M.G. Bhagat, a few associates and friends, purchased the controlling interest in Bengal potteries and took up an expansion, diversification and product development programme.
M.G. Bhagat then went abroad and arranged for modern equipment, such as tunnel kilns, for the first time to be installed in India. Just before the World War started some of the equipment reached India and the company was able to increase its production of insulators and crockery during the war period, thus supplying its products to Government Departments and the public at large. The company continued to expand its production, increase its workforce and prosper. G.K. Bhagat, his successor and the executive Director of the company, received his Masters Degree in Ceramic Engineering in the U.S.A. and worked in various factories in the U.S.A. before joining the company in 1951-'52.
Under his guidance the company introduced for the first time in India the production of fine earthenware and bone china, this becoming the first pottery to produce bone china. In 1958, the company undertook a substantial expansion and set up a second factory in Calcutta, producing fine earthenware and high tension and low-tension insulators. Bengal Potteries supplied crockery to the domestic market and also to hotels and the hospitality industry. The brand image of Bengal Potteries became very well known in India and at one time, controlled almost 80% of the market of tableware, produced by the organized sector. Unfortunately by the late seventies the pottery had to close down.