Of all the character steins shown in this book, only those of the firm T. Maddocks Sons of Trenton, New Jersey, were made in the United States. In 1869, Thomas Maddock formed a pottery factory named Astbury & Maddock. In 1893, the firm became known as T. Maddocks Sons. In 1905, they applied for and received a patent for a character stein in the shape of a football on a pedestal base. Patent number 37297 was issued to Harry S. Maddock, one of Thomas's sons, on January 24, 1905.
T. Maddocks Sons made many drinking and serving pieces, but the only character stein they are known to have produced is the football. All of their football figurals are made of porcelain, and all have a pewter thumblift depicting the helmeted head of a football player (see figure__). The football figurals were made with either the figure of a football player (or other figure) applied as a transfer, or with a handpainted pennant. These figures or pennants almost always represented schools’ football teams and were made in the days before professional football took center stage.
When the stein depicted a figure, the school's seal usually was found on the opposite side. The seal does not generally appear when the pennant itself is present since the pennant spelled out the school’s name, thus making the seal redundant. So far, only seven different figures on these steins have been encountered. Some of the steins carry the signature of the well-known sports artist F. Earl Christy.
A list of the figures and the universities they normally represent follows. Note that Maddocks could represent different schools simply by changing the stein’s colors and the letter on the jersey.
1) A football player in the pass-ready position with a P on his jersey Princeton
2) A football player on the run with a C on his blue & white jersey Columbia
3) A football player on the run without the ball and with a Y on his blue jersey Yale
4) A football player in the drop-kick position with a P on his striped jersey University of Pennsylvania
5) A baseball player with an H on his red jersey and preparing to pitch Harvard
6) A sculler (or rowboat figure) with a C on his shirt Cornell
7) A standing, uncolored football player Generic
The list of known steins that contain a pennant are listed here, but this list may be incomplete: Chicago, Columbia, Cornell, Harvard, Indiana, Illinois, Knox, Michigan, Minnesota, Northwestern, Nebraska, Notre Dame, Princeton, University of Pennsylvania and Yale.
The figure or pennant is always placed to the right of the laces (when facing the stein). The handle, instead of being directly on the side in the English style, is placed almost on a diagonal to the laces, thus allowing plenty of room for the subject matter. When on display, the design faces the viewer with the handle and seams to either side, unlike most steins whose handles are either to the rear or to the side.
Although these football character steins were made in both the ˝ liter or two-liter size, they never carried a capacity mark. Since they were made in the U.S. for the American market, the capacity mark was unnecessary. All but one of the figures are found on both the ˝ liter drinking stein and on the two-liter pouring stein. The only figure not yet found on a ˝ liter stein is the generic football player. The two-liter versions always have pouring spouts.
The football figurals were always decorated in shades of pigskin brown with the laces in a lighter shade. The darkness of the coloration depends on the colors of the pennant. To complement the yellow background on the Michigan stein, the main football color is darker. The handles, pedestal bases, and area running up to the seams is always a darker color, usually either black, gold, or silver. The steins were never limited to only pigskin shades. Decorating exclusively with pigskin colors was reserved for the football character mugs, which made up the bulk of T. Maddocks Sons’ business. In the 1970s, many of these mugs were converted into steins by adding a lid and mounts. (See figure #__ which shows a real character stein alongside a converted mug.)
These football character steins carry only one mark (see figure__). This mark was not applied to every figural, and many are found without marks. It may be that the schools ordering the steins dictacted the markings when placing orders. When the steins were marked, they were done so in a reddish brown color and read: DESIGN PAT. 37297 JAN 24-05 T, MADDOCKS SONS CO. TRENTON, N.J.
Maddocks’s primary market was the American universities which prided themselves on their football teams. An ad in the Cornell Alumni News dated December 20, 1905, offered a Cornell football covered stein for $2.00. To put this price into perspective, the same ad offered a Villeroy & Boch ˝ liter etched stein number 2872 for $2.50 and a one-liter stein number 2871 for $4.00.