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Hillbilly Stereotypes in Material Objects

Exploring Appalachian Stereotypes Using the Artifact Teaching Collection

Twin Winton Mugs 2004.22.1 & 2 and Dresser Caddy 2003.31.3

Twin Winton Ceramics

Twin Winton Ceramics opened in 1936 as the brainchild of twins, Don and Ross Winton, originally in Pasadena, California. The brothers began with ceramics containing depicting popular cartoons and animals. They also did design work for other companies. Their brother Bruce Winton purchased the company in 1952 and moved it to El Monte, California, where it remained till its closure in 1974.  It was after this move that the Winton brothers began to widely produce their well-known cookie jars.

The brothers based much of their work on popular culture of the time.  This includes work based on the "hillbilly" stereotype. The hillbilly theme began to appear in Twin Winton products in 1947 and remained in use until 1974. Their version of the hillbilly caricature was inspired by Paul Webb's "Mountain Boys" cartoons. 

The first mug [Accession 2004.22.1, polka-dot shirt] was made by the Twin Winton Art Pottery in California, ca. 1950-70, and is marked "Twin Winton". The second mug [Accession 2004.22.2, green shirt] may have been made by Twin Winton. It has no maker's mark.

[Accession 2003.31.3]

This object is believed to be a plaster copy of a Twin Winton dresser caddy.  On the Winton dresser caddy, a wallet was placed between the head and knees, the hat and toes held key rings, and the dish held loose coins. This specific artifact was used as an outdoor garden decoration in Canada.  It is ca. 1960-75.