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Hillbilly Stereotype Objects in the Appalachian Artifact Collections

18 Hillbilly Stereotype Artifacts Described by Student Curator Brittney Westbrook in 2006

Twin Winton Hillbilly Mugs and Dresser Caddy 2004.22.02, 2004.22.1, 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. Here the brothers began by creating various works containing depictions of well known cartoons and animals. Their expertise was eventually in very high demand, so they completed additional freelance projects with 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 took many ideas and components for their work from the popular culture of the time. A popular theme during most of the 20th century, was the "hillbilly" stereotype, which graced many things from soda bottles to trinkets. This theme began to appear in Twin Winton Ceramics products in 1947 and stayed in use throughout production. This particular style of motifs is believed to be inspired by Paul Webb's Mountain Boys cartoons. Additional information about the following artifacts are available via Berea Digital links below.

[Accession 2004.22.2]

This mug in the shape of a "hillbilly" man holding onto a barrel.  It may have been made by Twin Winton Art Pottery in California, ca. 1950-70.  However, it has no maker's mark.

[Accession 2004.22.1]

This mug was made by the Twin Winton Art Pottery in California, ca. 1950-70.  The mug is marked "Twin Winton".  

[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 artifact was used as an outdoor garden decoration in Canada.