The American Terra Cotta Tile and Ceramic Company was founded in 1881 (originally as Spring Valley Tile Works). It became the country’s first manufactury of architectural terra cotta in 1889. The owner used these facilities to experiment with clays and glazes attempting to design a line of art pottery which led to the introduction of Teco Pottery.
The pottery shapes derived from line and color rather than elaborate decoration. Many of their designs were the work of several Chicago architects that were involved in the Prairie School style as expressed by Frank Lloyd Wright. Any ornamentation consisted of geometrical or natural objects.
In October 1929 part of the business closed due to the stock market crash and later the plant fell victim to the Great Depression and operations ceased. They resumed production of structural clay products through 1966.