A ceramic plate with gold decoration recovered from the WWI-era armored cruiser USS San Diego (Armored Cruiser No. 6).
This plate, recovered from USS San Diego (Armored Cruiser No. 6), would have been used in the officer’s wardroom mess during dinner. There are two maker’s marks on the base, a green one that reads “M. CHINA L” and a transparent one, likely the remains of an ink stamp, that reads “LAMBERTON CHINA HIGGINS & SEITER N.Y. DESIGNED EXPRESSLY FOR U.S. NAVY”. The manufacturer, Lamberton Works of Trenton, New Jersey, was founded in 1869 and closed in 1954. It was known for producing china for hotels, steamships, and railroad lines. Between 1888 and 1923 the company was called Maddock’s Lamberton Works while it was owned by Thomas Maddock, whose name is reflected in the M of the first maker’s mark. Higgins & Seiter was a large retailer in glassware and china, founded in 1887 in New York City. Interestingly, it filed for bankruptcy in 1915, three years before the loss of San Diego, in part due to a drop in the supply of fine china from Europe due to the war.