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No. 4117: Dorchester Pottery Works kiln
Postcard #4117

This snapshot from 1983 shows the Dorchester Pottery kiln in the building on Victory Road. The interior of the dome-shaped kiln is 22 feet in diameter and 10 1/2 feet high.

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 The Dorchester Pottery Works kiln and the brick building that houses it is a designated Boston Landmark. The kiln, which has an interior that is 22 feet in diameter and 10 1/2 feet high, sits in the center of the brick building with about 10 feet between it and the outside walls. The second floor of the building has a round opening in the center as large as the kiln below, making it more of a balcony around the room than a real floor. The kiln building sits lower in the landscape than the wooden building to its side, and there is a staircase of 6 to 8 steps down from the first floor of the other building to the floor of the kiln building. Today's photo seems to have been taken from the top of the staircase looking down and across the room.

The kiln measures, in its dimensions, approximately 30 feet in diameter and about 12 feet in height from grade to the top of the dome. At grade, the kiln's walls are approximately 4 feet thick and include an encasing wall about 4 feet and 9 inches in height. This outer wall houses nine firing holes and the arched entry to the kiln's interior. The exterior walls of the kiln are girded with horizontal and vertical iron bands to allow for the proper structural expansion and contraction of the kiln during firing and cooling.

Inside, the kiln measures approximately 22 feet in diameter. The interior space is about 10 1/2 feet high under the center of the dome, marked by the location of a small air hole, and about 6 1/2 feet high near the kiln's sides.

Brick shelving lines the inner walls of the kiln which are covered with a shiny surface formed over the years, through the escaping of vaporized glazes during firing. A grid of heat resistant tiles on the kiln's floor permits the conduction of heat, fire, and gases through an underground flu to the chimney which protrudes out of a corner of the building.
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Created: January 30, 2008   Modified: February 2, 2011