abandoned china factory

dishes in abandoned china factory

I’ve been holding on to these photos for way too long. It’s one of those sets of photos I just knew I couldn’t possibly describe correctly and wanted to keep all to myself. I like them too much to never share though…

A month or so ago Jeff, Jake, and I spent the day exploring. We had a decent sized list of places we at least wanted to cruise by. Some we knew were do-able, others were a bit of a long shot. We eventually ended up about fifteen minutes away from this place, an abandoned china factory. The spot that had led us close by ended up being a bust so we decided to just keep driving. Jeff had been here a few years earlier but Jake and I had never been. Despite really digging the photos I had seen of it, I was always under the impression it was further away from home than it really is so it was never really a huge priority to me but from the second we walked in I was in awe. Dishes upon dishes. Many of them unbroken, and still stacked. In regard to things left behind, this might be one of the coolest places I’ve ever been. (Another favorite would definitely be the rubber duck factory, of course!)

I thought the dishes would be the clear highlight of the factory. I couldn’t imagine what else would be as interesting… then we got upstairs. I found a sheet of decals on the floor that Jake and I were like “Oh! Look these must be how they decorate the plates and mugs. How neat.” We took turns shooting the single sheet. What we didn’t realize was that the whole room in front of us was FILLED with them! Drawers upon drawers of decals for diners, for special events, with flowers, with maps, with intricate designs. They littered the floor yet most of the drawers were still filled. I guess I’ve never really thought about how plates or mugs get the designs they have on them but here were thousands of them!

Between all of the remaining buildings on the property, I saw molds, decals, silkscreens, blank dishes, finished products, kilns, and more. It was incredibly interesting to me to be able to see so many steps of the process. I’ve been in my fair share of factories but none with as much of a story left behind. After the factory closed there was an auction to clear out inventory so its a little bit strange to me that there is still so much left. Even today there is a ton that could still be salvaged. Doesn’t it just break your heart to see those beautiful drawers left to rot?

plates in abandoned china factory

Two more interesting things – one significantly more interesting than the other.

  • X-rays! There was a pile of them on the floor still in their original envelopes, labeled with names and dates. They were of employee’s lungs. Judging by the box of unused x-ray film found nearby it seems this might have been an in-house operation checking to make sure the employees weren’t dealing with any adverse effects from production. It’s so wild to me that when this place closed up no one thought to dispose of these medical records properly.
  • One of my favorite things to find in abandoned factories – newspaper articles attached to the wall. This sort of thing makes it so much easier to imagine that people really did work here at one point. To me, it’s just an empty factory but this was previously a place where people spent a good portion of their life.

This factory turned out to be one of my favorite adventures to date. I can’t believe after all these years of being abandoned that there aren’t more broken dishes. I’m thankful the people before me didn’t make too much of a mess and hopeful the people after me won’t end up ruining it for everyone else.

Check out the abandoned tag for more grime.

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Author: Kaylah

Just a green haired gal from Cleveland, Ohio.

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  • This is definitely one of my favorite sets of photos from you yet! What a great find. I’ll actually be in Ohio this weekend and I’m hoping to get into some weird/abandoned things while I’m there 😀

  • This has got to be the coolest factory I have seen yet. You are so lucky (and I guess a bit unlucky) to have some many places to explore nearby. We used here, but Atlanta is getting a major facelift these days. While I love the beltline…it has pretty much ruined the areas around it by building housing and shopping that no one can afford and gentrifying the entire perimeter. A lot of what made these neighborhoods what they are is going away. Atlanta does not seem to care much for preserving history.

    • Jeff and I were just talking about this yesterday! When places get too nice too fast they lose all their character. Its such a bummer.

  • Awesome photos! This looks like a great place to explore. The medical records are kinda freaky. It’s hard to believe that those were just left out there like that.

    I need to get out and see some of these places. I’m so glad I found your blog through Instagram.

    • It’s actually super common for medical records to be left behind. It costs a lot of money to store or destroy them so they just get left behind. Super sketchy!

  • I would have been tempted to take some of those plates, especially the red lacy looking ones! I’m surprised there aren’t more broken dishes either. I feel like people would have a field day breaking them, but I’m also glad that it isn’t the case!

    • Yeah, especially surprising since it’s been abandoned for SO long. I wonder how much longer until some butt comes along and breaks them all. I feel like it’s probably only a matter of time.

  • you captured some extraordinary images! great work!
    how far of a drive from your home was this place? (day drive or overnight adventure?)