Holt-Howard was founded in 1949 in Manhattan, New York, by Grant Holt and his friends John Howard and Robert Howard.
Brothers John and Robert Howard met Grant Holt at the University of Massachusetts Amherst in the early 1940s. John Howard served in and was wounded in World War II, while Robert got a master’s degree in business administration from Harvard University. Grant completed his post-graduate work in Sweden and while there he saw potential in a couple of Christmas decorations and the idea for a ceramics business began.
At the beginning, Bob Howard, who was already an artist, did many of the designs, along with a few other artists. Over the years they did multiple lines including Christmas, pixies, cozy cats, and the exotic rooster line.
Holt-Howard eventually joined many other companies of the era by taking production overseas to lower the manufacturing costs. (See Josef Originals)
The main showroom was in New York, and in 1955 they expanded their operations and moved to Stamford, Connecticut, while maintaining their showroom in New York. They also added a showroom in Los Angeles.
One of Holt-Howard’s most popular lines was Pixieware. This line was produced from 1958 until 1962. These containers and condiment jars had whimsical pixie heads.
In 1968, Holt-Howard was bought by the General Housewares Corporation and headquarters were moved to Hyannis, Massachusetts. By 1974, The Howard brothers and A. Grant Holt had left the company to pursue other businesses. Robert Howard passed away in 1990 and what remained of Holt-Howard was sold to Kay Dee Designs of Rhode Island in the same year.
There is no longer a Holt-Howard ceramics company in operation.