Glazed Tile work flourished right up to the time of the Mughal Empire but glazed pottery took somewhat of a back seat. When the British came to India, tableware was largely imported. However with the outbreak of World War 1 this was not possible and it became necessary to start home production of tableware.
Calcutta Pottery Works was started at this time, which around 1919 became Bengal Potteries. At this time the pottery was producing low tension insulators, toys and some amount of crockery. The company which ran from 1919 to 1934 had around 600 workers however it soon ran into financial problems.
At this time M.G. Bhagat, a well-known ceramist, was working as the Chief Executive at the Gwalior Potteries in Delhi. In 1934 he along with, a few associates and friends, purchased the controlling interest in Bengal Potteries and took up an expansion, diversification and product development programme. He went abroad and arranged for modern equipment, such as tunnel kilns, for the first time to be installed in India. Just before the Second World War started, some of the equipment reached India and the company was able to increase its production of insulators and crockery during the war period, thus supplying its products to Government Departments and the public at large. The company continued to expand its production, increase its workforce and prosper.
Under the guidance of G.K. Bhagat, his successor, the company introduced in India the production of fine earthenware and bone china, thus becoming the first pottery to produce bone china. In 1958, the company undertook further expansion and set up a second factory in Calcutta, producing fine earthenware, high tension and low-tension insulators. Bengal Potteries supplied crockery to the domestic market and to the hospitality industry. The brand image of Bengal Potteries became very well known in India and at one time, controlled almost 80% of the market of tableware produced by the organized sector. Unfortunately due to political upheavals in the late seventies, the pottery had to be closed down.