Pomona Tile Oklahoma series tiles — in Steven’s 1958 bathroom

pomona oklahoma tileWho made the decorative tiles in Steven’s 1958 bathroom, he asks? I launched a sleuth and in a flash found: They are Pomona’s Oklahoma design. Very nice in-the-wild save, Steven! Let’s follow the breadcrumbs trail…

Steven writes:

Hi Pam,

I recently bought a 1958 ranch featuring a nice bath vanity with what appears to be original tile in a mottled cocoa color and a few interesting farm scene tiles!

I’m curious to know if you can help me find out what the cocoa color and glaze technique might be referred to as well as any history on the neat scene tiles, who might have made them, etc.

Are there other similar scene tiles you or or the Retro Renovation community are aware of? 

Any information would be greatly appreciated! 

Many thanks,

vintage-pomona-tileYou’re welcome, Steven. I LOVE your tiles! And yes, I think I know them: They are vintage Pomona tiles. Above: My first relationship with the brand — a set of New Old Stock vintage Pomonas… that I bought about 10 years ago … and that I don’t know what I’ll do with … but I’ll do something with ’em .. and which have a similar look.  And then…

vintage View-Master Reel

In 2014 we featured images of Pomona Tile Viewmaster Reels from reader Mike’s collection (with his permission of course). Follow the link-trail in that story to his flickr account to see some enlargements from the Viewmaster that show some file tile that surely is the same design as yours.

OH, OKLAHOMA: Lookie, I took my own advice and started going through Mike’s photos and voila!: I found your Oklahoma series tiles on Mike’s Flickr page here! They are shown on Reel #14 — the Decorative Series.

More from our RR-archives on Pomona Tiles:

pomona tile fishAbove: Another Pomona sighting we’ve featured in the past, Pomona tiles by famed watercolorist Millard Sheets as part of the “Distinguished Designer” series spotted (and long sold) on ebay.

Above: Just a few months ago, Heritage Tile introduced sculptural tiles inspired by Saul Bass’ midcentury designs for Pomona Tile.

Above: Pomona-in-the-pink carried the torch for my original facts page on Mamie pink bathrooms — way before we saved them by the hundreds if not thousands!

Mike’s sharing of his historic Pomona Tile source material is pretty rockin’ awesome — and so is your bathroom, Steven! Thank you for sharing so’s we could!


CategoriesBathroom Tile
  1. Janet in ME says:

    I love those tiles! I wondered at the date and noticed the reel says Portland 7, Oregon, which is pre-zip code in the early 60’s, I believe. I had a set of dishes from Metlox in California that had this same farm theme. The different plate sizes had scenes of barns and farmers in the field with a plow and so on. Those dishes came in the well-known brown and green and russet color, as well as blue on stoneware which is what I had. Very colonial/retro and I think they were produced from the 50’s to the late 70’s. Pomona had some great tiles and I enjoyed seeing them this morning.

  2. Sarah says:

    I had the same thought. My grandmother had those Metlox dishes, and I inherited them The pattern is Homestead Provincial and indeed looks strikingly similar to the Frankoma tiles.

  3. Carolyn says:

    Without sounding too nosy – Steven, what state do you live in? It makes me wonder if this was a regional thing or a craze that swept the nation. The references to dishware makes me think I have something stashed away so now when I unearth it, I’ll know what it is.
    I could see this either in a boys (or child’s) bathroom or the basement rumpus room. Daniel Boone, Roy & Dale, or Micky Mouse Club themed.
    How come they don’t make cool stuff like this anymore?

  4. J says:

    Have the same mottled brown tiles in our bathroom. They are also Pomona Tile company. The shade is called “sepia over ivory!”

  5. Mary Elizabeth says:

    Amazing tiles, Steven. May I join in the chorus of kudos for saving this bath instead of (shudder) taking a sledge hammer to it.

  6. Alison says:

    We have a similarly mottled tile, but a lighter beige, in our main bath circa 1959. Thanks for the hint that they may be Pomona.

  7. Maria says:

    I have these exact same tiles in my kitchen! My house was built in 1959 and I’m in California. However, the name of our Development was called Pioneer Village — and I think the builder is Pioneer homes. I’m not sure on that last part but since I have the original deed of ownership (My parents bought it new when I grow up here) it might be on that if I were to look. My parents bought this house new in 1959 and I’m in the San Francisco Bay area. My field tiles are cream-colored With a slight spackle that I referred to as oatmeal. Basically matches the background color in these tiles. So fun to see them and somebody else’s home! I think I’m the only one on the block but still has all the original fixtures in my house.

  8. Maria says:

    Sorry for all those typos – darn phone! Anyway, I was thinking those tiles were chosen because of the pioneer theme, Though I’m sure homeowners had some choice in the matter. Growing up in this housing development I got to see everybody else’s house and the tile colors were all different. Including some pink bathrooms! We didn’t have one of those but I still have the original ge pink appliances in the kitchen. 🙂

  9. Tikimama says:

    I have these same tiles in our original 1961 kitchen! We are in Southern California. Pam, I sent you photos of our kitchen a year or more ago, when a reader was asking about warm/cool tones. So, if you look, you probably still have them in your email somewhere 🙂


  10. Steven – thanks so much for posting your Oklahoma Tile pics – I have not seen any “real world” installations of them – so this is quite fascinating. My cousin in Ada, Oklahoma thinks one of her childhood friends had them in their house too.

    Carolyn – Pomona Tiles were available nationwide with several regional sales offices and plants in at least California and Kansas.

    This all reminds me – I have put off a project far too long of taking pics of a box of salesman samples and coordinating names and numbers with images on Flickr.

    And – thanks to EVERYONE for saving these awesome installations and sharing with others.

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