Known for its Mid Century whimsical, cartoon-like ceramic ware, Holt Howard was formed in New York in 1949 by brothers John and Robert Howard and A. Grant Holt. The three friends met while studying at Amherst in the early 1940s. Following WWII, Holt was studying in Sweden and was taken by the popular Swedish Christmas decorations. Holt contacted Bob Howard, who not only received a M.B.A. from Harvard but was also an accomplished artist, to ask Howard and his brother to join him in forming a new company that would produce a line of Christmas ceramics. The ceramics featured cute, cartoon-like Santas on atomic shaped mugs, pitchers, jars and other vessels. Given Howard’s business acumen, Holt Howard decided to lower its manufacturing costs by taking its production overseas. Made in Japan, the company imported its Christmas items for the U.S. market. In 1955, the business moved its headquarters to Stamford, CT. Holt Howard flourished in 1958 when it began producing its Pixieware and Cozy Cat lines. These lines included elfin-like faces that topped crocks for cherries, olives, onions and even liquor decanters, among other items. In 1974, Holt and the Howard brothers left the business to pursue other interests. Holt Howard ceased its operations in 1990.