It is commonly reported that the Pfaltzgraff company was founded in 1811 in York County, Pennsylvania. by several members of the Pfaltzgraff family who were potters, though the most notable member was Johann George Pfaltzgraff, who arrived in York County from Germany in 1833. Johann, having come from a family of potters, knew the trade, and passed his skills on to his seven sons. After Johann died in 1873, three of his children, John, George, and Henry, were still carrying on the business. The business became official in 1889 when George and Henry started a partnership that would become The Pfaltzgraff Co. The first factory was built in 1895.
The business continued to grow, and in 1960, Pfaltzgraff opened their first retail store under the name Pottery Hill. During the 1950s and 1960s, the products were mostly sold in specialty stores, but in the 1970s, the business made a strategic decision to sell in higher-end department stores, such as G Fox and Macy's. Several lines of Pfalzgraff glazed earthenwares have featured among the 100 most popular ceramic designs. A large mural depicting Pfaltzgraff's history was painted in York, Pennsylvania in 1998. The Pfaltzgraff Co. was sold to Lifetime Brands, Inc. in 2005.
Until recently, the company owned and operated 67 stores throughout the US as well as their online presence at www.pfaltzgraff.com. In 2009, Lifetime Brands opted to close all 67 stores and only maintain their internet presence. All the stores, mostly of which were outlet stores, were liquidated, and closed. The product line currently includes dinnerware, glassware, flatware, and other kitchen preparatory and cooking tools.
- Walsh, David A.; Stetler, Polly, eds. (1989), Pfaltzgraff: America's Potter, York, PA: Historical Society of York County; Pfaltzgraff Company
- "Appendix A: 100 Most Popular Patterns" listed from the records of Replacements.com and illustrated in Dish: 813 Colorful, Wonderful Dinner Plates Shax Riegler. 2011. pp256ff.
- Fischer, John (2005-06-20). "Pfaltzgraff Co. Sold to Lifetime Brands". Multichannel Merchant. Penton Media. Retrieved 2008-04-17.
- Company website pfalzgraff.com
- The York Daily Record: Never to be forgotten: A year-by-year look at York County's past: 1800-1815: 1811: Conewago Township – Pfaltzgraff pottery starts small by James McClure