The American Terra Cotta Company
Teco (an abbreviation of TErra COtta) art pottery was originally produced from 1899 through 1920 by the American Terra Cotta and Ceramics Company, located in Terra Cotta, Illinois. W. D. Gates, a lawyer by training, founded the company in order to capitalize on the need for architectural terra cotta used in constructing fire-proof buildings following the Great Chicago Fire of 1871.
During slower work periods, the company started producing a line of art pottery, becoming famous for their groundbreaking modern designs. There are about 500 different Teco shapes, whose forms can be categorized as architectural, organic or classical. Gates himself designed about half the shapes, with other pieces created by such notable designers as Fritz Albert, William Mundie, Fernand Moreau and Frank Lloyd Wright.
Learn more about historical Teco pottery via these links:
Wikipedia entry on Teco pottery
Teco Pottery info website