The New York State Museum is home to the Weitsman Stoneware Collection, comprised of more than 370 pieces of decorated stoneware from the nineteenth century. Stoneware was the basic utilitarian ware of the time and served many useful functions, primarily in the preparation, storage and serving of food. New York State was one of the leading producers of stoneware because of its excellent transportation network. The state’s canal and turnpike systems made it possible to ship the raw materials and finished products throughout the state, allowing New York to become a leading force in stoneware production.