In 1939, a Hungarian immigrant by the name of George Zoltan Lefton came to Chicago and started importing quality china from Japan - into the United States. After World War II the porcelain became very popular due to its expensive and sophisticated look as well as its affordable prices. With his love for collecting, George Lefton was able to use his skills in order to promote a new passion for fine china that has spread over the years.
The Lefton mark can be found on a wide variety of pottery, porcelain and glass imported into the United States by the George Zoltan Lefton Company. The company was founded by this new immigrant from Hungary after he arrived in Chicago, Illinois in 1939 and established the company in 1940. George Lefton had previously worked in the clothing and sportwear industry, but he was a collector of fine porcelain and dreamed of entering that business. George Zoltan Lefton had always admired the quality and workmanship in finer Japanese and oriental porcelain, and after the end of World War II he pursued business relationships in post-war Occupied Japan to export Japanese porcelain to America through his company. George was one of the first American businessmen to enter post-war Japan. Lefton made a wide variety of pieces, from kitchenware and utilitarian pieces to purely decorative pieces to be displayed on the living room shelf, the company is still in business today.
George Zoltan Lefton arrived in the United States from Hungary in 1939. His passion for fine porcelain turned from a hobby into a business when he founded the Lefton Company in 1941 in Chicago. The Lefton Company imported, made, and sold pottery, porcelain, hand painted china, glass, and other ceramic giftware. While the quality of the Lefton goods helps explain the popularity of vintage Lefton items, it's also the breadth of items produced by the Lefton company, the fact that some items were made for everyday use and others were made simply for collection and display, and the easily identified branding all surely contributed. Lefton marks identifying their products included a variety of stamps (or fired-on marks), paper labels (or foil stickers), and identification numbers.