Clare Leighton was a painter, wood-engraver, and author. She illustrated a number of books, including, in 1932, her own pioneering work about the process of wood engraving. During the 1940s, while she was living and teaching in North Carolina, Wedgwood commissioned Leighton to design a set of twelve creamware plates depicting the industries of New England. She traveled around the Northeastern states searching for potential subject matter. The result is a series of scenes that reflect the essence of New England. Scenes in the collection include Tobacco Growing, Grist Milling, and Codfishing.