The Nippon era began in 1891 when the Japanese porcelain was clearly marked "Nippon" due to the McKinley Tariff Act. This act required that all porcelain be marked with the country of origin. ("Nippon" literally translates to "Japan".) This porcelain was made specifically to be exported to the west with designs and patterns that suited American's tastes. At that time, Japan had a thriving porcelain industry using methods used in Europe and the United States. The Japanese items were less expensive than pieces coming from Europe and became very popular in the U.S. The porcelain was sold in gift shops, dime stores, fairs and even at the local grocery. Nippon items were also sold by Montgomery Ward, Sears & Roebuck, mail order houses and other department stores. In 1921 the United States government changed its position and required that Japanese imports no longer be marked "Nippon", but with "Japan". This marks the end of the Nippon era. See "A Brief History of Nippon". Nippon Collectors Club. Retrieved 2014-11-02.