Upsala Ekeby was established on January 29, 1886 in Uppsala, Sweden. Upsala-Ekeby began with production of bricks and tiles. The raw material for production was within the factory property, and the clay had been found very suitable for ceramic manufacturing as well. Brick production began the same year the company was founded with ceramic tile the following year. After 1910, the company began a fierce competition to make itself a major competitor in the stove tile market. One of its competitors was the Upsala Tile Factory AB. Upsala-Ekeby bought the competing factory in 1916.
In the 1910s, the company began hiring artists. Among the first was Anna-Lisa Thomson and Sven Erik Skawonius. Stove production declined due to modernization of heating technology replaced with central heating. Instead, the decorative tiles become Upsala-Ekeby's major new product. Brick production was discontinued in the 1930s.
The manufacture of household and art ceramics over time became very successful and Upsala-Ekeby had many notable designers and potters. All pieces produced at Upsala-Ekeby were earthenware clay excavated near the factory. Upsala-Ekeby marked their wares with "UE", or with only the word "Ekeby". A competitor in Uppsala with similar production as Upsala-Ekeby (brickyards, tile and ceramic factory) was St. Erik Lervarufabriker. In 1937 Upsala-Ekeby bought St. Erik's ceramics factory. Some ornaments from the factory's production continued to be manufacturing, but with the UE-stamp.
In 1936, Upsala-Ekeby acquired Gefle Porcelain AB Group and in 1942 the AB Karlskrona Porcelain Factory. In the postwar period, plastics began to compete with ceramics for household good manufacturing. In 1947, Upsala-Ekeby acquired chemical company AB Synthesis. AB Synthesis later concentrated on raw material manufacturers for the marine industry.
Several major acquisitions were made in 1964 when the porcelain manufacturer Rörstrand became a part of the Upsala-Ekeby group. Expanding the companies tabletop product lines, Upsala-Ekeby acquired Reijmyre Glassworks, Kosta Boda (glass) and GAB Gense (cutlery). Other parts of Upsala-Ekeby were sold at the same time, including the building materials divisions in 1968 to Beijer Building .
Upsala-Ekeby's ceramic manufacturing expanded in Uppsala in the 1960s in response to growing sales. In 1973, Upsala-Ekeby sold both their industrial and residential premises at Ekeby with the right for Upsala-Ekeby to lease the premises over ten years. A gradual abandonment began, and on October 25, 1977, the tile mill at Ekeby was shut down. The old factory building is now a business park that houses a number of small businesses and two high schools.
Upsala-Ekeby closed most of their ceramic factories except for Rörstrand which was sold in 1984 to a Finnish company. Kosta Boda and Gense were sold in 1989 to the investment company when Kosta Boda merged with Orrefors.