The largest American company that has been producing since 1824 and producing to this day dishes and household items made of metal. The company now known as Reed & Barton was founded in 1842 in Taunton, Massachusetts. It was originally called Babbit & Crossman, and it was under that name that they patented the fusion called Britannia.
Soon, food tin products became the main products of this manufacturer. Already under the current name. Then it was almost completely supplanted by silver-plated cutlery and crockery, as well as sterling silver crockery.
Today, Reed & Barton is the largest manufacturer of hollow silverware and silver cutlery in the United States. Under its modern name, the company entered the market in 1840. In the same year, a method for electroplating silver on products was patented in England. This was immediately taken into service and ten years later the company was one of the leaders in the silver-plated tableware market.
At the beginning of the Civil War, Reed & Barton sold some of their non-silver plated products to a competitor, Rogers Brothers. They silvered them and sold them under their own name. It is curious that after the end of the war, a reverse transaction was made, but the products were different. If they sold milk jars, jugs and trays, they bought cutlery. And after silvering, they were branded Reed & Barton. Because of this, antique dealers sometimes have disputes when attributing the products of these two firms of this period.
During the Civil War, the plant produced weapons for the allied forces. Reed & Barton are also known for their silver-plated human and animal figurine napkin rings. Today they are collectibles and are highly valued in the antiques market.
The discovery of silver deposits in Nevada in 1858 gave impetus to the development of the manufactory in the direction of creating silver products. And in 1889 the first line of sterling silver tableware was launched. At the end of the 19th century, under the onslaught of competitors and in the struggle for survival in the market, the company switched to serial production.
In 1905, the brand’s first store was opened in New York, on 5th Avenue. Before the First World War, Reed & Barton were suppliers of tableware to the US Navy. And a lot of this dishes went to the bottom of the seas and oceans along with American battleships.
From modern history. It was this company that made the medals for the 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta. Such a long and glorious history. Now Reed & Barton are part of the huge Lennox concern. But there are still a lot of ancient treasures gathering dust in buffets.