Meriden Silver Plate Company History

By Lee Grayson

Meriden, Connecticut, was the American capital for pewter and silver manufacture in the 19th century. After a period of independent design and production, Meriden was part of a 1898 merger that created the International Silver Company.

Founding

Meriden was home to numerous pewter manufacturers. As silver displaced pewter for popular home utensil use, Charles Casper founded the Meriden Silver Plate Company in Meriden in 1869.

Merger

Meriden Silver joined other small plate companies in the city under the name International Silver Company. Each firm continued to stamp a maker's mark on designs, but the marketing and production was done at the same facility.

Identification

Meriden Silver Plate is recognized by the maker's mark that incorporates the company's name in a circular design with a lion holding a silver vase. Items are identified as "made and plated" by the company, or simply "plated."

Numbering

Meriden produced limited-edition silver and silver-plate items. These are clearly marked by the numbers incised into each piece.

Modern Operation

The parent company of Meriden is still in operation today and is owned by Syratech Corporation of Massachusetts. International absorbed 14 silver companies including Rogers Brothers, Holmes and Edwards during the 1890s and several original patterns continue to be produced today.

About the Author

*I have written chapters and articles for Oxford and Harvard University Presses, ABC-CLIO, and others. Arcadia Press published two of my local history texts and I have also written for numerous "article sites," including Pagewise in 2002. My "How to become a...real estate agent" is available as an online text from a Canadian publisher. *I taught writing courses at a branch campus of Indiana University. *I held a California real estate license and have remodeled four of my own homes and advised others on financing homes, repairing credit to qualify for loans, and managing construction (including meeting local, state, and federal regulations for restoration and development grants). *I served as an AmeriCorps*VISTA volunteer and wrote nearly $75,000 in small education grants (under $1,000). *My travels include frequent road trips in Canada, Mexico, U.S., and Europe. I attended school at Cambridge University and used this as a base to explore the UK and Europe.