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.
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.
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.
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."
Meriden produced limited-edition silver and silver-plate items. These are clearly marked by the numbers incised into each piece.
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.
- International Silver Company: History
- "Encyclopedia of American Silver Manufacturers," Dorothy Rainwater, 1986
Lee Grayson has worked as a freelance writer since 2000. Her articles have appeared in publications for Oxford and Harvard University presses and research publishers, including Facts On File and ABC-CLIO. Grayson holds certificates from the University of California campuses at Irvine and San Diego.