The inception of silver plated ware industry dates back to 1847 and to the efforts of Rogers brothers who in their little shop at Hartford developed the electro-plating process. But the business finds its origin as early as 1808, with the establishment in Meriden of a small plant for the production of pewter or Britannia ware.
At a later date, it was the foresight of the Britannia makers which turned into a success the efforts of the Rogers brothers. Joining together of the mechanical genius of the Hartford experimenters and the practical business ability of the Britannia makers constituted the definite beginning of silverware making as a business. The Rogers brothers had met with success their activity, but were hampered by lack of capital and qualified organization to market their product. In 1852 six or seven small Britannia ware plants in the town of Meriden were organized by Horace C. and Dennis C. Wilcox into the Meriden Britannia Co supplying Britannia, Albata and German silver ware, both plated and unplated, to many other firms. An agreement was reached whereby the genius and skill of the Rogers were joined with the initiative and business ability of the Meriden concern, and the latter began the production of goods that were later to be described in the catalogue of the Meriden Britannia Co., in the year 1867, as supplying "all the advantages of silver in durability and beauty at one-fifth the cost". In 1862 Meriden Britannia Company bought the hollowware division, tools and dies of Rogers Brothers Mfg Co (incorporating Rogers, Smith & Co). The production of the '1847 Rogers Bros' line continued under the direction of William Rogers and in 1865 the plating shop was transferred from New Haven to Meriden and merged with Meriden Britannia Co in 1866. Meriden Britannia Company adopted in its flatware production the "sectional plate" under an 1868 patent obtained by Marshall L. Forbes. The process consisted in depositing an extra amount of silver on spoons and forks parts suffering the harder wear.
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