International Silver started as a combination of 14 of America’s greatest silver manufacturers. The American northeast was home to many companies that, over time, developed a reputation for producing quality sterling, silverplate, and stainless dinnerware. During the Colonial period, each of the flatware manufacturers settled in the American northeast, predominantly, in Connecticut. For the most part, these companies dealt in producing metal alloy and sterling pieces. During this period, the predominant form of silverware was pewter. Pewter, a metal alloy, was popular, although, not durable. Meriden Britannia introduced a stronger alloy that was deemed “britanniaware.” Britanniaware was popular because of its malleable, yet, durable qualities.
In 1847, Rogers Brothers introduced a line of “electroplated” silver pieces. The formula for producing a durable, plated flatware had taken many years to perfect. The first pattern to be marketed as a “fancy plated flatware” was Olive. Although discontinued, this antiquated pattern can readily be found and is available through Replacements.
Meriden Britannia and Rogers Brothers, decided that it would be to the advantage of all to organize a cartel of silverware manufacturers and to share industry secrets. In 1898, this cartel became a reality with the joining of 14 silver producers into one corporation. The largest of these were Holmes and Edwards, Meriden Britannia, and Rogers Brothers. The merger of 1898 proved to be efficient and successful. However, the new company failed to produce any record breaking flatware sales. It wasn’t until 1939, when International Silver introduced the Joan of Arc line that the company’s sales began to increase. In 1940, International would experience more astronomical growth with the introduction of Prelude.
Throughout the years, International Silver has remained immensely popular. In 1968, International Silver was absorbed into the Insilco holding company. In 1976, the making of sterling hollowware was completely discontinued and International Silver’s plated hollowware division was sold to Oneida. During the mid-1980’s, Katy Industries purchased International Silver and merged the company with Wallace Silversmiths. Later, the Wallace name and International name became separate entities when Syratech Corporation purchased Katy Industries flatware holdings. Today, both Wallace and International remain part of Syratech.
Replacements carries more than 2,000 of International Silver’s patterns. Many of these patterns are still inscribed with the Rogers Bros. name. Patterns like Prelude , First Love, Eternally Yours, and Royal Danish remain among International’s most popular designs.