Gorham Manufacturing Company History

Gorham Manufacturing Company is known for its finest sterling and silverplate creations since the year 1831. They were able to mark history in America because of there elegant work of art. Gorham Company was founded by Jabez Gorham, a renowned craftsman in Rhode Island together with a gifted silversmith Henry L. Webster. Together they started producing coin silver spoons until they became big and included the making of thimbles, jewelry, combs, and other valuable little items leading to the great silver bowls and sterling flatware patterns that carry the silver marks of Gorham.

It was in 1847 that John Gorham, son of Jabez took over his father’s place in the company. This was the time when silver importation from outside US was blocked. With all his ability, John managed to turn the small shop into one of the largest leading silver manufacturing company in the whole world. He introduced producing by mechanized methods, make quality changes in designs and even expand the production outside US. This was also the time when he was able to hire the talented Englishman George Wilkinson as his premiere designer and workshop manager.

It was between the years 1850 – 1940 that Gorham Manufacturing Company was making its way nonstop to the top. They were recognized by famous people because of their unique and impressive works of Gorham Silver collections.

The major accomplishment of Gorham includes; the presentation of the Century Vase which holds 2,000 ounces of sterling silver that was used to commemorate the country’s one-hundreth century, the tea and flatware service bought by Mary Todd Lincoln for White House use in 1859 which was presented in the National Museum of American History in 1957. The explicit “loving cup” with 70,000 dimes, designed for Admiral George Dewey in 1899. It was Gorham’s Chantilly that the George W. Bush family chose to use as the flatware service on Air Force One. It was also The Gorham Manufacturing Company that sculpted the monument of George Washington in the Capitol’s Rotunda, the statue of Theodore Roosevelt in New York and the well-known “independent man” statue at the top of Rhode Island’s state house. The Furber service was considered as the greatest commission of Gorham from Colonel Henry Jewett Furber, president of Universal Life Insurance Company of New York. It was a luxurious 740-piece service that portrays the Victorian era dining. Right now, most of the service can be seen at the Rhode Island School of Design as part of their exhibit on American decorative arts.

Gorham Manufacturing Company continues to flourish until the third century; they reached the point when they are known as the symbol of fineness and good quality in their works. Even until now, the people behind the company like the metalsmiths and crystal artists continue to live on the legacy and commitment built by The Gorham’s.

Source by Brandon Hale Portsmouth

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