And then it got complicated…

For a while now I had intended to write about medium forks.  Medium meaning design not size.  The photo below shows the design of which I speak.


The fork on the left is approximately 7 and 5/8 inches long and the fork on the right is 7 and 1/4 inches. I believe this pattern was also made in an 8 inch length and there a Sears ad which showed a 7 inch length. I have seen catalog pages which refer to these forks as “Medium” forks regardless of length.  I have an Upson & Hart box which is simply marked “Medium Forks” with no other pattern design indicated.


Many different manufacturers offered Medium forks.  I found it curious that these forks were called Medium regardless of size and I thought it would make an interesting subject for a blog post.

But I kept procrastinating about writing a post and almost forgot about it until a woman recently sent me a photo of her fork, one of these Medium design forks,  Her fork was 7 and 1/4 inches long and her question was, is it a dinner or dessert fork? Hmmm….

This 7 and 1/4 inch length is one of the shorter lengths that I know of in this design. In general, the majority of dessert forks are shorter than 7 inches. But lengths and uses varied over the years and by manufacturers. This length could have been the dessert / luncheon fork size. The problem is, most catalogs and ads from that time did not provide information regarding lengths of the different pieces.

I took a look in my 1878  Meriden Britannia 1847 Rogers Price list to see if they had any illuminating tidbits.


Their basic forks are broken down by dessert, medium and table followed by specialty forks such as oyster, fish and pickle.  But no dimensions are included. And since this was one of the smaller sizes I had seen in this design, I would assume that the 7 and 1/4 inch would be dessert, the 7 and 5/8 inch would be the medium size and the 8 inch would be the table fork size.


The pattern names were listed under each size but there was no Medium pattern included.


There were illustrations of medium knife handles but they truly seemed to indicate size as pattern names were included such as Swiss and Windsor.

I moved to the 1886/87 Meriden Britannia catalog which showed the same dessert, medium and table fork headings and no dimensions. A page from that catalog follows. What I find interesting is that the first two knives are labelled as Medium but they clearly have different lengths…one has a celluloid handle and the other has an ivory handle.


There is a page in the 1886 catalog that shows this fork design but does not refer to it as Medium.  The knives are labelled dessert and medium but not the fork.


I took a look at Replacements Ltd. as they do include dimensions.  They refer to this pattern as INS245. The only fork they show is the 7 and 5/8.  While at Replacements I looked at a few other 1847 Rogers patterns from the late 1800s. I could not find dessert fork dimensions. They showed forks, just “fork” with no other descriptive term, ranging from 7 to 7 and 5/8 inches.

So what do you think? Would a 7 and 1/4 inch fork be a dessert fork, luncheon fork, dinner fork or all of the above?

I’ll tackle the use of the term “Medium” as a design description in another post.


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Joseph Mayer and the Kreielsheimer Bros.

I recently received an email from a gentleman asking for assistance in identifying the maker of a punch ladle.


The photo above is a close up of the handle detail. I was taken with the beautiful design incorporating grapes, corn and wheat. The “KB” monogram was an artistic inclusion.


The maker’s mark, however, was one with which I was unfamiliar. It was a triangle .with a fleur de lis within. These were the only three photos I had been given.


I searched the usual suspects on the web for this hallmark, with no luck. I searched through my reference books with no success.


Then I searched “triangle fleur de lis” on eBay under antiques, silver, including description. I found a few souvenir spoons with a similar mark but those sellers did not know the manufacturer. Then I found a listing that contained the information shown above. The triangle and fleur de lis mark had been used by Joseph Mayer & Bros. Eureka!

The man who had asked for help in identifying this mark, Horseshoe Bill, from Washington state, said he had suspected this might be a Joseph Mayer piece but the only mark of theirs that he was familiar with was a crossed pick and shovel. We thought perhaps that this was a custom design. Mystery solved.

But in my own little inquisitive mind I’m wondering who or what does “KB” stand for? It had to be a prominent, wealthy, individual or entity. I was just about to start poking around to see if I could find any likely candidates when I received the following photos from Horseshoe Bill:


Another mystery solved, for me at least, Kreielsheim Bros….KB.


…of Seattle


..where the handle meets the bowl, grape leaves and corn.

Bill said “As KB were in the liquor wholesale business, the custom design reflects plant based items used in the distellery business, grapes, wheat and corn. Whiskey and Wine, they even produced some pretty hand made embossed bottles. I used to dig and still collect them, their amber and clear whiskeys are nice looking whiskeys, all tooled top, hand made.”

I found the following article and photo of the Kreielshaimer Bros. establishment at 209 First Avenue South, in Seattle,:


A very satisfying conclusion for me. So often I search and search, sometimes for days or months (I kid you not) and come up empty. But not this time.

Horseshoe Bill is really

Bill Becht

Horseshoe Coins & Antiques

Blaine, Wash. 98230

He advises he is in the process of setting up an eBay shop under the user name ” old-west-artifacts ”

Check him out. I know I will.

Update: Thought I’d add the following photo of the page from Noel Turner’s “American Silver Flatware” showing Joseph Mayer patterns.


This pattern is not one, and as we suspected it must have been a custom design.

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Cafe L’Aiglon

When I come across a julep strainer that has a business name on it, most likely a restaurant or hotel, the basic snoop in me compels me to research and find out all I can about it.  Sometimes that’s difficult and time consuming.  Other times it all comes together rather quickly.  Such was the case with the Cafe L’Aiglon.


The julep strainer is a back tipped star pattern and marked with the R. Wallace stamp. The back of the handle is marked “Cafe L’Aiglon”.


My search almost immediately found an article from the February 17, 1909 issue of Printers’ Ink.  And this article pretty much tells it all:

Printers' Ink. Vol.66 Feb.17.1909 pg10

Cafe L’Aiglon was located on the corner of Fifteenth and Chestnut streets in Philadelphia.  J. G. Patton, proprietor, opened the cafe in October of 1905.

Printers' Ink. Vol.66 Feb.17.1909 pg11

The Printers’ Ink article mentions that J. G. Patton took over the space formerly occupied by “Stuart’s Restaurant”.

Printers' Ink. Vol.66 Feb.17.1909 pg12

However, the following ad from The Philadelphia Record, April 12, 1905 edition, shows the correct spelling as “Stewart’s”.

1905 The Philadelphia Record Apr 12, 1905

For some reason, Stewart’s only remained in business a few months, as evidenced from the following October 23, 1905 Cafe L’Aiglon ad in The Philadelphia Record:

1905 The Philadelphia Record Oct 23, 1905

J. G. Patton realized that Philadelphia didn’t have a large transient population and that he needed to excite the interest of his clientele.   He established a series of national nights… American, Italian, French, German and so on, ending with a grand International week.  These theme nights were extremely well received and were then followed by theme weeks.   The February 1908 issue of the American Carpet and Upholstery Journal paints a vivid picture of the Oriental theme extravaganza:

1908 American Carpet and Upholstery Journal, Vol.26 Feb.1908 pg106A

Local businesses supplied rare rugs and draperies (getting free advertising), a win – win situation for them and the Cafe.  I especially like that last sentence “Oriental incense and queer little lamps burned constantly…”  Doesn’t that sound enticing? If I had been in Philadelphia at that time, this would be a place I would have to visit.  Definitely.

1908 Official Program -Founder's Week

The ad shown above came from the 1908 Founder’s Week Official Program.  And the following clever little ad came from Keith’s Theatre Program, May 29, 1911:

1911 Keiths Theatre Program May 29 1911

The following shows a corner of the main dining room circa 1909:

corner main dining room ca1909 auto

In June 1922, the first remote dance band radio program was aired in Philadelphia when WIP broadcast the big band music of the famous Charlie Kerr orchestra from the Cafe L’Aiglon.

It appears the cafe was also marketing food under their name.  The following was taken from the June 5, 1923 Official Gazette of the United States Patent Office:

1923 Official Gazette of the United States Patent Office, Volume 311 June 5 1923

Of interest, “L’Aiglon” means “eaglet or young eagle” in French.  It was also the nickname for Napoleon II.  There was a play by that name produced in the early 1900s and quite a bit of interest in the “L’Aiglon”.

east from 16th crop

The photo shown above shows the view east from Sixteenth Street in Philadelphia.  Cafe L’Aiglon is on the left side of the street.

1917 Sweet's Architectural Catalog File Vol.2 pg1210

And the above, showing a close-up of the entrance, came from the 1917 Sweet’s Architectural Catalog.

Cafe L’Aiglon closed in 1929.  Not a bad run from 1905 to 1929!




Posted in Cafe L'Aiglon, J. G. Patton, Philadelphia PA, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Floris Ligna

Floris Ligna…. what does that mean?  The best I can decipher, the translation from Latin to English is “Floral Timber”.  What?  Yes, there are flowers and trees incorporated in this transfer print design, but there is so much more.


There’s various geometric prints, birds and a bat too!  All of these design elements are incorporated into a overall pattern that looks like a crazy quilt.  This style was known as “cracked ice” back in the late 1800s and was quite popular at the time.

Floris Ligna Sheet

This pattern (shown above) was a sheet pattern, about a foot square. Notice there are two birds and one bat on the sheet.


The description above and the following image, showing the engraved steel plate, printed image and final product, came from Wikipedia.


The print on paper could be cut and laid on the piece of pottery as appropriate to transfer the image.


The Floris Ligna design had dark borders between each of the angled sections. The intent was to cut and place this sheet pattern to completely cover a piece of pottery. But sometimes a leftover piece would be used to fill in areas.  If you look at the blue plate above, right side, you’ll see an area that does not have a dark border on the left edge of it.  Scraps were used to complete this plate.  Transferring the print to cups, pitchers, teapots, etc. necessitated cutting the sheet and placing the pattern on the vessel as artistically as possible.  Lots of scraps were created in doing so which were then used on other pieces as fillers.  With this crazy pattern, I guess it adds to the charm.

I have seen Floris Ligna in black, red, brown, light blue and dark blue.  You’ll note that the dark blue example shown above has a slight “flow” to it as compared with the red plate next to it.

Pratt & Simpson obtained a registered design for this pattern on June 13, 1883.

Floris Ligna Marks

However, they were not the only potters to manufacture it.  Wallis Gimson and British Anchor also produced this pattern.  That’s the British Anchor mark shown above on the right.  I’ve also seen children’s tea sets in Floris Ligna, full size tea sets and dinner plates as well as large platters.

Patents Pratt & Simpson

Shown above is a listing of designs registered by Pratt & Simpson between 1878 and 1883, with the last being Floris Ligna.  Also note that there are three designs registered on November 10, 1882.  I know for sure one of these is the “Pandora” pattern; whether all three involved variations of “Pandora”, I do not know.

Pratt & Simpson - Ad & Notice

An 1880 ad for Pratt & Simpson is shown above as well as an 1882 notice of the dissolved partnership between Joseph Simpson and Joseph Gimson doing business as Pratt & Simpson.  (Thanks to Steve Birks at for these images.) Pratt & Simpson was subsequently succeeded by Wallis Gimson & Co.

Bat & Eye marks

Note that the beehive and all-seeing eye mark used by Pratt & Simpson was also used by Wallis Gimson.  How and at what time British Anchor started producing this pattern, I do not know.  However, the British Anchor Floris Ligna mark shown earlier in this post includes the word “England” and that was used starting in 1891 and thereafter.

I’ve included a close up of the bat on this sheet pattern.  Because there is only one per sheet, and because it is so darn adorable (for a bat) with the moon and stars, it is somewhat coveted.  If you have a piece of Floris Ligna with a bat, you’ve got something special.  At least I think so.


The “cracked ice” craze wasn’t just going on in England.  American silverplate manufactures were incorporating it into some of their patterns.  Luther Boardman &  Son produced the “Breton” pattern which has a crazy quilt look to it.  Pair that with your Floris Ligna dinner ware to really make a statement.

Posted in aesthetic, British Anchor, British registration mark, child tea set, children toy tea set, English transferware, Floris Ligna, Pratt & Simpson, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Up For Consideration

For quite some time now I’ve had a sweet little child’s cup and saucer in a red aesthetic print design which is marked “Tunis” and “E. S”.


I have seen patterns called “Tunis” made by other potters but the design is not the same as the one on this cup and saucer.  And who was “E. S”?  I could not readily identify a potter who would have used this mark.


The impressed mark above the pattern name in the photo above appears to read “Ivory”. But that is just a guess on my part.

1. New Wharf marks

New Wharf Pottery Marks

I do know that New Wharf Pottery did produce this same “Tunis” pattern. And I have also seen that “E. S” mark on another New Wharf Pottery pattern, “The Cotton Plant”. So examples of these two same patterns can be found with the “New Wharf” mark as well as the “E. S” mark.  Was there a connection between New Wharf Pottery and that elusive “E. S”?

2. The Pottery Gazette, American and Canadian Edition, January 1st 1880

The New Wharf Pottery ad shown above came from The Pottery Gazette, American and Canadian Edition, January 1st, 1880 (thanks to Steve Birks at The lower right corner of this ad shows “Agent, Mr. E. Sherer.”  Could this “E. Sherer” be “E. S”?  Did New Wharf’s agent have some items marked with his initials?

So who was E. Sherer?  It turns out there were two E. Sherers…father and son…both in the English crockery and glass trade.  An 1867 issue of the London Gazette identified E. Sherer as a “glass and china dealer”.  E. Sherer was Edward Sherer.  His son, Edward Joseph Sherer, was born in 1850 (per his obituary which follows).  I am assuming the 1867 London Gazette was referring to the father as the son would have only been 17 years old at the time.  But, as this obituary states, both father and son were in the same line of business.

3. The Pottery & Glass Salesman, Vol. 15 April 12 1917

It is conceivable that the E. Sherer mentioned in the 1880 New Wharf Pottery ad could have been either father or son.  But were either of these the “E. S” I was looking for?  I wasn’t convinced, and kept on searching.

And that search took me to another “E. S”… Ebenezer Swann.  A notice in the December 8, 1882 issue of The London Gazette (below) states that the “Partnership heretofore subsisting between us the undersigned, Absalom Wood, Thomas Francis Wood, William Wood, and Ebenezer Swann, carrying on business under the style or firm of the New Wharf Pottery Company….was this day dissolved by mutual consent.”  E. Swann left and the Woods continued in business as the New Wharf Pottery Company.

The February 16, 1884 issue of “The Furniture Gazette” indicates that Mr. Swann was in business with Mr. Poulson, of Globe Pottery, Tunstall.  The October 8,  1886 issue of the London Gazette contains a notice that the partnership between Ebenezer Swann and William Poulson has been dissolved by mutual consent and the business will be carried on by Ebenezer Swann.

4. Swann & Poulson

This could be our “E. S”.  Ebenezer Swann had been a principal at New Wharf Pottery and he continued in the business as an earthenware manufacturer.

5. Marks

Comparison of Marks

The image above shows the “E. S” marks for the Tunis and Cotton Plant patterns.  I’ve included another mark in this image, that of “S. &. P.” for the Brooklyn pattern.  Could this “S. &. P.” be a Swann and Poulson mark?  The banner and font styles (with periods after the initials) is very similar to the “E. S” marks.  It appears that Ebenezer Swann was in business by himself between 1882 and 1884 as well as after October 5, 1886.  In a book by Richard Henrywood, Ebenezer Swann and E. Swann (at Globe Potteries) are listed in various directories from 1887-1892.  So that “E. S” mark could have been used at various time periods.

I have seen the “Brooklyn” pattern mentioned above attributed to Skelson & Plant. Following are notices, listings and a Skelson & Plant ad.

6. Skelson & Plant

Geoffrey A. Godden in his 1983 book, Staffordshire Porcelain, says this about Skelson & Plant:

1893-1896 W. H. Skelson succeeded Skelson & Plant at the Sutherland Pottery, Longton, where both china and eartherwares were produced.  No marked examples have been reported.  Skelson & Plant C. 1868-1893 This partnership of the new Market Works, Chancery Lane, Longton, and the Heathcote Road Pottery, Longton, are listed as china manufacturers in Keates & Fords.

I’m guessing that the “E. S” I’m looking for is Ebenezer Swann.  But this topic is up for consideration.

Posted in aesthetic, antique, E. S mark, Ebenezer Swann, New Wharf Pottery, Staffordshire pottery, Transfer print, transferware, Tunis pattern, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , | 2 Comments

Hope & Carter

I have seen several examples of pieces of a child’s tea set in an aesthetic collage pattern made by Hope & Carter.


The majority of this pattern that I have seen are unmarked but I have seen a few that had the impressed “H & C” Hope & Carter mark.  The saucer shown above is in a very dark brown, almost black, print.  I have also seen this pattern in red, blue and green.


The waste bowl shown above is a green print on a tan background.  I am uncertain is the tan background is the original color or if it has aged to this shade.

The January 14, 1862 notice in the London Gazette documents the formation of Hope & Carter.  John Hope had formerly been in partnership with Thomas Pinder and Joseph Bourne.  On January 13, 1862 Mssrs. Pinder and Bourne went their own way and John Hope joined with John Carter as earthenware manufacturers at the Fountain Place manufactory in Burslem, county of Stafford.

1862 The London Gazette Jan. 14 1862 pg245

Although thought by some to cater almost exclusively to the English trade, the following article from the August 17, 1876 Daily Register, documents a legal matter brought against John Hope, doing business as Hope & Carter, in New York.  I don’t know what this lawsuit was about and I don’t know if there were other lawsuits over the years.

1876 The Daily Register Aug 17, 1876

It is noted that ads for Hope & Carter pottery had appeared in publications across the United States.  The 1877-78 R. H. Macy’s catalogue carried a line of Hope & Carter pottery.  Although the “Chinese” pattern (sometimes referred to as “Chang” pattern) shown below does not indicate Hope & Carter as the manufacturer, it is noted elsewhere within the catalogue.

1877-78 R.H.Macy's & Co Catalogue

The following ad is from the Pottery and Glass Trades Journal, October 1, 1879.  Note that it states: “Suitable for the following markets: Australia, New Zealand, Canada, India, Cape Colonies, South America, France, Germany, Russia, United States, West Indies, Spain, Portugal, Italy, and The United Kingdom.”

1879 The Pottery and Glass Trades Journal Oct.1,1879

The following article appeared in the November 15, 1879 Furniture Gazette:

1879 The Furniture Gazette Nov. 15 1879

This 1879 article discusses the hard time the English potteries were having competing with the Trenton (New Jersey) potteries and specifically mentions Hope & Carter.  The following year, 1880, Hope & Carter closed up shop.

1885 Pottery Gazette Feb.2 1885

The Edge, Malkin & Co. ad shown above from the February 2, 1885 Pottery Gazette announced that they were able to supply certain patterns purchased at the Hope & Carter sale.

Hope & Carter had an impressive list of patents obtained over the years:


Some of these patents did not indicate what the subject matter was, thus “not given” is shown.

plate patents

Some plate patents are shown above and some shape patents follow:

shape patents

Hope & Carter offered many different patterns, probably the most successful being Chinese.  Some of their known pattern names are:


The aesthetic collage pattern on the playtime tea sets shown at the beginning of this post was a turn from the more traditional styles offered by the company.  It could have been an effort by Hope & Carter to stay relevant and continue in business.  It is also noted that Hope & Carter appeared at the 1880 Melbourne (Australia) Exhibition.  It was a long and costly trip for them and most likely another attempt to hang in there.  Unfortunately, it didn’t work as their business closed that same year.


I don’t know if this pattern was ever given a name or if it had been advertised.  I do know that it is my favorite Hope & Carter pattern.  This little blue and white tea cup and saucer are available for sale at my Etsy shop:

Posted in aesthetic, child tea set, children toy tea set, Hope & Carter, play, playtime pottery, Staffordshire pottery, Transfer print, transferware, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Over 100 Years of Jigger Spoons

They weren’t just a flash in the pan.  What was once known as a “novelty” has been around for over a century now.  The jigger spoons shown in the photo below are available for sale at my Etsy shop


The oldest ad I could find for something that looks like a jigger spoon dates back to 1914.

1. 1914 Harper's Bazaar Dec. 1914 pg63

The ad shown above came from the December 1914 issue of Harper’s Bazaar. This “silver cocktail spoon whose handle forms a cup to measure the ingredients for the drinks”, later a/k/a jigger spoon, was offered by Chatillon Co., Inc.

2. 1915 Harper's Bazaar Vol.50 pg104

The jigger spoon shown above, and its accompanying cocktail mixer, are my favorite.  I love the combination of etched glass and silver on both.  This ad came from a 1915 issue of Harper’s Bazaar.

3. 1915 Vanity Fair pg120

The Mark Cross ad shown above came from a 1915 issue of Vanity Fair.  The jigger portion is described as being a “frosted-design glass” and looks remarkably similar to the Chatillon design in the ad above it.  The spoon and handle are “of Prince’s silver plate” which is a trademark used by Mappin & Webb, an English company.  It could be that Mappin & Webb manufactured jigger spoons even earlier with their own mark.

The earliest mention that I could find of the term “jigger spoon” was in a 1924 issue of Theatre Magazine and it was sterling.  The term “jigger spoon” was also mentioned in a 1931 Meriden, Connecticut newspaper article about pilots visiting the area who were given “silver jigger spoons” manufactured by the Napier Company.

4. 1931 D84090 Lavin

The earliest patent that I could find for a jigger spoon design didn’t appear until 1931. James A. Lavin didn’t call it a Jigger spoon, he called it a bulk measuring device. But it sure looks like a Jigger spoon to me…except for that weird little cover sitting on the Jigger. Unfortunately, his patent description doesn’t shed much light on the intent of this device other than bulk measurement! One of the jigger spoons available at my Etsy shop is marked Lavin & Lauer.

5. Three in One

Of course, always looking to improve on an idea, by the second half of 1931 the “three-in-one spoon” was being marketed.  A jigger and spoon wasn’t enough…a bottle opener had to be incorporated into the design.  Snippets of newspaper articles are shown above documenting this.

5. 1932 D87567 Flauder

The 1932 Alfred Flauder patent shown above combines a jigger (top hat) and spoon as well as a cork screw and bottle opener.  Four-in-one; truly a novelty!

6. Jolly Good Mixer

The Flauder design was marketed as the “Jolly Good Mixer”.  It was manufactured by W. B. Mfg. Co., Bridgeport, Conn.

7. Valve Jigger

The jigger spoon design took another update in the 1940s with the addition of a stepped jigger and spring valve. Pour the liquid into the jigger and press the spoon against the bottom of the glass and voila, the liquid flows down into the glass. Seems a little too contrived to me, but what do I know?  The images above show ads for this new, supposedly improved, jigger spoon.

8. Misc. Metals

Time marches on and the Jigger spoon continued to be updated. In addition to the sterling and silverplated designs, aluminum, chrome and stainless steel appeared on the market as shown in the above ads.


And that brings us to today, 105 years since it all began (as far as we know).  Reed & Barton (now owned by Lenox) is currently offering the stainless steel jigger spoon shown above, claiming it has that 1920s look. Long live the jigger spoon!



Posted in jigger, Jigger spoon, Napier Co., Uncategorized | Tagged | 1 Comment

Message to Someone Somewhere

I occasionally search online for interesting cocktail shakers and came across the Cartier shaker shown below:

img_20190128_124354What got my attention were the many signatures on the shaker as well as the prominently displayed initials “J.R.H.” at the top with the date April 27, 1940.  I had seen similar such presentation shakers before. Since all the signatures appeared to be male, I guessed this was a shaker presented to a groom on the occasion of his wedding by a group of his friends.

I confirmed that the date April 27, 1940 was a Saturday and I felt certain I was on the right track assuming it was a wedding.

So I tackled the names that I could decipher. August Heckscher was distinctive enough and should be an easy search. And it was! His Wikipedia bio follows. He was quite a prominent figure: Appointed by John F. Kennedy as the first White House Special Consultant on the Arts and later NewYork City Parks Commissioner Appointed by John Lindsay.

img_20190128_053955His brother, Gustave Maurice, signed the Shaker as “Maury” and this is his Wikipedia page:


Horace W. Davis was another signature and upon finding the following obituary I realized that what these men had in common was that they were Yale graduates.


Robert Train, another Yale graduate:


Frederic H. Lassiter, yet another:


I searched that April 27, 1940 date and Yale and, as luck would have it, a wedding announcement appeared… Frances Ann Cannon was Wed to John R. Hersey. J. R. H. John R. Hersey! Yes!


John R. Hersey was not just another Yale graduate, he was a well known author and Pulitzer prize winner for his novel A Bell for Adano.

His bride, Frances Ann Cannon, had previously dated John F. Kennedy for some time.  JFK was a guest at their wedding.

Following is a link to a very interesting article on Hersey, Cannon and JFK.

So whoever you are who owns this shaker, maybe you are already aware of all this history regarding it.  But if you don’t know and are researching it, I hope you find this post!

Posted in April 27, 1940, August Heckscher, Frederic W. Lassiter, Gustave Heckscher, Horace W. Davis, J R H, John R. Hersey, JRH, Pulitzer Prize, Robert Train, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments


I started to do research on a little glass bottle which had a glass tube within it and the words “You-Mix-It” embossed diagonally across the front.


There was foil over the top which read “Manhattan” and “Not Genuine If Seal Is Broken”.


But do you think I could find another example of a similar bottle? No.  Luckily, however, I was able to find some ads.  The earliest ad dated to September 1913.

motor vol.20 sept. 1913

Although the illustration of the bottle in the ad did not appear to have “You-Mix-It” on the front, the ad indicates that “You-Mix-It” was a trade mark of the Symphony Cocktail Co. of Chicago, Illinois.  It went on to state “withdraw the cork from the outer bottle (no corkscrew necessary); pour the contents of the inner bottle into the outer bottle, then pour in the cocktail glass.”  The ad stated these cocktails were available in Manhattan, Martini and Princess.  Princess???? What the heck was a Princess cocktail?  Curiously, the words “Trade Mark” were beneath the word Princess.  So the Symphony Cocktail people trade marked the Princess cocktail.  Something else to research!

1916 life, volume 67, issue 1748 pg821

The 1916 ad above sheds a little light on the Princess cocktail. It says it is “a new, distinctive and delicious gin cocktail”.

1917 rand mcnally philadelphia guide-1

The 1917 ad shown above does not show “You-Mix-It” on the bottle, but it does show a patent number.

life, volume 69 1917 pg469

Another 1917 ad shown above adds the “Celery Nip” to the mix.  It might be difficult to read but it says that these nips are available in bourbon, rye or scotch whiskey in the outer bottle and there is celery tonic in the inner bottle. It states “Your money back if anyone can detect whiskey odor.”  Hmmm, I didn’t know celery tonic could do that. You learn something every day.

So off to find that patent!

1909 callahan 1

And here it is!  A 1909 patent by A. F. Callahan for “Bottle Structure”.

1909 callahan 2

The Symphony Cocktail Company was established as a corporation in 1919.  See various info below.


My little bottle is a molded bottle produced by an automated bottle making machine.  My bottle reference books states that “In 1909, improvements to the machine made it possible to produce small prescription bottles”…similar to my bottle.  The timing of the patent and the formation of Symphony Cocktail Company fit in perfectly with this machine improvement.

Okay, so what about that Princess cocktail?  I knew it was made of gin and I knew it was offered in the teens. So I started looking in bartender guides for that period of time.  I looked at lots of them and came up empty.  And then I got lucky.  I found a recipe for a Princess cocktail that had gin as one of the ingredients in J. A. Didier’s (known as Jake to his friends) “The Reminder, Up-To-Date Bartenders’ Vest Pocket Guide”, the fifth Edition printed in 1917.  The recipe follows:

the reminder j.a.didier 1917 pg148-49

The first edition of this book, printed in 1909, does not include this recipe.  In his Preface for the fifth edition, Jake states “There are many new recipes contained in this book never before published, and all are up-to-date”.  So this must be THE Princess cocktail recipe.

I was surprised to see Creme Yvette listed as an ingredient. See 1916 ad below. Creme Yvette is a blend of berries and violet flowers and was introduced in 1890 I believe.  It survived Prohibition and was available until 1969 when it was discontinued.

1916 life, volume 67, issue 1748 pg820

But it has recently be revived and is gaining popularity.  I don’t see anyone these days making a Princess cocktail with it.  Come on, folks! Revive that Princess cocktail!

Posted in Creme Yvette, Didier Bartenders Guide, Princess Cocktail, ready to serve cocktail, Symphony Cocktails, Uncategorized, You Mix It | Tagged , , , , | 3 Comments

Quaker Silver Company

I knew nothing about the Quaker Silver Company until I came in the possession of a 12 inch long sterling silver cocktail stirrer. The back of the very shallow round bowl had hallmarks which were a “Q” and a crown symbol followed by some other symbol which I could not decipher.



The finial at the other end looked like this:


Researching the “Q” and crown symbol hallmarks, I found that the series of marks on my stirrer belonged to the Quaker Silver Co. of North Attleborough, Massachusetts. Now I needed to find out their history.  And it turned out to be a little complicated. (So what else is new?)  I think the best way to explain it is by tackling it chronologically. Following is a compilation of snippets tracing the origins of Quaker Silver back to the year 1924 and the Williams & Green Co. of Providence, RI.  Harold K. Green was one of the principals of this company.  For some reason unknown to me, the Quaker Silver Co. of Attleboro, MA was incorporated in 1926 for the purpose of taking over the business of Williams & Green.  Harold K. Green was president and sales manager of the new company.  James W. Jennings, who was treasurer and general manager of the old company assumed the same positions in the new.

1. Williams Green Quaker 1920s

In 1927 Mr. Green and Mr. Jennings obtained a patent for a vase, which follows.

2. 1927 73373

In 1930 Quaker Silver obtained a trademark featuring the face of a woman with a bonnet, a “Quaker Girl” I would call her. It mentions that this trademark had been in use since February 1926.  The following image also shows the Quaker Silver mark used on their sterling pieces.  And lastly, a 1931 ad mentioning pewter products offered by them, including cocktail shakers.

3. Trademark & Ad

In 1929, James W. Jennings met by chance a young woman named Belle Kogan who was just starting in the field of art and design as well as working in her father’s jewelry store in New York City.  A most popular product of Quaker Silver were salt and pepper shakers, many of which Belle had sold at here father’s store. Ms. Kogan was invited to Attleboro to visit.  She was hired as a designer for the company. The “Mr. Stone” mentioned in the snippet at the top of the following image is Samuel M. Stone, well known for various jewelry related companies, included the famous “SWANK” men’s line of jewelry.

But, by 1936, Quaker Silver Co. had gone out of business (see following snippet from court documents):

4. End First Quaker Silver Co. 1926-1936

In 1939, however, the name Quaker Silver Co. had been “revived” by James W. Jennings (president and treasurer) and the company was established in North Attleborough, MA.  Note: Some people spell this North Attleboro and some spell it with the “ugh” at the end.  The Quaker Silver Co. trademark (first used September 28, 1939) is shown below as well. This is the mark on my stirrer.

5. Jennings Quaker Silver Co.

Following is an image from a 1950 Chilton’s Jewelers’ Circular showing a “Windsor Bowl” in sterling (mentioned above as well).

6. 1950 Chilton's Jewelers' Circular Keystone

So, what happened to Belle Kogan, you may ask.  According to the following snippets from 1939 publications, she was designing for Quaker again when the new company opened.  And it was reported in a 1951 issue of Modern Plastics, that she had her own studio and was co-owner of Quaker Silver Co.

7. Kogan

The following article from a 1959 issue of the Spokane Daily Chronicle states that “she (Belle) and her father bought the firm (Quaker) and moved it to North Atttleboro.”

8. Spokane Daily Chronicle Aug 3, 1959

Ethel Lewis, in her 1942 book “Decorating the Home” shows a table set with silver designed by Belle Kogan for the Quaker Silver Co.  With the exception of my cocktail stirrer, I have not found any flatware attributed to the Quaker Silver Co. If any of you reading this know of flatware manufactured by this firm, I’d love to hear from you.

9. Decorating the home, by Ethel Lewis. 1942 smaller

The October 17, 1959 Meriden Record reports that the Quaker  Silver Co. had been acquired by Gorham Manufacturing.

10. 1959 Meriden Record Oct 17, 1959

So there you have it, the tale of two Quaker Silver Cos. I have a feeling that my cocktail stirrer was designed by the first famous female industrial designer, Belle Kogan!

Posted in Belle Kogan, Harold K. Green, James W. Jennings, Quaker Silver Co., Uncategorized, Williams & Green | Tagged , , , , | 4 Comments