My introduction to the early editions of Ladies Home Journal began when I was researching flatware made of plated steel. I also ran across these early Ladies Home Journals when researching premium spoons. Some of what was offered as premiums appeared to be Rogers’ cheaper flatware patterns and weren’t familiar to me; my interest was piqued. So for those of you who are interested in such things, I thought I’d share.
Following is a full page from the December 1885 issue:
I have been unable to identify the pattern of this Rogers’ & Bro. pie knife ad (close-up taken from the page above). The butter knife right below it is advertised as being on English white steel. There is no manufacturer indicated for this butter knife and, again, I am unable to identify the pattern:
The sugar shell below is also silver plate on English white steel, and I am unable to identify this pattern as well….yet it looks so familiar to me. (This sugar shell is probably the most popular offer throughout Vol. 3-4):
In May of 1886 the ad below appeared. It is the first time I saw the fork with the pattern that seems to match the sugar shell above, but here it is plated with “pure coin silver”. This fork agains appears in September 1887 issues. (I wonder if this sugar shell and fork are marked “Conn. S.P. Co.”)
A full page ad of premiums from the December 1887 issue follows. Did we know that you could get these popular Rogers’ patterns as premiums?
1888 appears to be the high point of Rogers’ silver plate premium offers…see the following two pages (Note: The Newport pattern is featured below; I have a master butter knife in this pattern available at my Etsy shop here: http://www.etsy.com/listing/99374457/rogers-bro-silver-plate-master-butter ):
Beautiful boxed sets:
Although this ad came out of the January 1889 issue of Ladies Home Journal, it refers to new subscribers of “Mme. Demorest Illustrated Monthly Fashion Journal” which must somehow be affiliated with Ladies Home Journal. They are called “Japenese tipped Boston tea spoons”. Another interesting pattern to research later.
The following July 1889 ad reads “We have decided to withdraw our offers of this grade and these patterns…” so the end is near.
And here’s another premium offer from November 1889:
June 1890 Rossmore pattern ad:
Another line of premium spoons discontinued in 1890:
I had been searching for information on flatware that was marked “Conn Silver P. Co.” or “Conn S. P. Co.” The design was decidedly aesthetic and the flatware appeared to be steel (as they were strongly magnetic). One piece seemed to be silver plated, another, however, appeared to me to be plated with tin. By a mere stroke of luck, I recently came across an advertisement in an 1891 issue of Ladies Home Journal featuring this same pattern of flatware offered as premiums. The writing in the ad is rather small and hard to read, so I have restated it below:
“A Special Offer in Silver Plated Ware”
“No housekeeper can afford to be without a set of Silver-Plated Table-Ware, if only for Company use; and we are in a position to supply it to our subscribers in such a way that it may be secured without the expenditure of any money whatever. Read our offers as they follow. The goods we offer are not the very best quality of quadruple plate; however, they are not cheap, miserable goods which are so often offered “Free”! They are of steel, plated first with nickel and then with silver and will wear well and for a long time.
“For years we have been offering a line of Silver-Plated Ware which is, in our opinion, the best in the market. But we begin to believe that all are not willing to pay for the best goods even though offered at the lowest possible price and we have determined to offer in conjunction with our regular line, goods which everyone, even the most economical, can afford.
“Much of the plated-ware offered for sale is made of brass. While goods of this character will look better and smoother when first received, the base metal underneath soon shows through the very thin coating of silver with which they are washed, and in a short time the ware is wholly unpresentable and unfit for use, for no one wants to eat with brass forks and spoons. As already stated, these goods are not of the same quality as our regular line of plated-ware, which is the best manufactured, but they are of good quality and will stand service a long time and always look well.”
I learned from the ad that the pattern name was “Rossmore”; however, the ad did not name the manufacturer. It was amusing to read “The goods we offer are not the very best quality of quadruple plate; however, they are not cheap, miserable goods which are so often offered “Free”!” I guess they were a step above the cheap, miserable goods offered for free. I wonder what your guests thought when you served them a cup of tea and a piece of cake with these “less than best” quality pieces of flatware. “Oh, poor Nellie, she can’t afford the very best. Such a shame.” Of note, the magazine mentions “these goods are not of the same quality as our regular line of plated-ware, which is the best manufactured…” The regular line of plated-ware offered by Good Housekeeping at that time was 1847 Rogers. I’m thinking that perhaps, Rogers also manufactured these lesser quality pieces and wanted to make certain that they were not associated with the Rogers name, so they stamped them “Conn Silver P. Co.” Or, seeing R. Wallace & Co. were the experts at stamping on steel, perhaps they were contracted out as is often the case.
I have several pieces of this Conn Silver P. Co. flatware offered for sale at my Etsy shop (a photo of one listing is above). This pattern is rare and would be a great one to add to your collection.
I’ve also mentioned this aesthetic pattern in another blog post:
Following is a full page from December 1891 issue. Note the “Jewel” pattern listed on the right side:
This is the close-up of the “Jewel” pattern ad. Look familiar? Well, to me it looks exactly like the “Rossmore” pattern mentioned above. As with “Rossmore”, the “Jewel” flatware is “steel, plated first with nickel and then with silver”. Again, the manufacturer is not listed in the write up. Maybe the “Rossmore” name wasn’t too popular so they thought they’d try “Jewel”. I’ve extensively searched this “Jewel” pattern and could not find it anywhere (there are other patterns named “Jewel” but not this design).
Next is a full page from the December 1892 issue. Notice the marvelous child’s set including cup, napkin ring, fork, knife and spoon. The Rogers Bros. “Portland” pattern is included….I have a teaspoon and fork in the “Portland” pattern available at my Etsy shop here: https://www.etsy.com/listing/99212141/1847-rogers-bros-silver-plate-teaspoon
Another pattern I’m not familiar with is the “Bijou” pattern shown below. This, too, is on steel plated first with nickel and then with silver. In French “Bijou” means “Jewel” which is what they changed “Rossmore” to…
If you can offer any information about these mystery patterns and manufacturers, I’d very much appreciate your comments. Thanks!