It all started with Dorothy T. and H. Ivan Rainwater’s book, “American Silverplate”. I was looking at the Flatware Chapter and came across the following paragraph: “The “1846 (ANCHOR) ROGERS (ANCHOR)” trademark was used only about two years when William Rogers formed the Wm. Rogers Mfg. Co. in 1865. At that time he was apparently in disagreement with the Meriden Britannia Company which was making the “1847 ROGERS BROS.” line, and William decided to go them one better and stamp his 1846. However, this was stopped by a suit and he changed the mark to “1865 WM. ROGERS MFG. CO.”
A signed first edition of this Rainwater book is available for sale at my Etsy shop here: https://www.etsy.com/listing/159258685/rainwater-book-american-silverplate-1968 This was very interesting to me as I had never seen an “1846 Anchor Rogers” mark. And I thought William Hazen Rogers was affiliated with Meriden Britannia at the time he formed Wm. Rogers Mfg. Co. in 1865, so why would he want to antagonize them by using an 1846 stamp? So my research started. I tried to find information on the lawsuit which had been mentioned in the Rainwater book but to no avail. However, I did find an 1885 lawsuit between Rogers & Brother versus Cephas B. Rogers and Others which helped to clarify somewhat the relationship between William Hazen Rogers and Meriden Britannia in 1865. This lawsuit can be found on Google Books and there are many pages. The following is the first page of the suit.
There is quite a bit of “Rogers” history contained within the pages of the suit and might be worth taking a look at if you are interested in this topic as this suit was brought in 1885 and simply states the facts as they were at that time…there is no interpretation or misinterpretation of the history, just the facts. I’m including three additional pages from this lawsuit. The page below gives you some background as to what was happening with William, Asa and Simeon Rogers at the time.
It’s toward the bottom of this next page where it gets interesting. It states that all three brothers became associated with Meriden Britannia in 1862. In the very last paragraph it states that William Rogers left Meriden Britannia in 1865 (this is the year Rainwater stated that the 1846 Anchor Rogers mark started to be used by William Rogers).
The rest of this paragraph follows on the next page:
So this lawsuit cleared up my confusion about William Rogers association with Meriden Britannia from 1865-1868. He left Meriden Britannia and established his own company back in Hartford, The William Rogers Manufacturing Company. And this supports Rainwater’s statement to some extent. He must have had some sort of “issue” with Meriden Britannia and left. He started his own company and used that “1846” mark perhaps to rile Meriden Britannia, doing one better than “1847”. Whatever differences between William Rogers and Meriden Britannia were seemingly settled as he returned to that company in 1868. I have not yet found a piece of silverplate in a pattern that dates to the 1860s with the 1846 mark on it. However, I have found a few pieces of flatware which do have the “1846 ANCHOR ROGERS ANCHOR” mark on them, but these are patterns that date from the 1890s.
From top to bottom in the photo above, the patterns are: Ormonde, 1894, Patent #23326 Columbus, 1895* Cromwell, 1895 Gem, 1892 Triumph/Opal, 1891, Patent #020510 Sultana or Shell, circa 1890 William Hazen Rogers died in 1873. Perhaps his son, William Henry Rogers, was not that enthusiastic about the formation of International Silver toward the latter part of the 1890s. Or, as William Rogers Mfg. was being absorbed, he wanted to honor how his father had started the company and go out with the old “1846” mark. Another hypothesis might be that this company or more likely William H. Watrous was honoring the legacy including William Henry Rogers, who died in 1896, fifty years from when his father began in the flatware business. Simpson Hall & Miller might have also showed some respect with a simple cross on the R on their lable as William H. Rogers was also affiliated with them. The following label is possibly another clue in 1846 Rogers mystery. Does the cross represent another symbol of respect….
I’ve seen it noted that International Silver used this mark later, but here I must assume that those pieces shown above were just prior to that organization’s formation. So far I have not seen any pieces that have the “1846” mark along with the “IS” mark. I do have Anchor Rogers nut picks available at my shop, but unfortunately they are not marked 1846 (wish they were). http://www.etsy.com/listing/156006155/four-anchor-rogers-silver-plated-nut
I also have a nut or bon bon spoon available at my Etsy shop marked with the 1846 Anchor Rogers mark:
This bon bon spoon can be found here at my Etsy shop: https://www.etsy.com/listing/166393744/1846-anchor-rogers-silver-plated-bon-bon I certainly welcome any information anyone can provide on this topic.
*UPDATE 6/1/16: A reader advised that he had a spoon with the 1846 Rogers mark and the spoon was engraved “World’s Fair 1893”.
He was kind enough to provide me with photos of his spoon. The pattern is “Columbus” and the spoon is an orange spoon. “World’s Fair 1893” is engraved in the bowl. The “Columbus” pattern is commonly believed to date to 1895, so it is likely that date is wrong and it dates at least to 1893.
The 1893 World’s Fair is also known as the “Columbian World’s Fair”. This pattern is called “Columbus”. (1847 Rogers also issued the “Columbia” pattern in 1893). It is my understanding that over 300 different souvenir spoons were issued for this fair.