Another interesting character in the silver plate saga is Samuel Simpson. To begin this post let’s start with a reference to an earlier post on Cowles and “Spoonville” and a page from the 1888 book edited by L. P. Brockett called “Our Country’s Wealth and Influence”. This publication suggests that Mr. Simpson was one of the pioneers in the silver plating industry. He was most certainly involved in the production of flatware for many years. From a small selection of publications, some of his story will be presented in this post.
Next is from “New England Manufacturers & Manufacturies” by J.D. Van Slyck Vol II 1879:
In the article above it mentions Charles Yale becoming a stockholder in Simpson, Hall, Miller. I have silverplated bar spoons for sale at my Etsy shop marked “Yale Silver Co.” and the following is part of my listing description:
“From my limited research I am speculating that the Yale Silver Company is a brand of or made by Simpson, Hall, Miller & Company. Early in the 19th Century Hiram Yale had a business that Samuel Simpson apprenticed at for 15 years. Charles D. Yale was part owner and treasurer of Simpson Hall Miller & Co. His sons are listed in Berly’s Universal Electrical Directory of 1884, C. B. and G. S. Yale are listed as electroplaters at 36 E. 14th Street, New York. G. Selden Yale and his brother Charles B. Yale took position with Simpson Hall Miller in 1869 and remained employed there for 16 years. Selden was the manager of Simpson Hall Miller’s New York Office which just happened to be 36 E. 14th Street. Another coincidental tidbit of information is that both Simpson Hall Miller and Yale used a circular mark and the term quadruple plate on their holloware.”
These bar spoons can be found here: https://www.etsy.com/listing/155467844/yale-silver-co-silver-plated-twist
Below is from “Origin, Growth, and Usefulness of the Chicago Board of Trade” 1885:
The reference to “William Rogers” in the above article is, to me at least, a little misleading. It states that Simpson, Hall, Miller have sole control of “the only genuine William Rogers’ knives, forks, spoons, etc., that are made – all others are imitations.” I guess the key word in this sentence is “are”. When this article was written, in 1885, William Hazen Rogers was dead. And William Hazen Rogers was the father of the “William Rogers” referred to within this article. So, technically, that statement is correct. However, it muddies the waters when it comes to the difference between Wm. Rogers Manufacturing Co. (father) and the Eagle Rogers brand (son) used by Simpson, Hall, Miller. I’m sure there are many people who see that Eagle Wm. Rogers Star mark and think it is of the William Hazen Rogers company…the man who was one of the original Rogers Brothers and one of the founding fathers of silverplate. William Hazen Rogers used the anchor and star symbol as one of his marks. The eagle star symbol could easily be mistaken or confused with the anchor star.
William Henry Rogers and Simpson, Hall, Miller & Co. have been discussed in two other of my posts. The top section of the follow illustrations is from my post “Roger Brothers of Hartford” and the lower from “The Second Generation or The Last of the Rogers in Hartford”:
The following was taken from “Leading Business Men of New Haven County” 1887:
Here is how the factory complex appeared in 1879:
Two advertisements from 1878 & 1879:
Next is from the 1889 “Brochure of Owl’s Head Mountain House, Lake Memphremagog”:
Below is from 1890 and the “Pen and Sunlight Sketches of Scenery Reached by the Grand Trunk Railway”:
Note Montreal, Canada in the above.
From “The Jewelers’ Circular and Horological Review” v. 23 Oct 7 1891 (this booklet would be interesting to find):
Also from Jewelers’ Circular, Oct. 28, 1891:
And again from “The Jewelers’ Circular and Horological Review” v. 23 Aug. – Oct. 1891:
Detail of the patterns.
Interestingly, the San Diego design shown above was patented by William Henry Rogers (son of William Hazen). I have a very unusual grouping of oyster forks for sale at my Etsy shop that have the Eagle Rogers mark, somewhat similar to this San Diego design, and the design of these forks is that of an anchor. I have not been able to identify the patent designer. Did the son create this design in honor of his father?
From the 1893 “The Official Directory of the World’s Columbian Exposition” showing back stamps:
1899 advertisement showing more patterns:
And finally from the 1910 Fort Dearborn Watch & Clock Co. Catalog illustrating more patterns:
From the advertisements shown previously plus some other Simpson, Hall, Miller patterns with which I am familiar, I’ve assembled the following:
The last pattern in the following grouping was assigned to Simpson, Hall, Miller but I’m unable to identify it (if, in fact, it was actually produced):
I have some Simpson, Hall, Miller and Eagle Rogers items available at my Etsy shop. One listing is for these marvelous “Egyptian” pattern nut picks:
These nut picks can be found here: https://www.etsy.com/listing/164088776/four-simpson-hall-miller-silver-plated
And another is this diminutive berry fork in the lovely “Harvard” pattern:
My Etsy shop can be found here: https://www.etsy.com/shop/queenofsienna/