A reader recently contacted me regarding assistance in identifying a piece of flatware she had which was marked “Made in U.S.A.” and “WBW 900″.
I wasn’t familiar with the”WBW” mark and started doing some research. I found some hints that “WBW” was connected with R. Wallace & Sons Manufacturing. I then went to the Trademarkia website to see if a trademark has been registered, and sure enough, R. Wallace did obtain such a trademark back in 1895. My notes, which follow, provide details:
Having answered that question regarding “WBW”, one other question remained. What did the “900” mean? Initially I thought that the “900” indicated purity of plating. But upon learning that the item was magnetic, that answer no longer made sense to me. It was steel which most likely had been tinned. So what did that “900” mean?
I found my answer in the following 1897 advertisement in the Iron Age publication. No. 900 was the model number / pattern name.
The following year, Wallace ran another WBW ad in Iron Age, this one was for the “Victoria” pattern. Note the name of the pattern is placed in the same location under the spoon as it had been for “No. 900”.
The 1904 Dry Goods Reporter ad shows the “900” before each line item for this model.
I’m thinking that the last “W” in “WBW” stood for “Wallingford”, where the company was located… Wallace Brothers, Wallingford. The Wallace Brothers were the sons of R. Wallace. They had formed their own company, “Wallace Brothers” in 1871 and merged with R. Wallace & Sons Manufacturing Co. in 1879.