Table Wares

Interesting, Unusual and Possibly Rare…..

Waldo

I was recently researching a pattern for a silver plate fork manufactured by Holmes & Edwards.  I determined the pattern was the 1894 “Rialto” pattern designed by Sidney Smith (Design Patent No. 23,163 issued April 3, 1894).  This pattern had several various backstamps including: Associated Silver Co. / Yourex, Aurora Silver Plate Mfg. Co., B.S. Co., Liquid Carbonic Corp., Reliance Mfg. Co., E. G. Webster & Son and Holmes & Edwards.  I have to admit that I was unfamiliar with the majority of these companies.  This information was contained on a marvelous website www.sterlingflatwarefashions.com.

 The next step was to research the availability and pricing of this pattern on the internet in order to project an offered price at my Etsy shop. What I discovered was that there were some “Rialto” patterns out there that had a golden hue and were marked “Waldo HE”.  The majority of the people who had listed these golden hue “Rialto” pieces referred to them as being gold plated or gilt.  I knew that Holmes & Edwards also used an “HE” mark, so these pieces must have been manufactured by Holmes & Edwards but what was “Waldo”? 

The Holmes & Edwards Silver Co. was founded in 1882 by George C. Edwards and Israel Holmes and operated out of Bridgeport, CT (and became part of International Silver in 1898).  What was the connection between Holmes & Edwards and Waldo?

Waldo Holmes & Edwards

Well, the search started….and Google Books proved to contain a wealth of information:

1893:  The Waldo Foundry was also located in Bridgeport, Connecticut at the same time Holmes & Edwards was in operation there.  The following comes from “The New England States,” Vol. 2, 1897, author William Thomas Davis states that The Waldo Foundry, Railroad Avenue, West End, Bridgeport, Conn. organized in 1893 with a capitol of $50,000; President J. A. Bush, NY, Treasure A. G. VanCleve, NY and Secretary Leonard Waldo, Bridgeport.

1893: A series of patents were filed by Dr. Leonard Waldo of Bridgeport, Conn. And Frank A. Gooch of New Haven, Conn. Regarding the “Process of Reducing Aluminum”.  Perhaps the earliest being patent No. 527,849.

February 1894: Dr. Leonard Waldo actually handed out souvenir spoons at the following meeting in Virginia Beach… Taken from “Transactions of the America Institute of Mining, Metallurgical and Petroleum Engineers, Volume 24”:

“Aluminum-Bronze” by Leonard Waldo, Bridgeport, Conn. (Virginia Beach Meeting, February, 1894).

“Probably some of the views advanced in this paper will appear from a metallurgical standpoint, little less than revolutionary.  It is with considerable hesitancy that I venture to offer a few thoughts concerning what seems to me to be perhaps the most important development of metallurgy since the introduction of Bessemer steel.

Dr. John Perey, with that rare insight which characterizes the epoch-making man, described in a communication to the Royal Society, about 1855, an alloy of aluminum and copper which he called aluminum-bronze.  The name has “stuck.”  The term “bronze” has been so variously used that I confess I do not know exactly what constitutes a bronze; but I know that in the great materials of engineering simplicity of composition is a cardinal excellence and I wish to venture the suggestion that aluminum-bronze is not an alloy of aluminum and copper in any such sense as the compounds of tine and zinc with copper (except the copper-tin compound SnCU3) are alloys.  There are several reasons which lead me to this view…..There are reasons for supposing that the basal combination which is formed would correspond to the formula AlCu4.  That is what is commonly called ten percent bronze.  My belief is that it is an aluminide of copper and that its solution in copper gives us the various qualities of aluminum-bronze.  The little specimens in the form of souvenir spoons distributed at this meeting represent this formula diluted with an equal amount of copper.  To remedy some of the existing confusion in regard to the alloys of aluminum and copper (I use that word alloy with reservation, and only because this is the common nomenclature) I venture to propose that we consider this AlCu4 as aluminum-bronze; that when it is diluted with an equal amount of copper we call it one-half aluminum-bronze; and so on to one-quarter bronze, etc.”

1894: Johnston’s Electrical and Street Railway Directory:  The Waldo Foundry Co., Bridgeport, Conn. Is listed under “Castings, Aluminum and Manganese Bronze, Mfg. of”

October, 1894: Although Waldo’s aluminum-bronze was formed by combining aluminum and copper (no gold), “The Aluminum World” states: “ ‘Gold aluminum’ is one of the latest aluminum alloys that has been put upon the market.  The alloy resembles gold in color, and is being worked into spoons, forks, etc.  It is claimed that it is easily cleaned, and retains its polish with much less care than sterling silver.  The Holmes & Edwards Silver Co. of Bridgeport, Conn., is now making some beautiful tableware in “gold aluminum,” which sells at sights thoughout the country.  The Waldo Foundry of the same city produces the metal.”

December 12, 1894: From “The Jewelers’ Circular”: Aluminum – Gold Knives, Forks, Spoons, Flat and Table Ware.  The Waldo Foundry, Bridgeport, Conn. Trademark 23,308, filed for October 29, 1894 and issued December 4, 1894.  Essential features: The representation of a griffin’s head erased and the word “W A L D O”.  Used since Sept. 1, 1894. 

October 1896: From “The Aluminum World”: Article entitled “New Work in Bronze” references the Waldo Foundry Co.’s tests in tensile strength and crystallization.

March, 1902: From “The Foundry, A Trade Journal”: “The Waldo Foundry, Bridgeport, Co., have disposed of their stock and fixtures and are no longer engaged in the foundry business.”  Note:  I question this 1902 date as I have also found an obituary reference in “Brass World” to Edwin Starr Sperry, who was Superintendant at The Waldo Foundry until 1905 (Mr. Sperrry died in January 1914).

Dr. Waldo’s obituary January 26., 1929: http://news.google.com/newspapers?nid=1144&dat=19290126&id=eUsbAAAAIBAJ&sjid=AUsEAAAAIBAJ&pg=2827,4787177

I am not aware of any other company other than Holmes & Edwards manufacturing flatware using The Waldo Foundry “aluminum-bronze”.  Following is a photo of the marks on the back of one of the spoons.  

The “Pat. 90” mark on the back of the bowl relates to the patent for the shape of the bowl (designed to eat oranges) obtained in 1890 by George Clark Edwards, of Holmes & Edwards.  See the following:

This certainly has been an interesting journey…I will update if I discover more.

Update September 2, 2012:

I did discover more… Waldo HE flatware was given as a premium with grocery purchases.  Don’t know the year or the grocer.

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Will continue to update as necessary.

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38 Responses to Table Wares

  1. Pingback: Waldo…Holmes & Edwards Rialto Pattern | queenofsienna

  2. Pingback: The Smiths of Bridgeport | queenofsienna

  3. Cindy Dittfield says:

    We have a Waldo Silver Co. Quad dup plate 1427 (covered 3 piece server) – I can’t find this listed anywhere. please advise

    • inourimage says:

      Cindy, is “Waldo Silver Co.” actually spelled out or is there a mark that looks like a gryphon or horse head? I have not seen any silver or silverplate with the word “Waldo” spelled out (other than the gold-aluminum Rialto pattern which I discuss in my blog post, which was manufactured by Holmes & Edwards using Waldo Foundry’s metal alloy).

      • Angel gascon says:

        I have one spoon waldo Apr pat 94 like the pic how much are they worth an I have five different spoons an a old vintage England pie knife can’t find it any were on web

      • queenofsienna says:

        I suggest you go to completed items on Etsy. Search “Waldo” under “Antiques” and then “Silver” in the Completed section. There are a good number that have sold.

  4. jennybug1413 says:

    Can I send you a pic of a H & E spoon? I can’t identify the pattern. Thanks!

  5. Pingback: Huyler’s Candy Tongs | queenofsienna

  6. jodigrinnell says:

    Help! I’ve found a spoon and can’t find any info on the web! It is definitely very old and very tarnished. I can’t tell if it’s silver but I’m assuming it’s plated because it’s not very heavy. The mark on the back says “Standard” “s ? Co”.

    • queenofsienna says:

      There are two companies that marked their flatware “Standard”. The earlier, “Standard Silver Ware Co.” out of Boston in the 1880s claimed to be manufacturers and jobbers of fine electro silver plated ware. The other one, according to sterlingflatwarefashions.com (great site) “Standard Silver Company” was out of Toronto and started in the 1890s. The age of your pattern would more than likely determine which of these two backstamped your spoon.

  7. Pingback: The Holmes & Edwards Silver Company | queenofsienna

  8. Melodie says:

    I received a lot of flatware that has been in my family since the 1800s. This “collection” represents different families & so most are pieces made from various companies. I am stumped by a serving spoon that is solid & may be nickel plated. It bears 2 stamps on the back go the handle: MADE IN USA” and ” 900 WBW” — each stamp was rather large, raised letters, & used 3 lines. The pattern resembled ” Tipped” or ” Fiddle Handle.” Do you have information about what WBW stands for and/or the significance of 900? I read that WB may be Williams Brothers, but what about the other “W”? Any idea of the date? Thanks!

    • queenofsienna says:

      Hi, Melodie. The WB over W mark (WB with a line underneath and a W below that) is a brand trademark of R. Wallace & Sons Manufacturing Co. of Wallingford, CT. The trademark filing request was made on June 17, 1895 and granted on August 6, 1895, Reg. No. 0026912. The Goods and Services were described as “KNIVES, FORKS, SPOONS, AND OTHER ARTICLES OF TABLE-SERVICE WHICH ARE MADE OF STEEL AND TINNED”. The trademark expired March 17, 1986. Hope this helps!

      • Melodie says:

        Very helpful! What significance is the “900” above the WB?

      • queenofsienna says:

        More than likely the 900 represents the level of purity of the plating material, usually silver. May I suggest you test it with a magnet to see if the base metal is steel.

  9. Melodie says:

    It’s magnetic! The metal is heavy and remained a dull gray after using a liquid cleaner recommended for silver by my jeweler. If this is steel, would “900” describe purity?

  10. Melodie says:

    Susan- Thank you for researching and posting the answer! Your findings were VERY interesting. Thank you for going the “extra mile” by posting pictures. It helped me link the spoon to era, thus the family member/owner. Melodie

  11. KIM says:

    I have a knife that looks like a butter knife by WALDO. Does anyone know how much these are worth?

  12. Gavin says:

    Hi, can anyone help? I have recently discovered some of these ‘waldo HE’ spoons etc, i have 4 forks, 4 teaspoons, 4 normal spoons, what looks like a soup spoon, a large dessert spoon and what i think are sugar tongs.. they look lovely but i’m not sure if i should clean them up or what? are they any good? i have read up a bit about and it all seems quite popular? thanks!

  13. Peggy says:

    I located a set with six spoons, a sugar spoon(?) and butter knife when cleaning out my mothers apartment. All of them have the griffins head (looks as though the head was partially erased/worn or changed to look like a one); Waldo HE marking with the PAT Apr ?4 with the exception of one spoon that appears to be marked D.H. Mc C and Co. Do you have any information on the D.H. Mc C and Co.?

    • Peggy says:

      Please accept my apology, I did further reading from you and find the information regarding the D.H. Mc C and Co marking. Very interesting. The designs are identical to the eye. Thanks again

  14. Gayle W. says:

    This is wonderful! My grandmother left me a gold aluminum large spoon that has the griffin head Waldo HE stamped on the back with “PAT APL” instead of the actual patent date. You have given me so much history for my keepsake. Thank you!

    • queenofsienna says:

      You’re welcome. Glad to have been of help!

      • Ray hench says:

        Can you tell me what year the the forks stamped Waldo HE with just Pat Apl on them were made..Thank You

      • queenofsienna says:

        Hi, the patent application for that Rialto design was filed March 1, 1894 and the patent was approved on April 3, 1894. So it depends on how quickly they changed the stamp to “Pat Apr 94”.

  15. Brian Rothhammer says:

    Great ‘site! I appreciate your research and exchange of information.

    I have 80 pieces of (what I have just learned to be) Gold Aluminum 1894 Rialto. Some are backstamped 1 Waldo HE, others are stamped D. H. Mc. C and Co. . Pieces are spoons, knives, forks and several serving pieces.

    These are for sale all or ‘pieced out.’ Are you interested in them or do you know of interested buyers? My email is Rothhammer1@aol.com.

    • queenofsienna says:

      Brian, thank you for your comments. While I’m not in the market for additional pieces, any interested potential buyers reading this post can contact you directly via your email. Best wishes.

  16. Lynne says:

    I’m having a wonderful time researching a collection of turn of the century souvenir spoons, one of which fits your description however it is engraved: Atlanta 1895. Is this possibly another of the Rialto that you mentioned? Is it worth anything to sell?

  17. Lynne says:

    I find this all so fascinating! Thanks so much for sharing your hard research with us.

  18. Pam Marker says:

    How do I subscribe to your wonderful blog?

    • queenofsienna says:

      Pam, thanks for your comment. I believe there should be a “follow” button on the lower right corner of the blog. If not, let me know and we’ll figure it out.

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