International Silver Company (ISC) American Silversmiths

International Silver Company featured image
International Silver Company

The International Silver Company, also known as the ISC, was established in Meriden, Connecticut as a corporation to bring together numerous already-existing silver companies in the immediate region and elsewhere. It produced silver from 1898 until 1983 when it ceased production. (International Silver Company – Wikipedia, 1898)

Early Years

International Silver grew to be the biggest producer of silverware in the world, not just for the quality of its fine silver. (Rainwater, 1966) A history of American silversmithing can be found in the history of the International Silver Company and its forerunners. Ashbil Griswold, who established his pewter shop in Meriden, Connecticut, in 1808 and quickly expanded it to include Britannia ware, is credited with starting the early records of this industry. Through the efforts of Griswold and other independent makers who banded together to fund the Yankee peddlers responsible for selling and bartering these wares, Meriden became the centre of pewter, Britannia ware, and silver manufacturing. (Rainwater, 2000) 

While employing the skills of renowned industrial designers, architects, and artists (Eliel Saarinen, Alfons Bach, Donald Deskey, Paul Lobel, and Lurelle Guild), some pieces were created by its in-house artists (including Ernest R. Beck, Edward J. Conroy, Jean G. Theobald, Alfred G. Kintz, and Leslie A. Brown). The silverplate tableware from the 1934–1935 line was created by Guild. Other products from International combined silver with brand-new plastics or semi-precious stones. Some of its designs lacked originality, such as the Georg Jensen Blossom pattern and the 1915 Johan Rohde and Georg Jensen Acorn flatware.  (Byars, 1994) 

Sources

Byars, M., & Riley, T. (2004). The design encyclopedia. Laurence King Publishing. https://amzn.to/3ElmSlL

International Silver Company – Wikipedia: International Silver Company – Wikipedia. (1898, January 1). en.wikipedia.org. Retrieved October 2, 2022, from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/International_Silver_Company

Rainwater, D. T. (1966, January 1). Encyclopedia of American Silver Manufacturers. In Their Marks, Trademarks, and History. Crown.

Rainwater, D. T. (2000, March 13). American Silverplate. https://doi.org/10.1604/9780764309014

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