Saturday, May 25, 2013

We used to make things in this country. #105: McGlashan-Clarke Silverware, Niagara Falls, Ontario

This old fork was in a free pile at the end of a laneway:

It's a silverplate "rattail" pattern probably made for the hotel industry. These items offered for sale on the web are often mistakenly identified as originating in Birmingham, England.  The actual maker was McGlashan-Clark Silverware which was founded in 1880 by Leonard McGlashan and Dr. Gardner Clarke in Humberstone, (since amalgamated into Port Colborne) Ontario.  In 1895, the firm moved to Niagara Falls to take advantage of the hydro-electric power available there.  It was the first company in Canada to make silverware and the first to manufacture stainless steel cutlery.  The company became one of the city's most prominent manufacturers, and remained in family hands until it closed in 1955.

This information was taken from an online article by Sherman Zavitz, the official historian for the City of Niagara Falls.  The article, entitled "History column:  a life tragically cut short", recounts some of the family history of the founders, including their construction of a home called Adanac Lodge (or "Canada" spelled backwards)!

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