Category: Newsletters

MARCH 2018

MARCH PROGRAM: ANTIQUES & COLLECTIBLE ADVERTISING GLASS

Thursday, March 8th, 2018 at 6:30 pm at the Meriden Public Library, 105 Miller Street, Meriden, CT.

Moxie Glass seen on eBay

Ruth Ann Davis, a retired psychologist and a long time antique dealer, has been a collector of advertising glass giveaways since 1980. She will be sharing her knowledge and some of her collection with us on March 8th at 6:30 pm at the Meriden Public Library. This meeting is open to the public. Refreshments will be served.

 

 

 

 

AT THE HOMESTEAD :

MAY OPEN HOUSE & SPECIAL EXHIBIT

The Andrews Homestead, will be open to the public every Sunday in May from 11:00 till 3:00 with a special exhibit that will feature tea sets and coffee sets by International Silver and its predecessor companies and smoke related items. In addition, our silver display cases will be restocked and will feature new items from our International Silver Co. Collection.

The exhibit will open with a tea party special fundraising event.

 

A TEA PARTY AT THE HOMESTEAD

Saturday, May 5th, 2018 at the Andrews Homestead, 424 W. Main St. Meriden CT (sharing a parking lot with the Benjamin Franklin School). Table settings will feature tea sets and coffee sets from the Society’s International Silver Co. Collection. Details to follow in next month’s news letter.

 

CHRISTMAS AT THE HOMESTEAD

Our Christmas open house at the Andrews Homestead was held there for the first time in over 40 years. In spite of the snowy weather, people came to enjoy the holiday atmosphere. It was an overwhelming success and we hope to make it a yearly tradition.

 

 

NEWS FROM THE ARCHIVES

By: Paul S. Butkus

Among the documentation from the various companies that formed or became a part of the International Silver Company are a large number of scrapbooks. While the majority of the scrapbooks in the Archives contain copies of trade and popular magazine advertisements, somewhat unique among the collection are those from the Meriden Silver Plate Company. These scrapbooks are large, unwieldy items but instead of magazine advertisements, they contain clippings from their product catalogs arranged by item number. Dates are not noted next to the items so it unfortunately does not allow you to put a specific date on a particular pattern but what is possible is to see the configuration of an item as offered in the original catalog. This can be quite useful when trying to determine if a particular item is missing a metal or glass part or whether a glass item (bowl or vase etc.) is original to the piece or possibly a later replacement.

 

I recently found a Meriden Silver Plate Ink Stand at a thrift store and although it had a lot of plate loss and was missing its ink well, I purchased it. The mark was clear and almost complete but something caught my eye along the reinforcing rib that runs from the pen area through the ink well area, right in the center of the piece. When turned at just the right angle, a second imprint of the 02547 item number is just barely visible running parallel to the reinforcing rib but has been buffed out. I suspect that someone placed the first mark in the center of the piece not knowing that it would be obscured by the reinforcing rib. Before leaving the factory, the first mark was removed, the reinforcing rib installed and a new mark added. Had this been a later repair and not done in the factory, there wouldn’t be a second mark.

  

Such hidden traces help reinforce the fact that while industrialization facilitated greater production of items at a more affordable cost, there still was a lot of hands-on involvement. One could imagine a fairly young apprentice just learning the trade being assigned the job of placing the mark and given his level of experience wasn’t aware that this particular piece had another element to be put on. Before placing the rib, the mistake was discovered and corrected and item completed. Whatever the actual reason, I find these forensic details fascinating.

 

Since the thrift store only had the stand I decided to do some research to determine what type of glass ink well would have come with it. The four round balls held the ink well in place and worn areas of the plate are visible suggesting a lot of use over the years. The wear marks at first glance appear circular so I assumed that there would have been a round inkwell sitting there.

 

Going to the large scrapbooks, which are about 5” thick, I was able to locate the section on inkwells relatively easily in of one of the volumes. Since the items are organized by type and number and appear to have been added over a long period of time all of the same type of objects are not located in one volume. Notes at the end of the ink well section in the first scrapbook directed me to where the series continued in a subsequent scrapbook.

 

There on page 173 was a great catalog image of item 02547 with its missing glass ink well that originally cost $6.00. Instead of being round as I suspected it was actually hexagonal cut glass. The ink well is also shown by itself as item 02543 for $3.50. Upon closer inspection of the wear marks along with the catalog image it is obvious that the original ink well was not round. At least now I know what to keep my eyes on the lookout for.

 

 

WELCOME TO OUR NEW MEMBERS:

Ronald Abbe of Meriden, Bill Carabetta of Meriden CT, Ellen Carter of Glastonbury CT, Jane Mulligan of Meriden CT, Rick and Sue Reale of Meriden CT, Matt Zierler of Okemos MI, and to our new corporate member, New England Capital Financial Advisors Llc of Meriden CT.

 

FOR THEIR GENEROSITY WE THANK:

Agnes Baur, Arnold E. Hayes III, Bruce And Sue Burchsted, Cecelia Flagg, Deborah Hanna, Daniel J. Metz, anonymous, Doe Bartlett, Ellen M. Carter, Frank Chiarenza, Gregg Hugo, Jacquelyn Beale, Jan Fontanella, Janet Pestey, anonymous, John G. Arndt, Lawrence & Stacia Morehouse, Lawrence M. McGoldrick, Lesley Solkoske, Lorraine Hancock, Matt Zierler, Paul S. Butkus, Robert & Theresa Rao (IMO Carrol Lyle), Roger Kemp, Ronald J. Stempien, Ruth Ann C. Davis, Ruth Grandy, Sharon Deming, Sherwin & Ruth Borsuk, Suzanne E. Zajac, Thomas Marshall, the many visitors to the Andrews Homestead and to the Research Center who dropped cash into our donation jars, to the Estate of Ruth Snyder, and to the Wave Crest Collectors Club (IMO Carrol Lyle).

 

PLEASE SUPPORT OUR CORPORATE MEMBERS 

Nest Egg Auctions

http://nesteggauctions.com

758 Four Rod Road

Berlin, CT 06037

203-630-1400

The Record Journal

http://myrecordjournal.com

500 S. Broad St,

Meriden CT 06450

203-235-1661

The Remodeling Company

848 N. Colony Rd

Meriden, CT 06450

203-213-1053

 

New England Capital Financial Advisors, LLC

http://newenglandcapital.com

79 Main St.

Meriden, CT 06451

203-935-0265

 

November 2017

NOVEMBER PROGRAM AND LECTURE

Thursday, November 9, 6:30 PM at the Meriden Public Library, 105 Miller Street, Meriden CT

THE MERIDEN GRAVURE COMPANY- PRINTING BEFORE THE DIGITAL AGE – LECTURE AND BOOK SIGNING. Presented by William (Bill) J. Glick author of

IN THE SERVICE OFSCHOLARSHIP: HAROLD HUGO & THE MERIDEN GRAVURE COMPANY (Oak Knoll Press 2017). Mr. Glick, a member of the Meriden Historical Society, will present an illustrated talk about the Meriden Gravure Company and the talented people who were the driving force behind this world renowned, Meriden based, printing company. In his presentation Bill will draw on his 30-year association with the company as well as on his extensive research when writing his recently published book.

Book signing will follow the discussion.

A limited number of books (@ $75.00) will be available for sale for cash, checks or PayPal payments. Profits of the sale go to benefit the activities of the Meriden Historical Society. This program is free to both members and non-members of the Meriden Historical Society. Refreshments will be served.

 

AT THE RESEARCH CENTER:

We no longer use cotton gloves when handling materials at the Society. All materials are now handled with acid free, disposable, highly tactile Nitrile gloves. This procedure protects both materials and handlers.

Our volunteers have started cataloging our archives of the Napier Company. While the company is best known for its costume jewelry,

Napier created other objects as well, as seen in this page from Napier’s 1967 catalog JEWELRY AND GIFTS by Napier®Napier is too good to hide.

The society recently enjoyed a visit by Melinda L Lewis and her husband Mark. Melinda is the author (together with Henry Swen) of the encyclopedic book, The Napier Co. Defining 20th Century American Costume Jewelry. (Life By Design Publishing – 2013) The couple browsed through our Napier archives, reviewing information from material in the Society’s collection.

NEWS FROM THE ARCHIVES

by Paul Butkus

It is said that a good product will sell itself but only if people know that it exists. It is apparent through the cataloging of the materials in the International Silver Company Archives at the Meriden Historical Society, that IS really knew how to get the word out, including enlisting the help of famous personalities!

The Archives contain a wealth of information documenting the various methods used to do just that. Both IS and their retailers worked together to advertise the various product lines to their customers, following well planned out advertising campaigns developed at the headquarters in Meriden. Examples of the coming year’s advertising campaigns are included in the collection which outlines the advertisements that would be placed in various national magazines along with suggestions for local advertisements to be placed by the individual retailers. Contained within numerous ‘scrap books’ (arranged chronologically by month, year and line), are the actual advertisements placed in the national magazines including both trade journals and popular magazines such as: Brides Book, Harpers Bazaar, House Beautiful, House & Garden, Ladies’ Home Journal and the Saturday Evening Post. A number of volumes contain the local ads as well.

Mickey Mouse Ad 1933 Meriden Historical Society

But placing an advertisement alone won’t make the sale so IS created materials to help train the salesmen. One such publication was a newsletter called the International Silver Service, which they started in September of 1932. The newsletter was sent out to retailers and included articles on new products, special monthly promotions, announcements of upcoming radio and print advertising campaigns and helpful information on how to treat a customer so that they not only made the initial sale but were enticed to come back again and again.

The April 1933 edition of International Silver Service announced that Mickey Mouse had been enlisted as their latest salesman. He would help make sales through the introduction of a number of items in silver plate for children including plates, cups, porringers and flatware decorated with his image. “Salesman Mickey Mouse Ready to Work for You” reads the title of one of the articles. In September of 1933, the Mickey Mouse flatware (along with a cup and porringer) started being offered in sterling along with the addition of items featuring Minnie Mouse, Clarabell Cow and Horace Horsecollar flatware adding to the ‘sales force’. The article announcing the new offerings in sterling begins with “A successful salesman sells himself.” Clearly the message was not intended to just apply to Mickey Mouse but also the retail salesman reading the newsletter as well.

It is no wonder that IS became the largest silver producer in the world.

 

FOR THEIR GENEROSITY WE THANK:

Stacey McConlogue for her donation in memory of Jean Lord Greenlaw, and to Gregg Hugo for his donation in Memory of his wife Bonnie.

 

IN SYMPATHY

The Meriden Historical Society extends its condolences to Gregg Hugo on the passing of his wife Bonnie; to Charles Kline on the passing of his mother Eleanor and to Andrew Piatek on the passing of his mother Dorothy.

 

PLEASE SUPPORT OUR CORPORATE MEMBERS

 

Nest Egg Auctions

758 Four Rod Road

Berlin, CT 06037

203-630-1400

The Record Journal

500 S. Broad St,

Meriden CT 06450

203-235-1661

The Remodeling Company

848 N. Colony Rd

Meriden, CT 06450

203-213-1053

 

October 2017

 

AT THE RESEARCH CENTER:

Our president, Lesley Solkoske, assisted by our volunteer, Dan Metz, are valiantly working their way through our collection of silver-plate flatware. Lesley and Dan have been sorting and cataloging holdings that have been waiting to be evaluated for a very long time. Also hard at work are Paul Butkus and Kathy McMahon. Kathy and Paul are reorganizing the archives at our Annex.

 

SEEING THE PAST: STORIES ON THE TRAIL OF A YANKEE MILLWRIGHT

Presented by author Jim Powers

Thursday, October 12, 6:30 PM at the Meriden Public Library, 105 Miller Street, Meriden CT.

Among the stories of Connecticut’s Past is that of the development of the Britannia and Silver-plating industry particularly in Meriden and Wallingford and how it was a driving force in the evolution of industrial Connecticut during the 19th and early 20th centuries.

The program is co-sponsored by the Meriden Public Library and is open to the public. Admission is free. Refreshments will be served. The program is co-sponsored by the Meriden Public Library and is open to the public. Admission is free. Refreshments will be served.

 

MEMBERS ONLY WINE & CHEESE RECEPTION is scheduled for Saturday, October 7, 4:30 – 6:30 PM

at the Andrews Homestead, 424 West Main Street, Meriden – sharing a parking lot with the Benjamin Franklin School. This event, given in appreciation of members support, will launch our October exhibit: Communication Before the Digital Age. The reception is for members in good standing and their guests only (one guest per member). Please RSVP by calling our office 203-639-1913 and leaving a message or by emailing us at : MeridenHistoricalSociety@gmail.com

We are looking forward to seeing you there!

 

COMMUNICATION BEFORE THE DIGITAL AGE – AN EXHIBIT

at the Andrews Homestead

will be open to the public 11:00 AM – 3:00 PM

on Saturdays: October 14 & 28

and on Sundays: October 8, 15, 22 & 29

The “digital age”, also called the “information age”, is defined as the time period starting in the 1970s with the introduction of the personal computer, with subsequent technology introduced providing the ability to transfer information freely and quickly. The Public is invited to view items and images of the way we used to communicate before the Internet and personal computer made their way into our lives.

VOLUNTEERS AND DOCENTS WANTED!

EXHIBIT DOCENT TRAINING SCHEDULED FOR SUNDAY, OCTOBER 8th – 10:00 AM and for MONDAY OCTOBER 9 – 6:00 PM,

We could definitely use more volunteers, especially people who can help welcome visitors to the Andrews Homestead. Training for veteran docents and docents-to-be for the upcoming exhibit will take place on Sunday, October 8th at 10:00 am and on Monday, October 9th at 6:00 pm at the Andrews Homestead. Please RSVP by calling our office 203-639-1913 and leaving a message or by emailing us at : MeridenHistoricalSociety@gmail.com

We need a count to ensure we prepare enough material for all attendees.

 

DIGITIZE YOUR MEDIA – A Fund Raiser

With Digital Memory Media Saturday, October 7, 12:00 – 3:00 PM at the Bernice Morehouse Research Center, 1090 Hanover Ave, Meriden.

People were very pleased with this program last fall so, once again : If you ever wanted to convert your photos, home movies, slides, video tapes even your music to a digital format and have them stored on a CD or a thumb drive, here is your chance. An advisor from Digital Memory Media, will be at the Society’s Research Center, to consult, and if so desired, pick up any items brought in for digitization. Prices are: Video Tapes (VHS, VHS-C MINI DV, HI8): $17.00 per video; Slides (Glass or Celluloid): $0.50 each. Over 1,000 – $0.45 each; Photos/negatives: $0.50 each – over 1,000 – $0.45 each; Albums: $0.85 per page; 8mm & 16mm movies: 3-inch reel – $14.00 per reel, 5-inch reel – $25.00 per reel, 7-inch reel – $50.00 per reel; Vinyl Records: $29.00 per record; Audio Cassettes: $19.00 single sided $25.00 dual sided; Reel-to-Reel Audio: dual channel $30.00 quad channel $39.00; DVDs & CDs $7.00; Blu-Ray $13.00.

Digital Memory Media will donate a portion of the proceeds to the Society.

 

 

FOR THEIR GENEROSITY WE THANK:

Carl Sokolowski; and to Ric & Lisa Suzio who made a donation in honor of Dorothy Heffernan’s Birthday.

 

PLEASE SUPPORT OUR CORPORATE MEMBERS

 

Nest Egg Auctions

http://nesteggauctions.com

758 Four Rod Road

Berlin, CT 06037

203-630-1400

The Record Journal

http://myrecordjournal.com

500 S. Broad St,

Meriden CT 06450

203-235-1661

The Remodeling Company

848 N. Colony Rd

Meriden, CT 06450

203-213-1053

 

September 2017

THE 1916 MEXICAN PUNITIVE EXPEDITION presented by David Corrigan

Tuesday, September 12, 6:30 PM at the Meriden Public Library, 105 Miller Street, Meriden CT.

The Mexican Punitive Expedition was also known as the Pancho Villa Expedition. And Pershing’s Punitive Expedition

“Between June 27 and June 29, 1916 nearly 3,000 Connecticut National Guardsmen left Camp Holcomb in Niantic, bound for the Mexican border. The reasons for their journey are directly related to events stemming from the Mexican Revolution of 1910 and the almost constant state of flux in political and military affairs that followed…” (“CT Explored” Spring 2017)

Mr. Corrigan’s research for this lecture included a diary written by Private Ernest F. Schmith of Meriden, a member of Company L, 2nd Connecticut Infantry.

The program is co-sponsored by the Meriden Public Library and is open to the public. Admission is free. Refreshments will be served.

 

THE SOCIETY’S COMMUNITY TAG SALE Saturday, September 9 (Raindate September 16) 9:00 AM – 1:00 PM

The second of our semi annual fund raising tag sales this year will be held at the Society’s Bernice Morehouse Research Center’s parking lot, 1090 Hanover Ave. Meriden, CT 06451 (enter through the New Hanover driveway).

Members and non-members are welcome to set up at the sale. The cost is a $15.00 donation to the Society per set-up ($10.00 for members). Vendors should bring their own tables.

As in previous years, the Meriden Historical Society will set up its own booth in the shed.  We hope to see you there.

 

MEMBERS ONLY WINE & CHEESE RECEPTION

is scheduled for Saturday, October 7, 4:30 – 6:30 PM at the Andrews Homestead, 424 West Main Street, Meriden – sharing a parking lot with the Benjamin Franklin School. This event, given in appreciation of members support, will launch our October exhibit: Communication Before the Digital Age. The reception is for members in good standing and their guests only (one guest per member). Please RSVP by calling our office 203-639-1913 and leaving a message or by emailing us at MeridenHistoricalSociety@gmail.com

We are looking forward to seeing you there!

 

COMMUNICATION BEFORE THE DIGITAL AGE – AN EXHIBIT will be open to the public 11:00 AM – 3:00 PM on Saturdays: October 14 & 28 and  on Sundays: October 8, 15, 22 & 29

The “digital age”, also called the “information age”, is defined as the time period starting in the 1970s with the introduction of the personal computer with subsequent technology introduced providing the ability to transfer information freely and quickly. The Public is invited to view items and images of the way we used to communicate before the Internet and personal computer made their way into our lives.

 

VOLUNTEERS AND DOCENTS WANTED!

EXHIBIT DOCENT TRAINING SCHEDULED FOR SUNDAY, OCTOBER 1ST AT 1:00 PM

We could definitely use more volunteers, especially people who can help welcome visitors to the Andrews Homestead. Training for veteran docents and docents-to-be for the upcoming exhibit will take place on Sunday, October 1st at 1:00 pm at the Andrews Homestead. Please RSVP by calling our office 203-639-1913 and leaving a message or by emailing us at : MeridenHistoricalSociety@gmail.com

We need a count to ensure we prepare enough material for all attendees.

 

DIGITIZE YOUR MEDIA – A Fund Raiser 

With Digital Memory Media Saturday, October 7, 12:00 – 3:00 PM at the Bernice Morehouse Research Center, 1090 Hanover Ave, Meriden.

People were very pleased with this program last Fall so, once again : If you ever wanted to convert your photos, home movies, slides, video tapes even your music to a digital format and have them stored on a CD or a thumb drive, here is your chance. An advisor from Digital Memory Media, will be at the Society’s Research Center, to consult, and if so desired, pick up any items brought in for digitization. Prices are: Video Tapes (VHS, VHS-C MINI DV, HI8): $17.00 each video; Slides (Glass or Celluloid): $0.50 each. Over 1,000 – $0.45 each; Photos/negatives: $0.50 each – over 1,000 – $0.45 each; Photo Albums: $0.85 per page; 8mm & 16mm movies: 3-inch reel – $14.00 each reel, 5-inch reel – $25.00 each reel, 7-inch reel – $50.00 each reel; Vinyl Records: $29.00 each record; Audio Cassettes: $19.00 single sided $25.00 dual sided; Reel-to-Reel Audio: dual channel $30.00 quad channel $39.00; DVDs & CDs $7.00; Blu-Ray $13.00.

Digital Memory Media will donate a portion of the proceeds to the Meriden Historical Society.

 

Congratulations

to Bill Glick on the publication of his scholarly book IN THE SERVICE OF SCHOLARSHIP: HAROLD HUGO & THE MERIDEN GRAVURE COMPANY – Oak Knoll Press, 2017

“In the Service of Scholarship is a history of one of the leading printing firms of the twentieth century. It is also a character study and biography of Harold Hugo (1910-1985), whose career at Meriden Gravure began at the age of fourteen and continued until his retirement as president in 1975.”

Copies are available for purchase at our Research Center or during the upcoming exhibit, while supplies last.

 

 

WE WELCOME OUR NEW MEMBERS:

Michael Iovanna of Meriden, Donna Lewis of Meriden, Daniel J. Metz, Jr. of Meriden, Amy Wes of Meriden, Joseph Zaborowski of Meriden.

 

PLEASE SUPPORT OUR CORPORATE MEMBERS

 Nest Egg Auctions

https://nesteggauctions.com

758 Four Rod Road

Berlin, CT 06037

203-630-1400

The Record Journal

http://myrecordjournal.com

500 S. Broad St,

Meriden CT 06450

203-235-1661

The Remodeling Company

848 N. Colony Rd

Meriden, CT 06450

203-213-1053

 

June 2017

THE LIFE AND LEGEND OF ROSA PONSELLE with Valerie Bubon
Thursday June 15, 6:30 PM at the Meriden Public Library, 105 Miller Street, Meriden CT.

        
Diva Rosa Ponselle – 1925                   Ms. Valerie Bubon

Valerie Bubon, a teacher, lecturer, opera singer, and a member of the Meriden Historical Society will present a program of the extraordinary career of Meriden-born opera diva, Rosa Ponselle.

The program will include an overview of Rosa Ponselle’s career with audio excerpts from her operas andn highlights from her 1934 – 1936 radio broadcast years. A film clip of Ponselle’s MGM screen test will also be shown, with a question and answer to follow. This program is co-sponsored by the Meriden Public Library. Admission is free. Refreshments will be served.

 

TAG SALES SCHEDULED FOR 2017
SATURDAY, JUNE 17 & SATURDAY SEPTEMBER 16

We have scheduled 2 tag sale fund raising events this year. The first will be held on Saturday, June 18 and the second on Saturday September 17, with a rain date of the Saturday following each originally scheduled date. The sales will be held at the Society’s Bernice Morehouse Research Center’s parking lot, located at 1090 Hanover Ave. Meriden, CT 06451

Members and non-members are welcome to set up at the sale. The cost is a $15.00 donation to the Society per set-up ($10.00 for members).

As in last year, the Meriden Historical Society will set up its own booth in the shed.  We hope to see you there.

 

FROM THE INTERNATIONAL SILVER COLLECTION
 

While looking through boxes of the International Silver Collection we came upon this charming medicine spoon.
The spoon features a clock-face and a moving arm used to indicate the time to take the next dose of medicine. It was patented on March 9, 1897 but was produced by Holmes and Edwards three years earlier. The spoon first appears in the catalog of 1894.

 

FOR THEIR GENEROSITY WE THANK
Alice Meigs, Andrew Piatek, and the visitors to the Meriden at War Exhibit.
Special thanks to the CUNO Foundation for their continuous support through their generous grant.

 

PLEASE SUPPORT OUR CORPORATE MEMBERS

Nest Egg Auctions

http://nesteggauctions.com

758 Four Rod Road

Berlin, CT 06037

203-630-1400

The Record Journal

http://myrecordjournal.com

500 S. Broad St,

Meriden CT 06450

203-235-1661

The Remodeling Company

848 N. Colony Rd

Meriden, CT 06450

203-213-1053

May 2017

MAY PROGRAM: SURVIVING THE HOLOCAUST with Local resident and Holocaust survivor Bernie Frydenberg
MONDAY may 15, 6:30 PM at the Meriden Public Library, 105 Miller St. Meriden CT (click here for directions)

We live at a time when the numbers of those who witnessed the horrors of WWII first hand and can recount their experiences are rapidly declining.
Bernie Frydenberg was 14 when the Germans invaded Poland. Like most of the Jewish population of Demblin, his hometown, Bernie was sent to a concentration camp. Unlike most of the Jews sent to concentration camps, Bernie survived. He was liberated 71 years ago on May 8th 1945.
You are invited to bear witness to the testimony of his survival.
This program is co-sponsored by the Meriden Public Library. Admission is free. Refreshments will be served.

 

MERIDEN AND THE NATION’S WARS – AN EXHIBIT
AT THE ANDREWS HOMESTEAD our showcase museum, 420 W. Main Street, Meriden (sharing a parking lot with the Benjamin Franklin elementary school) (click here for directions)
EVERY SUNDAY in MAY from 11:00 am to 3:00 pm & THURSDAY, MAY 4th and MAY 18th from 5:00  to 8:00 pm.
Our May exhibit covers The Civil War, the Spanish American War, WWI, WWII, the Korean and the Vietnam wars. The Andrews Homestead itself was built in 1760, just prior to the Revolutionary War. It stands a silent witness to that era.

A special section is set aside to commemorate the 100th anniversary of WWI; another is dedicated to Women of Meriden and their contributions both at home and overseas.

The exhibit is free and open to the public.
Servicewomen and servicemen visiting the exhibit will receive a special recognition.

 

*******************************

This rare 1830s Shelf Clock was made in Meriden by Orrin Cook. The clock is a recent donation to the Meriden Historical Society.

 

MEMBERSHIP DINNER & ANNUAL MEETING THURSDAY MAY 11, 2017 6:00 PM
at the BERNICE MOREHOUSE RESEARCH CENTER 1090 HANOVER AVE, MERIDEN, CT (click here for directions)
Meriden Historical Society’s members in good standing will attend the Society’s annual Pizza and Pop Social, Dinner and Dessert event. Committee reports will be given followed by a vote-in of a slate of directors and officers for the year 2017/2018. A list of the proposed slate was sent to all members.
This meeting is a opened to members and their guests only.

 

FOR THEIR GENEROSITY WE THANK
Ken Karpowicz of Bloomfield and Thomas Manning of Wallingford. Special thanks to Jim Ieronimo of United Way of Meriden and Wallingford for aiding us by the preparation of our taxes for 2016 and saving us many hundreds of dollars.

 

DOCENTS NEEDED FOR MAY EXHIBIT
We could use your help at the open house and exhibit at the Andrews Homestead. Please call 203-639-1913 and leave a message, we’ll call you back.

*************

 

PLEASE SUPPORT OUR CORPORATE MEMBERS

Nest Egg Auctions

http://nesteggauctions.com

758 Four Rod Road

Berlin, CT 06037

203-630-1400

The Record Journal

http://myrecordjournal.com

500 S. Broad St,

Meriden CT 06450

203-235-1661

The Remodeling Company

848 N. Colony Rd

Meriden, CT 06450

203-213-1053

April 2017

April Program: MERIDEN’S HISTORY & SETTING INSPIRES ASYLUM with local author Kathryn Orzech.

THURSDAY, APRIL 13 6:30 at the Meriden Public Library:

Kathryn Orzech, award-winning local author of Asylum and Premonition of Terror, and, as she describes herself when telling about her website Dreamwatch.com: “Not a Psychic but…”, will talk about how the history of Meriden inspired her and found its way into her book Asylum.

This program is co-sponsored by the Meriden Public Library. Book signing will follow the talk. Admission is free so bring a friend!
Refreshments will be served.

 

AT THE ANDREWS HOMESTEAD: MERIDEN’S CONTRIBUTION TO THE NATION’S WARS.

We are getting ready for the May Open House with a special exhibit: MERIDEN’S CONTRIBUTION TO THE NATION’S WARS.

The exhibit will cover The Civil War, the Spanish American War, WWI, WWII, the Korean and the Vietnam wars. A special section is set aside to commemorate the 100th anniversary of WWI; another is dedicated to Women of Meriden and their contributions both at home and overseas.

The exhibit and open house will be held every Sunday in May from 11:00 am to 3:00 pm AND  the following Thursdays: May 4th and May 18th – 5:00 pm to 8:00 pm.

Docent Volunteers are needed.

On Sundays shifts run 11:00 – 1:00 and 1:00 to 3:00 and/or any of the two Thursdays 5:00 – 8:00 shift.

Please call us 203-639-1913 and leave your name and number, we’ll call you back

 

DAFFODILE FESTIVAL TAG SALE

Visit us under the tent at the Daffodil Festival giant tag sale Saturday, April 22, 2017 and show your support!

 

NEWS FROM THE ARCHIVES

by: Paul S. Butkus

Work on the cataloging of the International Silver Company Archives is progressing with over 70 trade catalogs, brochures and binders of information photographed or scanned and listed. This amounts to approximately 8,000 pages of information from the Meriden Britannia Co., International Silver Co., Meriden Silver Plate Co., Middletown Plate Co., Simpson Hall, Miller & Co., Wilcox Silver Plate Co. and a couple of other catalogs from companies that were not part of IS but are included in the archives. (Companies that either sued or were sued by Meriden Britannia Co. over design or trade mark issues). In addition to compiling the inventory information into a spreadsheet list, work is under way to develop an easy to use a computer interface based upon web technology. This will facilitate easier access to the digital files for research purposes while helping to preserve the originals. A beta version is almost ready to be set up at the Research Center.

Since we are at the beginning of spring, a few items found within the archives seem appropriate to share in this April newsletter.

For baseball fans we have this photo of a custom made, sterling silver baseball. It was likely commissioned to commemorate William Harridge becoming president of the American League. Its whereabouts is unknown but the Meriden Historical Society has a silver baseball bat in the collection that can be seen at the Andrews Homestead.

Illustration 1: 1931 American League Sterling Baseball William Harridge, president (1931-1959)

 

For the nature minded, Meriden will be celebrating the 39th Annual Daffodil Festival at the end of the month of April but daffodils have been immortalized in silver for many years by the divisions of the International Silver Company. In addition to the classic 1950s ‘Daffodil’ flatware and hollow ware marketed under the 1847 Rogers Bros. mark, the Wilcox division made a number of hollow ware pieces decorated with a patented cast daffodil ornament that was applied to the surface rather than being embossed. A design patent was issued to Seth William Babbitt of Meriden on August 12, 1902 which shows a fully opened flower, a bud and leaves.

Illustration 2: 1902 Patent issued to S.W. Babbitt of Meriden

 

Illustration 3: Wilcox Silver Plate Co. Ice Tub decorated with the Babbitt ‘Daffodil’ ornamentation

 

 

WE NOTE WITH SORROW

The passing of our members:

Arthur Geary and Kenneth Dow

 

FOR THEIR GENEROSITY:

We thank Emily Belanger, Martha Colaresi, Margaret Jenkins, Helen Reid, John Rush, Patricia F. Singer, and The Center for 20th Century Texas Studies.

 

PLEASE SUPPORT OUR CORPORATE MEMBERS

 

Nest Egg Auctions

http://nesteggauctions.com

758 Four Rod Road

Berlin, CT 06037

203-630-1400

The Record Journal

http://myrecordjournal.com

500 S. Broad St,

Meriden CT 06450

203-235-1661

The Remodeling Company

848 N. Colony Rd

Meriden, CT 06450

203-213-1053

March, 2017

THE BRIDGEPORT POLTERGEIST ON LINDLEY STREET with  author William J. Hall

THURSDAY, MARCH 9 at 6:30 at the Meriden Public Library 105 miller St. Meriden CT 06450

Furniture jumping, floating refrigerators, attacking entities – was this done by a poltergeist?  Mr. Hall’s presentation includes witness testimony from police, reporters, priests, and others on the best documented and witnessed haunting in modern history. He will discuss the missing link to the paranormal, how negative hauntings work, and a paranormal flap where all forms of phenomena converge. Co sponsored by the Meriden Public Library this meeting is free to the public. Refreshments will be served.

NEWS FROM THE BERNICE C. MOREHOUSE RESEARCH CENTER

  1. The Genealogy Project, headed by our curator Allen Weathers and his core of volunteers. Files have been created for all students who have graduated Meriden high schools. At this point, Richard Bartholomew, Bob Smith and Laura Winoski are adding more information to those cards.
  2. In December, The Meriden Department of Parks and Recreation donated scrapbooks relating to the department’s activities. The scrapbooks joined the Meriden Police Department’s scrapbooks already at our research center.                Also in December, a clock was damaged by workmen in the building and was repaired by Mr. Thomas Grimshaw of Cheshire. When Tom came back with the repaired clock, he brought along an early Bradley and Hubbard clock and donated it to the Society. Thanks Tom!

    Curator Allen Weathers accepting Tom Grimshaw’s donation of an early B&H clock to the Meriden Historical Society.

  3. The CUNO Foundation held its board meeting at the Research Center in January.
  1. Rob LaRivierre replaced the rotting cupula on the roofof the Research Center, making sure to re-mount the weathervane that adorns our building. Rob donated both the cupula and his labor. – Thank you Rob!

NEWS FROM THE ARCHIVES

by: Paul S. Butkus

An ongoing project at the MHS is the cataloging of the International Silver Company Archives. The collection includes numerous published catalogs and designs from the various companies which joined together to form or were later acquired by IS. The intent of the project is threefold. First; make known what is available within the archive. Second; make the materials more easily available to researchers and third; assess and better preserve the actual materials.

One of the hidden benefits of the project is the rediscovery of many unique or unusual items that were in regular production or custom commissions. While many of the mass produced pickle castors, flatware patterns and hollow ware items are frequently seen on websites or in personal collections, some items are rarely if ever seen. Whether custom made pieces or ones intended for a singular use, they were all lavished with the same attention to detail. The quantity, quality and diversity of the articles produced is simply amazing and there seems to be no end to the variations exhibited in the catalogs. Selecting just a few items to include here was difficult but hopefully these will give a taste of things to come.

Illustration 1: c. 1929 Custom Sterling (possibly gilt) Centerpiece made for the private Yacht NAKHODA owned by Mr. Fred Fisher (of General Motors -Body by Fisher fame). Custom designed gilt flatware service and hollow ware also made for the yacht along with silver plated serving trays

 

 

 

Illustration 2: 1879 Meriden Silver Plate Co. Card Receiver

 

Illustration3: 1890 Meriden Britannia Co. Casket Hardware

 

 

Illustration 4: Middletown Plate Co. Jewel Casket in the form of a Balloon

 

WELCOME TO OUR NEW MEMBERS:

Thomas Marshall of Wallingford, CT; Carl Sokolowski of Southington, CT & the Sabino Family of Cheshire, CT.

 

WE NOTE WITH SORROW

The passing of our member and dedicated volunteer Sylvia Winslow.

 

FOR THEIR GENEROSITY:

Sincere thanks to: Anonimous, John Arndt, Agnes Baur, Jacqueline Beale, bruce and suzana burchsted, Daniel Busa, Paul S. Butkus, Ruth Ann C. Davis, Nancy Gluck, Tom Grimshaw, Lorraine Hancock, Greg Hugo, Lawrence McGoldrick, Kathleen and Donald McMahon, Stacia and Lawrence Morehouse, Joan Munger, Lucy R. Mickiewicz, Janet Pestey, Clark Robison, Karen Sabia, Randy Swope, Betty Wieland.

 

PLEASE SUPPORT OUR CORPORATE MEMBERS

 

Nest Egg Auctions

https://NestEggAuctions.com

758 Four Rod Road

Berlin, CT 06037

203-630-1400

The Record Journal

http://myrecordjournal.com

500 S. Broad St,

Meriden CT 06450

203-235-1661

The Remodeling Company

Robert LaRivierre

848 N. Colony Rd

Meriden, CT 06450

203-213-1053

 

 

November 2016

LEGENDS, LORE AND HAUNTING IN MERIDEN with moderator Julie Griffin.

THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 10 6:30 at the Meriden Public Library:

Is the Solomon Goffe House (1711) haunted? Are there spirits in the Andrews Homestead (1760)?

Julie has been researching, photographing and documenting paranormal legends and activities in the area for quite some time now.

Bring a friend to this spirited meeting.

Admission is free. Refreshments will be served.

 

DIGITAL PRESERVATION EVENT – UPDATE

The Meriden Historical Society sponsored  a digital preservation event to help individuals preserve personal collections of print, photos and other media materials by having them digitized at a reasonable price.

Digital Memory Media advisors were on hand at the Society’s Bernice Morehouse Research Center to advise and pick up old slides, photos, family VHS videotapes etc. We thank all who have stopped by and brought in their items to be digitized.

Notifications will go out as soon as we know the date when the digitized materials as well as the originals will be available to be picked up.

On the pick-up date, representatives of Digital Memory Media will be on hand to assist and collect material to be digitized from those who missed the October 22nd event.

 

AT THE ANDREWS HOMESTEAD:

Our heartfelt thank to our member Ruth Grandy for loaning us her late husband’s mounted Meriden Postcards collection. Roughly 100 people stopped by to view the spkecial Meriden postcard disply and view our permanent display of Meriden’s history and industry.

We were especially pleased to host the 4th and 5th grade students of the Ben Franklin Elementary School, their teachers and chaperones. We conducted 6 tours for about 120 students. The students visited the Andrews Homested over a period of 2 days as part of their social studies curriculum. Kudos to teacher Terence Ayrton for arranging the visit.

postcardssmMeriden Postcard Display at the Homestead

 

WELCOME TO OUR NEW MEMBERS

Jan Fontanella and Deborah Patterson

 

PLEASE SUPPORT OUR CORPORATE MEMBERS

Nest Egg Auctions

758 Four Rod Road

Berlin, CT 06037

203-630-1400

The Record Journal

500 S. Broad St, Meriden CT 06450

203-235-1661

The Remodeling Company

848 N. Colony Rd

Meriden, CT 06450

203-213-1053

October 2016

 

EVERY SUNDAY IN OCTOBER 11:00 am – 3:00 pm

AT THE ANDREWS HOMESTEAD 424 W. Main St, Meriden: SHOWCASING OUR PERMANENT COLLECTION and MERIDEN POST CARDS FROM A PRIVATE COLLECTION

The Andrews Homestead is a colonial era red building located at 424 W. Main Street, Meriden. On display are hundreds of items manufactured in Meriden. From Bradley and Hubbard decorative items to Wilcox and White Organs, famous companies  and obscure ones,  lamps, glass and silverplate are all on display.

Also on display, by special arrangement, is an extensive collection of Meriden post cards from a private collection.

Admission is free, donations ae greatly appreciated.

 

THURSDAY OCTOBER 13 6:30 pm

At the Meriden Public Library 105 Miller St, Meriden CT

SPRINGDALE AVENUE: THE SAN GIOVANNESE AND OTHER EARLY ITALIANS OF MERIDEN

Moderated by Christine Pittsley.

Admission is free. Refreshments will be served.

 

SATURDAY, OCTOBER 22  AT THE BERNICE MOREHOUSE RESEARCH CENTER 1090 Hanover Ave, Meriden – A DIGITAL PRESERVATION EVENT – FUND RAISER

The Meriden Historical Society will sponsor a digital preservation event to help individuals preserve personal collections of print, photos and other media materials by having them digitized at a reasonable price.

Digital Memory Media advisors will be on hand on Oct. 22, 2016 from 1:00 PM to 3:30 PM at to counsel individuals on the best way to digitally preserve their collections. Bring your old slides, photos, family VHS videotaped etc.  to the Research Center the day of the session. Once scanned and digitized, patrons will be notified of a date and time to retrieve their material.

MERIDEN GREEN GRAND OPENING

The Meriden Historical Society’s Tent at the opening of the Meriden Green drew quite a number of people who were greeted by a Charles Parker impersonator – our own Bruce Rovinsky. Ruth Grandy’s Meriden postcards collection was of great interest as well.

meriden-green“Charles Parker” At the opening of the Meriden Green

 

GRANTS: Work on the Annex is completed. Thanks to the Cuno Foundation for their grant and to the Suzio/York cement companies for the donation of gravel for this project. Next project will be the repaire of the Research Center’s driveway.

img_7456Before: note mold rot and dirt

img_5805After power washing, scraping and cleaning of dirt

annex-doneAfter all work was done

 

WE NOTE WITH SORROW

The passing of the Society’s past president Betty  Masterson.

 

WELCOME OUR NEW MEMBER:

Roger Camp

 

FOR THEIR GENEROSITY

We thank: The Cuno Foundation whose grant paid for the restoration and painting of the Annex; Lorenzo Suzio and the Suzio-York Hill Companies for their donation of gravel and to Jan Franco for her generous donation in memory of Jim and Betty Masterson.

 

PLEASE SUPPORT OUR

CORPORATE MEMBERS

 

Nest Egg Auctions

www.nesteggauctions.com

758 Four Rod Roa

Berlin, CT 06037

203-630-1400

The Record Journal

http://myrecordjournal.com/

500 S. Broad St, Meriden CT 06450

203-235-1661

The Remodeling Company

848 N. Colony Rd

Meriden, CT 06450

203-213-1053