Middletown Plate Company design catalogues and historical documentation (2016)

An artdesigncafe / Design Meriden resource.

Middletown Plate Company map Middletown Plate Company tea and coffee set

"MIDDLETOWN PLATE CO., Middletown, Conn.
This business was started in 1864 by Edward Payne and Henry Bullard, making Britannia and plated ware under the name of Payne. It was part of the original group that formed International Silver Co. In 1899, the operation was moved to Meriden and merged with the Meriden Britannia Co. Employees who chose not to go to Meriden organized the Middletown Silver Co., which was bough eventually by R. Wallace & Sons, Wallingford, Connecticut.

Middletown had a secondary trademark, Superior Silver Co., which was used on a less expensive line by Wilcox Silver Plate Co., until 1941. The Middletown Plate Co. trademark was also continued by International Silver until 1921."

— Edmund P. Hogan in An American heritage: A book about the International Silver Company (1977), pp. 167-68. (See entry below.)

Middletown Plate Company (Middletown, CT) design catalogues and historical information [1]

Material status: = online
= link to more info
= completely offline


Various newspapers, magazines and other sources

(c. 1864-). Various newspapers, magazines and other sources - search engines. (Updated 18 October 2017.)


Middletown Plate in 1876 Philadelphia exposition

Smith, Walter. (1876). The masterpieces of the Centennial International Exhibition illustrated, (v. 2, Industrial art). (Middletown Plate Company: pp. 207-09.) 548 pp. Philadelphia: Gebbie & Berrie. (Viewed 15 June 2016. A00819-32.)

Middletown Plate in 1876 Philadelphia exposition

Sandhurst, Phillip T. (c. 1876). The great Centennial exhibition critically described and illustrated, (pp. 273-74: Middletown Plate Company). [Exhibition dates: 10 May - 10 November 1876.] 566 pp. P. W. Ziegler & Co.: Philadelphia and Chicago. (Viewed 15 June 2016. A00833-39.)

Middletown Plate in 1876 Philadelphia exposition

(1877). Souvenir of the Centennial exhibition [1876]: Connecticut’s representation at Philadelphia. [Core section: pp 99-111; also see exhibits list: pp. 124-27; Exhibitors including Middletown Plate Co. (with illustrations)]. 380 pp. Geo. D. Curtis: Hartford, CT. (Viewed 27 June 2016. A00965-75.)

"a punch bowl set made by the Middletown Plate Company… was one of the gems of the Exhibition. Another beautiful work of art exhibited by the same company was a silver ornamental piece representing swans drawing upon a sea of glassy silver silver a sea shell. This work attracted general attention, and was a subject for illustration in many of the art publications." — p. 106-07. (See excerpt above.)


O. H. Bailey & Co. (c. 1877). Middletown, Conn. map (bird’s eye view). [Lists "The Middletown Plate Co." under references (#32 illustration above the intersection of South Main Street and Church Street on Hubbard Street).] Viewed 27 February 2017. A01499.)

1878 advertisements

See the ads

Seven advertisements

Middletown Plate Company. (February-August 1878). Advertisements: "Superior Electro-Plate! Manufactured by The Middletown Plate Comp’y, Factories, Middletown, Conn., Salesrooms, 13 John Street, New York. 120 Sutter Street, San Francisco..." The Jewelers’ Circular. (Viewed 20 September 2017. G00500; G00504; G00507; G00512; G00516; G00520; G00523.)


Middletown Plate Company. (September 1898). Advertisement: "Superior Electro-Plate! ... New Designs for Fall of 1878... goods for export..." (including illustration of a fruit dish and a nut bowl). The Jewelers’ Circular, p. iv. (Viewed 20 September 2017. G00527.)

Two advertisements

Middletown Plate Company. (October and November 1878). Advertisements: "... Have added the following low-priced goods, but of the best quality, to their large and unrivalled assortment..." (including six illustrations). The Jewelers’ Circular. (Viewed 20 September 2017. G00532; G00535.)

Middletown Plate Company. (December 1878). Advertisements: "... Offer a full assortment of their Superior Electro-Plated Ware in Staple and Fancy Goods..." (including illustration of jewel box). The Jewelers’ Circular. (Viewed 20 September 2017. G00538.)

Design catalogue

Middletown Plate Company (1879). Illustrated catalogue and price list of fine electro silver plate on hard white metal [including flatware manufactured by Rogers & Brother]. 118 pp. (Updated 12 October 2017. A00670-71; A00840; A01967; G01393.)

Design catalogue reprint

Middletown Plate Co. (1879). Illustrated catalogue and price list of fine electro silver plate on hard white metal. 118 pp. "Reprint" in Trade catalogues at Winterthur (microform), (v. 1) (1984). Clearwater Pub. Co.: New York. (Updated 12 October 2017. A00518; A00902; A00904.) [2]


Middletown Plate in 1880-81 Melbourne exhibition

Melbourne International Exhibition, Australia. (1880). Melbourne International Exhibition 1880; The official catalogue of the exhibits, with introductory notes of the countries exhibiting, v. II, second edition to the first issue. [Exhibition dates: 1 October 1880 - 30 April 1881; American exhibits, including Middletown Plate Co. (Class 24.— Goldsmiths’ and Silversmiths’ Work, p. 235).] (Viewed 27 June 2016. A00997-1000.)

Design catalogue

Middletown Plate Co. (1884). Illustrated catalogue of superior silver plated ware. 172 pp. Springfield, MA: Springfield Printing Co. (Updated 12 October 2017. C00014-42; G01393.)

  • Offline - Connecticut Historical Society, Hartford, call no. Q 739.23 MG291;
  • Offline (microform) - Russell Library, Middletown public library, CT.


Middletown Plate Co. (January & February 1884). Advertisements: "Superior Silver Plated Ware, Manufactured by the Middletown Plate Co., ... Offices. Middletown, Conn.; 13 John Street, New York; 120 Sutter Street, San Francisco, Cal.; 101 & 103 State Street, Chicago, Illinois... (with two illustrations of tilting pitchers). The Jewelers’ Circular. (Viewed 19 September 2017. G00477; G00484.)


Middletown Plate Co. (1886-87). Advertisement: "The Middletown Plate Co., Manufacturers of Finest Quality Electro Gold and Silver Plate...", p. v. Middletown and Portland directory for 1886-7. Price, Lee & Co.: New Haven, Conn. (Viewed 17 September 2017. G00454.)

Design catalogue

Busiest House in America. (1889). 13th annual illustrated catalogue of the Busiest House in America containing illustrations and prices of a few leading and staple styles of diamonds, watches, jewelry, silverware, clocks, canes, umbrellas, opera glasses, gold spectacles, eye glasses, etc. [pp. 3-93 feature designs by Rogers, Smith & Co; Meriden Britannia; Meriden Silver Plate Co.; and Middletown Plate Co. without specifying which designs are by which of the 4 companies. Additionally, 1847 Rogers Brothers designs are on pp. 115-30, 134-38, and additional Rogers, Smith & Co designs are on pp. 135 & 137.] Catalogue: 482 pp. (Viewed 7 March 2017. A01684; AAA00585.)


(1889). Middletown, Middlesex County, Connecticut map (p. 14, showing Middletown Plate Company on Hubbard street). Sanborn-Perris Map Co. (Viewed 21 November 2016. AAA00483-85.)


Historical information

Davis, William T. (Ed.) (c. 1897). On "Middletown Plate Company", (p. 1044). In The New England states, their constitutional, judicial, educational, commercial, professional and industrial history, vol. 2. Boston: D. H. Hurd & Co. (Viewed 10 June 2017. A02626; A02645.)


Four advertisements

International Silver Company. (March-June 1903). Advertisements: "... Makers of Wares in Sterling and Silver Plate... [Factories:] The Barbour Silver Co., The Holmes & Edwards Silver Co., Meriden Britannia Co., The Meriden Silver Plate Co., Rogers & Brother, Wilcox Silver Plate Co., The Meriden Cut Glass Co., The Derby Silver Co., The Forbes Silver Co., The Wm. Rogers Mfg. Co., The Rogers & Hamilton Co.; Simpson, Hall, Miller & Co., The Watrous Mfg. Co., Middletown Plate Co. ..." House Furnishing Review. (Viewed 7 October 2017. G01154; G01159; .)


Secondary source

May, Earl Chapin. (1947). "Middletown Plate Co." mention, (pp. 118). In Century of silver, 1847-1947; Connecticut Yankees and a noble metal. 388 pp. New York: E.M. McBride & Company. (Updated 17 April 2017. DM.)


Mention in article

Hogan, E. P. (September 1968). Silverplated butter dishes. Spinning wheel magazine. pp. 26+. [Shows examples of designs by Meriden Britannia Co.; Middletown Silver Plate Company; Simpson, Hall, Miller & Co.; and Wilcox Silver Plate Company.] (Viewed 10 August 2017. AAA00634.)

  • Offline - "Meriden - International Silver Company" file, Meriden Public Library.
  • See worldcat.org for more locations.


Secondary source

Hogan, Edmund P. (1977). "Middletown Plate Company" mentions, [pp. 157; 167-68 (including illustration, undated; also excerpt above.] In An American heritage: A book about the International Silver Company. Taylor Publishing Company: Dallas, TX. (See excerpt at the top of this webpage. Updated 17 April 2017. DM.)


Secondary source

Hogan, Edmund P. (1980). "Middletown Plate Company" mentions. In The elegance of old silver plate and some personalities. Schiffer Publishing Limited: Exton, PA. (Updated 17 April 2017. DM.) [3]

Middletown Plate Company content

> p. 23 (call bells);
> p. 27 (napkin rings);
> p. 38 (ice pitchers, Tilters);
> p. 44 [photo of butter dish, (c. 1885)];
> pp. 58-61 [cracker or biscuit jars; 10 photos are not specified but defined as either designs by Middletown Plate Company or Wilcox Silver Plate Co., (c. 1880)];
> pp. 62-3 (nut and fruit bowls and one photo of design);
> p. 74 [photos of spoon holders, (1867, c. 1888)];
> p. 78 [photo of combination sugar bowl and spoon holder, (1879)];
> p. 104 [photo of Superior Silver Co, children’s cup, (c. 1890)];
> p. 111 (card receivers);
> p. 113 (photo of c. 1882 jewel casket);
> p. 117 [photo of jewel casket, (c. 1874)];
> p. 136 (illustration of two toilet sets, undated);
> p. 142 (toiletware - handmirrors, etc.).


Magazine article

(January / February 1990). ["Middletown Plane Co. Premiums" (probably Middletown Plate Co.).] Silver Magazine. (Viewed 7 September 2017. G00204.)

Middletown Plate in 1994-95 Texas exhibition

(1994). Back in style: Selections from the McFaddin-Ward House Reserve Collection at Art Museum of Southeast Texas, Beaumont (exhibition catalogue). (Dates: 5 February 1994 - 13 March 1995.) (Viewed 15 February 2017. AAA00570-76.)


Secondary source

Rainwater, Dorothy T.; Fuller, Martin; Fuller, Collette. (2004). "Middletown Plate Co.", "Superior Silver Co.", Superior Silver Plate Co., and mention of Gem Silver Plate Co. (Wilcox Silver Plate Co.), (pp. 161-2). Encyclopedia of American silver manufacturers, (revised and expanded 5th ed.). Schiffer Publishing: Atglen, PA. (Viewed 17 August 2017. A02886, A02934a,b; A02935a,b.)

n. d.

Photographic plates

Middletown Plate Company. (undated). [Large catalog of photographic plates showing various objects.] 208 pp. (Viewed 20 February 2017. AA00570-084.)

  • Offline - Meriden Historical Society.


(Undated). Middletown Plate Company - fire insurance map. (Viewed 15 May 2017. A02437.)

[1] The Middletown Plate Company, Middletown, CT, was acquired by the International Silver Company in 1899. At this juncture, it is not known to Design Meriden if this company became an ISC division. [See "A Guide to the International Silver Company Records, 1853-1921 (link to library entry)". University of Connecticut university libraries website.] Viewed 16 May 2016. [A00660]

[2] McKinstry, E. Richard / Winterthur Museum. (1984). Trade catalogues at Winterthur: A guide to the literature of merchandising, 1750 to 1980 (online). [Entry no. 1672, p. 291]. Garland Publishing: New York and London. Viewed 19 June 2016. (Please note, sometimes the trade catalogue itself is searchable in a library catalogue, and sometimes one needs to search the microform series as a whole.) [A00518; A00904]

[3] See Hogan, Edmund P. (1980). The elegance of old silver plate and some personalities. Schiffer Publishing Limited: Exton, PA. ISBN 0-916838-30-7. Superior Silver Company is identified as a "secondary brand" of the Middletown Plate Company concerning the marketing of toiletware c. 1894-86, (pp. 141-42). University of Connecticut Library call no. NK7240.5 .H63 1980 (link to library entry). (See worldcat.org for other locations.) Updated 17 April 2017. [DM]

On Middletown Plate - 1: designs in collections, etc. | 2: design catalogues, etc.

This compilation is currently in development. We are compiling scattered resources across North America and beyond with the goal of identifying a complete set. This initiative aims to enable more productive research and facilitate new discoveries. If you know of original documentation not listed below, please contact artdesigncafe.