Norwich Cutlery historical information

ADC staff
artdesigncafé - design | Design Meriden | 16 May 2016 | Updated 20 April 2019

"NORWICH CUTLERY, Norwich, Conn.
This company was organized in the latter part of 1889... The firm made steel knives and blades and their first shipment was made for Wm. Rogers Mfg. Co. in Hartford, which for a number of years took all the production of the plant... by 1930, [production had risen to over 3 million knives per year with over 60 different styles and models in both carbon and stainless steel, all for the various factories of [the International Silver Company]... Because of a severe hurricane in 1938, the plant suffered such extensive damage that it was decided not to re-open."

— Edmund P. Hogan in An American heritage: A book about the International Silver Company (1977), p. 161.

Norwich Cutlery historical documentation (1889-1938) (by year)

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


Various newspapers, magazines and other sources

(c. 1889-). Various newspapers, magazines and other sources - search engines. (Updated 20 April 2019.)

1853-1931 - company records

International Silver Company. (1853-1931). International Silver Company records. [International Silver Company]. [Including Norwich Cutlery (Norwich).] (Updated 11 April 2017. A00419.)


1890 - news mention

(February 1890). Trade gossip [includes paragraph on the Wm. Rogers Mfg. Co.; describes recent purchase of company in Norwich, CT, presumably Norwich Cutlery, that makes steel blanks.] The Jewelers’ Circular and Horological Review, p. 122A. (Viewed 4 September 2018. F00233).

1890 - news mention

(April 1890). Trade gossip [includes paragraph that the Wm. Rogers Mfg. Co. "reports that their sales for the last year exceeded those of all previous years..." and mention of Norwich facility]. The Jewelers’ Circular and Horological Review, p. 84. (Viewed 4 September 2018. F00239).

1892 - map

(1892). Norwich, New London Co., Connecticut map, (p. 15, showing Norwich Cutlery on Shipping street). Sanborn-Perris Map Co. (Viewed 21 November 2016. AAA00480-81.) (Viewed 21 November 2016. AAA00482.)

c. 1897 - historical information

Davis, William T. (Ed.) (c. 1897). On "Norwich Cutlery", (pp. 833, 1025). In The New England states, their constitutional, judicial, educational, commercial, professional and industrial history, vol. 2. Boston: D. H. Hurd & Co. (Viewed 9 June 2017. A02626; A02632-33.)

Norwich Cutlery became part of the International Silver Company in c. 1898.


1900 - news mention

(5 February 1900). [No article heading; listing Norwich Cutlery as "Factory G" of the International Silver Company]. The Daily Morning Journal and Courier (New Haven, CT), p. 1, col. 7. (Viewed 30 September 2018. B00566-67).

1906 - advertisement

International Silver Company. (14 June 1906). Advertisement: "... Makers of Wares in Sterling Silver, Gold and Silver Plate and Rich Cut Glass, Salesrooms[:] Meriden, New York, Chicago, San Francisco... Norwich [Cutlery]" [with no illustrations]. Meriden Morning Record, p. 7, col. 1. (Viewed 23 October 2018. B01192).


c. 1920 - historical information

(c. 1920). Encyclopedia of Connecticut biography, vol 7. [On William Henry Watrous: manager, Plating Department, Rogers Brothers, Waterbury; acquired Norwich Cutlery; President of Watrous Manufacturing Company, (pp. 296-97 and portrait). The American Historical Society, Inc.: Boston, New York, Chicago. (Viewed 28 November 2016. AAA00510-13.)


1930 - feature article

(15 July 1930). Interesting Connecticut industry [with focus on Norwich Cultery Company / International Silver Company]. Hartford Courant, p. 22. (Viewed 17 December 2018. C00336).

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"The Norwich branch of the International Silver Company, now known as Factory ’G,’ International Silver Company, manufactures of table cutlery was founded in 1889 by William H. Watrous, and started under the name of Norwich Cutlery Company, employing 50 hands and turning out 150 dozen table cutlery blanks per day.

In 1902, it was taken over by the International Silver Company of Meriden, which controls plants in several other cities.

From the start, there has been a steady increase in buildings, machinery and equipment to bring the present capacity up to over 3,000,000 knives per year for table use and at present it is furnishing the public with over 60 different styles and models in carbon and stainless steel table knives.

The most modern and up-to-date forging department and the use of automatic machinery in the finishing department make the plant ideal for turning both quality and quantity in the very latest in table cutlery. The plant is operated by 140 employees who are skilled in this particular type of work.

The location covers 16,000 square feet on the banks of the Thames River at Thamesville, Conn., with excellent docking facilities 400 feet long in the rear and railroad sidings in the front.

The present officers are as follows: George H. Wilcox, chairman of the board; C. R. Gardiner, president; I. W. Cokefair, vice-president; L. W. Hall, vice-president; Evarts C. Stevens, vice-president; George H. Yeamans, treasurer; Herbert J. Reeves, assistant treasurer; Roy C. Wilcox, secretary." (Excerpt from above.)


1947 - secondary source

May, Earl Chapin. (1947). "Norwich Cutlery" mention (p. 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.)


1977 - secondary source

Hogan, Edmund P. (1977). On "Norwich Cutlery" [pp. 158; 161 (includes photograph of building (undated); also excerpt above). In An American heritage: A book about the International Silver Company. Taylor Publishing Company: Dallas, TX. (Updated 17 April 2017. DM.)


2004 - secondary source

Rainwater, Dorothy T.; Fuller, Martin; Fuller, Collette. (2004). "Norwich Cutlery", Rogers Cutlery Company, (p. 173). Encyclopedia of American silver manufacturers, (revised and expanded 5th ed.). Schiffer Publishing: Atglen, PA. (Viewed 17 August 2017. A02939.)

"Made cutlery for plating from 1889. Did not use a trademark because they sold their products to other silver manufacturers." (Excerpt from above.)

n. d.

n. d. - map

(Undated). Norwich Cutlery - fire insurance map. (Viewed 15 May 2017. A02437.)

Click the following link to see designs and documentation for other historical companies that were connected to the International Silver Company, and other silver makers in the Meriden area; go to the historical Meriden design overview page and scroll down to section B: "ISC, predecessors & divisions" and C: "Other featured companies".

[1] Norwich Cutlery was acquired by the International Silver Company in 1898. At this juncture, it is not known at Design Meriden if they continued operations under this name after the acquisition. 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]