Q:

What is the Meriden B. Company?

A:

Meriden B. Co. is an abbreviation for the Meriden Britannia Company. The company was known for making silver dishware, and this abbreviation of the company name is sometimes imprinted on it.

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In 1852, brothers Dennis and Horace C. Wilcox formed the Meriden Britannia Company by acquiring several other smaller Britannia metal producers in the town of Meriden, Conn. They produced a line of silverware that was relatively low cost and was sold both directly to other firms and to the general public through a catalog. The company acquired Rogers Bros. in 1862 and began marketing a line of knives, spoons and forks under the "1847 Rogers Bros." name.

In 1898, Meriden Britannia Company joined with the International Silver Company, the largest producer of silver goods in the United States at the time. Products made during this time bear the abbreviated company logo along with an "International S. Co." logo. By 1902 the company had sales rooms in New York, San Francisco, Chicago and London. Silverware was made under the Meriden name until at least 1969, when International Silver changed its name to Insilco Corporation. The silver production portion of the company was eventually divested, and the company entirely ceased the production of silverware in Meriden in 1984.

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