History of Wallace

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About Wallace Sterling Silver

Company History: The founder of Wallace Silversmiths, Robert Wallace was born in Prospect, Connecticut on November 13, 1815.

At the age of 16, Robert Wallace became an apprentice to Captain William Mix, a renowned spoon maker for the Meriden Britannia Co. A Meriden Britannia apprenticeship was highly sought after because the firm was the most successful cutlery and hollowware-producing firm in the Northeast.

Having mastered the art of silver craft, Robert Wallace left his apprenticeship, purchased a dilapidated gristmill, and began to produce his own cutlery. By 1833, Wallace’s silver shop was up and running. As Wallace was skilled in the art of spoon making, Wallace’s only product was spoons.

wallace silver, flatware

Robert Wallace died on June 1, 1892, and the sons and son-in-law continued the business. It grew to be the largest manufacturer of flat tableware in the world. At the start of the 20th century, about 3 tons of steel and 1.5 tons of nickel silver were used daily. The company opened selling houses in New York and Chicago. The company’s success brought prosperity to Wallingford.

The 1930s were spent perfecting R. Wallace Mfg. Co.’s mass production techniques.

Following the company’s aggressive expansion, it released a series of cutlery patterns, created by designer William S. Warren - called the Third Dimension Beauty collection - that would prove to be its most popular. Rose Point (1934), Sir Christopher (1936), Stradivari (1937), Grande Baroque (1941), Grand Colonial (1942), and Romance of the Sea (1950) combine timeless elegance with the quality craft for which Wallace is known.

These patterns are called "Three Dimension" because the design of these patterns, are apparent from the front, back, or profile. Each of these patterns remains popular.

In 1947, the designer wrote a book - and it was published by Wallace Silversmiths - called "Wallace Beauty Moods in Silver" to discuss five of the six "Three Dimension" designs.

It was with the introduction of the now famous Grande Baroque pattern in 1941, that Wallace truly established itself as a prominent name in the silver industry. Sales of this magnificent three-dimensional pattern exceeded even the most ambitious projections and Wallace was soon growing through acquisition at a remarkable clip.

In 1956 R. Wallace and Sons Mfg. Co. purchased the Watson Company and relocated to the “The Watson Co.’s” Wallingford, Massachusetts factory. After the company’s relocation, its name became Wallace Silversmiths. Shortly thereafter, in 1958, they purchased both the Tuttle Silver Company and Smith & Smith Company.

As a result of this impressive growth, the renowned Hamilton Watch Company of Lancaster, Penn. acquired Wallace Silversmiths in 1959. Over the next three decades, the ownership of Wallace Silversmiths would change three more times.

Wallace Silversmiths remained a subsidiary of the Hamilton Watch Company until 1983 when the then 150 year-old company was sold to Katy Industries of Elgin, Illinois.

In 1986, Syratech Corporation, which also owned Towle Silversmiths, acquired Wallace Silversmiths from Katy Industries. On April 1, 1987, Wallace Silversmiths' corporate headquarters were moved from Connecticut to East Boston, MA.

In 2006, Lifetime Brands acquired Syratech's assets. The company continues to design sterling, silverplate, and stainless steel flatware.