Reed & Barton Bibliography

Reed and Barton commissioned a number of books and catalogs to communicate and celebrate its history. Some are available online, some only in archives and libraries for now.

• Finest Electro Silver Plate, 1877

Reed & Barton published this catalog in 1877 to celebrate its success at the 1976 Philadelphia Centennial Exhibition, and to promote its Union Square retail location in New York. Printed by D. Appleton & Co. Art Printers, New York, it contains engraved images (at 1/3 scale) and retail pricing for their entire line of electroplated wares. 224 pages, 17x13 1/2 inches. Title page: Illustrated Catalogue and Price List of Electro Silver Plate. Manufactured by Reed & Barton and Heavily Silver Plated on Hard White Metal and Nickel Silver.

Copies available at: OCHM, Harvard Baker Library (6 copies), NY Public Library, Winterthur Library, Smithsonian Library, University of Delaware Library, Victoria & Albert Museum Library 


• Reed & Barton, Artistic Workers in Silver & Gold Plate, 1884


Reed & Barton published this catalog as a follow-up to the 1877 catalog. It is a comprehensive overview of their entire output at the time. 400 pages, 14x17 inches, 16 pounds. The nearly 4,000 (1/2 scale) engraved images were created in the Reed & Barton factory by the 27 engravers over three years. 7,000 were printed. Four pages are color lithographs, and the cover is embossed with gold and silver decoration. Printed by Springfield Printing Company, Springfield, MA (Plates printed by J.A.J. Wilcox, Boston and C.A. Hack & Son, Taunton, paper from Beebe & Holbrook, Holyoke, MA, ink from Geo. Mather's Sons, New York

Copies available at: OCHM, RISD Special Collections, Brown University Library, American Antiquarians Society (Worcester, MA), Harvard Baker Library, Peabody Essex Museum Library, Columbia University Library, MET Museum Watson Library, NY Historical Society Library, NY Public Library, Newark Public Library, Philadelphia Athenaeum, Penn Libraries, Hagley Museum & Library, Winterthur Library, Corning Museum Rakow Library, Cooper Hewitt Design Library (Smithsonian), LA Public Library, Victoria & Albert Museum Library, State Library of New South Wales.

• A Century of Silversmithing 1824–1924, Philip L. Sniffin, 1924

Reed & Barton published this 45 page book (subtitle: A Brief Account of the Interesting Development of Silverware Manufacture as Reflected in the Growth of an Organization that Now Celebrates its Centenary in this Field) at the retirement of William Dowse to help celebrate his achievements as president of Reed & Barton from 1901 to 1923, and at the companies 100 birthday. It offers a thorough overview of the companies history as well as specifics about the business practices that developed over time. Printed by The Barta Press, Cambridge, MA.

Copies available at: Library of Congress (available here online), Harvard Baker Library, American Antiquarian Society (Worcester, MA), Bentley University Library, Yale University Library, University at Albany Library, MET Museum Watson Library, NY Historical Society Library, NY Public Library, Hagley Museum & Library, Winterthur Library, University of Delaware Library, Smithsonian Libraries (2 copies), Humber College Institute of Technology Library, Kent State University Library, Cleveland Public Library, University of Michigan, Allen County IN Public Library, Indiana University South Bend Library, University of Chicago Library, Wisconsin Historical Society Library, Seattle Public Library, The British Library St. Pancras, and others.

• Silverware, the Autocrat of Every Table, Reed & Barton with Louis Sherry, 1926

Although intended more as an advertising vehicle than an informative text, this slim volume offers descriptions of Reed & Barton silverware as well as etiquette guidance from famed restauranteur Louis Sherry, information on care and cleaning of silver, blank pages to keep track of silver received as gifts, and amusing illustrations. It may not have been created to offer historical information about Reed & Barton but it manages to anyway when seen in the rear-view mirror.

Copy available online through RISD Special Collections. Copies in various libraries including Harvard Baker Library, NY Public Library, Benson Ford Research Center, Los Angeles Public Library, San Francisco Public Library.

• The Whitesmiths of Taunton; a History of Reed & Barton, 1824-1943, George Sweet Gibb, 1943 (with reprints in 1946, 1969, 1976)

The Harvard Graduate School of Business Administration commissioned Gibb (at the time described as “Research Assistant in Business History, Graduate School of Business Administration, George F. Baker Foundation, Harvard University) in 1941 to produce this thorough history of Reed & Barton. It was volume eight in a series called Harvard Studies in Business History, and the first to examine manufacturing. Source material was gathered from the factory and transferred to the school; it consists of 128 linear feet (512 volumes) and now forms one half of the Reed & Barton collection at the Baker Library. In addition to delineating a company history, the book offers compelling illustrations of the limitations to success for any company taking on commerce in the United States in the early 19th century. Gibb completed the manuscript even as he enlisted in the war effort. 420 pages. Originally published by Harvard University Press.

Copy available online at: RISD Special Collections, Widely available in libraries.

• Sterling Seasons: the Reed & Barton Story, Renee Garrelick, 1998

This history of Reed & Barton offers a review of its older history, and then continues in a more developed way to present its history after 1941 when Whitesmiths of Taunton was produced. It was commissioned by Sinclair Weeks, Jr. whose father had participated in producing the earlier history. The book is richly illustrated with photographs from the company’s archive, many reproduced in color. 168 pages. Published by Reed & Barton Corp.

Copies available at: Austin Foundation/Internet Archive (available online here), Wheaton College Library, American Antiquarian Society (Worcester, MA), Harvard Baker Business Library, Bard Graduate Center Library (NYC), NY Public Library, FIT Museum Library, Winterthur Library, Corning Museum Library, Penn Libraries, Library of Congress, Smithsonian Libraries, MFA Houston Library, University of Cambridge (UK), and others.

• Marching Together, The Story of Reed & Barton During World War II — Its People, Its products, Its Policies, William T. Hurley, Jr., 1947

This 146 page book offers profiles of all the R&B employees who fought in the war, illustrates the many war projects undertaken at the factory, describes the technologies developed, highlights the increased presence of women working at the factory, and includes images of the products manufactured (flatware, hollowware, surgical equipment, radar reflectors).

Copies available at: Old Colony History Museum, New England Genealogical Society, Harvard University Baker Business Library, Central CT State University Burritt Library, Library of Congress, Tulsa City-County Library

• Mermaids and Saguaros: The USS Arizona Silver, Maxine T. Edwards, 1994

This 40 page booklet offers a complete overview of the silver service created by Reed & Barton  from 1916 to 1919 for the newly commissioned USS Arizona, The ship, famously, was bombed in Pearl Harbor, 1941. The silver is now in the Arizona State Capitol Museum (the silver also has its own website). This publication contains full-color photographs of the entire 87-piece silver service..

Copies available at: Harvard University Baker Business Library, Watson Library at the MET, NY Public Library., Library of Congress, Smithsonian Library, and many university libraries. 

• Various Reed & Barton publications

These small books were published by Reed & Barton between 1911 and 1956. All are available at the Harvard University Baker Business Library.

The Cup, Communion Ware and Accessories, 1911

The History of the Spoon Knife & Fork, Down Through the Ages

1926, 1930,

Reed & Barton, 125th Anniversary, 1949

The Revival of Pewter, 1911

Sheffield Plate Some Notes on its Manufacture from 1745 to the Present Time, undated

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66 Church Green 

Taunton, Massachusetts 02780

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