Linked Archives:
Special Collections at Fleet Library at RISD

In 2015 when the Reed & Barton factory was being emptied, more than 20,000 design drawings and documents were transferred to the RISD Library where they were organized and cataloged. Over 1,600 were scanned and are now available on JSTOR. The documents include renderings to communicate what objects will look like, profile drawings to communicate how objects will be made, shop drawings to indicate tooling information, weight of parts, materials used, revision and approval history, and other manufacturing details. The earliest documents are blueprints made for the US Navy, 1897, the latest from 1986, with the majority from 1910 to 1950. Many (probably more popular) items were redrawn in 1930/1931 on heavier paper with more specific detail than the earlier versions of the same pieces.

Collection highlights include drawings for silver intended (but apparently not made) for the USS Houston, 1929, prototypes from Gio Ponti for his original design of what became the Diamond flatware pattern, 1954, designs by Eliel Saarinen, 1930, original drawings by Belle Kogan for the vegetable dish she designed in 1936, and hundreds of carved wood handle and spout models.

Eliel Saarinen 1930

Trophy, no date

Gio Ponti, 1954

USS Houston, 1929

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