HISTORY OF SILVERWARE SETS
For centuries, silverware was a hand crafted luxury only available to a select few. It wasn't until the mid 1800's that silverware sets as we know them, became widely available, although still a luxury good. The combination of the Industrial Revolution and the huge amounts of silver that came on the market with the discovery of the Comstock lode in 1859 suddenly lowered the cost of knives, forks, and spoons made of silver. These hand forged utensils became a symbol of wealth and elegance, and Tiffany became the brand of choice.
Example of a Tiffany Silverware Set from the 1800's
While beautiful, this silverware required constant polishing, a job for the downstairs staff (think Downton Abbey). It was this, even more than the initial cost that limited the spread of silverware sets.
It remained this way until the invention of stainless steel in England in 1913. Because the invention occurred in Shefield, a center of the production of silverware, local manufacturers took notice of the possibilities. By removing the need for constant polishing, this new stainless steel “silverware” suddenly became affordable for a much larger audience. The advancement of highly mechanical manufacturing, driven by the industries of World War Two, further drove down the cost of stainless steel silverware as it became possible to stamp out the utensils.
Mass production drove the cost of silverware sets
Ian Wilson Designs is leading the third major stage in the development of flatware. Combining Computer Aided Design, Three D Printing, and the modern advances in the casting process is allowing the production of complicated and beautiful designs. With these modern technologies, a new twist is being added to an old art. The three currently available designs are just the start.
3D Printouts During Development of the Seashell Set