The Holmes and Edwards Silver Company was established in 1882. It happened in Bridgeport Connecticut. It was started by George C. Edwards and Israel Holmes. They were manufactures of silver plate but they also made awesome sterling silverware. In 1889 they were bought out by the International Silver Company. But they continued to have silverware made with their name and stamp on it.
They had such patterns as the Century pattern which was made in 1923. The Danish Princess pattern was made in 1938. Then there is the Lovely Lady pattern was made in 1937. There was also the Jamestown pattern that was made in 1916.
Their advertising message was "More than a Plate" and "Protected where wear happens". Their plating process consisted of an extra layer of silver added to areas that would have the most wear. Their pieces are still in excellent condition today because of this process. Some of the pieces are almost one hundred years old .You can still find pieces today but they are discontinued and have to be purchased second hand. They sell for a decent amount of money because of the rarity and quality of the pieces.
The International Silver Company that bought out the Holmes and Edwards Silver Company also bought out several other companies. They purchased the stock of companies such as Rogers Cutlery and Manhattan Silver Company. They also bought out the Middletown Plate Company and the Barbour Silver Company. They also purchased a company in January of 1903. It was the United States Silver Corporation. In the space of a few years the International Silver Company became the largest silver company in the world. In 1925 the Insilco Club was born and eventually the company became Insilco. They moved their company to Meridian, Connecticut.
By 1948 they were the largest silverware manufacture in the world. They continued to expand into the 1950's and 1960's. In 1955 they started to diversify their silverware department in response to Japanese makers of steel tableware. By 1969 the silverware department was a small part of Insilco's Silver business. Finally in 1982, they quit making silverware all together. Eventually, they got out of the silver business altogether.
Because of the lifestyle of the American people changing, the sale of fine silverware began to decline. Plastic throw away tableware was born and people bought cheaper silverware for everyday use. Fine silverware was only used for special occasions. Another reason for the decline was inflated silver prices. It was expensive for these companies to make silverware and therefore they looked for cheaper materials.
There is still plenty of Holmes and Edwards silverware out there for purchase if you look in the right place. They are beautiful pieces and they are well made and they will last a long time.