International Silver is a silver corporation that was founded in 1898. By the 1960s, its businesses were producing 70 percent of all silverware made in the U.S. Edmund P. Hogan’s book “Silver: An American Heritage” reveals that the company was subject to numerous competitive actions. These included attempts to take control of the company by trust-busting and capturing controlling shares. Blatz’s visionary work and hard work paid off. He became the company’s chief executive officer in 1966 and began diversification plans.
International had a variety of lines of silver, marketed under several subsidiary brands, including Simpson, Hall, Miller & Co., Wilcox & Evertsen Fine Arts, and Wm. Rogers. The company’s most successful product was the “Bloom” Valentines, which sold for $20 per unit. The Queen visited the U.S. in 1976 and was presented with a gift from the company that included gold-plated British soldiers and pewter American revolutionaries.
International’s success was a result of a design philosophy that emphasized commercial appeal over high art or exclusivity. Although the company did not seek exclusivity or high art, its products were stylish and could be used in a variety markets. International’s product designs have gone through many design phases, ranging from colonial revival to Scandinavian and space age. A number of international pieces are featured in Tere Hagan’s Sterling Flatware: An Identity and Value Guide.
Meriden, Connecticut is home to the International Silver Company, which is one of the most famous and popular silverware brands in the world. The company was founded in 1858 and became a major silver-producing town by the end of the nineteenth century. The city produced 70% of all silverware made in America by 1898. Meriden was then known as the “Silver City.”