American Sterling-The not so silver?

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Traintime
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American Sterling-The not so silver?

Postby Traintime » Mon Nov 19, 2018 10:56 pm

Ran into one of those articles that pops up in GoogleBooks when searching. They were talking about a new base metal called "American Sterling"! Were predicting it would kill off Britannia and German Silver used in plating very shortly. Anyone ever seen this term surface for a product. Source was about 1870's era.

EveretteGas
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Re: American Sterling-The not so silver?

Postby EveretteGas » Wed Nov 21, 2018 11:09 am

Never even heard of it. Might be my ignorance, but it also might be that the article is full of it. Do you really think it would kill off Britannia and German Silver in a short time?

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Re: American Sterling-The not so silver?

Postby dognose » Wed Nov 21, 2018 12:32 pm

Kings County Industrial Fair - Brooklyn

...............In household articles, we notice an admirable case of goods made from the new and valuable alloy American sterling, which is destined to work a revolution in table furniture, and will undoubtedly supersede britannia, plated-ware, or german silver. It is exhibited by the American Sterling Company, of Nos. 1 and 3 Dey street, New-York.

Source: The Manufacturer and Builder - November 1872


AMERICAN STERLING - A NEW ALLOY

In its crude state, this new alloy resembles nickel ; but after being worked up, it is almost undistinguishable from silver. Unlike the latter metal, it does not tarnish and is unaffected by sulphurous vapors, so that it is eminently adapted to replace silver, Britannia, or the ordinary alloys in the manufacture of the table ware. Articles of food have no action upon it ; alkalies produce a temporary tarnishing, which may be immediately removed by a slight rubbing with the hand. Made in the form of cutlery, the alloy possesses none of the disadvantages of steel or plate ; it takes a keen cutting edge, requires little or no cleaning, and is unaffected by ordinary organic acids. Knives made from it show no black edges after short usage, as in the case with plate, while they can be ground or sharpened whenever necessary. The metal is unusually flexible and tenacious ; a table fork made from it was, in our presence, twisted into a perfect knot, without showing the least flaw or intimation of breakage.

In the manufacture of hollow ware, there is little doubt but that, when this composition becomes widely known, it will prove a formidable rival to, if it does not entirely supplant, German silver and its kindred alloys. It is not only harder but one third lighter than Britannia metal, while its cost is about one half that of plated ware. Although the articles made from the solid sterling present an appearance equal to fine silver, the alloy may, when required, be used as a basis for electro-plating, the smoothness and evenness of its surface rendering it possible to give the deposited silver a much higher finish than can be imparted to ordinary plate. As the silver wears away in course of time, the sterling, being of the same color, gives no evidence of the fact, so that the unsightly brassy edges and backs common to long used plated table ware are entirely obviated.

The effect of hammering or compression on this composition is to give it an increased elasticity. Its strength is so great that it can be, and has been, substituted for steel in the manufacture of pistol-barrels, while repeated tests, made at the Colt Armory, at Hartford, Conn., show that it has three times the tenacity of the latter metal. At an experimental trial, a spring of steel wire parted at 3000 pulls : 82,000 pulls were necessary to break a precisely similar wire of sterling.

The American Sterling Company, Leavitt Hunt, Esq., President, has its offices at Nos. 1 and 3 Dey street, in this city. The works are located at Naubuc, near Hartford, Conn., and consist of substantially built brick buildings, 500 feet long and 50 feet wide. About 120 hands are employed,
and some §100,000 worth of tools of every description are in use.


Source: The Science Record - 1873

Trev.

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Re: American Sterling-The not so silver?

Postby dognose » Wed Nov 21, 2018 12:57 pm

Some further comment from the 'Scientific American' - 26th October 1872

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To me, 'American Sterling' appears to be one of the many alloys that surfaced around this time that were just tweaked versions of what we know as 'German Silver', 'Nickel Silver', etc., with the various silverware companies using their own 'better than the others' type formulas, that in most cases, achieved a similar result.

Trev.

Traintime
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Re: American Sterling-The not so silver?

Postby Traintime » Fri Dec 07, 2018 12:30 am

Fascinating. And that Naubuc location seemed familiar, so here is a thread related to the use of the product by AMN Sterling Co.: viewtopic.php?f=26&t=3080&hilit=naubuc


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