I started collecting McChesney Co. silver, and found a relationship with Kerr, and late absorbed by gorham. Where can I find out more about these companies and the relationships between them? Thanks
Hi there and thanks for joining us. Samuel D. McChesney went in with his brother in law, Wm. B. Kerr in January, 1890. Kerr was the founder of the Wm. B. Kerr silver company in Newark , NJ dating back to 1855. After Kerr’s death, McChesney was President of the Kerr comapny until 1921 when he resigned and started the McChesney Co. which manufactured gold and silver wares in Newark. He continued there until his death on Augist 1, 1926. His brother, William F. McChesney, was an official of Dominick & Haff silver and it appears that the McChesney company was taken over by Dominick & Haff after Samuel McChesney’s death. Dominick & Haff was sold to Reed & Barton silver in 1928 and what was left of McChesney went to it. Reed & Barton sold the McChesney Co. to Gorham silver in 1931 and it was moved to Providence, RI. Wm. F. McChesney went with Gorham.
Thank you so much! I started collecting when i discovered that our McChesneys made more than spurs which I can not afford. I Knew Samuel Mcchesney and William B. Kerr were related but didn’t know how. Members of the family also worked with Thomis Edison and I found so did the Unger Brothers. So now I am hooked on all of the Newark silvermakers. I am having a hard time with their histories. Samuel and Williams father was a Police cheif, so I bet it was William Kerr that introduced them to the silver business. I love all of it! Can you recomend a good book or website that might lead to more discovery on the Newark silver smiths? Thanks so much again! Candace Mcchesney
Candace - you are most welcome. Dorothy Rainwater’s “Encycopedia of American Silver Manufacturers” (revised 5th edition) is pretty much the ‘bible’ on the subject. Amazon.com always has it in stock.