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Gorham Manufacturing Company
The Gorham Manufacturing Company is one of the largest American manufacturers of sterling and silver-plate and a foundry for bronze sculpture. Gorham Silver was founded in Providence, Rhode Island, 1831, by Jabez Gorham, a master craftsman, in partnership with Henry L. Webster. The firm's chief product was spoons of coin silver. The company also made thimbles, combs, jewellery, and other small items. In 1842, the Congress enacted a tariff which effectively blocked the importation of silverware from outside the United States, which aided the American silver industry. Jabez Gorham did not take full advantage of this opportunity, but in 1847 Jabez retired and his son, John Gorham, succeeded him as head of the company. He introduced new production methods and taught skilled foreign workmen to train his American staff. In 1865, the Rhode Island legislature granted a charter in the name of Gorham Manufacturing Company, and, in 1890, the company relocated to a factory on Adelaide Avenue in Providence. During the heyday of American silver manufacturing (approximately 1850 - 1940), Gorham was highly influential. William Christmas Codman, one of Gorham's most noted designers, created the Chantilly design in 1895, which has become the most famous of Gorham's flatware patterns. The company has produced matching hollowware in both sterling and silver-plate.