What is Barbour silver?
Despite the great interest in Barbour silver – many people own it, apparently – information on its history is sketchy. Here’s what researchers at the Connecticut Historical Society uncovered: In 1881 or 1882, Samuel Barbour moved from Chicago to New Haven, Conn., where he and his brother Charles joined in forming the Barbour Brothers Co. At this point, they were only marketers of silverplate products made by I. J. Steane & Co. of Hartford. But the brothers were operating in Hartford by no later than 1889, since the Geer’s city directory for that year contains the listing, “Barbour Bros. Co. silverplated ware mfgs.., 64 Market St.” (Market Street, located downtown, has been altered greatly since then.) In 1892, a decade or so after its formation, the brothers’ original partnership was succeeded by the Barbour Silver Co., which also succeeded Steane & Co. The 1889 edition of the Geer’s city directory has a listing for “Barbour Silver Co., Silversmiths, 62 Market St.” Barbour Silver becam