Hartford was considered the birthplace of electro-plating industry in America as it applied to table ware. Tracking the Rogers Brothers (William, Asa and Simeon) is a bit tricky, as the Rogers Brothers were involved in various roles in several companies and a number of silver plate manufacturers with the name Rogers, some related and some not, developed. According to Antique Silver’s “How to identify a Wm. Rogers silver plate”, William Hazen Rogers lived 1801-1873 and with his brothers and later, his son, created several companies and silver patterns. He began his apprenticeship with Joseph Church and they became partners in 1825. He partnered with his brother Asa from 1832-1838, expanded to include brother Simeon 1847-1853 as Rogers Brothers. He partnered with his son, William Henry Rogers under the company name Rogers & Son from 1857-1861 and 1869-1873 when he died.
The star emblem Rogers & Bro. company was established in 1858 at Waterbury by Asa Jr. and Simeon Rogers. William and Asa Jr. organized Rogers Bros. Mfg. Co. in 1853. William organized Rogers, Smith & Co. in 1856, and in 1861, they were all consolidated. In 1871, William H. Watrous, son of the Rogers brothers’ sister, organized Rogers Cutlery Co, which merged with the Wm Rogers Mfg. Co in 1879. In 1898, Wm Rogers Mfg. Co. became part of International Silver Co.
William Henry Rogers, who also went by William Rogers, Jr., was issued a number of patents for silver designs. In 1890, he patented the design to “greatly increase the lasting properties of plated silver-ware, and at the same time ornament its surface with, embossed thin sheet-metal silver, presenting a series of convexities on one side and concavities on the opposite side, packing and sustained said embossed silver, and securing it to said silver-ware” (Specification forming part of Letters Patent No. 424,503, dated April 1, 1890). William, Jr. went on to describe the process of extra plating at the points of excessive wear where the spoon or fork rested on the table or other surfaces.
William Henry Rogers died in 1896. The legacy of the Rogers brothers and their sons continued.