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Author Topic:   The decline picks up speed
ellabee

Posts: 306
Registered: Dec 2007

iconnumber posted 05-05-2010 05:58 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for ellabee     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I received an email from Replacements saying that several companies have discontinued a significant number of patterns (I assume in the last year). They include:

Gorham: King Edward, Medici, Melrose, Newport Scroll, Tiara.

International: 1810, Angelique, Du Barry, Frontenac, Rhapsody (New),Golden Rhapsody (New), Wedgwood, Golden Wedgwood, Vision, and Wild Rose(New).

Kirk Stieff: Golden Severn / Worthington, Golden Winslow, Old Maryland - Plain, Paramount, and Stieff Rose.

Whiting: Lily

Towle: Benjamin Franklin, Candlelight, Celtic Weave Gold, Commonwealth, Colonial Thread, Craftsman, El Grandee, El Grandee Gold, Federal Cotillion, Federalist, Fiddle Thread, Fontana, Georgian, Legato, Monument, Old Colonial, Old Lace, Rambler Rose, Reflection, Silver Plumes, and Spanish Provincial.

Wallace: Acropole, Aegean Weave, Capitol, Cardinale, Coburg, English Onslow, Grand Colonial, Grand Victorian, Meadow Rose, Old Atlanta, Royal Husk, Romance of the Sea and Golden Romance of the Sea, Salina, Shenandoah, Shenandoah - Gold Accents, Stradivari, and William & Mary.

In the case of the last two companies, this doesn't leave many patterns still in production. In fact, that list might be quite short.

Anyone have any related news, confirmation, or thoughts? I've lost track of how many ultimate holding corporations these brands really represent (one? two?).

The dropping of all gold-decorated patterns is no surprise, given the spike in price. But the dropping of such a large number of patterns in a relatively short period, while also understandable, makes this a fairly significant new phase in the decline that's been ongoing for a few decades.

[This message has been edited by ellabee (edited 05-05-2010).]

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middletom

Posts: 467
Registered: May 2004

iconnumber posted 05-05-2010 07:03 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for middletom     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I am not surprised that so many patterns are being discontinued. Wallace, International and Towle are owned by the same company, along, perhaps, with other names. It is my understanding that their silver is now made in China and this may be a case of letting go of the slowest sellers or perhaps the dies are wearing out and they don't want to replace them.

However it is, that is a great loss to those who appreciate the fine selection of silver formerly available in this country.

middletom

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dragonflywink

Posts: 975
Registered: Dec 2002

iconnumber posted 05-05-2010 08:22 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for dragonflywink     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Lifetime Sterling, current owner of all those brands along with Tuttle, has moved many of those to the 63-pattern list in their "Made to Order Program", so at the moment they're inactive rather than obsolete. Currently, their site says that orders placed before May 31st, 2010 are guaranteed to be delivered by Nov. 24th.

~Cheryl

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ellabee

Posts: 306
Registered: Dec 2007

iconnumber posted 05-06-2010 10:39 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for ellabee     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Thanks for that info, Cheryl.

Is any sterling flatware other than ONC still produced in the U.S.? I remember seeing a thread a few months ago that discussed this but can't locate it right now.

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Dale

Posts: 2132
Registered: Nov 2002

iconnumber posted 05-06-2010 02:23 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Dale     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
From what I have seen, the future of the silver business is in made to order. One European firm promises a 3 week window from receipt of payment in which they produce and deliver silver flatware and hollowware. Which means they carry no inventory of finished product, a very big expense avoided. I could post on the company, but they are a business so I have hesitated. Would a story naming them be within guidelines?

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chase33

Posts: 362
Registered: Feb 2008

iconnumber posted 05-06-2010 10:21 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for chase33     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Doesn't Reed & Barton still manufacture their items in the US? And I am pretty sure Empire silver is still US made but they don't produce any flatware.

Robert

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Richard Kurtzman
Moderator

Posts: 759
Registered: Aug 2000

iconnumber posted 06-04-2011 12:50 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Richard Kurtzman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
One year later and and the outlook for the American silver industry is even worse.
It appears that whatever future there is for U.S. silver companies is in porcelain, stainless and glass.
Very sad.

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agleopar

Posts: 847
Registered: Jun 2004

iconnumber posted 08-19-2011 09:19 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for agleopar     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Just curious does anyone have an idea of how many silver companies are still functioning? Lunt gone...Gorham?? The big T of course but even they only produce a fraction of what they used to and probably only a fraction of that in N.J. where there are only 20 or so smiths.

The only other company I know of is Boardman silversmiths in CT.

There are a few hundred individual smiths but the trade is at rock bottom as far as I can tell.

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Scott Martin
Forum Master

Posts: 11377
Registered: Apr 93

iconnumber posted 08-19-2011 09:43 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Scott Martin     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I don't know. And agree it is a good question.

First let me apologize to our non-American members....

The only made 100% in America company is ONC. So for anyone who wants to support made in America then please buy only ONC.

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Paul Lemieux

Posts: 1768
Registered: Apr 2000

iconnumber posted 08-21-2011 12:39 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Paul Lemieux     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Just curious does anyone have an idea of how many silver companies are still functioning?

I believe Simons Bros. of Philly and New England Sterling (originally Blackington) of Attleboro are still manufacturing. They are both old-time companies with roots into the mid-1800s.

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agleopar

Posts: 847
Registered: Jun 2004

iconnumber posted 08-21-2011 06:47 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for agleopar     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Scott and Paul thanks for the replies and yes ONC is of course still, thank heavens, going.

I should have said holloware makers - silversmiths who could make a candlestick, a coffee pot or a tray - type of companies.

If a count had been made 100 years ago of that type of company I guess there were a few hundred and now are there really only two?

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Scott Martin
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Posts: 11377
Registered: Apr 93

iconnumber posted 08-22-2011 08:17 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Scott Martin     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Silver plate/Stainless Manufacturer:
quote:
Sherrill Manufacturing to stop production in May
Wednesday, March 17, 2010, 9:06 AM
Charley Hannagan / The Post-Standard


    John Smoyer in February 2009 picks up stamping forms used to make knives, forks and spoons at Sherrill Manufacturing. The plant will stop production in May.

Sherrill, NY--Unable to compete with cheaper products imported from China, Sherrill Manufacturing Inc. told workers Tuesday that it is closing its flatware factory.

The closing affects 108 workers, about 80 of whom will lose their jobs.

"It is all contingent on the nature and scope of our ongoing operations. We are certainly going to make every effort to preserve as many positions as possible," company Chief Executive Officer Gregory Owens said in an email.

The company that was the last Central New York maker of forks, knives and spoons, will stop manufacturing on May 15.

The owners plan to mothball the flatware equipment in the hopes that they can restart the factory when the playing field levels between Chinese and American factories, said Owens, who owns the company with Matthew Roberts.

The two bought the sprawling factory in 2005 from Oneida Ltd. when that company ceased manufacturing altogether because it was less expensive to hire Chinese factories to make its products.

However, the two former Oneida Ltd. employees, believed there was a role a smaller factory could play by acting as a backstop for companies who needed to fill unexpected orders and didn’t have time for products to arrive from China.

Sherrill Manufacturing started the factory with a three-year contract to make products for Oneida Ltd. and at one time employed 148 workers.

That contract has since ended.

When the economy collapsed in 2008, the company shut down the factory for several weeks and Owens and Matthews went without pay. Workers were recalled to their jobs early last year, but with a pay cut.

Orders, however, continued to dwindle as the market for flatware declined, and the company recently lost several large customers, said Owens, who is the company’s chief executive officer.

“We’ve just run into a brick wall as far as orders and competition from China,” he said this morning.

Managers told the 108 remaining employees Tuesday night after work that the factory was closing.

“It was very sad,” Owens said. “We’re concerned about everybody in this economy finding a new job.”

The company is working with the New York State Department of Labor to help workers find new jobs, he said.

Sherrill Manufacturing will continue to employ about 20 people in its machine shop, light manufacturing and real estate business, he said. The company has 1 million square-feet of space available and has leased most of it, Owens said.

It will preserve the flatware manufacturing equipment in the hopes that one day—it could be in six months or six years from now—the Sherrill factory will again make forks, knives and spoons, he said.


quote:
CEO: Sherrill Manufacturing workers ‘don’t deserve’ to lose jobs

Sunday, March 21, 2010
By MATT POWERS
Dispatch Staff Writer

SHERRILL — Around 80 people will lose their jobs when Sherrill Manufacturing stops flatware production in May.

The company took over flatware production from Oneida Ltd. in 2005.

“It’s been very gratifying to be able to come into a plant that was slated for the wrecking ball basically and keep it going for five years,” said Greg Owens, CEO of Sherrill Manufacturing.

“This has been a center of employment in upstate New York, particularly in the Oneida-Sherrill area, for over a hundred years,” he said. “To lose it is quite a tragedy.

“It’s our hope that by taking the actions that we’ve taken, that we’re going to be able to keep Sherrill Manufacturing as a viable entity,” Owens continued. “Sort of re-trench and come back firing one day. It’s tremendously disappointing that we have to go to such drastic measures to do that.”

He said the company will likely cease “all flatware manufacturing” by May.

“We certainly hope to be able to find other employment for the 80 or so people that are going to lose their jobs,” he said. “They’ve been great employees and they’re very hard working and they’re very dedicated. Quite honestly, none of them deserve any of this but it’s just a sign of the times.”

Owens said he’s been meeting with state and county agencies to make “every effort possible to help find them training and new jobs if we possibly can.”

The remaining employees will work in the machine shop and on light manufacturing along with other projects.

Owens said the there are other factors aside from the struggling economy that have contributed to the tough climate for manufacturing companies.

“The way that trade legislation has developed over the course of the last 20 years has put American manufacturing at an extreme disadvantage,” he said. “We need to protect of our workers’ safety and our environment and make sure that people have a fair wage down in the factory. But when we’re subject to those rules and regulations and the borders are then opened up to countries where none of that exists, nor is it followed, you have absolutely zero chance of being successful and that was done deliberately as a means of policy.”

He said the situation needs to change.

“I think it’s tragic that decisions like that are made and folks are basically written off,” he said. “I think we have two ways of expressing our feelings about that. We can do it with our checkbooks and we can buy American products and we can do it at the polls. I hope everybody will keep that in mind in November.”

Owens said the U.S. has put itself in a difficult situation.

“It is frightening to think that one day we may not be able to make the very basic things that we need and we’ll depend on foreign countries to supply all of that,” he said.

He said plans for the future include taking advantage of the space the company owns.

“We have 1,764,000 square feet,” he said. “Quite a bit of it is up for lease. We hope to turn this into a light industrial park, have several businesses and have the real estate business really be the fundamental nature of our business. Then work on other projects as we move forward.”

There are currently 15 organizations that operate within the park.

He said he believes it is possible for flatware production to begin again “when the general economic climate improves and as Sherrill Manufacturing is able to put itself back on its feet and recapitalize and regroup. We’ll have the resources to start off with some small scale manufacturing, some very targeted projects and build it from there."

"People need employment and there are a lot fine people out there who have made a career out of working mechanically, working with their hands, working in the manufacturing arena and that’s a wonderful thing," he said. "Unfortunately, because of the reasons that I stated before, a lot of those opportunities are going away.

"These folks need something to do and they’re good at it," Owens continued. "It’s not their decision, obviously, to make some of these structural changes in the world economy and it would be very nice to see those corrected and opportunities come back that they can take advantage of."



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Scott Martin
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Registered: Apr 93

iconnumber posted 08-22-2011 08:20 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Scott Martin     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
When Factories Vanish, So Can Innovators
By LOUIS UCHITELLE
Published: NY Times February 12, 2011

SPOONS and forks, the metal flatware that everyone uses, are no longer made in the United States. The last factory in an industry stretching back to colonial times closed eight months ago in Sherrill, N.Y., a small community in the foothills of the Adirondacks, and 80 employees lost their jobs.

No one paid much attention beyond the people in the town itself, even though the closing represented the demise of an industry that had flourished in this country for generations. Paul Revere, in fact, was a flatware craftsman.

Sherrill Manufacturing, which owned the factory, said in a statement that production had succumbed to less expensive Chinese imports. Robert A. Comis, the Sherrill city manager, said, “It is too common a situation.”

Losing an industry or ceasing to manufacture a particular product, in this case stainless steel flatware, has indeed become a fairly frequent event. Just in the last few years, the last sardine cannery, in Maine, closed its doors. Stainless steel rebars, the sturdy rods that reinforce concrete in all kinds of construction, are now no longer made in America. Neither are vending machines or incandescent light bulbs or cellphones or laptop computers.

The article continues...


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Scott Martin
Forum Master

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iconnumber posted 08-22-2011 08:25 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Scott Martin     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Sherrill Manufacturing History

The current manufacturing site was established by the Oneida community in the early 1800's. The original factory manufactured bear traps, canned goods and leather items. In the late 1800's the facility began to produce silverware. Ownership passed to Oneida Ltd. In 1880 and production was dramatically increased through the 1990's.

Facing stiff competition from importers in combination with changing market conditions, Oneida Ltd. was forced to cease manufacturing operations in North America and sold the facility to Sherrill Manufacturing on March 22, 2005. The current owners Matthew Roberts and Gregory Owens founded SMI to operate as an independent supplier to Oneida Ltd.

The new owners are now transforming the company into a broad based Manufacturing and service organization offering a wide range of products to various customers throughout North America. Please see the individual manufacturing and warehousing sections of our website for a complete description of our business divisions.


See the History Channel's Video on Sherrill Manufacturing Flatware

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Richard Kurtzman
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Posts: 759
Registered: Aug 2000

iconnumber posted 08-22-2011 11:46 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Richard Kurtzman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
This country is the frog in the pot being slowly boiled to death.
The cooking though is going quite well for the pot-meisters.

[This message has been edited by Richard Kurtzman (edited 08-22-2011).]

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Ulysses Dietz
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Posts: 1265
Registered: May 99

iconnumber posted 08-31-2011 01:40 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Ulysses Dietz     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Gosh, do you suppose if there had been internet in the Cretaceous era that there would have been bulletins like "Here are all the dinosaur species who died off this month..."? Sigh.

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Richard Kurtzman
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iconnumber posted 08-31-2011 05:06 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Richard Kurtzman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
If the dinosaurs had possessed a sense of self awareness and the intelligence to create an internet they might not be dinosaurs.

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salmoned

Posts: 336
Registered: Jan 2005

iconnumber posted 09-01-2011 07:37 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for salmoned     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
LOL, you imply that we are not destined to a similar fate. Not so, my friend. wink

[This message has been edited by salmoned (edited 09-01-2011).]

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Polly

Posts: 1939
Registered: Nov 2004

iconnumber posted 09-01-2011 10:08 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Polly     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The dinosaurs were doing just fine until a comet hit the earth and upset the climate, which killed them. Without the comet they might still be here.

We're upsetting the climate all by ourselves, no comet necessary.

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Scott Martin
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iconnumber posted 12-27-2014 05:09 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Scott Martin     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Sherrill Manufacturing facility to produce flatware again

By MATT POWERS

Posted: 09/01/11, 12:00 AM EDT |

Dispatch Staff Photo by MATT POWERS Sherrill Manufacturing Co-owner Greg Owens shows some blanks that will become flatware.

SHERRILL - The Silver City is shining once again as polished flatware, made by local workers, flies off the production line at the Sherrill Manufacturing facility.

After an 11-month production shutdown, the company struck a deal for more than $100,000 with Silver Superstore, an online retailer with a warehouse in Seattle, Wash. Fourteen full-time temporary positions have been added to complete the job over eight weeks. It is hoped that steady production can return in 2012.

"We both believed in a 'made in America' line of products that would be of interest to a vast amount of Americans," said Sherrill Manufacturing Co-owner Greg Owens about Silver Superstore. "I think the sentiment for buying 'made in America', if anything, has increased dramatically in the last couple of years as a result of the economic downturn and people realizing the need to provide employment for Americans."

Owens said the current run of flatware is expected to be available through Silver Superstore online and in retail stores nationwide in the fall.

"It's wonderful," he said about the rebirth of production.

Around 80 people lost their jobs last May before the company declared bankruptcy in October. Owens cited stiff competition from cheaper products imported from China as one of the contributing factors for the last remaining American flatware makers ceasing production.

The current employees are a combination of rehired former employees, first-time employees and temporary workers.

Owens said the company would love to rehire more former employees if production picks up again.

"We had a great workforce with almost 200 folks here at one point," he said. "A lot of them, unfortunately, are still either unemployed or way under-employed."

He stressed the future of manufacturing and hiring is contingent on revenue generated by the new flatware production.

"There are no guarantees," he said. "Right now, it's nice to see the first spurt of manufacturing. The home-run would be to have one order after another and gradually build it back up. I can't predict whether that's going to happen but that's certainly our hope."

The first order has restored his belief that there is a place in the market for American made flatware.

"Hopefully, with the support of the public in purchasing the goods, if we can get them to literally fly off the shelves and get a second order right behind it then that would go a long way to making the dream into a reality," he said.

He feels that the restructured company, which has expanded into real estate and other ventures, can be profitable.

He said he is "very thankful" for the support of the community and lending institutions for having faith that the company could pull through the difficult time.

"Without that understanding and support then I think the place probably would have been auctioned off, leveled and turned into a parking lot," he said. "So it's nice to see that it did not happen that way."

The current manufacturing site was established by the Oneida Community in the early 1800s. The original factory manufactured bear traps, canned goods and leather items. In the late 1800s, the facility began to produce silverware. Ownership passed to Oneida Ltd. in 1880 and production was dramatically increased through the 1990s.

Facing stiff competition from importers in combination with changing market conditions, Oneida Ltd. ceased manufacturing operations.

Oneida sold the facility to Sherrill Manufacturing on March 22, 2005. The Owners Matt Roberts and Greg Owens founded Sherrill Manufacturing Inc. to operate as an independent supplier to Oneida Ltd.

The two men are now transforming the company into a broad-based manufacturing and service organization offering a wide range of products to various customers throughout North America.


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Scott Martin
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iconnumber posted 04-14-2017 10:08 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Scott Martin     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Sherrill's stainless still going Sherrillmfg.com

Sherrill's stainless mark:

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