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Whiting Manufacturing Company

Biography:
Known for its superb-quality silver flatware, hollowware, and Asian-inspired decorative objects, the Whiting Manufacturing Co. opened in 1866 in North Attleboro, Massachusetts, under William Dean Whiting, who had trained with the original family company, Tift & Whiting (1840-53). Other key figures in the history of Whiting were George E. Strong, who joined the firm in 1870 and helped secure the flatware dies of Michael Givney and Henry Hebbard of Hebbard & Co., and chief artisan Charles Osborne, who patented numerous flatware and hollowware designs. In 1875, a disastrous fire at the Attleboro factory prompted the company to move to New York City. Here, Whiting designers were exposed to the Japanese aesthetic influencing turn-of-the-century decorative arts and began producing tableware with Asian motifs, such as goldfish, lotus flowers, seashells, and cranes. Such pieces directly competed with comparable examples by Tiffany & Co. and Gorham Manufacturing Co. In fact, Gorham purchased Whiting in 1924 and relocated its headquarters to Providence, Rhode Island, in 1926.

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