University of Wisconsin Digital Collections
Link to University of Wisconsin Digital Collections
Link to University of Wisconsin Digital Collections
Digital Library for the Decorative Arts and Material Culture

Page View

Bishop, J. Leander (John Leander), 1820-1868 / A history of American manufactures from 1608 to 1860 : exhibiting the origin and growth of the principal mechanic arts and manufactures, from the earliest colonial period to the adoption of the Constitution ; and comprising annals of the industry of the United States in machinery, manufactures and useful arts, with a notice of the important inventions, tariffs, and the results of each decennial census
Volume 3 (1868)

Manufactures of Taunton,   pp. 319-331


Page 331

REED & BARTON'S BRITANNIA WORKS.
ever complicated, that can be produced in silver, are equally obtaina-
ble by this process, and one of the benefits that such firms as Reed &
Barton confer upon the country, is that they familiarize the American
people with forms of beauty and elevate the standard of public taste.
An American artisan can now command exact copies of the choicest
plate in the repertory of kings. The Anglo American, said the London
Art Journal, some years ago, seems the only nation in whom the love
of ornament is not inherent. " The Yankee whittles a stick, but his
cuttings never take a decorative form ; his activity vents itself in de-
stroying, not in ornamenting; he is a utilitarian, not a decorator  he
can invent an elegant sewing machine, but not a Jacquprd loom; an
electric telegraph, but not an embroidering machine."  This reproach,
if ever true, is rapidly losing its force. Even American artisans, while
properly maintaining that ornament should be subordinate to utility,
are yet beginning to understand that " a thing of beauty is a joy for-
ever," and in schools like those of Reed & Barton, where chaste de-
signs are multiplied and wares rivalling those of the jeweller and silver-
smith are made and sold at prices accessible by all, the American
people are being educated in taste and love of the beautiful, which is
said to be the finest ornament and purest luxury of a land.
331


Go up to Top of Page