Imagination’s The Limit: How to Create Beautiful Pieces of Jewelry from Your Eating Utensils

If we’re certain about something, it’s that you will never see your spoons, forks, and knives as mere eating tools after reading this article. What made us say that? Well, read on!

 Etsy

(images source: Etsy)

Would you believe that those beautifully and artistically crafted jewelry are made from forks? Yes, you read that right. Forks! As in the one you use every day for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and in between snacks. Amazing, right?

You might be one of those families who, for years, have accumulated a fair number of kitchenware, more specifically, eating utensils that have been clogging their kitchen drawers. They’re still in good condition, with some even bearing family custom and history. You don’t frequently use them, but you feel it’s such a waste to throw them away. What you can do is… drum roll please – turn them into nifty pieces of silver jewelry!

Although this craftsmanship may be newly introduced to some, this trend has been going on for quite a while now. More and more artistic souls are jumping in on the bandwagon – creating their own or purchasing the most unique pieces now available from online shops.

Uniqueness is the name of the game. Whether you’re creating them to sell or to wear, surely you’d want to come up with something uniquely yours that will separate you from the rest. Good news for you, all you have to do is to unleash your artistic side and try your hand on this one. First thing you must do before collecting the necessary tools is to check out these design inspirations to help you decide on what you want to do. Done? Let’s begin then.

Pick Your Materials

In creating your very own silverware jewelry, the first thing you should have is the silverware you want to work on. You can use your old utensils, or if you want a more grand-looking jewelry, you might want to check out some silverplate flatware utensils for that.

 

Get the Right Tools

This project includes bending, twisting, and reshaping silverwares, so don’t expect the task to be that easy. It requires skill, and a huge tank full of patience. The tools you will need are:

  • Vice – to help bend the material to your desired shape.
  • Pliers – for cutting.
  • Jewelry Pliers – for bending. Normal pliers will leave marks on your silverware.
  • Mallet – for flattening certain areas of the silverware.
  • Anvil – for use on really flat surface.
  • Drill – if the design you chose needs drilling.
  • Fine Sanding Disc – for polishing the edges.
  • Polishing Wheel – for that shiny finish.

 

 

Work It!

The next step is to cut, bend, twist, and reshape your silverware into your desired design. This is where you let your imagination and crafty fingers do the work and hopefully, create wonders for you.

  1. Now that you have your material, the blueprint, and the tools to help you achieve your goal, the first thing you must do is start bending the silverware according to your design.

Some will choose to cut first but that would make your material smaller, therefore making it more difficult for you to hold it when bending. We advise you to bend then cut to make the process easier. But if you intend to drill holes on your silverware, better cut the piece first before bending. Drilling is easier on a flatter surface.

  1. When cutting, make sure that you have the right length. You can use your own wrist to measure when you’re planning to make a bracelet – this process goes the same with other jewelry.
  2. Twist, turn, reshape, and flatten if needed, according to your desired design.
  3. Use the sanding disc to polish the edges.
  4. Use the polishing wheel for that unmistakable high class jewelry glimmer.
  5. Wear the accessory and match it with your favorite dress.

 

Don’t feel bad if your first project didn’t quite turn out the way you imagined and intended it to be. Remember, this is just your first try. You’re still learning. Don’t beat yourself too much about it. Didn’t they say that practice makes perfect? So practice! Surely, you have a dozen more extra utensils waiting for you to work your magic on. But if you got it the first try, just imagine what you can create next! Happy experimenting!

 

What’s your favorite from all the designs you’ve seen so far? Have you tried creating your own piece? Hit that comments box below!

The History of the Saratoga Chips Server

Saratoga

 

These days, fries, chips, and other delectable snacks are all eaten with the hands. However, did you know that these foods were actually served with fancy silverware in the old days? Yes, you read that right. Back in 1873, rich people from the Victorian era did not want their potato chips to be touched by human hands because they feared of their food being contaminated with germs.

So in order to serve potato chips, they used a piece of sterling silver flatware called the Saratoga Chip Server. Although this utensil is not commonly used in this modern time and age, it still holds a lot of value, especially among flatware collectors. Its well-made construction, complex design, and rich history make this chip server a must-have item in one’s household.

Let’s travel back in time and discover the rich history of Saratoga chip servers.

A Short History of the Potato Chip

In order to discover the origins of the Saratoga chip server, it is necessary to know the humble beginnings of the potato chip.

The very first potato chip recipe was created accidentally during the late 19th century. It happened inside a small restaurant called “Moon’s Lake House” which was located in Saratoga Springs, New York. George Crum, one of the cooks in that joint was trying to appease a customer who was unhappy with his French fries.

The customer kept on sending his fried potatoes back to the kitchen because he thought they were too thick and soggy. Out of frustration, Crum sliced the potatoes into wafer-thin strips then fried them up to a crisp and sprinkled them with a lot of salt.

The result was an extremely crunchy dish that is impossible to eat. It was deemed impossible because back in the days, gentlemen and ladies from the upper class would never dare to pick their food up using their bare hands. Since the potato chip has a crisp and thin texture, it would instantly shatter when pierced with a fork.

But to Crum’s and the restaurant owner’s surprise, the customer loved the new dish. Since then, it has been part of the restaurant’s menu. It was then known as “Saratoga Chips”.

Creation of the Chip Server

As mentioned earlier, the upper class didn’t want to touch their food with their own hands. So in order to serve them brittle Saratoga chips, companies like Tiffany, Gorham, Reed & Barton, and others developed a specific type of silverware called the Saratoga Chip Server.

Aside from keeping germs away from potato chips, this handy utensil was also used to drain excess oil from food using holes found on its surface.

Before, potato chips were considered as appetizers in fancy restaurants and not as snacks. That is why people prefer to serve them with this utensil.

Decline in Production

The Saratoga chip server was not the only specialty silverware that was invented during the Gilded Age. The lavish tables of the nouveau riche were filled with a variety of silverware such as fried chicken tongs, cucumber servers, sardine spades, berry spoons, and a whole lot more. There was such an excess in silverware production that in 1925, Secretary of Commerce Herbert Hoover created a decree which stated that an American Silver Service can only have up to 55 types of silver pieces.  Once the decree was enacted, most companies halted the production of different types of silverware, including the Saratoga chip server.

The Wrap Up

The Saratoga chip server may not be commonly used today, but it is still a great collectible piece. And if you don’t want your homemade chips to be greasy, you can also buy this utensil to drain excess oil from your beloved snack. Do you have this classic piece of flatware at home? If so, feel free to visit the comments section and share your happy dining experiences when using the Saratoga Chips Server!

For more silverware or flatware, visit www.TheEscapePlace.com

Caveat Emptor: The Difference Among Silver, German Silver, and Paktong

 

Silver

As the saying goes, “Things are not always what they seem.”

Beautifully conserved in an aphorism, this truth rings true in all aspects of life. From people to things, authenticity has become a value that’s treated with utmost importance. That’s why when it comes to our purchases, especially with antiques and collectibles, we always want to be sure that an item we’re eyeing as an addition to our collection is genuine.

Genuine Antique Silver can be characterized using standards of fineness that vary across different countries. When collecting vintage silver cutlery, collectors must be wary of the substitutes that can really look like real silver. In this article, you’ll get to know the many names with which these alternatives are called and just exactly how they differ from one another.

What is German Silver?

When looking at silverwares, you may find yourself stumbling across a lot of items made of Nickel Silver -the popular name for German Silver (not the same with silver of the .800 standard of Fineness for authentic silver). In fact, Nickel Silver and German Silver are just two of the various names used to pertain to a white metal alloy.

Though this type of metal includes silver in its many names, its composition actually doesn’t. It is made of 60% Copper, 20% Nickel, and 20% Zinc. Use of the name was only brought about by its silvery appearance.

Genuine silver is expensive and its value does not depreciate even if we look into every period in history. In terms of cutlery, German Silver is commonly used as the base for flatware pieces that are then silver-plated to still get that classy silver feel at a low expense. Such cutlery are marked ‘EPNS’ or Electro Plated Nickel Silver.

What is Paktong?

“Paktong,” which literally means white copper in Chinese, is a rare alloy that brought about the discovery of Nickel Silver and German Silver. But if you really want to define this metal, you need to travel back in history.

During the Qing Dynasty, Paktong wares became known to the world when China exported these products to western countries.

In the 18th century, German imitations of Paktong began to appear. Given its silvery metal color, they tried to replicate the material in order to imitate sterling silver. It was in Suhl, a city in Thuringia in Germany, that they were able to create an identical alloy. In 1823, there was even a competition dedicated to perfecting the production of Paktong in such a way that its visual similarity to genuine silver is impossible to tell apart. It was in 1830 that the German process of manufacturing Paktong was introduced to England while exports of the Chinese alloy from Asia gradually stopped.

Today, the alloy is generally known as German Silver, with its original name ‘Paktong’ lost as the years passed.

Implications of Knowing the Difference

As modern consumers, we are at a disadvantage for not having been present during such turning points in history. It takes a lot of effort, research, and reading to really get to know the what, why, and how of things. But to a determined collector or silver enthusiast, every effort is worth it just to be able to discover and distinguish the genuine from the fake.

In order to identify the authenticity of the silverware, the best way is to be particular in asking questions and understanding the marks. If you happen to come across a real pricey item and you feel doubtful and unable to find the answer, remember that it’s best to consult an expert than to waste time and money.

As a helpful conclusion, here is a list of names used interchangeably as silver substitutes:

  • Alaska Silver
  • Albata
  • Alpacca Silver
  • Argentan
  • Bai-tong
  • Brazil Silver
  • Electrum
  • German Silver
  • India Metal
  • Nickel Brass
  • Nickel Silver
  • New Silver
  • Paktong

Did you find this article useful? Let us know your thoughts. Share your experiences, reactions, and suggestions in the comments box below!

Gorham Chantilly:The timeless, unique, & brief history of a flatware

The aroma of the food prepared for the whole family touches your nose –the scent slowly entices your already rumbling tummy. You see the table being set for the lavish feast that everyone will be enjoying in just a  few more minutes. The plates and glasses are equally as beautiful as the flatwares in your sight. Stepping closer, the lustrous property of the flatware becomes more appealing. Touching it matches the smoothness of your palm and fingers. The design is very intricate as your thumb runs down and checks it. Genuinely, that is a work of art.

If you are not familiar with the names and distinctions of every flatware but you remembered being amazed with a certain collection, chances are that set has the Gorham Chantilly pattern. This is the most popular flatware ever manufactured of all time. It is known worldwide with the elegant design, hence, this is a favorite to be collected. Silver crafted in the most elaborate pattern will definitely suit even the meticulous scrutiny.

 

From Humble Beginnings

This craft has a rich history. Everything began in 1831, inside the humble workshop of Jabez Gorham, a skillful craftsman from Providence, Rhode Island. Together with Henry Webster, they started creating thimbles, teaspoons, combs, jewelries, and some other small products which are all made of silver. However, their main product is the silver spoon. In 1847, great innovations happened as soon as John Gorham, son of Jabez Gorham, became the head of the company right after his father retired. John took opportunity of what the Industrial Revolution offered. He incorporated the mechanized mass production method. For further improvements, he enhanced the available designs, and refurnished the premises to create more space and widen their offered product line.

 

Unstoppable Progress

The progress he desired for the company did not stop there. In 1852, he visited several silver workshops and manufacturing companies in Europe. There, he searched for craftsmen, toolmakers and other experts in the field of silverware. He even hired a leading designer and workshop manager from England by the name of George Wilkonson. In 1895, the brainchild of the designer William Christmas Codman came to life. Codman’s creativity gave birth to the Chantilly pattern. From then on, it has been the best-selling flatware pattern of the company.

 

The Chantilly Pattern 

The lovely border, unadorned center, and fleur-de-lis tip of the Gorham Chantilly were derived from the inspiration brought by the Roccoco style from the 18th century French Regency Era. It was named after the well-known Chantilly palace in France. Along with this inspiration, the Gorham Chantilly   has the symmetrical fan plume design and polished finish. Because of its popularity, even prominent personalities choose this as their flatware. One of whom is the President of the United States. Whenever he boards the Air Force One, this is the choice flatware in the US Presidential Jet. This is also a well-loved flatware by newlyweds.

Since it’s a well-known brand, Gorham Chantilly’s replacement pieces are easy to find. In case one of your utensils bearing this pattern was accidentally marked with a scratch, you don’t have to worry that your collection will become incomplete.

If you want to pair your sumptous dishes with royalty-like flatwares, Gorham Chantilly will be a match made in heaven for your taste. What a lovely collection will this be for your table setting! You will also do an acquisition of a long-term asset in your kitchen. Timeless, elegance, and beauty—all rolled in one in every flatware with the Gorham Chantilly pattern.

Gorham-Sald-Fork Gorham-Teaspoon

You may also visit, www.TheEscapePlace.com for more Gorham Stainless Flatware.

Benefits of Silverware Insurance

You might acquire an insurance policy for your house, car, or even for your new iPhone; but should you also get one for your silverware?

Most people probably would not. After all, they’re just spoons, forks, and knives. But what if these little items are beloved antiques that have been passed down from several generations? This is where an insurance policy comes in handy. Insurance for valuable items will provide some form of protection for your silverware and other treasured belongings against theft, or damages caused by weather and fire.

Furthermore, companies that offer these services can give you refunds plus compensations if your items get lost.

But if you’re still skeptical about safeguarding your spoons and forks, maybe this post will help you further understand the benefits of acquiring a silverware insurance policy:

Homeowner’s policies are limited

If you have a homeowner’s insurance policy, you probably understand that you’ll only get very limited compensation for lost valuable items. These policies do not usually cover damages caused by a house fire or theft. If they do cover these casualties, you will only receive a very little amount. If your $1,500 knife set gets stolen, a homeowner’s policy can only give you around $250 – $500. Not much for a cutlery collection worth $1,500.

Silverware insurance can cover theft, fire, or weather damages; and they also offer competitive rates, especially for cutleries that have high appraisal.

You can cover items individually or by group

If you just want to insure a single piece of silverware, that’s totally fine because companies can accommodate your request. But if you want to safeguard more items, they can provide you with blanket coverage. However, it is still advisable that you insure your silverware individually.

This process may be more expensive than the other option, but at least each piece is scheduled and listed. This means you get each item’s full value when you want to make a claim.

You can determine the replacement value of your item before making a claim

Determining the value of items such as cars, refrigerators, mobile devices, and furniture is very easy. However, placing a dollar value on a cutlery set that was passed down from your great uncle can be tricky because they have to check its authenticity. Scheduling your beloved flatware, and even other antique item or jewelry, will help you determine its real value; thus eliminating any problems that you might encounter when making your claim.

These services cover loss in market value

Silverware that has a damaged itemized cover can lose its market value. Most insurance firms are willing to pay their clients if this situation happens.

Cash settlements

If your silverware becomes damaged beyond repair, you can ask the insurance firm to replace it with a new one. But if it’s a rare piece and no replacements are available, you can just opt for a cash settlement instead.

The Wrap Up

At first glance, acquiring silverware insurance may seem unnecessary and expensive. However, these services offer a lot of benefits in the long run. You’ll get monetary compensations, and the company might even replace any damage goods for free. Make sure that you carefully inspect the silverware insurance policy that you will get so that you will have the best benefits.

Do you know any reliable companies that offer silverware insurance? Share your recommendations in the comments!

Check out our different silverware from our Ebay Store, www.TheEscapePlace.com
Here are few of our Oneida Collection

Oneida-Milady-Gumbo-Spoons Oneida-Regis Oneida-Summer-Mist

 

 

Criteria in Selecting Silverware That’ll Make Every Meal Time Special

During meal time, what mostly piques our interest is the main dish to be served. Of course we’re excited about what we’re going to eat, after all, who wouldn’t want to sink their teeth into some delectable food, especially when celebrating festive occasions and holidays.

Oneida-Collection

But the littlest details also count if one wants to make meal time pleasant not only for guests on special occasions, but also for the whole family on a daily basis. The right choice of silverware to match your table setting is often overlooked when it’s actually essential to ensuring full enjoyment of the served meal. A study, conducted by Oxford University, even concluded that size, shape, color, and weight of your utensils can influence how your food tastes, both positively and negatively. Knowing the appropriate silverware to use and perfecting your very own set at home will definitely add to the overall mood of each meal.

Silverware pertains to utensils used for eating and serving food. It is also known as cutlery, tableware, or flatware. Historically, it was made with real silver. That is, until the 20th century when stainless steel took over silver’s popularity. However, the original term “silverware” was able to be retained.

Having the right silverware for your home is essential to hosting posh parties and is necessary to have a nice dining experience with the family every day. Here is a guide to choosing the right silverware for your collection:

  1. 1.     Practicality and Use

Knowing the different types of silverware and their uses is important to keep your choices practical and sensible. The basic types of silverware consist of standard silverware, serving silverware, and specialty silverware.

 

When selecting a set, consider one that matches the meals that you would usually serve. With this in mind, asking yourself a few questions should guide you in finding a set that can efficiently answer your needs. Will it be used for a formal or casual type of dining? Will it be used daily during meal times with the family? Will it be used only during Christmas or special celebrations?

 

  1. 2.     Design and Taste

You can play it safe and go with a versatile design that can match both formal and casual table setting but there are many ways to go about design with silverware. If you already have a lovely set of plates, cups, and bowls for your place setting, make sure to pick a set of silverware that would nicely match your existing set.

 

Silverware is available in a wide selection of sizes and shapes that can fit your taste and style. You may opt for an elegant metal with a sterling silver or silver-plated set to entertain your guests for a formal occasion or a sleek and minimalistic design which can perfectly set the mood for a modern dining experience. For daily dining, you can simply opt for a low-maintenance stainless steel.

 

  1. 3.     Craftsmanship and Quality

With silverware, the quality of design and material shown in the craftsmanship matters as it is also how you can determine its durability. Well-made silverware is recognized by its good balance and considerable weight. Keep away from lightweight tableware which lacks balance, feels uncomfortable to hold, and has a higher possibility of bending:

 

  • Both sides of each utensil should be attractive
  • Engraved design should be defined and clear
  • Symmetrical fork tines are evident with the edges rounded
  • Broad knife blade with a good cutting edge
  • No gap in color should be revealed when knife blade joins the handle
  • Spoon should have enough depth to provide a good bite

 

  1. 4.     Availability and Quantity

How many people do you want to serve with your silverware set? Pick a set that can provide all your guests with matching spoons, forks, and knives. Most sets can serve four persons at the minimum and 12 people at the maximum. If you plan on serving a special menu that would require use of other types of utensils, consider acquiring a complete set that would serve all needed purposes.

 

Choose a set with high elemental content. Most stainless steel silverware are made of actual steel, but the percentage of other metal content help determine the durability of each piece. Silverware labeled 18/10 is the best choice; consisting of 18% chrome and 10% nickel. Less than the 18/10 standard and that equates to lower quality cutlery.

 

  1. 5.     Investment and Cost

Consider the type of material and metal used in production, the intricateness of the ornamentation, and the time and labor put into the crafting of each piece figure in the cost of your purchases. Definitely, how much you spend on your silverware is entirely up to you. Do you want to invest on a high quality set for a restaurant business, a very special gathering, or to simply put authenticity and quality at the top of your priority for home use?

 

Of course, it is your prerogative to set the budget for spending on your silverware. Prices for a set can be as affordable as $15 or can be as expensive as $1400. If you are on a budget, it would be smart to purchase the fundamentals first and allocate money for the additional pieces later on. But do keep in mind that high quality silverware is sure to be a long-term investment.

When it comes to making every dining experience special, whether or not there’s a reason to celebrate, it can be the littlest things that can make a big difference.

TheEscapePlace has several Oneida Collection of silverware, check out www.TheEscapePlace.com

What the Heck is a “Spork”?

If you’ve ever been camping (especially with dads or dad-types) or if you’ve ever bought instant noodles from (especially) Southeast Asia, you’re probably familiar with the incredibly infuriating utensil that has too shallow a dip to hold any decent amount of soup for consumption, with prongs on the edge that are either too dull or too short to properly stab through anything other than the soft flesh of fruits. Come to think of it, if your fruit is a bit slippery in texture, you might not even be able to successfully penetrate through that either. Yes, we’re talking about the ever mocked (by the culinary society snobs) utensil: the spork.

spork

 

What the heck is it?

A spork (and for the love of…. Just please don’t call it a “foon”) is a mutant cross between a spoon and fork. It has a shallow scoop or dip with three or four prongs at the tip. This term was coined sometime in 1909, in the Century Dictionary two-volume Supplement. However, the utensil itself wasn’t trademarked until 1969 by Van Brode Milling Co. in Clinton, Massachusetts, when they registered a piece of cutlery which has the features of a spoon, fork, and (at times) a knife. Although the cutlery itself was only registered then, the term “spork” was actually trademarked around 1951 by Hyde W. Ballard (Westtown, Pennsylvania) in the United States, as a singular stainless steel flatware combining a spoon and a fork; then by Van Brode Milling Company as a plastic utensil combination of a spoon, fork, and knife in 1970; and then in 1975 by Plastico Limited (leading British manufacturer of plastic tableware) in the United Kingdom.

Spork: A History

Although trademarks to this hybrid cutlery piece came in the 20th century, patents for prototypes or similar utensils were actually issued in the 19th century.  A combined spoon, fork, and knife flatware was invented and patented in February 1847 (US patent 147,119) by Samuel w. Francis. Other early spork prototype patents were the “cutting spoon” by Harry L. McCoy 1908 (US Patent 1,044,869), spoon with tined edge by Frank Emmenegger in November 1912. These patents predate the actual usage of the term “spork”. However, the basic concept of combining the two flat silvers into a singular piece is prominent and thematic in the earlier patents. As stated earlier, it was only in the 1950’s when the term was actually trademarked.

The Spork Today

This hybrid flatware can still be found today. They’ve retained their original function, as a two-in-one tool for meals; however, certain liberties have been taken in their modern production.

spork-2

Although the traditional silver and plastic versions of them are still available (like in certain tableware sets for silver, and in instant noodles packs for plastic), technological advancement has led people to create them using various materials like titanium and stainless steel –which are extremely popular with campers.

Some have even taken them from cheap, disposable plastic utensils to fun and trippy mealtime tools for kids and the kids at heart.

Admittedly, these Frankenstein-ish flatware have evolved for the better through the years. Some which are better in quality can actually pierce through meat, and hold an acceptable amount of soup per dip. Add that to the fact that a lot of them now actually look pretty nice.

 

So what say you all? Yay or nay for sporks? Let us know in the comments below!

 

Stainless Flatware: The Importance of 18/10 VS 18/0

When you’re in the market for stainless steel flatware, you might come across terms such as “18/10 Stainless Steel”, “18/0 Stainless Steel” or in some cases, “18/8 Stainless Steel”.  But what do they all really mean? Is it the quality of the steel? The way it was made? Or maybe, some fancy gimmick to justify one set being more expensive than the other, even though it doesn’t look any better than the cheaper one? Let’s find out.

Flatware Stainless Steel

Stainless steel used on flatware will have different compositions depending on their applications.  But the main ingredients are Chromium and Nickel which add to its corrosion resistance.  Chromium is a hard substance, and is essentially used as a hardener.  Nickel is a silvery metal that doesn’t easily corrode and thus is used to enhance corrosion resistance.  Technically, a higher content of each will be more resilient to pitting and rusting, making them easy to maintain.  Too much Chromium content, however, will result in brittleness which will be unpractical for everyday use.

The Numbers and What They Are

18/10 or 18/0 is simply a numerical representation of how much chromium and nickel the stainless steel has in a particular set.

  • 18/10 – 18% Chromium and 10% Nickel
  • 18/0 – 18% Chromium and 0% Nickel

In general, since most flatware will have the same 18% Chromium; the higher the Nickel content, the more resistant it is to corrosion.  However, it is important to note that Nickel is quite expensive which means that sets with high nickel content will cost more as well.

Understanding what they mean

Aside from corrosion resistance, 18/10 and 18/0 stainless steel can differ in appearance and of course, as mentioned earlier, price.  18/10 stainless steel will have more luster than its little brother, the 18/0.  It will also be more durable and will likely be more capable to withstand daily use.  On the other hand, because it has more Nickel content (which is expensive), these sets will generally cost more than those made with 18/0 stainless steel.  18/10 stainless steel flatware will be heavier, more balanced, and have a better “feel” than their 18/0 counterparts.

Although 18/10 is the hands down winner, 18/0 stainless steel isn’t as bad as one might think.  They’re relatively strong and inexpensive.  They may not be as corrosion resistant or as durable as their big brother, the 18/10; but, with a little extra care and common sense, they will last a long time serving their purpose.

There you have it.  These are basically what you need to know about 18/10 and 18/0 stainless steel flatware.  The next time you check out flatware sets, you should know what to look for.  If you really want quality craftsmanship that is durable, that has a good feel and overall appearance, but without minding the extra expense; go for 18/10 Stainless Steel.  However, if your definition of what practical is includes price, don’t be afraid to look at 18/0 stainless steel sets.  Just remember to trust your instincts.  Read the label.  Ask somebody to open them up and try to have a feel of it in your hand.  You will come across items that claim they are what they are not.  Keep in mind that if it’s too good to be true, it probably is.

Check out our Oneida Stainless Steel Flatware.

History of Stainless Steel Cutlery

You have got to love man’s ingenuity. The flatware that we know and love weren’t always so pretty or easy to use. In fact, utensils weren’t even made of the same material eons back.

eons-back

 

The first tools that man used were actually natural hollow objects and sharpened stone or bone. In the Stone Age, knives made of bone or stone were used to hunt as well as cut through meat and produce, while hollow objects like shells were used for liquids. Fast forward to the Anglo-Saxons, and they were able to develop spoons which came from the word “spon”, meaning a chip of wood. As you might have figured by now, early spoons were originally carved from wood.

wood-carved

In Middle Age Europe, knives and spoons were considered to be personal property, and were carried even to inns. This was because utensils were more for show of status, as opposed to practicality. In those times, only the wealthy were able to provide guests with utensils, where guests were to use two knives. Everybody else during that time had to bring their own knives everywhere as it was expected of them to provide their own cutlery.

cutlery

It was only during the Renaissance that cuisine and cutlery began to evolve. Food started to become a means of pleasure as opposed to simply nourishment. This was mostly due to the influence of the Orient. Forks were introduced, and cutlery became an art form. Utensils started to become more decorative, and crafting them had become an art form. Silver was now being used to create utensils, and knives became lighter and more rounded (thanks to the fork which took over the job of piercing food). From this point on, cutlery ceased to be merely a tool for eating, but also a tool for social gatherings. In the later centuries, every household had knives, spoons, and forks, in sets to offer to guests. This is where tongs, teaspoons, and other silverware were introduced to the world.

silverware

As innovative as man was, it was only during the 1900’s that stainless steel was patented and manufactured. Stainless steel is an alloy or chromium, nickel, and iron that comes in several grades, with 18/10 (in favor of chrome) being the highest quality. Because of its rust proof and stain resistant qualities (with the addition of its luster and shine due to the percentage of nickel), it became the material of choice for the common folk’s flatware. It’s low maintenance, cost effective.

On that note, “Good job, ancestors!” Can you imagine needing to make your own utensils, and carrying them around just to make sure you’re able to eat at ease?

What is one utensil that you can’t live without? Sound off in the comments below! You may also check out our ebay store: http://www.ebay.com/usr/theescapeplace

Reed-Barton

Reed & Barton Oval Place Spoon 1800 Pattern Stainless Steel

Silver-Salad-Fork

Silver Salad Fork San Marcos Pattern Stainless Steel

Dinner-Forks-Stainless-Steel

 Dinner Forks Hotel Pattern Stainless Steel