Trying to figure out date mark for Elkington Silver

Discussion in 'Silver' started by ascot, Jun 11, 2021 at 1:08 PM.

  1. ascot

    ascot Well-Known Member

    This silver plate meat dome appears to have a mark for Elkington & Mason, and the mark was used 1849-1864. The last letter appears to be a W, which would date to 1861. But, the finial is attached with a wing nut, which I don't think was around (at least the hardware kind) in 1861. There's another peg type thingy near the wing nut - no idea what it's for. I'd love for the experts here to weigh in on whether this is really from 1861, or if perhaps the finial was replaced later (doesn't appear so, but WDIK).






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  2. Ce BCA

    Ce BCA Well-Known Member

    I think wing nuts (called thumb nuts as well) were around well before the 1860's, so I don't think there is an issue with that. The handle looks correct for the item and period so I thinks it's fine. The peg is just to stop the handle rotating on the lid if the nut isn't done up very tight, common feature.
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  3. ascot

    ascot Well-Known Member

    Thank you, Ce BCA!
  4. Brian Warshaw

    Brian Warshaw Well-Known Member

    They might have been, as Patents are not always a good guide, however:- December 27, 1933 Patent application attached.
  5. Ce BCA

    Ce BCA Well-Known Member

    That relates to a way of making them - forming in one piece (a novel production form) it's not a patent of the wingnut itself.
  6. Brian Warshaw

    Brian Warshaw Well-Known Member

    That's true, but the previous reference on prior art is 1918, but couldn't find it. Still, back to the drawing board.
  7. Brian Warshaw

    Brian Warshaw Well-Known Member

    Yes. Your date of 'before 1860' is undoutedly right, according to the following. T remember a cheap form of wing-nut made out of a thin steel sheet (3/32") with the ends turned up, such that it was moved by pressing on thin turned up wings. It must have been on a toy, post WWII.

    Godey's Lady's Book and magazine
    Page 200
    Volume XLIX--From July To December 1854
    edited by Mrs. Sarah Josepha Buell Hale and Louis Antoine Godey.
    Published by Louis A Godey - Philadelphia

    [Reference is to a lapidary's bench]

    " is secured below the bench by a wing-nut, so as to allow the peg to be moved..."

    An 1832 horticultural book,

    "Useful and ornamental planting"
    Society for the Diffusion of Useful Knowlege
    Baldwin, Cradock, Paternoster-Row, London

    On page 123 is the description of a seed as a "wing nut"


    Beagán a rá agus é a rá go maith

    --- On Tue, 3/1/11, John Cowan <cowan at> wrote:

    From: John Cowan <cowan at>
    Subject: Re: [PW] Invention/history of the wing nut
    To: list at
    Cc: project-wombat at
    Date: Tuesday, March 1, 2011, 3:06 PM

    Christine Connors scripsit:

    > I am trying to determine when the wing nut was invented. (The mechanical
    > fastener as defined by the American Heritage Dictionary as "A nut with> winglike projections for thumb and forefinger leverage in turning. Also> called thumbnut.")
    For what it's worth, the OED first records "wing nut" in 1891, in
    the form "wing thumb nut". Checking on "thumb nut", that goes back
    to 1795 in the form "thumb nut or screw", and that is also the oldest
    known use of "thumb screw", a synonym for "wing nut" in certain senses.
    (Nowadays "thumbscrew" usually refers to the instrument of torture,
    but the first quotation for that is 1816.)

    Presumption is not proof, but it seems unlikely to me that the device
    should have existed for two centuries before 1795 and be either unknown
    in England (the first Industrial Revolution country) or alternatively
    known by some other name that the OED has no mention of.

    > Specifically I am trying to determine if it was in use before the
    > year 1600 CE, anywhere in the world, and require citations to any> reference available.
  8. Brian Warshaw

    Brian Warshaw Well-Known Member

    It's interesting how one subject leads to another on this website. Great.
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