Reed & Barton

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Reed & Barton
Founded1824; 200 years ago (1824)
DefunctFebruary 2015 (2015-02)
Reed and Barton Complex, Taunton, Massachusetts

Reed & Barton was a prominent American silversmith manufacturer based in the city of Taunton, Massachusetts, operating between 1824 and 2015. Its products include sterling silver and silverplate flatware. The company produced many varieties of britannia and silver products since Henry G. Reed[1] and Charles E. Barton took over the failing works of Isaac Babbitt[2] in Taunton. During the American Civil War, Reed & Barton produced a considerable quantity of weapons for Union Army soldiers and officers.[3]

History highlights[edit]

Reed & Barton was originally founded as Babbitt & Crossman in Taunton, Massachusetts, in 1824. Babbitt & Crossman, which produced Britannia ware, was first owned by Isaac Babbitt. However, the company was slowly losing money, so the failing company was purchased by Henry G. Reed and business partner Charles E. Barton.[3][4]

In 1928, Reed & Barton merged with silversmith Dominick & Haff.[5]

Reed & Barton was chosen to design and produce the official gold, silver, and bronze medals for the 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta,[6] of which there are samples on display at the Old Colony History Museum in Taunton. The company's products are used at the White House in Washington, D.C. Today, the company operates a factory store at the plant site, an outlet store at Wrentham Premium Outlets in Wrentham, Massachusetts, and an online store as well.

Other operations[edit]

The company remained privately owned by the family of Henry Reed. Besides the flatware, Reed & Barton operated other brands as well:

  • Reed & Barton Handcrafted Chests, the world's largest manufacturer of handmade chests, cigar humidors, pen chests, and hardwood flatware.[citation needed]
  • Miller Rogaska Crystal, handmade stemware.
  • Sheffield Collection, a company started in 1908 and purchased by Reed & Barton in 1973.
  • Everyday stainless steel flatware designed for durability (and modern conveniences like dishwashers).
  • It is the exclusive American importer of Belleek Fine Parian China and Aynsley Fine English Bone China Tableware.

The company's manufacturing complex in Taunton is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.


Reed & Barton filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in February 2015, citing ongoing pension liabilities and decreasing revenue.[7] In a bankruptcy auction conducted in April 2015, the operating assets of the company were acquired by The Lenox Company, a competing maker of flatware and tableware.[8]


  1. ^ "Henry Gooding Reed, born 23 Jul 1810, died 1901".
  2. ^ "Isaac Babbitt, born 26 Jul 1799, died 26 May 1862".
  3. ^ a b "Reed & Barton - An influential and significant silversmith in the 19th & 20th century". 2017-06-17. Retrieved 2020-04-29.
  4. ^ "Reed & Barton | Biography | People | Collection of Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum". Retrieved 2020-04-29.
  5. ^ "More Mergers - TIME". Time. 23 January 1928. Archived from the original on October 25, 2012.
  7. ^ Kostrzewa, John (February 28, 2015). "Reed & Barton bankruptcy marks end of an era". The Providence Journal. Retrieved 2015-06-13.
  8. ^ "Lifetime Brands outbid for silversmith Reed & Barton". Newsday. April 30, 2015. Retrieved 2015-06-13.

Archives and records[edit]

Further reading[edit]

  • The Whitesmiths of Taunton: A History of Reed & Barton 1824-1943, George Sweet Gibb, 1943.
  • Sterling Seasons - The Reed & Barton Story, Renee Garrelick, 1998.

External links[edit]