July 15, 2010
What metal was a sign of social status to the Victorians?
I'm stuck on a question in my book about what metal was a sign of social status to the Victorians? I checked the internet, went to the library. And nothing is coming up. Only one little part about silver ...and I always thought it was silver, but I am confused because there is a line in my text book which reads...Britannia metal - This ware was made during Victorian times and was mass-produced in large quantities with the help of the large steam driven machines. Because of this sentence, I am really kind of lost. Can you help me sort my metal problem out? And where when I need to research something can I go , on the internet? I need a good source area or do I need a lot of reference books?
Britannia metal may also be called Sheffield, but you'll find items such as quadruple plate or Meridian wares that grew out of this material. Victorians liked having a specific utensil, bowl, plate, etc and so on for serving foods. Since good silver could not be massed produced because each silver item required a skill that machinery could not duplicate. Britannia metal could easily be mass produced, and subsequently became popular with the mass market.
Oh - yes - the industrial age just like the printing press opened doors to a whole new world - but designers and companies dedicated to producing quality products even though the products could be mass produced, thrived (some still do)!