When a silverware factory in Niagara Falls made some of the world’s finest cutlery


Published March 15, 2023 at 3:47 pm

According to area history buff Dougie Jay, the McGlashan-Clark Silverware plant also operated as Rogers Stainless, shown here in 1948, at Palmer Ave. and Jepson St. (Photo courtesy of Dougie Jay)

It’s easy to find goods from McGlashan-Clark Silverware on the Internet. Just go to eBay and you’ll find any number of their knives, forks and spoons.

Finding information on the former world-class silverware manufacturer in Niagara Falls on the internet, well, that’s a tougher dig.

The company was originally founded by Leonard McGlashan and Dr. Gardner Clarke in 1880 in Humberstone, now part of Port Colborne.

It was set up in Humberstone due to the availability of natural gas as an energy source for the silver smelting process. The company was successful and an essential part of the Port Colborne-Humberstone economy until an explosion on February 28, 1893 did significant damage to the plant.

Four people, including McGlashan, were injured in the explosion. As a result of the damage done by this explosion, the company relocated to Niagara Falls in 1895 to take advantage of the hydro-electric power available there.

Historians say it was the first company in Canada to make silverware and the first to manufacture stainless steel cutlery. It was also the primary manufacturer of dinnerware for Eaton’s department stores in Canada, which it manufactured under the brand name Haddon Plate.

The company became one of the city’s most prominent manufacturers, and remained in family hands until it closed in 1955. After it closed, the factory became a linen cleaning company.

On a Facebook post, one person found an old envelope sent to a family member while another offered up a picture of a fork bearing the company’s name.

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