Up Souvenir Mining Spoons Prev Next Slideshow

 At first page  Next image  Index page  Original Image [Souvenir Mining Spoons.JPG - 684kB]
 
 
 
 
 
  Souvenir Mining Spoons.JPG - SOUVENIR MINING SPOONS - Portland Gold Mine on left, Victor in center, and Cripple Creek on right.  Collecting souvenir spoons has been a popular hobby for many Americans since the late 1800s when this European fad swept the nation.  And mining artifact collectors are no different.  Many enjoy collecting spoons with mining themes such as the ones shown here.  Although I haven’t been bitten by the spoon bug yet, I do like Colorado mining history so these spoons are of interest to me.  By way of a little history, souvenir spoons grew out of the birth of leisure tourism in Europe around the mid-1800s. Wealthy Americans on a Grand Tour of Europe brought home these souvenirs marked with the names of cities and some of the famous landmarks they had seen.  The first souvenir spoons produced in the United States were products of well-traveled silversmiths. The inaugural souvenir spoon was produced in 1889 by Galt & Bros of Washington D.C. It featured a profile of George Washington and was created to mark the 100th anniversary of his presidency. It was shortly followed by the Martha Washington spoon.  A year or so later the most famous collector’s spoon was designed, sparking a national obsession that lasted until World War One.  In 1890 jeweler Seth F. Low visited Germany and purchased several unusual spoons. Upon his return he designed the Salem Witch Spoon for his father’s company and it was trademarked on January 13, 1891. Low described the design as featuring "the raised figure of a witch, the word Salem, and the three witch pins of the same size and shape as those preserved in the Court House at Salem”. Several thousand were sold.  The interest in souvenir spoons suddenly exploded.  At the end of 1890, there were only a handful patented or in production in America. Around half a year later, hundreds of souvenir spoon patterns were being produced to commemorate American cities and towns, famous people, historical events and significant events of the time.  The Golden Age of souvenir spoons had begun.  By 1893 the Chicago World Fair also known as the Columbian Exposition lifted souvenir spoon collecting to a whole new level. Along with 27 million visitors, the fair brought spoon collecting national exposure.  Some reports say more commemorative spoons were produced for the Columbian Exposition than for any other event in history.  The 19th century was a time of immense growth in the United States' economy. It was the age of industrialization with the rapid acceleration of technology and the invention of mass production techniques. The production of souvenir spoons became more efficient and the volume of goods increased.  Over the next 30 years every expo, fair and event was an opportunity to create a souvenir spoon.  Mining towns, mines and mining events joined in to create intricate designs, beautiful engraving and interesting themes.  By the advent of World War One, however, the appetite for souvenir spoons had waned and by the end of the war it had almost disappeared.  Today it is once again a popular hobby and mining artifact collectors are still on the hunt for elusive mining spoons.  
Portland Gold Mine and Mill,  Victor, CO (ca 1917)
Souvenir Mining Spoon Portland Gold Mine Co
Victor, CO and Gold Coin Mine (ca 1900)
Souvenir Mining Spoon Victor
Cripple Creek CO

Souvenir Mining Spoons | SOUVENIR MINING SPOONS - Portland Gold Mine on left, Victor in center, and Cripple Creek on right. Collecting souvenir spoons has been a popular hobby for many Americans since the late 1800s when this European fad swept the nation. And mining artifact collectors are no different. Many enjoy collecting spoons with mining themes such as the ones shown here. Although I haven’t been bitten by the spoon bug yet, I do like Colorado mining history so these spoons are of interest to me. By way of a little history, souvenir spoons grew out of the birth of leisure tourism in Europe around the mid-1800s. Wealthy Americans on a Grand Tour of Europe brought home these souvenirs marked with the names of cities and some of the famous landmarks they had seen. The first souvenir spoons produced in the United States were products of well-traveled silversmiths. The inaugural souvenir spoon was produced in 1889 by Galt & Bros of Washington D.C. It featured a profile of George Washington and was created to mark the 100th anniversary of his presidency. It was shortly followed by the Martha Washington spoon. A year or so later the most famous collector’s spoon was designed, sparking a national obsession that lasted until World War One. In 1890 jeweler Seth F. Low visited Germany and purchased several unusual spoons. Upon his return he designed the Salem Witch Spoon for his father’s company and it was trademarked on January 13, 1891. Low described the design as featuring "the raised figure of a witch, the word Salem, and the three witch pins of the same size and shape as those preserved in the Court House at Salem”. Several thousand were sold. The interest in souvenir spoons suddenly exploded. At the end of 1890, there were only a handful patented or in production in America. Around half a year later, hundreds of souvenir spoon patterns were being produced to commemorate American cities and towns, famous people, historical events and significant events of the time. The Golden Age of souvenir spoons had begun. By 1893 the Chicago World Fair also known as the Columbian Exposition lifted souvenir spoon collecting to a whole new level. Along with 27 million visitors, the fair brought spoon collecting national exposure. Some reports say more commemorative spoons were produced for the Columbian Exposition than for any other event in history. The 19th century was a time of immense growth in the United States' economy. It was the age of industrialization with the rapid acceleration of technology and the invention of mass production techniques. The production of souvenir spoons became more efficient and the volume of goods increased. Over the next 30 years every expo, fair and event was an opportunity to create a souvenir spoon. Mining towns, mines and mining events joined in to create intricate designs, beautiful engraving and interesting themes. By the advent of World War One, however, the appetite for souvenir spoons had waned and by the end of the war it had almost disappeared. Today it is once again a popular hobby and mining artifact collectors are still on the hunt for elusive mining spoons. Download Original Image
Total images: 216 | Last update: 5/22/17 5:27 PM | Help