TABLE OF CONTENTS
Houghton's Silverware and Plating Ltd. fonds:
Houghton's Silverware and Plating Ltd. was established in Toronto, Ontario in 1920 by Emerson Houghton. Houghton was born in Birmingham, England on March 10, 1889, the son of Louis and Emma H. Houghton. He received silversmith training in England until 1911, when he immigrated to Canada from Liverpool aboard the Southwark, arriving in Halifax, Nova Scotia on April 2. Houghton settled in Toronto and began working the following year at Roden Bros., a sterling silver, silverplate and cut glass manufacturer. He worked at Roden Bros. until 1914, when he left to fight with the army in the Great War, returning in 1917, having recently married Maud Perry.
In 1919 Houghton set up a stationary store in Toronto that he operated until 1920, when he went into business as a silversmith under various partners. Houghton's business, Houghton's Silverware and Plating Ltd., specialized in ecclesiastical pieces in sterling, silver plate and brass. In 1950 he exhibited a sterling silver chalice and paten in the metal work category of the Exhibition of Contemporary Canadian Arts at the Art Gallery of Toronto. Houghton's business operated for several decades, moving from Richmond Street to Dixon Street and Church Street to Mount Pleasant Road until finally closing its doors in the late 1980s after setting up shop in Scarborough, Ontario. Houghton passed away in Toronto on January 23, 1965.
Fonds consists of textual documents and other material related to the business of Houghton's Silverware and Plating Ltd. including two catalogues of Church Furnishings in Sterling Silver, Silver Plate and Brass, one published by Houghton's Silverware and Plating Limited and the second published by Birks-Ellis-Ryrie Limited; one metal plate with punch marks; eleven sketches of silverware designs with dimensions, including designs for a chalice and cruet; three b&w photographs of a building on the water from different views; and a letter to Mr. W. Woodcock in Toronto from J. A. McGinnis, Director of Fort York from July 2, 1959 relating to the payment for four shako plates and four crossbelt buckles. Also included in the fonds is a notebook containing notes written mainly in pen-and-ink relating to repairs made to various silver objects between 1973-1979 by Hougton's Silverware and Plating Ltd. The notes include the date, a catalogue number, a description of the object, a list of tasks undertaken, the total cost of the repair, and record of payment.
Source of title: Title based on content of fonds.
Immediate source of acquisition: The fonds was donated to the National Gallery of Canada Library and Archives by Ross Morrow, Toronto, Ontario, 2011.
Terms governing use and reproduction: Permission to reproduce or publish material from the Houghton's Silverware and Plating Ltd. fonds must be obtained from the National Gallery of Canada Library and Archives.
Finding aids: Box list available.
Related material: The collection of the National Gallery of Canada includes a silver bangle bracelet (ca. 1940), and a silver comport (ca. 1940) by Emerson Houghton. Both items were purchased in 2009.
Collection processed and finding aid prepared by Kira A. Brown in 2011.
[Title of item], Houghton's Silverware and Plating Ltd. fonds, National Gallery of Canada Library and Archives.