James Dixon & Sons
Date Made/Found: 1920-1930
, founded 1806
Material and Medium: cardboard and paper
Dimensions: Overall: 32 x 207 x 70mm (1 1/4 x 8 1/8 x 2 3/4in.)
Department: Decorative Art
Accession Number: 2007.487
This object is a packing box for a set of twelve stainless steel table forks by James Dixon & Sons Ltd. Dixon's began to produce stainless steel flatware (spoons and forks) in the 1920s. This box probably dates to between 1920 and 1930. At the top of the box are the words 'DIXON GUARANTEED STAINLESS'. The company logo of a trumpet is illustrated in front of a crossed fork and spoon. The name of the firm's factory, Cornish Place, is printed on the bottom of the box. This building is located on Green Lane and has now been converted into flats and offices.
Also depicted on the label is a domestic maid holding a fork and two spoons in one hand and a tray laden with spoons in the other. She is about to place the forks and spoons onto a formally dressed table, complete with plates, folded linen napkins and glasses. Above her are the words 'REAL LABOUR SAVERS'.
In 1913 the Sheffield chemist, Harry Brearley, discovered that steel with high chromium content did not rust or deteriorate in the same way as carbon steels. He worked with the firm Thomas Firth & Sons to develop it into a commercially viable product. This new material was named stainless steel due to its resistance to corrosion. This was used as a marketing tool for spoons and forks made from the new material, as far less time had to be spent cleaning and caring for them compared to those made from silver or silver plate.Display Location: