February 3, 2010
As some of you know, one of my prized possessions is my huge antique flask. Lately I've been bumming on it, because it has started leaking, and it's really difficult to use a flask you don't have 100% confidence in. The last thing I want to do is throw it into a backpack and have all my stuff smelling like whiskey. It leaks from the top cap, and I'm thinking that all I need to do is get some new cork and hopefully it should be good to go.
I bought the flask on ebay four years ago for about 5 bucks plus shipping, and it has been my companion on many a ride and adventure. I've always had many questions regarding it. Who is RA? (the initials) When was it made? etc. Well tonight I did some digging online and found some answers.
First of all it was made by the Meriden B Company
Meriden B Company was a manufacturer that made silver products out of "black silver" the kind of silver that was economical during the time period. This form of silver still had the flare of expensive silver. Meriden B Company offered silver products made from unrefined silver and before nickel silver alloy mixes so the silver was actually 100 percent!
The Meriden Britannia Company was formed in 1852 in Meriden, Connecticut. The Rogers Bros firm was purchased by Meriden Britannia in 1862, thereby acquiring the 1847 Rogers Bros line. In 1878, they had a store at Union Square in New York City and a manufacturing facility in West Meriden, CT. According to their 1878 catalog, the company won a first place medal at the 1876 Centennial Exhibition in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania for the "large variety of silver plated white metal hollow ware, of excellent quality and finish, and of tasteful designs." They were one of the original companies that joined together to form the International Silver Co. in 1898.
Since my flask has the "International S" on it, it must have been made after 1898. Several reports also have similar flasks valued between $100-300, so it looks like it was a pretty sick deal at 5 bucks.
So that clears up a few questions, as for RA. I'm sure I'll never know, I do feel comfortable saying that I'm sure he was a hell of a bro
the old cork