The firm of C.S. Harris & Sons Ltd. - which began as a producer of silver spoons and forks - was to develop and into a major manufacturer of silver and plated wares and a supplier to retail establishments in England and abroad by the 1870s.
The company of C.S Harris & Sons Ltd. as it is known today began in 1817, and is thought to have been started by John Mark Harris, who had been a spoon maker by trade.
Although lacking substantial historical records, it seems that the business was carried on by John Robert Harris, who is likely to have been John Mark Harris's son. In 1843 he moved the business to larger premises in Hatton Garden, London, and he stayed in this location until 1852.
Initially Charles Stuart Harris & Sons Ltd. were only creating spoons and forks, then later they began expanding their production into cutlery and flatware.
In 1852 the business passed to Charles Stuart Harris, who was registered as an electro spoon and fork maker, electro plater and gilder and manufacturer of plated wares and, most importantly, a silversmith.
The company was registered under the name of Charles Stuart Harris in 1881, and was gaining a reputation at this point for their utilitarian flatware, often following 18th century and early 19th century designs. Their line of silverware expanded to include salvers and tea trays, tea and coffee services, cups, bowls, dinner wares, and condiment sets.
Harris’ workshop expanded in 1885 and then again 1897 after the business acquired the respective manufactories of the Houle and Harris brothers.
By 1897 – at which point the business became a limited liability company under the name C. H Harris Ltd. - it was also dealing in a wide range of related goods, such as wire and lace, silver, gold, diamonds jewellery, watches and cutlery.
It is recorded that by 1900 C. H. Harris, Ltd. sent more silver to the Assay Office than any other maker. The prolific nature and scale of the company alludes to the success of both the financial faction of the business, as well as the ability and foresight to provide high quality, popular silverware which was practical for many middle class families.
Harris retired shortly after the turn of the 20th century, and died on 23 September 1918. His business operated and traded under his name until its merger with I. Freeman and Company in 1933.