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William Rogers

American, 1836 - 1841
Biography: William Rogers was the oldest of the Rogers Brothers. He left the family farm in 1820 to apprentice with Joseph Church, a jeweler and silversmith in Hartford, Connecticut. In 1825, William Rogers became Church's partner; though partnered with Church, William Rogers also stamped spoons with his individual maker's mark of [eagle] WM. ROGERS [star] between 1825 and 1841. William's brother, Asa Rogers, Jr., formed a partnership with John A. Cole in 1830. Cole retired in 1832, and the company became Asa Rogers Jr. and Company, with William Rogers as a partner until 1834. On 2 August 1836, William Rogers opened his own shop under the company name William Rogers. On 23 July 1838, William Rogers bought Asa, Jr.'s spoon manufactury. A third Rogers brother, Simeon, learned silversmithing in William's shop. In 1841, he was admitted as a partner to William Rogers, and the company changed names to William Rogers and Company. The new company maker's mark became [eagle] WM. ROGERS & CO. [star]. About 1843-1844, Asa Rogers, Jr. began working with William B. Cowles and James H. Isaacson. On 13 November 1845, Cowles Manufacturing Company was formed in Granby, Connecticut. Asa Jr. was also working with William in Hartford at this time; William and Asa Jr. partnered with J. O. Mead as Rogers and Mead from 1845-1846. In 1846, Asa Jr. left Cowles Manufacturing Company. In early 1847, Asa Jr. returned to Hartford, and all three brothers---William, Simeon, and Asa Jr.---began producing silverplated spoons bearing the trademark "ROGERS BROS." The increasing volume of business led to the organization of a new company in 1853: Rogers Brothers Manufacturing Company. William Rogers left in 1856 to join with George W. Smith as Rogers, Smith and Company, with William Rogers as president. In 1862, Meriden Britannia Company bought the tools and dies of that company. William joined Meriden Britannia in 1847, as the production director of the Rogers Brothers line. In 1865, William Rogers became associated with his son, William Rogers, Jr., as an organizer and partner in William Rogers Manufacturing Company. The Rogers family businesses continued to grow and change; all three brothers were employed by Meriden Britannia Company when they died.