The CHS Gift Shop: Featured Items for Summer

June 17, 2015 · CHS Buzz, Latest News ·

By Sara Plante, Visitor Services Associate

With the arrival of the glorious summer months, comes the desire to take advantage of the freedom the warm weather provides. As you find yourself out and about, don’t forget the Connecticut Historical Society (CHS)! Escape the heat, visit our new exhibit Connecticut 50 Objects/50 Stories, and of course, swing by the gift shop.CHS Banner Tote Bags

We offer objects of historical significance and beauty, perfect for your summer travels. Consider our selection of totes, formed from the historical society’s personal history, or our assortment of beautiful Silver Spoon Jewelry, cast from antique silverware! Combine your passion for history with your enjoyment of summer through a purchase at the CHS’s gift shop!

CHS Totes

CHS Banners

An example of the exhibit banners (from which are tote bags are made) hanging on the outside of the CHS building. These smaller banners are sized at 187″ h x 78″ w. The CHS also displays larger banners, which are sized at 280″w x 178″ h.

Own a piece of Connecticut history! Our exhibit banners have been recycled to create the perfect “History Nut” tote. After a thorough cleaning, the banners were hand cut into sections to form these durable, eco-friendly and

one of a kind tote bags. Each distinctive and unique tote is made by hand in the United States. These are available only at the Connecticut Historical Society gift shop and are in limited supply!

Silver Spoon Jewelry

Jennifer Northup, the founder of Silver Spoon Jewelry, has had a lifelong fascination with antiques and vintage jewelry. Following the inheritance of her great grandmother’s silverware collection, Jennifer and her husband, Daniel, were inspired to design a line of jewelry and accessories based on vintage silverware patterns from the late 1800s to early 1900s.

Silver Spoon’s designs are cast from the molds of antique silverware and Spoon_Jewelry425pxthen formed into the pieces you see here. This process keeps these striking pieces light when they would otherwise be too heavy to wear comfortably. Their unique historical background in combination with their beauty makes them well worth attention. Although these products are not made in Connecticut they have found a place in our store due to the rich history of silver production in the state’s past.

Silversmithing was practiced in the 18th century as a craft in Connecticut’s larger cities. By the early 19th century however, streamlined mechanical production became more cost effective and came to dominate the industry.

With the largest number of manufacturers, Meriden became a hub for the Silver Spoonssilver industry and came to be known as the “Silver City.” Meriden’s Silver manufacturers included the Meriden Silver Plate Co., the Meriden Britannia Company, Meriden Cutlery Company, Meriden Sterling Co., and Meriden Jewelry Co. To simplify matters, several of these companies were merged under the umbrella of the International Silver Co. in 1899, which unsurprisingly, made its headquarters in Meriden.

Silver Spoon Jewelry’s products can be found at,

And more information is provided though their blog at

Sara Plante is Visitor Service Associate at the Connecticut Historical Society. She welcomes and orients CHS guests, oversees purchases, responds a diverse array of inquiries and provides support to CHS programs, educational outreach, exhibitions and operations. Proud to play a role in bringing Connecticut’s history to life for CHS visitors, she is inspired by her colleague’s work to preserve and promote the CHS collection. Sara believes in the importance of incorporating history into our daily lives, using the past to inform our present.

About the Connecticut Historical Society

A private, nonprofit, educational organization established in 1825, the Connecticut Historical Society is the state’s official historical society and one of the oldest in the nation. Located at 1 Elizabeth Street in Hartford, the CHS houses a museum, library, and the Edgar F. Waterman Research Center that are open to the public and funded by private contributions. The CHS’s collection includes more than 4 million manuscripts, graphics, books, artifacts, and other historical materials accessible at our campus and on loan at other organizations.

The CHS collection, programs and exhibits help Connecticut residents connect with each other, have conversations that shape our communities, and make informed decisions based on our past and present.

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The Connecticut Historical Society will reopen on August 18. All on-site programs and events are canceled at this time.
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