Collecting, cleaning, displaying, researching, and appreciating TRIVETS and related go-withs!

The pleasure and privilege of upgrading

When viewing a museum collection, notice what wonderful condition the majority of pieces are in. This happens by design, because as the opportunity presents itself display items will be upgraded until near perfection is achieved.

The same is true for private collectors. Even though a trivet collection may be considered complete, the quality of the collection can always be improved. For example, I just had the opportunity to upgrade my nickel-plated Jenny Lind Jeremiah Dwyer Trivet (65% of plating remaining) for one in which over 95% of the original nickel finish remains. Both trivets have their own charm; but the new Dwyer trivet, pictured on the right in both photos, is in near mint condition. There are a few small areas of light rust which I will attempt to carefully remove; then it will take its place with my other Jenny Lind trivets.

It’s both a pleasure and a privilege to upgrade! For after all, it’s only as temporary caretakers that we enjoy these beautiful trivet castings until they pass on into the hands of other collectors.

To the best of my knowledge, this Jenny Lind design (signed Jeremiah Dwyer) is original and hasn’t been reproduced. You’ll sometimes find this design with an unmarked reverse, most probably a re-casting from the original Dwyer pattern. However, that one is also old and not a recent reproduction.

Update: The following excerpt is from my second book, The Expanded A-Z Guide To Collecting Trivets, 2010.

Jeremiah Dwyer was born in Brooklyn, New York, August 22, 1838, and was about three months old when the family relocated in Michigan. His earliest years were spent on a farm, and after his schooling he found his first regular employment in the planing mill of Smith & Dwight. From that time forward, barring intervals of ill health, his efforts have been directed chiefly along industrial lines, and he early distinguished himself not only as a hard but intelligent worker, and quickly found a position of independence. After one year in a planing mill, he became an apprentice at the moulder’s trade, in the Hydraulic Iron Works operated by Kellogg & Van Schoick. His apprenticeship there produced a master workman, and the first three years after reaching majority were spent as a journeyman founder in different cities of the east. (Moore 1915, p. 682)

In 1861, Jeremiah and his younger brother James established their first Detroit stove company, J. Dwyer & Company, which was reorganized in 1864 as Detroit Stove Works. By 1869 Jeremiah’s health was failing, forcing him to leave Michigan to recuperate in a warmer climate. He sold his interest in Detroit Stove Works to his brother James, who became its President. Jeremiah returned to Detroit in 1871 and founded the Michigan Stove Company, which became known as “The Largest Stove Manufacturing Plant In The World”. He served as President of Michigan Stove Company, and later as Chairman of the Board, until his death on January 29, 1920. Jeremiah Dwyer is buried in Section E, Lot 60 of the Mt. Elliott Cemetery in Detroit, Michigan. (Mt. Elliott Cemetery, p. 34)

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