History Of Souvenir Spoons

Collecting souvenir spoons has been a popular hobby for many Americans since the late 1800s.

Souvenir spoons grew from leisure tourism in Europe around the mid 1800s. Wealthy Americans visiting Europe brought home these souvenirs marked with the names of cities and some of the famous landmarks they had been to.

The first souvenir spoon was produced in 1889 by Galt & Bros of Washington D.C. It featured a profile of George Washington and was created to mark the 100th anniversary of his presidency. It was shortly followed by the Martha Washington spoon.

In 1890 jeweler Seth F. Low visited Germany and purchased several unusual spoons. Upon his return he designed the Salem Witch Spoon the most famous collector’s spoon that was designed for his father’s company and it was trademarked on January 13, 1891. Several thousand were sold.

Interest in souvenir spoons suddenly exploded. At the end of 1890, there were only a handful patented or in production in America. Around half a year later, hundreds of souvenir spoon patterns were being produced to commemorate American cities and towns, famous people, historical events and significant events of the time.

The 19th century was a time of growth in the United States’ economy. The start of industrialization with the rapid acceleration of technology and the invention of mass production techniques. The production of souvenir spoons became more efficient and the volume of goods increased.

In 1893 the silver collapse meant silver became affordable to many ordinary Americans for the first time, while still retaining its image of being for the privileged and wealthy.

Sample below of the many collectable souvenir spoons we have in stock.


Go to Top