1930s Advertisement for Oneida Plate Silverware

By Kaila Temple, Class of 2021

Looking at an advertisement for Community Plate flatware, you might recognize the pattern. Maybe it was the set of nice silverware your grandma brought out during the holidays, or perhaps you’ve seen it in antiques store. Either way, the silver plate flatware produced by the Oneida Company Ltd. dominated the market for middle-class silver throughout the twentieth century.

In advertisements, the company accented their flatware designs with images of visually harmonious clothing and other objects. This strategy was known as ensemble selling. Oneida took ensemble selling and the promise of elegance and class to a new level with their “Community Inspires” campaign.