American Silversmiths

Anthony Laforme
Mrs. Clara Laforme
Francis J. Laforme


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Francis J. Laforme
  • Born: 1827, Westphalia, Germany
  • Died: 25 Aug 1895

  General notes:


  Events in his life were:

  • He appeared on the 1850 census taken at Boston MA, listed as a silversmith.

  • He was a partner in 1850-1854 with Vincent Laforme in Boston MA as LAFORME & BROTHER.
  • He worked after 1854 as a silversmith in Boston MA as F. J. LAFORME & Co.
  • Leading Pursuits and Leading Men: A Treatise on the Principal Trades and Manufactures of the United States by Edwin Troxell Freedley 1856, Philadelphia PA.
    "Messrs F. J. La Forme & Co., Water Street, Boston, have chosen as their peculiar sphere of operations the costlier, more artistic, more complicated, department of the silver-ware manufacture. Having made themselves complete masters of the leading principles of art, they have been enabled to produce original designs of ornamental silver-ware unrivalled in richness and beauty. In this department and in the workmanlike application of it to the manufacture of urns, vases, pitchers, tea-setts, and other ware for domestic use, their superiority has been especially manifest and their reputation is now not confined to New England alone.
    In 1833, the father of the senior partner of the present firm, having emigrated from Germany the year previous, commenced the manufacture of silver-ware in Boston on a small scale. His two sons, known as the "Brothers La Forme," continued and enlarged the business until 1854, when Mr. F. J. La Forme withdrew and established the present firm of F. J. La Forme & Co. They now employ about twenty hands and possess all the requisite machinery with steam power for carrying on the business successfully. No goods stand higher in the Boston market than those of Messrs F. J. La Forme & Co. and their skill in devising original designs and patterns—a department to which they give especial attention—is well worthy the consideration of any one—dealer or individual—desiring the ideas of superior artists."

  • He was issued patent number 26,327 on 29 Nov 1859

    Francis J. La Forme, Of Boston, Massachusetts.


    Specification forming part of Letters Patent No. 26,327, dated November 29, 1859; Reissued January 14, 1868, No. 2,831.

    To all whom it may concern:
    Be it known that I, Francis J. La Forme, of Boston, in the county of Suffolk and State of Massachusetts, have invented an Improvement in Nurse-Bottles; and I do hereby, declare that the same is fully described and represented in the following specification and the accompanying drawings, of which—
    Figure 1 denotes a side elevation of a nurse bottle with my invention applied thereto. Fig. 2, a vertical and central section thereof.
    The nature of my invention consists in applying within or to the mouth or neck of a nurse bottle, a flexible tube whereby the nutriment contained in such bottle can not only be drawn out of the same, with equal facility in whatever position the bottle may be placed, but the child or infant be prevented from inhaling air therefrom, the said tube being composed of india rubber or its equivalent, and having an enlargement or tip applied to one or both of its ends, in manner as will be hereinafter specified.
    It is a fact well known to physicians and nurses or those having the care of infants (forced by necessity or otherwise to derive their nourishment from other than their natural sources) that a good, cleanly and substantial nurse bottle has been a desideratum that has long existed. To supply this need, various devices or bottles have been invented. Some of these have been constructed entirely of metal which owing to its oxidation, renders it totally unfit for such purpose, for milk or other fluid being placed in them and suffered to remain for a short time causes oxidation to take place (in the inside of the bottle such not being seen is often suffered to remain to the great injury of the child using such bottle. Others have been made with a glass body and a metallic cap, and tube extending down into the interior of the bottle. These are also objectionable, owing to the difficulty of keeping such metallic parts from oxidation. Others still have been made entirely of glass, with the exception of the rubber nipple. The evil incident to the latter bottle is the great difficulty of cleansing the bent eduction tube without breakage thereof, and moreover another serious disadvantage, which all of the above possess, arises from the inflexible bent form of their eduction tubes, the same rendering it indispensable that the mouths of such tubes should always be placed downward to prevent the child or infant from inhaling air and to enable it to obtain the liquid contents of the bottle. By my improvement, I have remedied all the above defects.
    In carrying out my invention, I take a glass bottle A of any convenient form, the same having a mouth a of suitable size, and a small flange o around such mouth for the object of securing the gum elastic nipple f thereto when drawn over the neck of the bottle as seen in Fig. 1.
    In order to render it impossible for the child to inhale air from the bottle instead of nutriment, I dispose within the bottle a flexible tube C, (made of india rubber or its equivalent) the same being formed with an enlargement or tip d upon one or both of its ends. The tip or tips I usually construct of glass and of the form as shown in the drawing, one of the tips resting against the neck or mouth of the bottle. Thus it will be obvious that with a bottle provided with my invention a child can never suck air from the bottle, as the force of gravity always brings the lower tip or end of the tube into the milk whatever may be the position of the bottle, thereby rendering any care as to : the position of the mouth of the tube unnecessary.
    Having described my invention, what I claim is—-
    An improved nurse bottle, or one having an elastic tube, constructed and applied thereto in manner and for the purpose set forth.

    F. J. LA FORME

    Arthur Neill
    Dennis Desmond
  • He appeared on the 1860 census taken at Boston MA, listed without occupation.

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