born 1706, Elkington, Derbyshire, Eng.
died September 1788, Sheffield
British inventor of fused plating ("old Sheffield plate" ).
As a craftsman of the Cutlers Co. in 1743, while repairing a copper-and-silver knife handle, he discovered that the two metals could be fused and that when the fused metals were rolled in a rolling mill they behaved like a single metal. His invention opened the way to economical production of a great variety of plated objects, from buttons and snuffboxes, which he himself made, to hollowware (e.g., tea sets) and utensils, which were soon manufactured in large quantity by other Sheffield workers.