Silber & Fleming : a brief history
by Wendy Gater
Silber & Fleming appear to have set up business in London between 1856 and 1861. The company is not mentioned in the 1856 Directory. In 1861 it had premises at 56 1/2 Wood Street, London EC and is listed as "Warehousemen", no speciality field mentioned.
Mr A.M Silber's marriage and death indexes give his full name as Albert Marcius Silber (on some censuses, anglicized to Albert Martin). One census gives his birth place as Denmark another (and the obituary) as Schleswig Holstein, which is the northernmost German state and borders Denmark (which also has a Schleswig). Schleswig was not part of Germany until 1864, so when Mr A.M Silber was born, it was part of Denmark.
There is a notice in the Times Newspaper May 1858 of Mr A.M Silber's marriage.
The same London address is still listed in 1864 and in 1870 but also listed are additional premises at 24 Rue Vendome, Paris and 40 Rue de Paradis, Poissoniere, Paris.
The company increased greatly between 1870 and 1876, before 1876 there is no mention in the directory of them being listed as "manufacturers".
In 1876 they had several addresses in London, including 56-62 Wood Street, Birmingham and Paris. They are described as manufacturers, importers and dealers in British and Foreign fancy goods. They are also included under the heading of "Toy Dealers, Toy Makers, Importers, Musical Instrument Makers, Musical Box Makers, Lamp and Oil Warehousemen".
Silber & Fleming were now among other things, major distributors of toys, which were generally available via mail order, catalogues and department stores.
I have been informed that Silber & Fleming only imported Dolls Houses from Germany but I can not find the documented evidence to confirm this. I believe the houses they sold were sourced from various suppliers.
Therefore in conclusion Silber & Fleming did actually manufacture items but what specific items they made themselves I can not deduce, whether they actually manufactured Dolls Houses I am unable to varify at this moment in time. I am still trying to investigate this further but because of the time lapsed it is extremely difficult to find documented evidence, if it is actually anywhere still to be found.
There was a newspaper report in December 1882 of a great fire which destroyed the Silber & Feming warehouse in Wood Street.
(Above) Silber & Fleming, Wholesale Warehouse Building, Wood Street, London (1884)
The Company Store is also listed in the phone directory from 1885 - 1889 showing 386 Silber & Fleming, 57 Wood Street, EC (The 386 is the phone number in the London Directory). The company were by this time the equivalent of a modern department store.
It was printed in the The Times newspaper in 1886 of Mr A.M. Silber's intention to register Silber & Fleming as a private Limited Company. The companies listed trademark was the letters A, M and S with a ribbon bow.
There is an announcement in 1887 of the share prospectus for the Silber Light Company, A.M Silber invented and patented various lamps. Also there is an announcement of Mr A.M.Silbers death and an obituary.
The last record I am able to find of Silber & Fleming is a listing of them in the Trade catalogues dated 1889-1900.
The company was incorporated into Faudells Philips & Sons of 36-40 Newgate Street around the very early part of the twentieth century.