A Report by The British Trade Journal regarding Walker & Hall's display at the Brussels International Exhibition:
MESSRS. WALKER & HALL, ELECTRO WORKS, SHEFFIELD. ELECTRO-PLATED WARE, SILVER WARE, CUTLERY, &c. An exceptionally good position is that occupied by the large and elaborate installation of Messrs. Walker & Hall, and the end view of the case (reproduced in our illustration) supplies but an inadequate idea of its general extent and contents. The view given is that which the visitor observes on entering the British section British court. The case is constructed of solid mahogany, lined from one of the doors to the left of the main hall, but the case itself with gold, and each end is surmounted by the firm's trade mark, extends about twenty feet along one side of the passage across the viz., a flag bearing the initials “W. & H.” It is divided into two parts, between which are entrances from right to left, the stand being closed at each end by a pair of magnificently wrought gates of nickel-plated steel, one of which is shown in our illustration. The contents of the display are protected from dust by a series of glass cases, and they comprise every class of electro-plate ware, solid silver table ware, the best table cutlery, pocket cutlery, scissors, and razors. These are in the very best styles of design, workmanship, and material, the firm maintaining a standard of merit unsurpassed, and holding large stocks of various goods at their warehouses and show-rooms at their works and at their branches in all parts of the world. In the case to be seen at Brussels a carefully selected assortment of the newest and best designs is presented, and it will enhance the reputation of the firm, great as this already is. We may make special mention of the series of magnificent wine bowls to the right of the stand when first approached. Close to these is a 7-ft. floor lamp of superbly exquisite design and finish, and there are various “Challenge" shields for presentation, the artistic character of which it would be impossible to surpass. In one section of the stand are a number of articles partly manufactured by distinguished visitors to the firm's works at Sheffield. Among these is an inkstand which was gold-plated by H.R.H. the Duchess of York, a steak dish partly made by H.R.H., the late Prince Albert Victor, and a vase electro-plated by the Right Hon. A. J. Balfour, M.P. To show the character of their plating the firm exhibit various articles which have been in use for considerable periods, but the appearance of which is as good as ever, as far as the plating is concerned. Among these is a dish which has been in active service at the Great Northern Hotel at Lincoln for more than twenty years, and a spoon electroplated by the firm more than thirty years ago. The portrait observable in the centre of the front view is that of Mr. Geo. Walker, the founder of the firm of Walker & Hall, the first man in the world who deposited silver upon a useful article by the electro process, and who became eventually the father of the electro-plating trade of Sheffield. Mr. Geo. Walker was joined by Mr. Henry Hall, the uncle of the present partners, viz., Lieut. Col. J. E. Bingham, J.P., who joined the business at an early age, and afterwards took into partnership his brother, Mr. Chas. Henry Bingham, and his son, Albert E. Bingham. Close to the portrait of Mr. Geo. Walker is the original vat and battery used by him for his experiments over seventy years ago, which should be objects of the greatest interest to visitors, being carefully preserved in the original condition in which they were used. Below this is a large photographic view of the works, together with a group of the workpeople, of whom some 1500 are employed—a striking contrast to the nineteen hands employed when the present senior partner joined the business. We may add that the firm have, besides their large show-rooms, stock and show-rooms in Melbourne, and in eight other of the principal business centres, besides their stock and show-rooms at their works. Carried on by means of practical experience and technical training, and managed in complete harmony with the workpeople, the firm of Messrs. Walker & Hall promises to have a long period of successful development still before it. The ability with which it is managed and the high character of its productions are strikingly manifested in the display at this exhibition.
Source: The British Trade Journal - 1st August 1897