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Elkington & Company

Elkington & Co. was founded during the early 1830s in Birmingham by George and Henry Elkington. The Elkingtons played a crucial role in the development of electroplating, which revolutionized the light metals industry. After a period of experimentation, the firm patented the electroplating processes for silver and gold in 1840. If other firms wanted to make electroplated goods, they had to apply to Elkington & Co. for a license. In 1868, Queen Victoria permitted much of the royal plate to be copied by Elkington establishing a convention whereby several of the reigning families of Europe agreed to allow the company to reproduce their national objects.