Farber Brothers
Written by Don Mullins, Special Guest Columnist - Tulsa, Oklahoma
Courtesy of Leonette Walls
Louis and Harry Farber, born in Russia in the late 1800's, were educated in Europe, and their family immigrated to the United State in the early 1900's.  Louis and Harry worked for their older brother, S. W. Farber, whose products were merchandised under the trade name " Farberware".  They continued there until 1915, when they decided to venture out on their own, forming their company under the trade name, "Farber Brothers Krome-Kraft".  A common misconception among collectors and dealers is that Farberware and Farber Brothers is the same. This  results oftentimes in the mis-labeling of Farber Brothers products as Farberware.  Although blood relatives, there was never a corporate relationship between the two companies.  To date, Farberware is still in business,  and their products can be found in department stores.
The Farber Brothers original 1915 concept for their company was to produce quality hollow-ware and brass goods to be sold at competitive prices..  This concept kept them successful for fifty years.  In 1932, the Farber Brothers Company invented their patented " clip on - clip off holder" which would hold glass or china inserts which could be easily replaced if  the glass were broken, cracked or chipped.  This wonderful invention set the tone for production  and sales throughout the remainder of the company's existence.
In 1935, Louis Farber bought the Sheffield Silver Company, being maintained as a separate company throughout its ownership. Many items were produced in Sterling and Silverplate with glass inserts and the patented "clip on- clip off" holders.  Although items sold by this company were stamped with a different logo, it is obvious that they are of the original Farber Brothers design.  These items are highly prized by collectors.
In the early to mid-fifties, consumer taste had changed, and Farber Brothers' famous non-tarnishing chrome holders were no longer in demand.  In the early part of the company's existence, several items were produced in solid brass as an effort to pick up declining sales.  These items sold well, initially, but lost their popularity in a short period of time.  Also, the company was hampered by the loss of several of the glass companies that had supplied the glass inserts.
In 1965, Farber Brothers Krome-Kraft ceased operations.  The Sheffield Silver Company continued to do business until December, 1973, when it was sold to Reed and Barton Silver Company.
Having lived for over a half this century myself, it seems this company had a short life to have left such a legacy of beautiful items to be collected.
Approximately 80% of the glass inserts used were produced by Cambridge Glass Company.  Other known producers were Fenton, Fostoria, Heisey, Imperial, Indiana, New Martinsville, Corning, Viking, Thermos, Westmoreland, and Duncan and Miller.  Several items found have not been identified as to manufacturer.  Jeanette and Paden City may also have provided inserts.  There have been several different designs of holders found which are gold plated mosaic finish with Lennox China inserts.  These are very collectible.
Other items produced were bon-bons, butter dishes, candy dishes, candelabras, candlesticks, console sets, compotes, oil and vinegar sets, condiment sets, mustards, marmalades, mayonnaise sets, relish, lazy Susans, preserve dishes, toothpicks, pickle dishes, salt and pepper sets, open salts,  and sugar and creamer sets.  Stemware and barware items included, cocktails, wines, cordials, tumblers, decanters, beverage sets, ice pails, ice tubs, pitchers, decanters, beer or water sets, bitters bottles,  pitchers and juice jugs. Additional items were cigarette urns, bowls, handled baskets, cheese and cracker sets, sherbet sets plus others.  It is easy to see that the items were extensive and varied.
These items can be found in colors of Amber, Amethyst, Forest Green, Royal Blue, Crystal, Carmen, Ebony, Milk, Pistachio, Dianthus Pink,  Moonlight Blue, Heatherbloom, Mocha and Late Dark Emerald.  The most frequently found colors are Amethyst and Amber, making these colored items the least expensive.  The exception is the hard-to-find candelabras
There are five known etchings for the inserts: Chantilly (found most often), Diane, Elaine, Rosepoint and Wildflower.  Other Cambridge patterns used were: Optic, Pristine, Caprice, Tally-ho and Nautilaus.
My collecting Farber Brothers wares is probably a nostalgia thing from my childhood, being awed by the sheer beauty of the pieces.  One of the unique things is my dear wife, who collects nearly everything, does not collect Farber Brothers.  It is all mine!
Recommended Reference: Farber Brothers Krome Kraft. A Giude For Collectors By Julie Sferrazza.
Note: Thank you, Don, for filling in for me, this month, as I travel.  Watch for a future review on the new Tiara book. Happy glass hunting!  Leonette Walls