Gift of Mrs. Oswald Voelcker

Silver Exhibit, McHenry Museum and Mansion, Modesto, 10-5-78 "Recent Acquisitions", History Special Gallery, April 4 - May 14, 1978.

Tea urn. Description: Silver tea urn with lid, elaborately ornamated with figures and engraving. Lid has figure of train engine surmounting it, handles are ivory. There is a railroad track around the waist of the urn with tools etc., below this is an engraving of a city scene. Base is a "bridge" with four brick piers, three with workmen on them, circling the base on the upper part is another smaller train track. The top of the spout is wheel. From the History Infomation Station: Object: Silver tea urn and water pitcher, made by Gorham Company of New York in 1860. Commissioned by San Francisco jeweler John Tucker on behalf of a group of San Francisco merchants, for presentation to Oregon Senator Edward D. Baker. History: Both of these pieces are decorated with railroad and bridge motifs. San Francisco civic leaders advocated the construction of a transcontinental railroad and a bridge across the Golden Gate, and they gave these pieces to Senator Baker in an attempt to enlist his support for the projects. Baker (1811-1861), a friend and advisor of President Lincoln, had been for many years a prominent San Francisco attorney and orator, so San Franciscans courted him as an influential proponent of western development. Baker resigned from the Senate to serve in the Civil War, and he was killed in action in 1861. He is buried in the San Francisco Presidio, and the city's Baker Street, and Fort Baker, overlooking the Golden Gate, are named for him.

Used: E. D. Baker | Merchants of San Francisco | John W. Tucker | 3rd Mechanics Institution Fair ~ New York City

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