Electroplating: The princes guilds a vase, 1874.
© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
Plate taken from the 'Illustrated London News'. The electrolytic plating of one metal onto a another was first observed in 1801, becoming a major industry in Birmingham after the perfection of the technique of pasing an electric current through cyanides of gold or silver by John Wright and Alexander Parkes (1813-1890). The Princes of Wales, Alexandra, daughter of Christian IX of Denmark (1818-1906) had married Prince Edward (1841-1910) in 1863.