Pass the cream

November 19, 2019


Name: Cream Pitcher

Craftsman: Philip Syng Jr.

Date: c. 1770


Philip Syng Jr. (1703 – 1789) was a significant silversmith and inventor. Syng immigrated to Philadelphia and became friendly with many influential people in the city, including Benjamin Franklin. Syng and Franklin shared a deep interest in scientific knowledge. Together, Franklin and Syng conducted many experiments with electricity.


In 1752, Syng designed an inkwell stand for the Pennsylvania State House. 24 years later, members of the Second Continental Congress, including Franklin, used that inkwell stand to sign the Declaration of Independence. Later, it would be used again to sign the Constitution.


Syng was an ancestor of Dr. Emlen Physick (the grandfather of his grandfather, Dr. Philip Syng Physick). The Physick family once owned this cream pitcher.


Look for the cream pitcher in the Butler’s Pantry.

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