News-Antique.com - Apr 14,2010 - In the late 1940’s I was in high school. At that era in history it was very important to have a “Hope Chest” with all the lovely things you use to start a home. I wanted so much to have sterling silver for my home and table, so in my sophomore year I rode a bus to Fort Wayne, Indiana and took a great deal of time in the then Cousin’s Jewelry store deciding which pattern I wanted for my use. Cousin’s was a very special jewelry store; it was rather dark and mysterious with many cases of sterling, jewelry and lovely item. They brought out tray of sterling with a dinner fork, a salad fork. dinner knife and butter knife , spoon soup, table spoon for you to choose from. There was Towle, Lunt, International, etc. and several others. You had to decide which pattern would work with you dishes, stemware, table cloths, and furniture. Since this was my first purchase in the line of “Hope Chest” items needed, it was rather difficult to decide what I would like to have; which would work well with the future choices of other items. I spent the whole afternoon in the store, first one pattern appealed to me than another one looked more alluring. I finally decided on the Prelude pattern from International Sterling Company. It is very pretty, a simple flower design. At that time you could make a down payment of approximately $25 and they would give you a balance book for you to keep track of your payments. I remember my payments were $14.95 each month. Can you imagine how many young girls started to purchase their silver in this fashion and never completed the task? None-the-less I remained faithful and have the lovely sterling to this day. One day at an auction, I ran across the enclosed Prelude bon, bon dish in the exact pattern and purchased it and used it for many years; it must be noted the sterling of the forties has more sterling silver than the later year sterling silver; they lessen the amount of silver in each piece of the set.