Samuel Kirk ~ Baltimore, MD The Kirk firm was founded in 1815 by the twenty-two year old Samuel Kirk. He partnered with one John Smith until 1820 and then went on independently to found the oldest surviving silversmithy in America. In 1828 Kirk introduced an ornate type of repousse decoration that has been oft imitated and become known as the Baltimore Style. In 1979, the firm was purchased by and absorbed into Stieff, another Baltimore family silver firm. The combined companies retain their names as the Kirk - Stieff Company.