The New York Office of The Napier Co. was recognized as being one of the most beautiful in the city. The office space was designed by the firm of Voorhees, Walker, Smith, and Smith, Architects. Shown here is the personal office of Mr. James H. Napier, president of The Napier Co. The workspace was featured in the 1959 edition of, Interiors Book of Offices, by the Whitney Library of Design.
True Facts About Napier’s Commencement Date 1875 or 1878?
Since the 1930s, The Napier Co. had maintained the company commenced in 1875. However, for over 50 years (prior to the ’30s), the company documented and advertised its commencement date as 1878.
After years of “corporate genealogical” research, documents do not support the 1875 commencement date but do support the business commencing in 1878, including the following historical entry.
“The E. A. Bliss Company,” an incorporated stock company, manufactures chains and novelties in the Union Power Building. The business was commenced by E. A. Bliss and James E. Carpenter, in September, 1878 at Attleborough Falls. The present location was occupied January 1, 1881, Incorporated July, 1882. The company employs seventy-five hands, with a payroll of forty thousand dollars.”
Hurd, D. Hamilton, 1883, History of Bristol County Massachusetts, with Biographical Sketches of many of its Pioneers and Prominent Men
It is unclear why this change was made. Until internal archives are obtained, the reasons will be only supposition. However, as a business commencing in 1875, the company could claim it was the oldest America costume jewelry manufacturer. One of its competitors, Whiting and Davis, commenced business in 1875 in a neighboring town.
The history of the company’s beginning is quite complicated. For readers of the book, The Napier Co.: Defining 20th Century American Costume Jewelry, please go to section E. A. Bliss 1875-1900, page 22.
The postcard to the right was issued in 1928. It celebrates the company’s fifty years of business. Other advertisements published prior to the 1930s can be found in the Jewelers’ Circular–both as The E. A. Bliss Co., and The Napier Co. with the final tag line reading, “Established in 1878.”
Or Untold Story About Napier’s Commencement Date
The article reveals the hidden truth about Napier’s true commencement date.
By Melinda Lewis – May 14, 2014
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