J. Wiss & Sons Co., Newark, NJ: 1848-1976
Scans of vintage catalogs, books, ephemera, mementos, ads, etc.
- A Story of Shears and Scissors: Their origin and growth in the Old World and the New, with particular emphasis on the development of the arts of making and selling fine quality shears and scissors in America, which parallels the first hundred years of J. Wiss & Sons Co., 1848-1948. Published by J. Wiss & Sons Co., Newark, NJ, 1948. The book was commissioned to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the company. 40 unnumbered pages, plus covers. Book availability: Amazon and WorldCat Libraries. It also shows up on eBay a couple times a year (for not much). This letter from B.E. Bostwick accompanied the book when copies were sent to its dealers on November 23, 1948. Also a local newspaper clip on its release.
- The edge of excellence since 1848. is the 125th anniversary publication for 1973. 24 pages. 8-1/2" × 11".
Catalogs, Price Lists, Brochures, Inserts, Cut Sheets, Correspondence, etc. by Decade
- A collection of 73 ads (+30 not yet scanned) from various magazines (e.g. Better Homes & Garden, Good Housekeeping, Holiday, and The Saturday Evening Post). Split into types:
- Pages from a Newark Directory 1853-54 with a listing for Jacob Wiss, Cutler.
- There is a section on razors. Wiss made the highest quality straight razors until 1924. This section is an identification aide and features pictures of 65 razors, sets, and strops. [With many more to come someday.]
- A collection of pictures of various shears and scissors. Items selected for being unusual, the pictures being really good, being in a family collection, or some whim. To get started only a few are up.
- Mementos & Ephemera. Includes an old Christmas card, things given out at the 1948 centennial, tie tacks, cocktail glasses, etc.
- Point-Of-Sale Marketing Items covers posters (with some showing the Stages of Manufacture), and felt for putting under shears. Includes the common T.G.I.F. sign that is marketed on eBay as being rare.
- Wiss distributed a variety of display cases with some doubling as stock containers. They either sat on a counter or floor, or hung from a wall. Some revolved. I've collected pictures of ones that have passed through eBay: Display Cases and Cabinets.
- The factory was moved to Littleton Avenue in 1887. There are pictures from the beginning through its being torn down in 2013. Various street numbers were used over the years as their address. They used different numbers in different publications in order to track inquires. Then, after they added departments for that, they used number 33. It is in the process of becoming a PSE&G switching station.
- In 1887, when the factory moved up the hill to Littleton Ave and retail stayed downtown, a third division was established: Wiss Realty Corporation, a real estate holding company. In 1910 it built one of Newark's first skyscrapers. The retail store (Wiss Jewelry) was one of its first tenants. There are pictures of the building through the years and pictures of it being torn down in 2013.
People, Histories and Biographies
- This is NJ, a weekly radio series by the State Conservation and Economic Development in cooperation with the NJ Manufacturers Association, broadcast "A Story of Scissors and Shears" in 1948. This MP3 file (Length: 15:02) was made from two 78-rpm records (three sides).
- J. Wiss Patents. I was able to find 31 patents when I searched for patents assigned to "Wiss Sons."
- Pinking Shear Patents. Pinking shears were made in conjunction with Samuel Briskman's Pinking Shears Corporation. They filed for many patents over the years.
- Roller Shear Patent. This was a shears patented by the Bell System and made by Wiss. It was used to cut and then press down telegram strips onto blank forms. See pictures of a pair.
- Various internal documents: stockholders' meeting minutes from 1900, memos to and from the sales manager, and a system survey undertaken by an outside CPA firm.
Go to Don Wiss's Home Page
Send questions, comments and new material to