J. Wiss & Sons Co. 1848-1976
Catalogs, cut sheets, price lists, and product inserts from the 1950s.

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Catalogs

58-50 Shears and Scissors. A 28 page catalog covering all shears and scissors in detail. No prices. Printed 1950. This is the last true catalog that I know of. After this the products were split over cut sheet catalogs. Catalog pages are also available in web-size and full-size jpegs for your use.
SNIPS-1952 Metal Cutting Snips is a marketing folder with six sides. It covers how snips are made, the snips product line, information on the steel and specs, and selling suggestions for dealers, including who likes which. Printed January 1952. Also see slightly different January 1950 version.
SnipsFolderSmall1952 Famous Wiss Metal-Cutting Snips For Every Purpose. A smaller version of the above. Also available in a JPG version.

Booklets (Handouts)

WissStory1959 thumbnail The Wiss Story of Shears & Scissors. Printed May 1959. 10 pages plus cover. Includes: History and evolution of shears and scissors, Consider the matter of scissors (and shears), two pages explaining types of shears and scissors, a page picturing many types, Facts to remember when buying scissors, How to care for your scissors, Cutting hints, and a page of patterns available. 8-1/2" x 11". Form code: A 53–100 M–5/59.
SS3 thumbnail What you should know about Shears and Scissors. A small booklet with "what they should mean to you" and "a pair of scissors for every purpose," six pages explaining different types of scissors and shears, two pages of "your choice in the matter," a page on caring for your scissors, five pages on cutting hints, and two pages explaining the Wiss quality. 20 pages. 6" x 3-5/8". Printed September 1952. Form code: SS3-10/52-25M.
pg thumbnail How to Prune for Better Flowers, Shrubs, Trees and Fruits. 42 pages. © 1957 J. Wiss & Sons Co., Newark, NJ. Printed February 1958. Form code: PG-25M-2/58.
PSB thumbnail How you can do it with Wiss Pinking Shears. 16 pages including covers. 10 pages of examples of what you can do or make with pinking shears. One page on the reasons for superiority. One page showing the Model C line of pinkers in three sizes. 5-1/4" x 8-1/4". Printed September 1952. Form code: PSB-9/52-25M. There is also a 1/53 version which I did not buy as it appears to be the same. There is also a 1954 version (PSB-11/54-25M), which is also the same as the 9/52 one.

Inserts (Included with Pinking Shears)

Pinking shear sales became a major product line for Wiss. 5,300,000 (or more) instructions were printed in the 14 year period starting at the beginning of 1950. More than 500,000 a year were printed in the early years, and 250,000 or less in later years. This was the peak years of home sewing. Women could save money by making their own clothes. Fabrics used were natural and pinking stopped unraveling. And sewing machines did not yet have serge stitching. More on pinking shears and Samuel Briskman can be found on the Pinking Shear Patents page. Also see the 1940s inserts. Though in the 1940s there were no quantities printed, and format changes are used to date.

Model E Pink-Rite

PSE 3-50 thumbnail Model E. A short-lived budget line. It appears to have sold very well. This model was 7 1/2" long. The only Model C at the time was 9 1/4" long. By the end of 1950 they decided to drop this model and to instead offer the Model C in two lengths. Three instruction folders were printed. They are all identical. The March 1950 [PSE-3-50-250M] and the [PSE-8-50-100M] and the [PSE 11-50-50M]. When unfolded they measure 3" x 15".

Model C Line

PSC 8/50 thumbnail Model C: One Length. February 1950 started off the vertical folded insert for the Model C pinking shears. Prior to this they included in the box an unfolded piece of paper and a tag. Unfolded this is 3" x 15". The front discusses using and the care of the shears. The back promotes other dressmaking shears and scissors. There were two printings of these: February 1950 [PSC-2-50-250M] and August 1950 [PSC-8-50-250M]. They are identical. Apparently they sold 250,000 pairs in six months.
PSC 4-51 thumbnail Model C: One Length. This April 1951 [PSC-4-51-150M] insert, with the exception of the reversed colors on the cloth swatches, is identical to the prior insert. Note that this is dated after the first of the next insert style. Possibly they continued to use this one for the 9" version?
PSC-12-50 thumbnail Model C: Two Lengths. The December 1950 version [PSC-12-50-250M] was a minor update to include the new 7-1/2" CB-7 and CC-7 shears. For less than a year prior to this a 7 1/2" was being sold as a Model E. The front still discusses using and the care of the shears, but now has a chart listing the two sizes and whether CB or CC. The back is identical to the prior ones. Unfolded it is 3" x 15". An October 1951 [PSC-10-51-250M] is known to exist.
PSC-1953 thumbnail Model C: Three Lengths. The August 1952 version [PSC-8/52-250M] was an expansion of the folder. It now included the 5-1/2" length of the Model C (CC-5 and CB-5). Hence the pictures of the now three different lengths were moved to the inside. The insert was kept in the vertical format and became 2-1/2" x 18" unfolded. Scanned is the identical [PSC-8/53-250M].
PSCB thumbnail Models: C & B. This December 1953 version [PSCB-250M-12/53], was announcing the new Model B (with larger teeth). The folder became horizontal, grew to 12 panels on both front and back, and when open stretches to over 29". The front lists the various pinking models and discusses using and the care of the shears. The back promotes other dressmaking shears and scissors. A September 1954 [PSCB-250M-9/54] exists and is presumed to be identical, as I have a December 1955 [PSCB-250M-12/55] which is identical to the one pictured here.
PSCBAA thumbnail Models: C, B, & AA. This April 1956 version was announcing the new larger Model AA. It was created to replace the large Model A that had been discontinued some years earlier. When unfolded the paper stretches to over 29" wide. It is 2-3/16" high. Each side still has 12 panels. I have two identical editions: April 1956 [PSCB-250M-4/56] and March 1957 [PSCB-150M-3/57]. This folder ends with the GS-115 gift set, which has larger shears than the GS-15 gift set promoted in the prior version of this folder.

Model C Line: "What you can do with Wiss Pinking [and Skalloping] Shears" Pink Folders

This is basically a shrunken version of the pink 16 page "How you can do it with Wiss Pinking Shears" [Form PSB-9/52-25M] in the above section. A pattern order form was added. Opens to 12 pages and 15-3/4" wide. Folds to 2-5/8" x 4-3/4".

PS1 thumbnail The September 1957 [PS1-250M-9/57]. This only highlights the three lengths of the Model C. It does mention the Model AA and the new skalloping shears. The Model B is dropped. It is the first instructions to have the 9" Model C with a 1/4" teeth spacing. Previously the 9" shared the 3/64" spacing that the 7" has. I have a [PSI-250M-4-59] which is identical to this one. A [PSI-250M-10-58] also exists and is assumed to also be the same.
  [PS2-250M-4-60. Known to exist]. Skalloping shears now pictured and also listed on the front cover. It lists the SN-7, SC-7, and SN-9. Introduces left-handed CB-7LH and PS-77 straight handles. [PS2-250M-3-61. I have, but haven't scanned yet.]
  [PS3-250M-4/62. I have, but haven't scanned yet.] The 5 1/2" CB-5 and CC-5 were dropped. The SN-9 scalloping shears was dropped. The SC-7 version of the scalloping shears is still listed.
  [PS4-250M-3/63. I have, but haven't scanned yet.] PS-77 straight handled dropped. Left-handed CB-7LH still called new. The SC-7 version of the scalloping shears is dropped.

  [PS5-250M-11/63. I have, but haven't scanned yet.] The only difference between this and the PS4 is the postal zone in the addresses was changed to a zip code.

Skalloping Shears Folders

A scalloped pinking shears was released in about the Fall of 1957.

SN-7 thumbnail Three known printings exist for the skalloping shears. A 3/58 one, a 3/59 one, and this 11/59 one: [SN-7-250M 11/59]. The 3/59 and 11/59 ones are identical and list both the SN-7 and the newer SN-9. Not known whether both shears are listed in the 3/58 edition. This separate folder was dropped in 1960 when the scalloping shears was merged into the PS2 folder [above].

Inserts (Included with Other Shears)

FH-4 folder thumbnail FH 4 folder. This was an accordian folded insert for the FH 4 flower holding shears. When open there are 18 small pages (2-7/16" x 3-3/4"). It shows some basic flower arrangments and other Wiss garden tools. I have three editions: August 1952 [FH 4-100M-8/52], March 1953 [FH 4-100M-3/53], and September 1954 [FH 4-50M-9/54]. The first two are identical. It would appear that the first 100,000 printed in August ran out by the next Spring. The only difference between the 1953 and 1954 ones is the predecessor FH-3 model appears in the 1952 and 1953 ones. In 1954 it was replaced by the C4A Garden and Lobster Shears.
L-3 folder thumbnail Lobster Shears booklet. This four page folder was included with lobster shears. Printed March 1953, when the C4A flower shears was first promoted as a lobster shears.
H.T.S. thumbnail Wiss Hair-Thinning Shears. A piece of paper printed on two sides. The front describes them, and the back has Directions for the Use of Hair-Thinning Shears. Printed May 1954. Inventory number: H.T.S.. In 300 DPI jpeg: Front and Back. A January 1953 one with the inventory number [H.T.S. 1-53-2500] also exists. And a January 1956 one: [H.T.S 1-56-10M]

Price Lists

PL-SS-1950 Shears, Scissors, Manicure Implements, Pinking Shears. Price List effective November 30, 1950.
PL-Snips-1950 Metal Cutting Shears, Tinners' Snips. Price List effective November 30, 1950.
PL-GS-1952 Garden Shears. Price List effective August 1, 1952. Also covers garden shear replacement parts. Note that some of these parts are still available. The current owner of the Wiss name is Apex Tool Group. If you are looking for a part, ask them.
PL-SS-1954 Shears, Scissors, Pinking Shears, & Manicure Implements. Price List effective January 4, 1954.

Cut Sheets for Dealers

Model-E-Display PS-5 New Counter Display and Assortment! This assortment includes five pinking shears, including the new Model E pinking shear that is to be announced on June 5, 1950. Has dealer cost and retail value. [300 DPI jpeg]
FH-4-9-52-EAST thumbnail Watch volume pick up with this popular new money-maker: FH-4 Flower Shears. This is an original FH-4 picture with a rivet. A year after production started they switched to a Phillips screw. Lists dealer's cost. Printed September 1952. Inventory number: FH-4-EAST. [300 DPI jpeg]
GT-9-52 thumbnail Wiss Garden Shears... All Best Sellers!. Two-sided cut sheet showing hedge shears, grass shears, and pruning shears. No prices. Printed September 1952. Inventory number: GT. [300 DPI jpeg]
HGK-9-52-EAST thumbnail A new Wiss item that's sure to spark sales! House & Garden Kit. A fabric holder with transparent acetate pockets holds a prunings shears, FH-4, and kitchen shears. Has dealer cost and retail prices. Printed September 1952. Inventory number: HGK-EAST. [300 DPI jpeg]
L4-10-52 thumbnail Wiss offers these new income producers: Lopping Shear Assortment. The L-4-E contains one each of four different types of lopping shears. Has dealer cost and retail value. Printed October 1952. Inventory number: L4. [300 DPI jpeg]
cut-sheet-announcing-AA-pinker thumbnail Cut sheet and letter announcing the new AA Pinking shears, dated April 24, 1956.

Cut Sheets: Display Units

HD-100-EAST Display, Stock Container and "Salesman" All-In-One! HD-100. This was a maple case displaying seven shears and seven scissors. Printed February 1950. East Version. A few a year sell on eBay. See Display Cases and Cabinets. Inventory number: HD-100-EAST. [300 DPI jpeg]
HD-100-WEST thumbnail Display, Stock Container and "Salesman" All-In-One! HD-100 The same as above, but is West version printed 4/52. Inventory number: HD-100-WEST. [300 DPI jpeg]
GT53-9-52-EAST thumbnail The finest display ever developed to sell hedge, grass, and pruning shears: New GT-53. The assortment includes 12 items plus free display. Has dealer cost and retail prices. Printed September 1952. Inventory number: GT53-EAST. [300 DPI jpeg]
PD-1 thumbnail New Free Metal Counter or Wall Display in Four Beautiful Colors Featuring: Wiss Pinking Shears. The 3-4-1 assortment includes one each of four different pinking shears. Has dealer cost and retail prices. Printed March 1952. Inventory number: PD-1. [300 DPI jpeg]

Educational Material

WissSalesManual1950s thumbnail Wiss Sales Manual circa 1950s. A manual explaining how to sell shears and scissors at retail. Intended to be given to retail stores. 10 pages. 8-1/2" x 11".
NRHA-BulletinNo.30 thumbnail SNIPS: A Staple Item that Should Sell Every Day, NRHA-Bulletin No.30 circa late 1950s. Four pages written by J Wiss for the National Retail Hardware Association. 8-1/2" x 11".
NRHA-BulletinNo.31 thumbnail Shears and Scissors, NRHA-Bulletin No.31 circa late 1950s. Four pages written by J Wiss for the National Retail Hardware Association. 8-1/2" x 11".

Catalog Sheets

425-428 This is four pages cut out of a larger catalog. The first three pages have Wiss shears, scissors (sewing, pocket and manicure), and pinking shears. The fourth page covers other brands. No prices. Circa 1950.
gray-pages This is four pages. Possibly cut from a larger catalog, but there are no page numbers. It covers pinking shears, shears, scissors, and manicure implements. No prices. Circa 1950.

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