Article from the City of Newark Directory: 1881

This was extracted from a page in 1948's A Story of Shears and Scissors. It was written around June 1881. I searched through the 1881-82 Directory, both at a now dead link: and in the Newark Public Library, and did not find this article. Need to see what the museum has.



A carefully detailed examination of what may be called the industries of Newark reveals the fact that many extensive enterprises are carried on in this city which are apart from the ordinary manufactories pertaining to almost every city, and will arouse the interest of the reader not only by their magnitude, but by the prominence which they have achieved. Of such the manufactory of Messrs. J. Wiss & Sons, the character of their work, and the impetus their efforts have given to the general thrift of the community, become fit themes for remark, and as such demand special attention at our hands.

A native of Switzerland, where he was born in 1817, the founder of the business served an apprenticeship to his trade, and having become a practical and ingenious expert in his vocation, he removed to this country in 1847, and settling in Newark, transplanted to the new world the art achieved in the old. Commencing his business upon a limited scale, and retarded by many obstacles, pursuing his calling at a time when the English manufacturers monopolized the market, and when there was great prejudice against American cutlery and tools, Mr. Wiss laid down some rules for his guidance, from which he never deviated and to which his substantial success may be ascribed. These rules pertained mainly to the character of the work, and were rigid in their demands for the highest excellence, only the best quality of goods being produced.

At the death of Mr. J. Wiss, Sr., which occurred about one year ago, the present firm took possession under the style of J. Wiss & Sons. and consists of the sons of the founder, J. Wiss, F.C.J. Wiss, Louis T. Wiss and M. D. Ungrich, under whose management the business has continued to grow and increase until today their products are known to the trade throughout the United States, South America and England.

The manufactory of the firm is located as above, and is one of the largest constructive establishments in the city. The plant consists of three brick buildings, one three stories high, with a basement, covering an area of 40x60 feet; one 25x50 feet, also three stories high, and a two-story building, 25x25 feet. Here are engaged, at the time of writing, fifty operatives, which number, are this volume reaches our readers, will be increased to one hundred, most of whom are proficient in the work, which is divided in six departments and conducted with systematic precision. The machinery in use, much of which is designed and adapted for the special purposes to which it is applied, is operated by a 30 horse-power engine.

As before intimated, the products of this house are of but one grade, and that the best quality only, and of superior workmanship. Every article is warranted, and such is the reputation of their goods that their stamp is all the guarantee demanded by the trade. They embrace a large number of styles and sizes, many of which have originated with this house, and include scissors, shears, tailors' and pruning shears, paper shears, &c.

For the accommodation of Newarkers Messrs. J. Wiss & Sons have also a salesroom, where any of their products may be had at retail.

For more than thirty years identified with the industries, prosperity and development of Newark, maintaining through all that period an untarnished reputation, we feel at liberty to say that the claims of Messrs. J. Wiss & Sons upon public patronage are second in force to none of their contemporaries.