Littleton Ave Factory Pictures Over Time
A collection of pictures from various sources.

In the 1880's Wiss acquired a large tract of land facing Littleton Avenue, "on the hill" in Newark, and built their factory to meet the production needs of the business. The wheels in the new plant started to turn in 1887. Prior to the move into this factory Wiss apparently had 150 men working in various places around Newark. This consolidated them and allowed for further expansion.


Pictures From the Scissor Manufacturing Years

A circa 1880 picture of the factory as originally built. The print is 14" × 10-1/2". Frederick C.J. Wiss is standing in front of the right door facing forward. His younger brother Louis is to his left. This photo is from the Newark Public Library's Charles F. Cummings New Jersey Information Center. High resolution scans exist. Get permission from the library to obtain. The New Jersey Historical Society also has this picture, plus they have one of the backside of the factory.

Factory 1890


A picture from a 1901 billhead. Unfortunately I was underbidder and I do not have a decent scan of this. The artist here removed the trees, and added smoke to the smokestack. You will see that adding smoke was considered for a long time a positive thing to show.

Factory-1901


A circa 1906 postcard of the factory. The factory has already been expanded on both sides. Note the building starts with three stories at the near end and is four at the far end. A version of this also exists with a two line caption, the second line being "Main Building where WISS "Stielweld" Shears are made." Those postcards were sent out to their customers. This postcard (with single line caption) was reproduced on page 14 of Newark, The Golden Age, by Jean-Rae Turner, Richard T. Koles and Charles F. Cummings, 2003. [The book's caption is riddled with errors. This factory did not begin in the 1840s, but was opened in 1887. J Wiss never made jewelry or silverware. The jewelry store branch of the company simply retailed these items. The Short Hills Mall branch was opened 1961, when the mall opened. It was not moved.] The book in WorldCat. The book is available at Amazon, and page 14 is in the preview. The postcard pictured here is from the Newark Public Library's Charles F. Cummings New Jersey Information Center. It has an undivided back and is unused.

Factory-Postcard-1906


1911 Aerial View. This from the 1912 Catalog, but dated 1911, as the identical picture is dated as such in the 1911 catalog. The building length along Littleton Avenue is the same. The same image, without the air brushing to make it look cloud-like, exists as a postcard. This image was used as letterhead for many years after this. Nothing was cropped out. The only change for the letterhead was the sky above the smoke was removed. Click on web-sized image to see detail.

1912 Aerial View From 1912 Catalog


Aerial View from the circa 1917 Catalog. The building with the flag has been added at the left. The rest of the picture is the same as the prior one, but with more intense smoke.

Factory-1917


Aerial View from the 1919 Catalog. The building at the left with the flag now has awnings. The water tower and another water tank are new. There are more buildings in the surrounding neighborhood. With more factories in the background spewing smoke.

Factory-1919


Before 1925 Aerial View. Another story has been added to the main buildings. The roof line is changed and the cupolas are gone. The signage on the front was changed and razors has been dropped. The manufacture of straight razors was discontinued in the latter part of 1923.

This image from the 1934 Catalog. The identical picture was also in the 1925 catalog. The main buildings from the image were used as letterhead in the late 1920s. See next.

1934 Aerial View From Catalog


In this letterhead version of the prior picture the extraneous buildings were cropped out and some shadows were changed..

Late 1920s Letterhead


Dated January 1930 on the back. This is the same as the above, but being a scan of a photo is higher quality. Different extraneous surroundings were removed. And the vehicles were hand painted, and smokestacks were painted onto the buildings in the back. This is obvious if you click the web-size image and look at the 300 d.p.i. scan. From the Newark Public Library's Charles F. Cummings New Jersey Information Center. Permission needed from them to reproduce.

Factory-1930-NPL


This street photo was published in the Newark Sunday News on March 16, 1952 on page 6. On the back there is also the date January 25, 1930, which looks like when it was taken. From the Newark Public Library's Charles F. Cummings New Jersey Information Center. Permission needed from them to reproduce.

Factory-1930-street-photo


From the letterhead in the late 1940s. A redrawing of the picture a couple above. 1920s cars omitted.

From 1948 Letterhead


From A Story of Shears and Scissors 1948. This is the first redo since before 1925.

From 1948 book


This was on the cover of the 100th Anniversary Celebration Program from the celebration dinner on September 18, 1948. The shadows were changed.

From 100th Anniversary Celebration


This picture has all the 1960s additions, including the office building in the upper right that was completed in 1969. This pictures how the factory looked when the company was sold in 1976. From the Newark Public Library's Charles F. Cummings New Jersey Information Center. Permission needed from them to reproduce.

factory-1969


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