Samuel Briskman

Samuel Briskman, of Brooklyn [Born: 24 Dec 1896, Died: 11 Feb 1967], invented pinking shears in 1931 and received his first three patents for them in 1934. Prior to his invention, there were pinking machines aka pinkers.

He formed the American Pinking Shears Corporation and opened a small plant at 158-160 Greene St, and then in a 6-story factory at 102 Prince Street in Manhattan, New York. At some early point the company name was changed to Pinking Shears Corp.

In a 1931 ad a pinking shears with no brand name is listed for $8.50. In early 1933 an ad for Wiss shows $5.29. By late 1933 the price was lowered to $4.95, where it remained for some time. Using an inflation calculator, that would be $102.50 in 2021. See Early Newspaper Articles on Pinking Shears.

Sam's firm milled the teeth into the blades. Wiss made the actual shears and had the exclusive sales in the USA and through their agents abroad. Briskman was also entitled to sell abroad under the name of Pinking Shears Corp. through his agents. Based on the number of pinking shears instruction folders printed in the 1950s, they were the boom years for pinking shears sales.

He had one son, Arthur (Artie) Briskman [Born: 20 Sept 1929], who worked with him, and took over after his father died. After Cooper Tools bought Wiss in 1976, and was moving the factory to North Carolina, they went to Pinking Shears Corp. and bought the equipment. Artie had the opportunity to work for Cooper for one year, but declined. The machines were so large a crane was used to take them out through a removed window. The building was then sold.

Progress Model A First Pinking Shears, Model A

American Silver Box Second Pinking Shears, Likely a Model B

102 Prince St Factory at 102 Prince St., New York, NY. Now known as the SoHo neighborhood.

Pinking Shear Corp New-Model A Your New Improved Model A Pinking Shears has larger teeth. Circa mid-1940s.

4000000th plaque Lucite Plaque Given to Samuel Briskman
The 4,000,000th Pinking Shears was made on August 4, 1949. It was gold plated and encased in Lucite. Then given to Samuel Briskman.

Norm Sr + Samuel Briskman Samuel Briskman and Norman Wiss
Norman F. Wiss, Sr. [Born: 22 Dec 1895, Died: 15 Sept 1954] was the one who pushed for and who managed the agreement with Briskman.

Wisses + Artie The Wisses and Artie Briskman
A picture taken at some trade show in Spring 1954 or earlier. From left: Norman Wiss Jr, Ken Wiss, Norman Wiss Sr, Fred Wiss, and Artie Briskman.

Wagner watch Patek Philippe Watch Given by Sam Briskman to Robert F. Wagner Jr.
Engraved presention that reads "To Bob from Sam Briskman, Dec, 24th, 1953", shortly after Robert was elected Mayor of New York City. This was Robert Wagner's personal watch throughout the years afterwards.

Briskman Only Human article Sam Briskman: Success Is A Debt
A "Only Human" article by Sidney Fields tells the story of Sam's tinkering with two serrated knives and coming up with the basic patent. Published in the The New York Sunday Mirror in 1955.

Sam + Minna Pictures of Samuel Briskman and Other People
I have obtained a bunch of excellent pictures, with many people referred to in his obituary.

Sam and His Majesty More Pictures of Samuel Briskman
Pictures of Sam, his horse, etc.

Briskman medallion Bronze Medallion given to Samuel Briskman
The Bronze Medallion, which is highest award conferred upon civilians by The City of New York. Presented to Sam Briskman, humanitarian and benefactor, by Robert F. Wagner, Mayor of the City of New York, February 19, 1958. This medallion is also called the "Keys to the City."

Briskman obit NYT Feb-16-1967 February 16, 1967 Obituary in The New York Times

Briskman remembrances Public remembrances after his death