Timeline of the Wiss Family Businesses: 1848-1976

1847 - Jacob Wiss arrives in September and goes to work for R. Heinisch.

1848 - Work at Heinisch slows, and Jacob is laid off after six months. Jacob and Julius Guilmin start their own cutlery and gunsmith business at 7 Bank St.

1849 - Guilmin is gone. He has vanished. Did he die of cholera? Business is now cutlery only.

1852 - First advertisement is placed in the Newark Directory.

1854 - Business moves to 13 Bank St.

1869 - Business moves to 26 Bank St, a new building. Larger store, plus now has buildings behind.

1873 - 10 & 12 Library Ct. listed as factory address in Newark Directory. This is the entrance to the buildings behind the corner building. See five buildings behind 26-28 Bank St owned in this 1873 map

1875 - Frederick C.J. Wiss, at age 17, starts to manage business, as Jacob is ill with asthma.

1876 - Frederick C.J. Wiss attends the Centennial International Exposition in Philadelphia for five days with an Exhibitor's Pass.

1877 - Factory address changed to 14, 18 Library Ct. Further down the alley.

1880 - Jacob Wiss dies. His wife Maria dies five weeks before. Oldest daughter returns to Newark with husband to raise youngest daughter.
The Newark Directory ad has shrunk in size. Pole and other pruners went from top billing to gone. This is the first year with Imported and Domestic Table Cutlery in the ad. Factory address now 14-18 Library Ct.
Store starts advertising in The Sunday Call.

1881 - Name in the Newark Directory is J. Wiss's Sons. The plant behind 26 Bank St. 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 fifty operatives. According to the Newark Directory.

1882 - Business name is now J. Wiss & Sons Co. "All grinding and repairing done on the premises" was dropped from Newark Directory ad. Men are now also working at other locations.

1887 - Opens factory at 33 Littleton Ave with a 150 men workforce that had been scattered around Newark.
Retail store remains at 26 Bank St.

1889 - Store moves to 755 Broad St. (Bank Street property sold for Prudential Building site.)

1890 - Store starts advertising regularly in The Montclair Times. Silverware is featured.

1892 - Sterling Silver, and Opera Glasses, Dog Collars, etc. appear in the Newark Directory ad.

1893 - In the Newark Directory Dog Collars have disappeared, replaced with Cut Glass Banquet Lamps and Art Potteries. Pruning shears, and some other types, get mentioned, after 14 year absence.
Factory begins to advertise orange clippers regularly in the Tampa Weekly Tribune.

1895 - Store begins to advertise in The Courier-News, based in Somerville, NJ. Ads state they recently added a full line of jewelry, watches, and diamonds.

1896 - The factory is advertising in Hardware Dealers Magazine.

1897 - Store begins to advertise in The Chatham Press.

1898 - Wiss sells the factory to The National Shear Company, a.k.a. The Shear Trust.

1900 - Family buys back factory from The Shear Trust. Business incorporates. Notice in New-York Tribune, May 23, 1900.

1903 - Store moves to 683 Broad St.
Store begins advertising in The Bernardsville News and The Madison Eagle. Both of the initial ad runs were primarily promoting $1 gold eyeglasses and other optometry work.

1906 - Factory begins national advertising, which included encouraging dealers to advertise Wiss Shears and Scissors.
First power drop hammers are installed and the Inlaid process is developed.

1908 - Louis Wiss, FCJ's younger brother, dies.

1911 - The Wiss Building at 671-665 Broad St is finished. Store moves to 665. Wiss Realty Co opens office upstairs. FCJ starts and ends his day at the factory, but is here in the middle of the day.

1914 - Wiss buys R. Heinisch Sons, making Wiss the largest manufacturer of quality scissors in the world.

1920 - Elevator falls in Wiss Building and six are injured.

1921 - Factory runs scissors ads in The Brooklyn Daily Eagle.

1922 - Store incorporates as Wiss & Sons Inc. Then changes to Wiss Sons Inc. not too long after.

1924 - Factory stops making straight razors. But for a few years they filled orders with blades made by various other manufacturers located in several countries, and co-branded them.

1928 - Frederick C.J. Wiss gets profiled in the Newark Sunday Call's One of Us: Men Making Greater Newark column.

1930 - Feature article in The Newark Evening News: Products Here Widely Known: International Trade in Cutlery Reaches Into African Wilds

1931 - Frederick C.J. Wiss dies. Eldest son Robert becomes president.

1933 - Pinking shears are introduced. Became primary source of income for next couple decades.

1939 - Store opens Gift Annex at 22 West Park, doubling the floor space. [made L with existing store]
Wiss introduces the MetalMaster compound action tin snip.

1941 - Feature article in Newark Athletic Club Magazine: The Name of WISS -- Long Identified With Newark Industry.

1945 - Store opens branch at 554 Central Ave, East Orange.

1948 - 100th anniversary year is celebrated with:

1951 - Store opens gift shop, leased in Koos Bros., Rahway.

1949 - The 4,000,000th Pinking Shears was made on August 4, 1949.

1955 - Robert Wiss dies. Eldest son Richard becomes president.
East Orange store moves to 594 Central Ave, as the former location was in the way of a road widening.
In a New York Sunday Mirror article Sam Briskman states that 20,000,000 Wiss-made pinking shears have been sold.

1956 - Wiss Building is sold.

1958 - Factory buys Kroyden plant at 228 Burnett Ave, Maplewood, NJ, to make garden tools and pinking shears.

1961 - Wiss Sons Store was merged into a division of Zale Corporation. Renamed Wiss Jewelry Co.

1962 - Factory buys 1-1/2 acres at 1835 Burnet Ave, Union, NJ, which adjoined the Maplewood plant plant. Builds building?

1966 - Factory in Newark opens the first two buildings of the new five-building complex.
Wiss puchases Crook-Miller Co., of Ohio, manufacturers of farm and garden tool replacement handles.

1967 - Factory completes third and final production building in expansion program. Building is for wet grinding and heat treating.

1970 - Wiss purchases 133-year-old Boker Manufacturing Co., Maplewood, NJ, producers of the Boker Tree Brand pocket and hunting knives.
Office building at 400 West Market St. finished, completing expansion in Newark.

1972 - Richard Wiss retires from presidency at age 58.
Wiss loses Trimline Trademark.

1973 - Paul G. Richards is hired as president.

1974 - Crook-Miller is sold on July 9, 1974.

1976 - Business is sold to Cooper Hand Tools, division of Cooper Industries on December 1, 1976. Now part of Apex Tool Group.