© Frank H. Jump
J. Wiss & Sons Company was founded in 1848 by Jacob Wiss, a thirty-one-year-old immigrant from Switzerland who was an experienced cutler and gunsmith. The company, headed by Wiss and his descendants in Newark, N.J., emphasized high quality in its products which became known world-wide and sold to the U.S. Government in the Civil War and the two World Wars. In 1914, Wiss acquired the manufacturing facilities of a competitor and became the largest producer of fine scissors and shears in the world. Following World War I, Wiss weathered a severe depression in scissors markets, partly caused by dumping of European products. Increased U.S. help remedied this situation. Recently, the Wiss Company became a subsidiary of Cooper Industries. ¹
Newark was a thriving city right up to the end of the 1920’s. Even with the brewing industry shifted into the underground economy, Newark’s factory life was robust, as Newark historian John Cunningham reported:
“The city had 1,668 factories in 1925, with an annual payroll of $90 million and Newark continued to boast that no other town manufactured a greater variety of products. . . . Most of the factories were small, employing fewer than thirty. But there were giants among them: Clark Thread Company, Westighouse, Weston, Balbach’s, Baker & Company, J. Wiss, Ward Baking Company, Tiffany, Pittsburgh Plate glass (making paint in Newark), Benjamin Moore, Murphy Varnish, Mennen, General Electric, Fischer Baking Company, Conmar and Johnson & Murphy, shoemakers.
– Larry Schwartz
Visit the J. Wiss & Sons Co. Website!