Category Archives: Don Wiss

Fading Ad Blog is Officially One Year Old!

Birthday Cake

Time flies when your fading. And blah blah blogging. Fading Ad Campaign Website just turned nine years old. The project’s inception was February 1997. Thank you for coming along for the ride and your collaborations!


Don Wiss on Brooklyn Storefronts & Newark’s J. Wiss & Sons Co.

J Wiss & Sons Co.
Wiss, Founded 1848, New Jersey’s Leading Jewelers

I was recently contacted by Don Wiss, a descendant (one of many) of the J. Wiss & Sons Jewelers & Wiss Shears families. Here is our correspondence below:

January 19, 2008

Hi Frank,

I see we both like to take pictures of buildings (my Brooklyn storefronts are famous enough that I presume you are aware of them). I came upon your site because of your picture of the Wiss building in Newark. It is a bit sad for me to see it. I have a picture from an old book, and it looked a lot better.

I just bought the Better Homes & Garden ad that you show. I gather you settled for the picture that was used to sell it. Where did your Wiss Store ad come from? My side of the family was the manufacturing side, so I have less interest in the store.My newest site is That ad just arrived today, and I just put a PDF of it up. If you want a higher quality image of the ad I can provide one.


Dear Don-

Very pleased to meet you. Went to your site and it is voluminously entertaining. Will link your jwiss and donwiss sites & pdf to the [original] posting and post a new one about your site. Funny how similar interests and the Internet can make people cross paths. How did you stumble upon my blog? Do keep in touch and glad to have converged!


Don’s reply:

I follow what is being sold under Wiss at eBay. I buy some scissors. I look for material for my jwiss site. And mostly I send corrections for the listings to the sellers. One of the current listings (for a silver plated pinking shears which is new to me) borrowed the same text from the Smithonian’s SIRIS site that you borrowed. When I saw it I recognized it as being familiar, but I couldn’t remember where. So I searched on a string of it.

J. Wiss & Sons WebsiteJ. Wiss & Sons Website

Visit the J. Wiss & Sons Co. Website!

Scissor Plan – TIME Magazine 1933

Wiss Pruning Shears
1906 ad – E-bay

J Wiss & Sons Jewelers – Newark, NJ

J Wiss & Sons Jewelers - Newark, NJ

J Wiss & Sons Jewelers - Newark, NJ
© 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

J Wiss & Sons Jewelers - Newark, NJ(e-Bay)

J Wiss & Sons Jewelers - Newark, NJJ Wiss & Sons Jewelers - Newark, NJ

This PDF download courtesy of Don Wiss.

J Wiss & Sons Jewelers - Newark, NJ

Roth, Race & Newark – A Marxist look at Newark’s writer Philip Roth (Portnoy’s Complaint)

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

J. Wiss & Sons WebsiteJ. Wiss & Sons Website

Visit the J. Wiss & Sons Co. Website!