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Carl Schon, Inc. Papers, 1920s-1960s, MS 1829
Carl Schon, Inc. Papers, 1920s-1960s
Maryland Historical Society
(Text converted and initial EAD tagging
provided by Apex Data Services, March 1999.)
Carl Schon, Inc. Papers, 1920s-1960s Contact Information:
Maryland Historical Society
Maryland Historical Society Library
201 West Monument Street
Baltimore MD 21201-4674
Carl Schon Inc. Papers
Maryland Historical Society
Baltimore MD 21201-4674
Scope and Content
The collection consists of twelve boxes od receipts, orders, and correspondence from 1927 to the 1950's, arranged alphapetically as to the company or person involved. The dates within each group are various. Within each alphabetical letter designation are separate folders of correspondence with people and correspondence with dealers and suppliers most often dealt with. Included also is U. S. Treasury Department information and reports, tax information, replacements estimates for insurance purposes, and other categories. The inventory list shows all the designations. The rest of the collection is 69 volumes of accounts in books and ledger volumes. There are three scrapbooks of Carl Schon's jewelry creations and advertisements,
There are a few letters of a personal nature to and from John W. Frech, president of the firm from the 1930's on. Generally these refer to business, as they were perhaps an order from a personal friend, or from a relative. Many, many letters are inquiries and further inquiries as to why an order was taking so long. Occasional orders were lost in the mail. People wrote to express their pleasure at the jewelry made for them; others complained of the high prices. Some orders the firm said it could not do, or could not do for the price the customer wanted to pay. They did copy antique rings, they made rings larger and smaller, repaired and replaced stones, and they made molds to create certain animals, flowers, and other designs requested. A lot of the designs seem rather horrible to modern taste, such as Brahma bull earrings, a boa constrictor belt buckle (with the rest of the snake as the belt), many designs of dragon and snake rings, and a vertebrae brooch, made for a chiropractor.
Extent: 15 linear feet
12 gray boxes, 3 blue boxes
A biographical sketch of Carl Schon is a sketch of the firm of Carl Schon Inc., because Schon himself died in 1923 and the firm and name were bought from his estate. Carl Schon was a jeweler who lived and had a shop at 109 W. Saratoga street from 1915 to 1923, according to the Baltimore city directories. Before 1915, Schon was a manufacturer of metallurgic novelties in Catonsville (Metallurgic Art Company, Eden Terrace). He was at this location as far back as the 1895 city directories. In 1924, the entry in the directory says Carl Schon (estate of), jeweler. From 1925 on, the firm is still called by Schon's name, but incorporated with a president, vice president, and treasurer-secretary. The President in the 1920's is Emmett White, who is also the person who did the European purchasing in person in 1927-29. John Frech is vice-president at this time. By the mid 1930's, John W. Frech is president, Grace Frech is vice president, and Carl Frech is secretary-treasurer. French continued as president until the business was sold in 1970. It is never stated who did the actual jewelry manufacturing. French himself answered correspondence and told the customers whether their ideas were feasible, and sometimes included a sketch. Whether this indicated that he was a jeweler himself or not cannot be determined from these business records. French may have just acted as business manager. The shop was rented from someone named White (perhaps Emmet White) who lived in North Carolina. When the rent was raised, Frech told him he would not pay the increase and that the shop was moving to 111 West Saratoga. John French gave up the business or died in 1970 or before and the business was sold to B. D. Nuitz, Jewelers, of 507 N. Charles Street. The business records were given to the Maryland Historical Society, and the business must have been absorbed by the Nuitz firm. Today there is no jewelry firm listed under B. D. Nuitz. Processed by Ruth Anne Becker April 1979
A biographical sketch of Carl Schon is a sketch of the firm of Carl Schon Inc., because Schon himself died in 1923 and the firm and name were bought from his estate. Carl Schon was a jeweler who lived and had a shop at 109 W. Saratoga street from 1915 to 1923, according to the Baltimore city directories. Before 1915, Schon was a manufacturer of metallurgic novelties in Catonsville (Metallurgic Art Company, Eden Terrace). He was at this location as far back as the 1895 city directories.
In 1924, the entry in the directory says Carl Schon (estate of), jeweler. From 1925 on, the firm is still called by Schon's name, but incorporated with a president, vice president, and treasurer-secretary. The President in the 1920's is Emmett White, who is also the person who did the European purchasing in person in 1927-29. John Frech is vice-president at this time. By the mid 1930's, John W. Frech is president, Grace Frech is vice president, and Carl Frech is secretary-treasurer.
French continued as president until the business was sold in 1970. It is never stated who did the actual jewelry manufacturing. French himself answered correspondence and told the customers whether their ideas were feasible, and sometimes included a sketch. Whether this indicated that he was a jeweler himself or not cannot be determined from these business records. French may have just acted as business manager. The shop was rented from someone named White (perhaps Emmet White) who lived in North Carolina. When the rent was raised, Frech told him he would not pay the increase and that the shop was moving to 111 West Saratoga.
John French gave up the business or died in 1970 or before and the business was sold to B. D. Nuitz, Jewelers, of 507 N. Charles Street. The business records were given to the Maryland Historical Society, and the business must have been absorbed by the Nuitz firm. Today there is no jewelry firm listed under B. D. Nuitz.
Processed by Ruth Anne Becker
The business records of Carl Schon Inc. date from 1925 to 1968. The firm was termed a manufacturing jeweler, and sold jewelry and gifts which were custon made, as well as items made by other jewelers, or distributed by wholesalers. The firm was located at 109 Saratoga Street, Baltimore and later at 11 Saratoga. Carol Scon Inc. imported stones and jewelry from Europe in the 1920's and specialized in custon made items by the 1940's. Especially popular were Carl Schon seahorse jewelry items, made by silver or gold plating actual seahorse bodies. Often sent by the customer, the seahorses were made into earrings, bracelts and necklaces. The firm also made rings, brooches and bracelets on order typefying the customer's name or special interest, fraternity, branch of the service, hobby or profession. In 1970 the firm was taken over by B. D. Nuitz Co., 507 N. Charles Street, who asked the Maryland Historical Society to clear out the Saratoga Street store.
The collection is an interesting example of the small business in America and its financial fluctuations during the Depression and war years. The changes in wholesale and retail prices through the years are striking also, as are the changes in taste in jewelry. The volumes of accounts and inventories are very complete and extensive for a small business. There are no large gaps in years. There are records of purchases abroad, insurance and tax records, and government regualtions as well. THere are meticulous accounts of gold reports as required by the U. S. Government. There are even accounts of the weight of gold filings and sweepings sent away to be reprocessed.
Extent: 15 linear feet
1. Series title - Carl Schon, Inc, Business Papers
2. Size - 15 linear feet; 12 gray boxes; three blue boxes; 69 volumes
3. Dates - 1925-1960
4. Type of material - correspondence, bills, receipts, orders, carbons of replies, tax returns, insurance forms, catalogs. Three boxes of large inventory sheets, 69 volumes total of cash sales, orders filled, Old Gold Reports, estimates of jewelry value for insurance purposes, contributions to charity and professional organizations. Three volumes of scrapbooks of Carl Schon designs and others.
5. Arrangement - 12 boxes of accounts arranged alphabetically by name of company or person dealt with. OftenSchon's reply is stapled to the original order. Firm or people dealt with most oftem have their own folder or folders. The dates within each designation are mixed. Inventories are next, followed by 69 volumes of account books.
A. S. Abell Co. (Sunpapers)
Allemania Fire Insurance Company
American District Telegraph Company
American Cyanamid and Chemical Company
Asiatic Art Company
B. A, Ballou and Co., Inc.
Baltimore Police Department
Baltimore Police. Dept., Better Business Bureau, Court of Common Pleas, Industrial Bureau
Baltimore Retail Merchants Association
Luther B. Benton Co.
Phillip Blum and Co.
Lawrence Bodenheim Co.
Bayard F. Brogan Co.
Cathay Crafts Inc.
Central Insurance Co.
Chesapeake and Potomac Co. of Baltimore City (phone bills)
Church and Co.
Consolidated Gas and Electric Light and Power Co. of Baltimore - bills
Fred J. Cooper, Jeweler
Court of Appeals, State of Maryland
Craft Family Correspondence - Herbert, Naon, Dorothy
Crests Used for Rings
Two folders - D
Paul Dreher and Sons Inc.
William Dixon, Inc.
Charles Duchon receipts - small receipts
E. I. Dupont de Numours Co.
Catherine Ebert, St. Louis
Electro-Protective Service (alarm system)
Englehard Industries Inc.
J. Engel and Co., Baltimore
Equitable Trust Co.
Engle, W. S. Diamonds, Semi-precious stones Dealers Letters, bills, invoices
Financial Statements to Baltimore Trust Company and Equitable Trust Company. Statements of Corporation Also includes copy of inventory to be filed with statement. Filed also with:
State Tax Commission of Maryland
Edgar T. Wagner, Tax Consultant
1931 Census of Manufacture Forms
French, John W., President and Business Manager
Bills, copies of letters not otherwise filed according to the other party
Insurance bills, some personal bills, letters from Marie, a former employee
Fuller, George H. and Son, Chicago, Ill. and Pawtucket, R. I.
Garofalo, Harry, Gem Cutter
General Findings, Inc.
Gesswein, Paul H. and Co. Inc.
(Gesswein catalogs in catalogs folder)
Gunn and Latchford, Inc.
Hagstoz, T. B. and Son
Hahn, Irving H. and Co.
Hander and Harman
A. J. Hedges
Hoffman, George to John Frech
Holmes and Son
Hoover and Strong
Hubbs, Corning Co.
India Precious Stone Co.
Jewelers' Associations, various titles
Jewelers' Association of Baltimore
Jewelers' Association - American National Retail Jewelers' Assn.
Jewelry (magazine) - subscription notices, etc.
Jewelers' Security Alliance
Jewelers' Vigilance Committee Inc.
Johnson, Meredith A.
Jordan, F. M.
Kaplan, Morris and Sons
Kilmer, H. C. and Sons
Kimbell, A. A.
Linde Air Products
Luscomb, Earl C.
Maryland Department of Economic Development
Maryland Department of Employment Security
Maryland Department of Labor and Industry
Mathongo Jewelry Company
Mautner and Company
Nash, Mary Evelyn
Nathan, Samule and Company
Nottingham, F. Aubrey
Nugent, Mrs. H. T.
OBrien, Wm. C.
Ogden, Harry E.
Old Gold Reports
Orkin, Wm J.
Otagiri Mercantile Co.
Pease and Curren
Peruzzi Jewel Shop
Rosenberg, Harry Inc.
Schmidt, Wm V.
Sketches not included on a letter
Sponheimer and Co.
State Accidnet Fund
Thiele, Fred J.
Trade Regulations, U. S. Government
Treasury Department - Excise Tax, Statements
Turk, Karl - estimates of jewelry value
U. S. Mint
U. S. Post Office
Universal Chair Company
War Production Board
Wefferling, Berry Company
Westward Ho advertisements (Western High School yearbook)
Wheeler, Maria D. - estate
White, Luke M.
Wolfsheim and Sacks
Pedro J. Zamudio - importer, Mexico
Purchases abroad, agent Emmett White, in England, France, Italy and Germany, 1927-1929
Foreign Purchases - in a group from Carl Schon, Inc.
European Purchases, 1928, various countries - also grouped by Carl Schon, Inc.
Receipts of purhases abroad - receipts to importer for duty paid, various countries
Purchases from H. A. Kimbell, London 1927-1932
Purchases in London, 1927 and 1929 of othe r companies
Goods purchased in England and Ireland 1929 and Italy 1929
Italy purchases in other years, not kept together
France (Paris), other purchases
Purchases in Germany 1928-1930
Bills for Insurance Replacement
Account Books and other volumes, totalling 69 volumes in all
Sales Books: 39 Complete Feb. 1933-1988
Contains a daily record of what was sold with the name and address of each customer and a brief description of the items. The first nine volumes are labelled Cash Book on the covers; however, they are definitely part of the sales book series.
- with monthly trial balance
- with monthly trial balance and a profit and loss statement
July 1930-Dec. 1931
- not identical with the following vol.
- with monthly trial balances, profit and loss statement
Jan. 1932 - Jan 1933
- with monthly trial balances
Cash Receipts and Disbursements Books:
- with adjusting entries, trial balances for June, '33, and 1934
- with adjusting and closing entries, trial balances for 1957,1958
- with adjusting and closing entries
Diaries: (records of work orders)
Old Gold Reports 1943-48, 1948-51
Diamond Report - prices listed in code 1936-45(?)
Ceiling Prices - 1942
Price List - prices listed in code 1944-45
Stones Sold - types arranged alphabetically - 1947
Address Book, no date
Carll Schon Inc, advertising, newspaper clippings
Drawings, photographs of pieces of jewelry
Scrapbook (c.1930's) catalog or book of Carl Schon designs with many pictures of types of pieces and designs.