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
Maryland Historical Society

Contact Information:
Manuscripts Department
Maryland Historical Society Library
201 West Monument Street
Baltimore MD 21201-4674
410.685.3750
Fax: 410.385.2105
library@mdhs.org
www.mdhs.org

 


Descriptive Summary

Carl Schon Inc. Papers

MS 1829

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

69 volumes

 


Biographical Sketch

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

 


Series Description

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

 

Series Description

 

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.

 


Inventory

Box One

A

two folders

 

 

A. S. Abell Co. (Sunpapers)

 

 

 

Allemania Fire Insurance Company

 

 

 

American District Telegraph Company

 

 

 

American Cyanamid and Chemical Company

 

 

 

Asiatic Art Company

 

 

 

 

B

two folders

 

 

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.

 

 

 

 

C

three folders

 

 

Catalogs

two folders

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

Box Two

Two folders - D

 

 

Paul Dreher and Sons Inc.

three folders

 

 

 

Decorative Shalls

 

 

 

William Dixon, Inc.

three folders

 

 

 

Charles Duchon receipts - small receipts

 

 

 

E. I. Dupont de Numours Co.

 

 

 

Duty Receipts

 

 

 

 

E

one folder

 

 

Catherine Ebert, St. Louis

 

 

 

Electro-Protective Service (alarm system)

 

 

 

Englehard Industries Inc.

 

 

 

J. Engel and Co., Baltimore

 

 

 

Equitable Trust Co.

 

 

 

 

Box Three

Engle, W. S. Diamonds, Semi-precious stones Dealers Letters, bills, invoices

15 folders.

 

 

 

Box Four

F

one folder

 

 

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.

 

 

 

 

G

three folders

 

 

Garofalo, Harry, Gem Cutter

two folders

 

 

 

General Findings, Inc.

 

 

 

Gesswein, Paul H. and Co. Inc.

two folders

 

(Gesswein catalogs in catalogs folder)

 

 

 

Green Electric

 

 

 

Gunn and Latchford, Inc.

 

 

 

 

Box Five

H

one folder

 

 

Hagstoz, T. B. and Son

two folders

 

 

 

Hahn, Irving H. and Co.

 

 

 

Haimowitz Company

 

 

 

Hander and Harman

 

 

 

A. J. Hedges

 

 

 

Hoffman, George to John Frech

 

 

 

Holmes and Son

 

 

 

Hoover and Strong

ten folders

 

 

 

Hubbs, Corning Co.

 

 

 

 

Box Six

I

one folder

 

 

India Precious Stone Co.

 

 

 

Insurance Information

 

 

 

 

J

one folder

 

 

Jewelers' Associations, various titles

one folder

 

 

 

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.

 

 

 

Johnson, Clifford

 

 

 

Jordan, F. M.

 

 

 

 

K

three folders

 

 

Kaplan, Morris and Sons

 

 

 

Kilmer, H. C. and Sons

 

 

 

Kimbell, A. A.

 

 

 

 

Box Seven

L

Three folders

 

 

Linde Air Products

 

 

 

Luscomb, Earl C.

 

 

 

 

M

Three folders

 

 

Mailing List

 

 

 

Maryland Department of Economic Development

 

 

 

Maryland Department of Employment Security

 

 

 

Maryland Department of Labor and Industry

 

 

 

Mathongo Jewelry Company

 

 

 

Mautner and Company

 

 

 

Muth Brothers

 

 

 

 

N

one folder

 

 

Nangle, Helen

 

 

 

Nash, Mary Evelyn

 

 

 

Nathan, Samule and Company

 

 

 

Nottingham, F. Aubrey

 

 

 

Nugent, Mrs. H. T.

 

 

 

 

Box Eight

O

two folders

 

 

OBrien, Wm. C.

 

 

 

Ogden, Harry E.

 

 

 

Old Gold Reports

 

 

 

Orkin, Wm J.

 

 

 

Otagiri Mercantile Co.

 

 

 

 

P

Two folders

 

 

Pease and Curren

 

 

 

Peruzzi Jewel Shop

 

 

 

Phelps

 

 

 

 

Q

One Folder

 

 

 

R

two folders

 

 

Radio Advertisements

 

 

 

Rathbone, Josephine

 

 

 

Rosenberg, Harry Inc.

 

 

 

 

S

three folders

 

 

Schmidt, Wm V.

 

 

 

Sketches not included on a letter

 

 

 

Sponheimer and Co.

 

 

 

State Accidnet Fund

 

 

 

 

T

two folders

 

 

Telstar Jewelry

 

 

 

Thiele, Fred J.

 

 

 

Trade Regulations, U. S. Government

 

 

 

Treasury Department - Excise Tax, Statements

 

 

 

Turk, Karl - estimates of jewelry value

 

 

 

 

Box Nine

U

one folder

 

 

U. S. Mint

 

 

 

U. S. Post Office

 

 

 

Universal Chair Company

 

 

 

 

V

one folder

 

 

 

W

one folder

 

 

War Production Board

 

 

 

Wefferling, Berry Company

two folders

 

 

 

Westward Ho advertisements (Western High School yearbook)

 

 

 

Wheeler, Maria D. - estate

 

 

 

White, Emmett

 

 

 

White, Luke M.

 

 

 

Wolfsheim and Sacks

 

 

 

 

Y

one folder

 

 

 

Z

one folder

 

 

Pedro J. Zamudio - importer, Mexico

 

 

 

Zimmer Solders

 

 

 

 

Box Ten

Tax Information

 

 

 

Box Eleven

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, 1929

 

 

 

France (Paris), other purchases

 

 

 

Purchases in Germany 1928-1930

two folders

 

 

 

Box Twelve

Bills for Insurance Replacement

ten folders

 

 

 

Box Thirteen

Inventories

 

 

 

Box Fourteen

Inventories

 

 

 

Box Fifteen

Inventories

 

 

 

Account Books

 

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.

 

 

 

Journals:

five volumes

 

 

1929

- with monthly trial balance

 

 

 

1930

- with monthly trial balance and a profit and loss statement

 

 

 

July 1930-Dec. 1931

- not identical with the following vol.

 

 

 

Jan-Dec. 1931

- with monthly trial balances, profit and loss statement

 

 

 

Jan. 1932 - Jan 1933

- with monthly trial balances

 

 

 

 

Ledgers: 1925-30

 

 

 

1930-31

 

 

 

1931-34

 

 

 

1935-57

 

 

 

Cash Receipts and Disbursements Books:

4 volumes

 

 

1928

 

 

 

1933-34

- with adjusting entries, trial balances for June, '33, and 1934

 

 

 

1957-60

- with adjusting and closing entries, trial balances for 1957,1958

 

 

 

1961-65

- with adjusting and closing entries

 

 

 

 

Diaries: (records of work orders)

seven volumes

 

 

1950-1954

 

 

 

1958-59

 

 

 

 

Miscellaneous:

seven volumes

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

Scrapbooks:

three volumes

 

 

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.