Napier Company historical information (2016)

An artdesigncafe / Design Meriden resource.

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The Napier Company: "[First,] the E. A. Bliss Company, with Mr. Bliss as its active head, was incorporated on July 17, 1882 in Massachusetts. The company made a varied line of jewelry and giftwares. In 1890, it moved to Meriden..."

"Mr. [James H.] Napier was elected president and general manager in 1920, and the company’s name was changed to the Napier-Bliss Company. In 1922, the present name, the Napier Company, was adopted."

"[In 1956,] Napier jewelry was shown at the opening in Rome of the summer 1956 collection of gowns for the Fontana sisters. It was the first time that American-designed jewelry had been featured by a European couturier. In addition to jewelry, the company produces sterling silver, silverplated and gold-plated giftwares, including such varied gifts as bar accessories, smokers’ accessories, and many other items."

— Excerpts from Wendover, Sanford H. (1956). 150 years of Meriden, pp. 179-80. (See entry below.)

Please note: three researchers over many years have never seen a Napier Company silver objects trade catalogue. However, distributor and retailer catalogues might be worth looking into.


Napier Company (active 1922-) historical information (by year)


Material status: = online
= link to more info
= completely offline


1920s

1921 - patent - mesh-bag

Frederick Rettenmeyer, assignor to Napier-Bliss Company. (6 December 1921; filed Letters patent no. 1,399,576; serial no. 472,355: Mesh-bag. (Viewed 10 March 2018. AAA01067.)

Various newspapers, magazines and other sources

(c. 1922-). Various newspapers, magazines and other sources - search engines. (Updated 5 March 2018.)

1925 - patent - bracelet

Emil A. Schuelke (not assigned to Napier Company). (8 September 1925; filed 1 June 1925). Design patent no. 68,159; serial no. 13,619: Bracelet. (Viewed 10 March 2018. AAA01066.)

1925 - patent - powder holder

Emil Schuelke and Julius Ross, assignor to Napier Company. (9 February 1926; filed 10 July 1925). Patent no. 1,572,562; serial no. 42,650: Powder holder. (Viewed 10 March 2018. AAA01065.)

1926 - patent - vanity box

Frederick Rettenmeyer, assignor to Napier Company. (6 April 1926; filed 16 July 1925). Patent no. 1,579,842; serial no. 43,895: Vanity box. (Viewed 10 March 2018. AAA01064.)

1927 - patent - vanity box

Julius Ross and Emil A. Schuelke, assignor to Napier Company. (11 October 1927; filed 13 June 1927). Patent no. 1,645,351; serial no. 198,327: Vanity box. (Viewed 10 March 2018. AAA01068.)

1927 - patent - vanity box

Emil A. Schuelke and Julius Ross, assignor to Napier Company. (27 December 1927; filed 13 July 1927). Patent no. 1,654,271; serial no. 205,367: Vanity box. (Viewed 10 March 2018. AAA01069.)

1928 - patent - design for a pocket lighter

Emil A. Schuelke, assignor to Napier Co. (10 January 1928; filed 19 August 1927). Design no. 74,241; serial no. 23,150: Design for a pocket lighter. (Viewed 24 March 2018. AAA01482.)

1928 - patent - design for a necklace or similar article

Emil Arthur Schuelke, assignor to Napier Company. (20 November 1928; filed 9 February 1928). Design no. 76,960; serial no. 25,308: Design for a necklace or similar article. (Viewed 29 March 2018. AAA01624.)

1928 - patent - design for a necklace or similar article

Emil Arthur Schuelke, assignor to Napier Co. (11 December 1928; filed 9 February 1928). Design no. 77,188; serial no. 25,307: Design for a necklace or similar article. (Viewed 24 March 2018. AAA01483.)

1929 - patent - design for a metal link for jewelry

Frederick Rettenmeyer, assignor to Napier Company. (8 October 1929; filed 5 March 1929). Design no. 79,257; serial no. 30,323: Design for a metal link for jewelry. (Viewed 24 March 2018. AAA01484.)



Click the following link to see the parallel webpage - Napier Company in collections, at auction, and in exhibitions.



1930s

1930 - patent - combined desk blotter and box

Emil A. Schuelke, assignor to Napier Company. (16 December 1930; filed 30 September 1929). Patent no. 1,785,229; serial no. 396,053: Combined desk blotter and box. (Viewed 9 March 2018. AAA01070.)

1930 - patent - metal unit for jewelry

Frederick W. Rettenmeyer, assignor to Napier Company. (18 March 1930; filed 16 December 1929). Design patent no. 80,741, serial no. 33,799: metal unit for jewelry. (Viewed 9 March 2018. AAA01072.)

1932 - patent - tongs for table service

Otto C. Schaefer, assignor to Napier Company. (10 May 1932; filed 31 October 1931). Patent no. 1,857,979; serial no. 572,277: Tongs for table service. (Viewed 9 March 2018. AAA01073.)

1933 - patent - liquid measuring device

Emil A. Schuelke and Julius Ross, assignor to Napier Company. (29 August 1933; filed 23 March 1932). Letters patent no. 1,924,809; serial no. 600,674: Liquid measuring device. (Viewed 28 March 2018. AAA01610.)

1933 - patent - bottle lock

Frederick W. Rettenmeyer, assignor to Napier Company. (28 November 1933; filed 3 January 1933). Letters patent no. 1,937,295; serial no. 649,903: Bottle lock. (Viewed 28 March 2018. AAA01611.)

1934 - patent - design for a combined coffeepot, cream pitcher, and sugar container

Emil A. Schuelke, assignor to Napier Company. (13 November 1934; filed 14 September 1934). Design no. 93,854; serial no. 53,285: Design for a combined coffeepot, cream pitcher, and sugar container. (Viewed 28 March 2018. AAA01612.)

1934 - patent - design for a shaker or similar article

Emil A. Schuelke, assignor to Napier Company. (18 December 1934; filed 18 July 1934). Design no. 94,098; serial no. 52,627: Design for a shaker or similar article. (Viewed 28 March 2018. AAA01613.)

1934 - patent - design for a shaker top

Le Roy W. Campbell, assignor to Napier Company. (25 December 1934; filed 18 June 1934). Design no. 94,116; serial no. 52,215: Design for a shaker top. (Viewed 28 March 2018. AAA01614.)

1935 - patent - shaker rack

Le Roy H. Fontan, assignor to Napier Company. (26 February 1935; filed 3 July 1934). Letters patent no. 1,992,657; serial no. 733,585: Shaker rack. (Viewed 28 March 2018. AAA01615.)

1935 - patent - design for a hand mirror

Harry A. Werfel, assignor to Napier Company. (16 July 1935; filed 30 April 1935). Design no. 96,288; serial no. 56,628: Design for a hand mirror. (Viewed 29 March 2018. AAA01623.)

1935 - patent - drink mixer

Le Roy Haviland Fontan, assignor to Napier Company. (3 September 1935; 9 September 1932). Letters patent no. 2,013,615; serial no. 632,383: drink mixer. (Viewed 28 March 2018. AAA01616.)

1935 - patent - cocktail shaker

Frederick W. Rettenmeyer, assignor to Napier Company. (3 September 1935; filed 6 October 1932). Letters patent no. 2,013,616; filed 6 October 1932: Cocktail shaker. (Viewed 29 March 2018. AAA01622.)

1935 - patent - drink shaker

Harry A. Werfel, assignor to Napier Company. (3 September 1935; filed 23 February 1933). Letters patent no. 2,013,617; serial no. 658,000: Drink shaker. (Viewed 29 March 2018. AAA01622.)

1935 - patent - design for a service stand for the display of hors d’oeuvres

Emil A. Schuelke, assignor to Napier Company. (22 October 1935; filed 27 August 1935). Design no. 97,603; serial no. 58,321: Design for a service stand for the display of hors d’oeuvres. (Viewed 29 March 2018. AAA01625.)

1935 - patent - design for a hand mirror

Henry A. Werfel, assignor to Napier Company. (3 December 1935; filed 18 September 1935). Design no. 97,749: serial no. 58,610: Design for a hand mirror. (Viewed 29 March 2018. AAA01626.)

1936 - patent - [penguin] design for a cocktail shaker or similar article

Emil A. Schuelke, assignor to Napier Company. (13 October 1936; filed 22 August 1936). Design patent no. 101,559; serial no. 64,524: [Penguin] design for a cocktail shaker or similar article. (Viewed 9 March 2018. AAA01075.)

1939 - patent - display article holder

Frederick W. Rettenmeyer, assignor to Napier Company. (11 April 1939; filed 29 December 1938). Design patent no. 114,199; serial no. 82,046: Display article holder. (Viewed 9 March 2018. AAA01074.)



Click the following link to see designs and documentation for other historical silver companies from the Meriden area, and those that were connected to the International Silver Company; go to the historical Meriden design overview page and scroll down to section B: "ISC, predecessors & divisions" and C: "Other featured companies".



1940s

1942 - patent - match packet and cardcase

Frederick W. Rettenmeyer, assignor to Napier Company. (9 June 1942; filed 1 April 1941). Patent no. 2,285,836; serial no. 386,273: Match packet and cardcase. (Viewed 9 March 2018. AAA01071.)


1950s

1955 - patent - jewelry pin or the like

Eugene E. Bertolli, assignor to Napier Company. (11 October 1955; filed 28 December 1954). Design no. 175,757; serial no. 33,716: Jewelry pin or the like. (Viewed 29 March 2018. AAA01627.)

1956 - historical information

Wendover, Sanford H. (1956). On Napier Company, (pp. 179-81; photo of building in unpaginated photo section after p. 276). In 150 years of Meriden. Meriden: Meriden Sesquicentennial Committee. (Published in connection with the observance of the city’s sesquicentennial, June 17-23, 1956). (Viewed 12 June 2016. A00789-90.)

1957 - patent - clown bank or similar article

Warren O. Dontigney, assignor to Napier Company. (26 February 1957; filed 10 September 1956). Design no. 179,765; serial no. 42,880: Clown bank or similar article. (Viewed 26 April 2018. AAA02579).

1959 - patent - liquid measuring cup or similar article

Frederick W. Rettenmeyer, assignor to Napier Company. (17 March 1959; filed 3 September 1958). Design no. 184,638; serial no. 52,481: Liquid measuring cup or similar article. (Viewed 29 March 2018. AAA01628.)

1950s - reprinted postcard

(1950s). Reprinted Napier Company postcard, (p. 35). In: Franco, Janis Leach. (2010). Meriden. Arcadia Publishing: Charleston, SC. (Viewed 15 December 2016. DM.)


1980s

1988 - secondary source

Vumbaco, Brenda J. (1988). On Napier Company, (p. 78 - historical; p. 104 - c. 1988). In Meriden – Connecticut crossroads: An illustrated history. 144 pages. (Updated 19 April 2017. A00804. DM.)


2000s

2005-07 - Napier Company in exhibition

Stern, Jewel. (2005). Modernism in American silver. [Includes Napier Company designs.] 392 pp. Dallas Museum of Art and Yale University Press. (Book accompanied exhibition at 5 American venues.) (Updated 17 April 2017. DM.)

> Exhibition venues: Renwick Gallery, Smithsonian American Art Museum, Washington, DC; Nevada Museum of Art, Reno; Dallas Museum of Art; The Wolfsonian, Miami Beach, FL; The Dixon Gallery and Gardens, Memphis, TN.


2010s

2011-12 Napier Co. in Brooklyn exhibition

(c. 2011). 19th-Century Modern at Brooklyn Museum, New York (2011-12) exhibition announcement. (Viewed 10 March 2016. A00006.)

2013 - secondary source

Lewis, Melinda L. (2013). The Napier Co.: Defining 20th century American costume jewelry. 1012 pp. Benicia, CA: Life by Design Publishing. (Viewed 29 November 2016. A01284.)

2013-15 - Napier Co. in Brooklyn exhibition

(c. 2013). 19th-Century Modern at Brooklyn Museum, New York (2013-15) exhibition announcement. (Viewed 10 March 2016. A00005.)

2016-16 - Napier Company in exhibition

(c. 2016). Exhibition announcement for Shaken, stirred, styled: The art of the cocktail exhibition at Dallas Museum of Art (18 November 2016 - 12 November 2017). (Updated 2 December 2016. AAA000155-56; AAA00542-43.)

2017-18 - Napier Company in exhibition

Coffin, Sarah and Harrison, Stephen. (2017). The jazz age: American style in the 1920s. [Catalogue for exhibitions at Cooper-Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum, New York (7 April - 20 August 2017); and Cleveland Museum of Art (30 September 2017 - 14 January 2018).] 379 pp. Cleveland, OH: Cleveland Museum of Art. (Viewed 8 April 2017. A02036-39; A02766.)



This compilation is currently in development. If you know of any Napier Company historical documentation not listed above, please contact artdesigncafe and we will add the information to the growing compilation. The goal is to enable more productive research into Napier Company design and facilitate new discoveries.