Boorum & Pease

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Boorum
and
Pease Co.
Blank Books and
Loose Leaf Devices

This ad from 1918 described the Boorum & Pease Co. home offices: Front Street and Hudson Avenue, Brooklyn, N.Y. The water tower pictured above was probably on top of their nearby factory on the corner of Front St. and Bridge St., Brooklyn (a building which was demolished some time after 1991).

This ad from 1904 proclaimed Boorum & Pease as in business For More Than Half A Century.

The following notice appeared in American Stationer and Office Outfitter, vol. 82, no. 19, 10 Nov. 1917, p. 36, "The seventy-fifth anniversary of the establishment of the blank book and loose leaf business of Boorum & Pease is coincident with this year. The fact recalls the founding of this company in 1842 by Arthur Morrell, an English bookbinder engaged in the manufacture of blank books at 196 Fulton street, New York City. Retiring in 1853, he left his business to John O'Hara, who removed to 306 Bleecker street. It was on September 1, 1867, that this business was transformed into that of Boorum & Pease, being located at the corner of Bank and Bleecker streets. Mr. Boorum started in Mr. O'Hara's employ as a boy of 14. Mr. Pease had been in the stationery business in Detroit. In 1893 greatly increasing growth, resulted in incorporation as the Boorum & Pease Company, with the following officers: George L. Pease, president; William B. Boorum, vice-president; Charles L. Boorum, second vice-president; G. C. Boorum, secretary and treasurer. William C. Bardenheuer is the present manager."

This account of the predecessor companies to Boorum & Pease seems to be quite accurate. New York city directories show Arthur Morrell as a blank book manufacturer on Fulton St. from 1846 through 1853. Then John O'Hara took over the business. John O'Hara, blank books, was located first at 110 Nassau St., then later at 27 Beekman St., but also further uptown at 394-396 Bleecker St. from 1853 to 1865. In 1865 this business became Miles, Boorum & Co. at the same Beekman St. and Bleecker St. locations. Miles was Charles C. Miles, John O'Hara's son-in-law. Boorum was William B. Boorum (1839-1901). The business was first listed as Boorum & Pease in 1870.

Boorum & Pease was a partnership between William Burger Boorum (1839-1901) and George L. Pease (1835-1895).

George L. Pease's obituary, New York Times, 26 February 1895, read, "George L. Pease, formerly Vice President of the Shoe and Leather National Bank, died yesterday morning at his home, 325 Clinton Avenue, Brooklyn. He was stricken with apoplexy at 11 o'clock Sunday morning. Mr. Pease had been ill all Winter, and for two weeks had been confined to his bed. His illness is attributed to worry over the $354,000 defalcation of Samuel C. Seely and Frederick Baker. When the defalcation was discovered Mr. Pease did all in his power for the bank and its depositors, and overexerting himself, affected his health. He was re-elected Vice President at the annual meeting on Jan. 8, but resigned his position on Feb. 15, and at once took to his bed, where he remained until his death. Mr. Pease owned a large interest in the Boorum & Pease Company, which manufactures blank books, and left a large estate. He was born in Painesville, Ohio, in June, 1835. With his father he moved to Detroit, Mich., when he was nine years old, and there and at Lodi, Mich., he obtained his education. He afterward taught school and engaged in civil engineering. He was admitted to his father's business, and later bought out his father's interest in the Detroit Paper Company, He came to New-York in November, 1868, and associated himself with William B. Boorum, under the firm name of Boorum & Pease, and did a blankbook and stationery business. The company became a stock corporation in 1890, with Mr. Pease as its President. "

William B. Boorum's obituary, New York Times, 28 March 1901, read, "William B. Boorum died suddenly at his home, 276 Henry Street, Brooklyn, on Tuesday. Death was due to heart disease. Mr. Boorum was born sixty-two years ago, and when fifteen years old he entered the office of John O'Hara, a manufacturer of blank books. He afterward became a partner of his employer, and on Mr. O'Hara's death organized the firm of Miles, Boorum & Co., and afterward the firm of Boorum & Pease, operating the largest blank-book manufacturing plant in the United States. Mr. Boorum was prominently connected with Plymouth Church for forty years. He leaves a widow and four children. The funeral services will be held at his home to-morrow at 2 o'clock in the afternoon. Dr. Newell Dwight Hillis will conduct the services."

Both William B. Boorum and George L. Pease are buried in Green-Wood Cemetery, Brooklyn. (Click for Boorum grave stone.) (Click for Pease grave stone.)

Among others associated with Boorum & Pease in its early years was William B. Boorum's son, Charles Lowe Boorum (1866-1897). His death at an early age was noted by the New England Stationer and Printer. vol. XI, no. 3, April, 1897, "Charles Lowe Boorum, elder son of William B. Boorum, of the Boorum & Pease Company, died suddenly April 16 at his home, 289 Clinton avenue, Brooklyn, N.Y. Mr. Boorum was an officer of the company, and had particular charge of the company's factory in Brooklyn. He was thirty-one years of age."

A president of Boorum & Pease was Edwin E. Jackson, Jr. (1867-1919). His obituary, New York Times, 27 May 1919, included the following, "Mr. Jackson's home in Clinton Avenue is one of the finest structures on that street. It is said that the building alone cost $100,000. Mr. Jackson was a member of the Oxford Club, Brooklyn, the Union League Club, and attended the Clinton Avenue Congregational Church. He is survived by his wife, Mrs. Carolina Mather Boorum, daughter of William Boorum of the old and prominent Boorum family of Brooklyn."

Edwin E. Jackson, Jr., was president of Boorum & Pease at the time of his death. He was succeeded by Frederick Conant Bingham (1878-1944). As reported in the American Stationer and Office Outfitter. vol. LXXXIV, no. 52, 28 June 1919, page 23, "The many friends of Fred C. Bingham are congratulating him on the fact that he has again associated himself with the Boorum & Pease Company. He has just been elected to the office of President and General Manager, the position left vacant by the recent death of E. E. Jackson, Jr. Mr. Bingham is well known throughout the trade, having been connected for a number of years with the Boorum & Pease Company, filling very important positions under the close guidance of W. B. Boorum. Some years ago, he left the organization to embark in business in Philadelphia, where he has been most successful, particularly of late years in his position of General Manager of the Hires Company and other important organizations."

Fred C. Bingham's obituary in the New York Times, 18 Nov. 1944, read in part, "Frederick Conant Bingham of Madison, N. J., chairman of the board of Boorum & Pease Company, manufacturing stationers of Brooklyn, died yesterday in New York Hospital after a brief illness. His age was 65. Born in Troy, N. Y., the son of Eugene and Pauline Walker Bingham, Mr. Bingham attended St. Paul's School, Concord, N. H., and Middlebury College. As a young man he worked four years for Boorum & Pease Company. He then became general manager of the Main Belting Company of Philadelphia and later formed his own concern, the Bingham Company, printers and lithographers of Philadelphia. In 1912 he became general manager of the Charles E. Hires Root Beer Company. Seven years later he rejoined Boorum & Pease Company as president and in 1937 was made chairman of the board."

Another prominent figure at Boorum & Pease was William D. Bevin (1856-1917). His death was noted in the American Stationer and Office Outfitter, vol. LXXXII, no. 19, 10 Nov. 1917. p. 14, "Just before going to press we received notice of the death of W. D. Bevin, second vice-president and salesmanager of Boorum & Pease Company. Mr. Bevin was taken ill with pneumonia on Monday, November 5, and he passed away at 7 a.m. on Thursday, November 8, at his home, 112 West End Avenue, New York, N. Y. Mr. Bevin was known throughout the country in stationary circles, as he has been connected with the well known loose leaf manufacturing concern of Boorum & Pease for the past 35 years ... He was a native of Syracuse, N. Y., and was 58 years old."

A vice-president at Boorum & Pease in the 1920s was William C. Bardenheuer (1863-1935). His death notice in the New York Times, 22 Oct. 1935, read, "Bardenheuer - Suddenly, Sunday, Oct. 20, 1935, William C., beloved husband of the late Mary J. Bardenheuer, and the father of Mrs. Louis Goebel, Noemi, Helen, Vera and Rita Bardenheuer. Services at his residence, 696 East 19th St., Brooklyn, Tuesday at 8:30 P. M. Interment private."

In August 1928 the Cornell Alumni News, vol. XXX, no 40, reported, "William S. Hill '77 William Squier Hill died in Binghamton, N. Y., on August 3. He was born in Rome, N.Y., February 17, 1855, the son of Zaccheus and Susan Whipple Hill. He spent four years in the Literature course. He was a member of Chi Phi, and class president in his sophomore year. Until his retirement some years ago because of ill health, Hill had been treasurer of the Boorum and Pease Company, manufacturers of blank books and loose leaf devices. He is survived by a son, William E. Hill." William Squier Hill (1855-1928) was listed as an officer at Boorum & Pease from 1900 to 1925.

Boorum & Pease maintained facilities in Brooklyn from approximately 1888 to 1984. These included their first factory building there at the corner of Front and Bridge streets (184 Front St.), and a building two blocks further east on Front St. at Hudson Ave. (84 Hudson Ave.). Around 1980 they relocated their headquarters to Elizabeth, New Jersey. Their earliest factories, offices and salesrooms were in Manhattan: 23-25 Beekman St. (1870-1873), 28-30 Reade St. (1874-1893), 101-103 Duane St. (1893-1908), 109-111 Leonard St. (1908-1925), 349 Broadway (1926-1962) and 93 Worth St. (1963-1973).

As of July 2012 a prominent Boorum & Pease Company sign still graces the front of 84 Hudson Ave., Brooklyn.

The following notice appeared in the New York Times 1 June 1981, "William I. Thompson, 59, has been appointed president and chief executive officer of the Boorum & Pease Company. He succeeds Alexander R. Noble, who retired at the age of 62. Boorum & Pease, founded 135 years ago, is a major office supplies manufacturer with interests in electronic information management and other new office products and services. In addition to its headquarters in Elizabeth, N.J., the corporation has factories in four other cities around the country. Mr. Thompson began his career in the office services industry at Diebold Inc. For the last 25 years, he has been with Esselte Pendaflex, formerly Oxford Pendaflex and since 1974 a subsidiary of Esselte of Sweden. Mr. Thompson has been chief executive officer of Esselte Pendaflex since 1972, first as president and for the last seven years as chairman. Mr. Noble, who was born in Scotland, started at the American Thread Company in 1935. Three years later, he joined Boorum & Pease in its accounting department for $18 a week. After holding the posts of vice president for manufacturing and then executive vice president, Mr. Noble became president in 1974."

Copyright © 2011 Walter Grutchfield