J. Widder & Co.

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Sample Cards / Label Printers / ...der & Co / Est 1903? / Stuyv. 3397

This turns out to be half a sign for J. Widder & Co. This company had the telephone number Stuyvesant 3397 from 1907 to 1926, and they were located here at 88 University Place from 1924 to 1931.

J. Widder was Jacob Widder, born Hungary, Jan. 1867, immigrated to the U. S. 1890. He appears in the U. S. census of 1900 with these identifications. He lived on East 96th St., Manhattan, and his family consisted of his wife, Bertha, and their six children, ages 1 to 11. His business originated in 1907 at 10 E. 14th St. and is listed in the New York (Manhattan) telephone directory in that year with the telephone number 3397 Stuyvsnt. However, Jacob Widder did not live long to enjoy the fruits of his business. By the time of the U. S. census of 1910, his wife, Bertha, was a widow, supporting five childen and giving her occupation as "manufacturing factory." Bertha Widder (1866-1959), indeed, had taken over Jacob Widder's trimmings business on East 14th St., and she seems to have continued to do this until the mid-1910s, when her sons, William and Samuel, came into the business.

Both William Widder (1893-1966) and Samuel Widder (1895-1986) registered for the World War I draft in 1917. Samuel said that he was a "Sample Maker" in business with his mother, and William gave his occupation as a "Manufacturer of Travelers Samples." In 1917 the business was still located at 10 E. 14th St. They moved to 88 University Place in 1924, and then to 110 5th Ave. in 1931. They were in business at this address through 1979. Currently (March 2009) internet sources have J. Widder in Maspeth, Queens, where they are now Dickard Widder Industries. Dickard Widder seems to deal in packaging materials and direct mail services as well as the sample books, blank books, loose-leaf binders, etc. that were the standard products of J. Widder & Co.

Copyright © 2009 Walter Grutchfield