Thursday, August 21, 2014

Almost 200 Years: Libbey Glass


Libbey Corporation has its roots in East Cambridge, Massachusetts as the New England Glass Company. In 1887 William Libbey took over the company, renamed it (New England Glass Works, Wm. L. Libbey & Sons, Props) and in 1888 Edward Libbey (presumably one of the "sons") moved the company to Toledo, Ohio to take advantage of the abundance of natural gas and high quality sand.  In 1892 the company became simply The Libbey Glass Company.  Though Libbey became part of Owens-Illinois in 1935, it became an independent public company in 1993 (NYSE:LBY)


Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Nearly 200 Years of Helpful Information

The 2015 Baer Almanac is now available!

 Providing information for farmers and gardeners since 1817 (since 1825 in English), this year John Baer's Sons has this to say about their almanac:

"Readers like our almanac because it is full of interesting information and no advertising. First and foremost are our calendar pages that tell farmers and gardeners all they need to now about planting times: sun and moon rises and sets, signs of the zodiac and weather predictions for the year. You'll know exactly when planets are visible in the sky and when to go fishing; when to plant root crops and when to set hens, too.
Every year we offer our readers some short biographies of historic Americans and this year is no different: Read about Gen. George McClellan who ran against Lincoln in his last election, and about Andrew Johnson, who tried to win the Democratic nomination for his second term, but failed. And of course, there's always more to learn about plants, such as the three distinct varieties of irises, or the many pleasures of a fragrance garden. Find out how to store winter squash, beets and carrots, too!"

You can find enjoy this bit of Americana for just $7.50 from John Baer's Sons, PO Box 328, Lancaster, Pa 17608

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Nearly 200 Years of Family Boat Builders

                      East Boothbay, Maine

Hodgdon Yachts is one of those Corporate Century Club gems: in business for nearly 200 years and still run by the founding family - their current president, Timothy Hodgdon is 5th generation.  Here's what they say on their website:

"Our goal at Hodgdon Yachts is to build the world's best sailing or motor yacht. It's that simple. And to us, building a world-class yacht is measured in how well design and aesthetics are balanced with practical issues of engineering and performance. Hodgdon vessels have earned the reputation of 'heirloom boat' for more than their extraordinary looks. They also stand the test of time. At the foundation of every sailing and motor vessel we build, you'll find a consummate team of craftsmen, the industry's most advanced construction technology and a passion for excellence. It's the way we've built boats for nearly two centuries."

And here's the "team of craftsmen" also posted on their website:

The Hodgdon Yachts boatbuilding crew

In just two more years, Hodgdon will qualify to become a member of the Henokeins Association - companies over 200 years still run by the founding family.  Quite a feat.

Monday, August 18, 2014

Breck's - Direct (flower bulbs) to you from Holland since 1818


I have ordered flower bulbs from Breck's for years without realizing they were a member of the "Corporate Century Club."  Located in Guilford, Indiana (and Hillegom, Netherlands), Breck's expanded from a family-owned garden supply business to a catalog company. Now celebrating nearly 200 years in business, Breck's claims to be the largest U.S. importer of Dutch flower bulbs, selecting the "best bulbs from the fertile fields of Holland right to your door."  


Friday, August 8, 2014

Claflin Company - Medical Distributor since 1817

The Claflin Company

Located in Warwick, Rhode Island, Claflin has been an independent distributor of medical and surgical products for nearly 200 years. They consider themselves a pioneer in "just in time" inventory techniques to the acute care marketplace. Another example of how these "old" companies balance innovation and tradition to succeed for the long term.

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Loane Brothers - Nearly 200 Years Old

Loane Brothers is a family owned and operated business in Baltimore, Maryland.  The company began in 1815 as a sail maker but has evolved with the times and now sells and rents party tents and awnings (with some Civil War tents along the way).

                                       Loane Bros., Inc

Today's business is run by founder Joseph Loane's great, great, great grandsons, meaning Loane Brothers will qualify next year to become a member of the Henokeins Association.

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Het Hanze Huis

When I was in Groningen, Netherlands earlier this summer a friend introduced me to a store that only sells products from the year 1800 or earlier that are still manufactured from the original "recipe."  The store is named for the Hanseatic League - a group of cities that dominated trade in Europe from the 12th-16th centuries.  At its peak, this coalition included 205 cities with Groningen among them. Het Hanze Huis now offers food products such as coffee, tea, marzipan, chocolate, jams and honey as well as soap, table linens and some interesting fragrance papers.   I have tried several of their offerings and can vouch for their quality. Wishing they would open a store in the U.S.  In the meantime, visit their store website to find their very interesting offerings.