6 Firms That Have Been Building America for Over 200 Years
Many American businesses don't last long enough to celebrate a few years of operation, let alone a lifetime. But some have been around for more than two centuries. Here are six.Read Full Story
- Lakeside Mills From 300 acres of land in Kinston, North Carolina, Lakeside Mills has been making corn meal products since 1736. Once a supplier of goods to the Continental Army in the Carolinas, Lakeside Mills now lives a less combative existence, providing corn and flour products to the Southeast. In 1929, the King family purchased the farm, and the fifth generation of Kings runs it with the pride and heritage of their forefathers in their minds.
- Caswell-Massey Dr. William Hunter sold more than medicine at what was then called Dr. Hunter's Dispensary in Newport, Rhode Island. He also sold personal care products, like soap, and perfumes. The company -- founded in 1752 and called Caswell-Massey since 1876 -- calls itself America's oldest retailer. George Washington often gave Caswell-Massey's No. 6 cologne as gifts, which led to other dignitaries stopping in to restock. Its brands include Jockey Club cologne and Almond Cold Cream soap.
- King Arthur Baking What started in Boston in 1790 by Henry Wood is now Norwich, Vermont's, source for "never-bleached, never-bromated" flour. It also offers cookbooks, baking tools, ingredients and baked goods. Once a joint-stock company called Sands, Taylor & Wood, the business renamed itself to mirror its principal brand in 1996 after shifting to an employee-owned operation. The company opened a baking education center in Norwich in 2012.
- Shreve, Crump and Low Fans of jewelry and tennis may know "the gem of Boston," which dates to a 1796 workshop of watchmaker and silversmith John McFarlane. An 1869 consolidation led to the present name. In 1899, a Harvard player commissioned a trophy from Shreve's -- now called the Davis Cup -- for a tennis tournament. While some stones are impossible to find in the U.S., all metalwork for its jewelry comes from American production.
- W. Rose Blacksmith William Rose started work in 1798 outside Philadelphia. He first specialized in cavalry sabers and officer swords for the U.S. army, but in 1864 the focus moved to edged tools, knives and its signature brick trowel. W. Rose is now part of Kraft Tool of Shawnee, Kansas, with its products for bricklayers made in Sharon Hill, Pennsylvania.
- Crane & Co. Crane & Co. was founded in 1801 in Dalton, Massachusetts, by Zenas Crane, Henry Wiswall and John Willard. Starting with the 1844 idea of embedding silk rows into banknotes, Crane & Co. began leading the way in paper-based counterfeit deterrents, including watermarks, special fibers and advanced security threads. The Cranes are still active in leading Crane & Co., which has since purchased global stationery brands but continue to use American paper for the Crane brand. Its most famous product is American money: "We have continually supplied the United States Treasury with its currency paper since 1879. United States currency utilizes the most durable banknote paper in the world, achieving the longest life span of any paper currency."