Mailing List:2009-07-07 01, George C. Whitney, by Carol M. Simmons

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Mailing List Archives > 2009-07-07 01, George C. Whitney, by Carol M. Simmons

From: "Carol M. Simmons" <cmsimmons -at- neo.rr.com> Subject: [WHITNEY] George C. Whitney Date: Tue, 7 Jul 2009 19:22:00 -0400 A few days ago I found, in a little shop dealing in antiques and collectibles, a book entitled Tokens of Love by Roberta B. Etter, published in 1990. Upon further examination later that evening I discovered that there was a very prominent company making Valentines in the 1800s by the name of: George C. Whitney & Co. The following is copied from the book. "The Whitney company was dealing with stationery and paper goods during the 1860s. They also imported paper lace and embossed envelopes from the finest English manufacturers. Early Whitney Valentines so closely resembled those of Esther Howland that only the identifying red W on the back could distinguish them. "Whitney bought the A.J. Fisher Company of New York. Fischer had been engaged in the comic valentine publishing business since 1835, and had a tremendous stock of cuts and plates in his plan. It has been suggested that since Whitney found the comic valentine degrading he sold the plates to another New York competitor, McLoughlin Brothers. His next important career move was the purchase in 1869 of the Berlin and Jones Company, one of America's oldest and largest valentine manufacturers. "As the Whitney business grew, George Whitney became impatient with importing materials and determined that it would be financially advantageous to manufacture his own. He spared no expense in acquiring the finest machinery available for embossing and for making paper lace. He also bought out many smaller valentine concerns and their stocks. "Whitney's company overcame destruction by fire and continued to thrive until its owner's death in 1915. At that time George Whitney's interest passed to his son, Warren A. Whitney, who continued the business until its liquidation in 1942 due to wartime paper shortages and business restrictions." One of those "concerns" he bought out was Esther Howland of Massachusetts. A search of the internet has turned up several articles about him and I was surprised to learn that he lived in Worcester, Massachusetts. One internet page said that George's brother Sumner Whitney was also involved in the business. I don't know whose Whitney he is, but I don't think he's mine. I have a Whitney ancestor from that area (Stow), Anne Whitney, who married Thomas Whitcomb of Littleton. After the Revolutionary War they ended up in Norridgewock, Maine. Their great-granddaughter (and my great-great grandmother), Clarissa Whitcomb (aka Clara) was born near there. Her second husband (Albert A. Emerson) was killed in the Civil War. Perhaps this information will be of interest to someone on the list. Carol Simmons


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