Thursday, March 8, 2018

From Bagley through Todd - Part Three

Note: this is the fourth installment in a series of articles.  Part one is posted at

Since the 1840s, the pen and pencil factory founded by Albert G. Bagley had seen many principals come and go, and the dissolution and formation of numberous partnerships in rapid succession.  By 1868, the works were operating under the name of Kurtz & Monaghan, owned by Keller Kurtz and Joseph Monaghan.  In that year, Edward Todd retired from nearby Mabie, Todd & Co. on January 13, 1868:

In David Moak’s book Mabie in America, Moak questions whether Edward Todd was actively involved in the business or whether he was more of the financier and marketing wizard for the firm (although he does note that Edward Todd had two patents to his credit).  There may be some truth to Moak’s claims: sources indicated that after his retirement, Todd took a year off traveling before settling into a decidedly non-pen related post-retirement.  On November 28, 1868, the Brooklyn Daily Eagle identified him simply as a “merchant” at 180 Broadway:

An Edward Todd also appears on the board of directors for the Brooklyn Life Insurance Company on March 12, 1870.  However, Todd wouldn’t stay out of the pen and pencil business for long.

Keller Kurtz retired from Kurtz & Monaghan, effective March 18, 1870, leaving Joseph Monaghan to continue the business alone:

On September 1, 1870, Edward Todd and Joseph Monaghan published notice that they had formed a partnership at 1 Maiden Lane, called Edward Todd & Co.

After this blizzard of successive partnerships, the name would remain the same for decades, although there were some changes in the principals and organization of the firm.  In February, 1884, Edward Todd Jr. and Henry C. Potts were added to the firm as partners:

Joseph Monaghan died on February 1, 1886, triggering a dissolution of the partnership.  The new partners were Edward Todd, Edward Todd, Jr. and Charles S. Freer, and an announcement of the new copartnership was printed in The American Stationer on February 25, 1886, rather than in the local newspaper:

In early November, 1897, Edward Todd, Jr. filed a petition for the appointment of a receiver to dissolve the partnership, owing to the advanced ages of his father and Mr. Freer.  “It is whispered that the firm may be reorganized,” The American Stationer reported on November 4:

The whisperings were accurate.  As soon as the partnership was wound up, The New York Times reported the incorporation of Edward Todd & Co. on February 5, 1898.  The directors of the new corporation were G.E. Avery of Detroit, and Henry E. Avery and Edward Todd Jr. of New York.

Under Edward Todd Jr.’s leadership, the firm continued through 1932 – at least, that’s the best information available.  Although that date is often repeated on various pen sites, the only source I have been able to find for that date is Edward Todd Jr.’s obituary, which states tersely that “his business was discontinued in 1932.”  Edward Todd Jr. passed away on Christmas Eve, 1937:

After winding through this entire history, we now have a nearly complete history of the ancestry of the New York firm of Edward Todd & Co., from its origins with the colorful Albert G. Bagley to Edward Todd & Co.’s demise:

Albert G. Bagley, 1839 (claimed) - May, 1846
Albert G. Bagley (informal partnership - Albert G. Bagley, Gerrit Smith and Edgar M. Smith - May, 1846-November 30, 1846
Albert G. Bagley & Co. - Albert G. Bagley, Gerrit Smith and Edgar M. Smith - December 1, 1846-August 10, 1848
Albert G. Bagley - August 11, 1848-late 1849 (between May and October)
A.G. Bagley & Co. - Albert G. Bagley and Henry Harrison Houghton - late 1849 (between May and October)-December 31, 1855
Bagley, Houghton & Co. - Albert G. Bagley, Henry Harrison Houghton and Charles F. Newton - January 1, 1856-April 19, 1856
H.H. Houghton & Co. - Henry Harrison Houghton and Charles F. Newton - April 19, 1856-
October 27, 1857
C.F. Newton -  Charles F. Newton - October 27, 1857-December 31, 1860
C.F. Newton & Co. - Charles F. Newton, James P. Byrne and Joseph Monaghan - January 1, 1861-December 30, 1863
C.F. Newton & Co. - Charles F. Newton, James P. Byrne, Joseph Monaghan and Keller Kurtz - December 31, 1863-December 31, 1864
Newton, Kurtz & Co. - Charles F. Newton, Keller Kurtz and Joseph Monaghan - January 1, 1865-
May 1, 1867
Kurtz & Monaghan - Keller Kurtz and Joseph Monaghan - May 1, 1867-March 18, 1870
Joseph Monaghan, March 18, 1870-September 1, 1870
Edward Todd & Co. - Edward Todd and Joseph Monaghan - September 1, 1870-February, 1884
Edward Todd & Co. - Edward Todd, Joseph Monaghan, Edward Todd, Jr. and Henry C. Potts - February, 1884-February 1, 1886
Edward Todd & Co. - Edward Todd, Edward Todd, Jr. and Charles S. Freer - February 1, 1886-November, 1897
Edward Todd & Co. (Incorporated) - February, 1898-1932

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