Manning Bowman & Co.
July 10, 2007 at 3:45 am #10604AnonymousInactive
I went to a moving sale yesterday and found this nice wind up Hotel Bell (attached photo), It is inscribed with Manning Bowman & Co., I am trying to find out more about this item. Do you know anything about this bell??
PROBEBLY A NOVELTY COMPANY. I AM NOT CONVINCED THAT THEY MADE BELLS BUT THAT SOMEONE ELSE WAS CONTRACTED TO MAKE THEM
Located in Middletown, Connecticut, the Manning-Bowman company had its start in 1832. Unlike the Chase or Revere companies, which at first produced copper or brass in its mills, the Manning-Bowman company from the beginning was geared toward the creation, manufacture and sale of consumer products for the American home. The company named for Edward Manning and Robert Bowman, two prominent Meriden, Connecticut citizens (who were part of a group of Meriden citizens who purchased and re-organized the company in 1872), now focuses on the production of mounted enamel ware, Britannia, planished tin, and copper goods.
Doehler Metal Furniture and Manning-Bowman, 192 Lexington Ave. at 32 St. (2003)
Two very striking signs on the back (alongside 32nd St.) of 192 Lexington Ave. Manning, Bowman, & Co. of Meriden, Conn. maintained an office and showrooms at this address for 30 years (from 1945 to 1975 (approx.)). They manufactured silverware, barware, chrome kitchenware and other metalware, as well as small electric appliances like toasters, coffee urns, percolators, and waffle irons. Founded in 1832 in Middletown, Conn., Manning-Bowman was named for Edward Manning and Robert Bowman, who were part of a group from Meriden, Conn. who bought the company in 1872. Manning-Bowman chromeware in an Art Deco style are especially prized by collectors today. The original Manning-Bowman Co. was bought by the Bersted Mfg. Co. of Fostoria, Ohio in 1941 and somewhat later (around 1960) by the McGraw Edison Co. The rather odd phrase “Manning Means Best Bowman” was a variation on the company slogan “Manning-Bowman Means Best”. The Doehler Metal Furniture Co., Inc. moved to 192 Lexington Ave. in 1933 and remained there until around 1990. In 1943 Doehler advertised for a “clean-cut chap” to run errands, etc. (click for ad) (NY Times, 19 Sep 1942, p. RE21). Apparently Doehler did good business in defense contracts during the war. The sign appears in early 1940s photographs. So it must date between 1933 and 1940 or so.
This inquiry was originally sent to the ABA’s Internet Coordinator. The responses are are opinions of individuals based on their personal research and knowledge.
September 23, 2009 at 3:03 pm #13147bowmanParticipant
I’ve passed this sign for years and always wondered what it stood for. Thanks for the information.
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