Harris Suspender Company: Corporate History

Figure 1.--The sign here says Harris Suspenders Garters Belts. The address was 46 50W. 29th St. near 6th Ave. The compny moved here in 1938. The relationship with th original company is murky.

The corporate history of the Harris Suspender Co. is complicated, but we have collected some basic information. It was founded as the Wire Buckle Suspender Co. consisting of William Silverman, Charles R. Harris, Joseph E. Austrian, and William Freeman in Williamsport, Pennsylvania. in the 1890s. Harris was also involved in the Cygnet Cycle Co. manufacturing bicycles in Williamsport around the same time. In 1897 the suspender manufacturing company moved to New York as the Harris Suspender Co. manufacturing suspenders, braces and garters at 142 W. 14th St. Interestingly, although Harris lent his name to the enterprise, principals included Joseph E. Austrian and William Freeman but not Harris himself. Harris Suspender stayed for a protracted time on 14th St. (until around 1912). During this time the officers consisted of William Freeman, Edwin M. Silvermann, and Harry W. Silvermann (Joseph E. Austrian seems to have dropped out early on) until 1910. As of Feb. 5, 1910 this partnership was dissolved, and the two Silvermanns took control of the company. The company relocated to 694 Broadway (1912). About this time they acquired the Kazoo Suspender Company. The company appers to have been very successful. At least we note extensive advertizing in popular magazines. The company then moved to 1230 Broadway (1921). Then in 1924 they seem to have closed down. We are not sure what problems the company may have encountered. The company seems to have reappeared in 1936 at 368 W. 148th St. We are unsure if there was an actual cinnection between the Harris Suspender Co. in 1936 and the company that originated in Williamsport. Perhaps they were companies without any connection which just had the same corporate name. This new version of the company moved to 50 W. 29th St. in 1938 and stayed until 1942. Like the earlier version, they then moved to two Broadway locations, with remarkably similiar addresses: 644 Broadway (1942) and 1239 Broadway (1946). The Harris Suspender company finally went out of business about 1948.


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Created: 12:38 AM 6/11/2006
Last updated: 12:38 AM 6/11/2006