Paul H. Gesswein & Co., Inc.
A Look Back to Gesswein's Roots
In 1868, Frederick W. Gesswein established a jewelry tools and supply business in New York City - the F.W. Gesswein Company. The company eventually produced an extensive catalog of products bearing the slogan, "The Best Tools & Supplies for Metal Workers". After Frederick's untimely death in 1889, the business was gifted to his good friend William Dixon and in 1908, the business changed to William Dixon Inc. It is presumed that a young Paul H. Gesswein, half-brothers with Frederick, worked at F.W. Gesswein Co. at some point in time.
Paul H. Gesswein was born in Germany with 18 brothers and sisters, and in 1881 he immigrated to New York City at the age of 11 years old. In 1914, Paul established the Paul H. Gesswein Company in a building on Maiden Lane in lower Manhattan, supplying the local jewelry and metalworking trade. At the time, it would have been hard to imagine that this business would continue to grow and prosper for a hundred years and beyond.
To better serve the growing markets, Gesswein begins to produce catalogs of precision tools and supplies. Many of the products in the catalog were hand sketched.
When World War II started, it was harder to import tools from Europe. The company began establishing new domestic sources for tools in the United States, and after the war ended, Gesswein's one-room store in Maiden Lane in lower Manhattan expanded.
In the 1950's, a new product is introduced to meet the needs of a new and booming plastic industry-Gesswein Finishing Stones. These stones quickly became very popular to mold & die makers and opened up doors for international distributors.
Roger Gesswein Sr. assumes presidency in 1956.
In 1963 Gesswein finally outgrows its space and moves from Maiden Lane to larger headquarters on lower Park Ave. The company had 10 employees and 1,000 items.
Gesswein Company opens a finishing stone manufacturing plant in Old Saybrook, CT. Product range included miniature stones used in the production of ball bearing races as well as finishing and dressing stones.
In 1974 KTS Tooling Supply was founded to supply mold and die makers in Canada and became Gesswein's distributor. In 1977 Gesswein Canada was established to supply the local jewelry industry.
Third generation sons Roger H. Gesswein, Jr. and Dwight W. Gesswein are named President and Vice President respectively. Daughter Janet Gesswein Mutti focuses on Marketing. This partnership leads the company to even greater levels of success.
Needing more space, the company leaves New York and moves to Bridgeport, CT., into a larger, newly constructed building.
Gesswein Siam in Thailand was established principally to supply the local jewelry factories with Gesswein tools, consumables and equipment.
Entering a new millennium, Gesswein launches their first website for e-commerce. Over the years the website has had many redesigns to make ordering easy for customers.
Gesswein Trading in india was established specifically to concentrate its activities to the growing number of jewelry producers in the duty free zone.
Gesswein moves into a new, larger building in Bridgeport, CT. Operations are more streamlined and efficient under one roof.
Getting ready to celebrate our 100th Anniversary, a 600 page catalog is completed including over 12,000 precision tools, equipment and supplies for the Metal Working Industries, Jewelry Making, Mold & Die Polishing, Deburring, Micro-Welding, Inspecting, Polishing, Cleaning and more.
With a desire to fulfill a need in the market, Gesswein introduces 'Mold Polishing Technology' classes to teach professionals the art of mirror-finish polishing. The course instructors, Steve Smith and Donald Gonzalez, are master mold polishers who impart their wisdom to the attendees. Today, classes have been conducted throughout North America and beyond, training over 500 working professionals.
Gesswein has over 60 employees and 12,000 items. It sure has come a long way over the past 100 years and is poised to meet the needs of Jewelry and Metal Working industries with continued excellence in the 21st century.
The company has successfully transitioned into a fourth generation of leadership. Greg Gesswein serves as president, Glenn Mutti manages IT operations, and Roger Gesswein III actively services customer accounts. The business continues to evolve, staying committed to enhancing its product lines and service to metalworkers both in the US and throughout the world.