The Harris Suspender Co. derived from the Wire Buckle Suspender Co. consisting of William Silverman, Charles R. Harris, Joseph E. Austrian, and William Freeman in Williamsport, Penn. 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) and then 1230 Broadway (1921). The New York Public Library's Picture Collection features an ad for Harris Suspender's Kazoo Brand dated 1921 when they were located at 1230 Broadway. This is avaiable on NYPL's Digital Gallery. Then in 1924 they seem to have closed down, only to re-surface in 1936 at 368 W. 148th St. In fact, there may be no connection between the Harris Suspender Co. of 1936 with the earlier firm that moved from Williamsport. They may have been totally unrelated enterprises, sharing the same 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). This second version of Harris Suspender went out of business around 1948.
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