Heimer-Brier Co., 5 W. 31st St. (2003)

Heimer-Brier Co. manufactured handbags at this location from 1950 to 1971. The 1958 Industrial Directory of New York State: Directory of Manufacturing includes the entry: "Heimer-Brier Co., Inc., 5 W 31 St. NYC 1 Pres Robert Heimer, sec-treas Murray Brier. Women's handbags."

Identifications are tricky here, but very possibly these gentlemen were Robert Heimer (1896-1978) and Murray Brier (1910-1990?). Predecessor companies to Heimer-Brier were Heimer Bros. & Frankel Inc. (1933-40) 37 W 26th St. and 16 W. 32nd St., and Heimer Bros. Inc. (1941-1951) 16 W. 32nd St. Ads for Heimer Bros. & Frankel and for Heimer Bros. are shown on The Bag Lady University.

Polk's Copartnership Directory for 1940 listed the following for Heimer Bros & Frankel: Otto Heimer, pres., Robert Heimer, v-pres., William Frankel sec-treas.

Otto Heimer (1893-1948) was a member of the firm of Sol Mutterperl Inc., Leather Goods, until 1933, when Heimer Bros. & Frankel was formed. He was president of this company and of Heimer Bros. until his death in 1948.

Robert Heimer (1896-1978) was Otto Heimer's brother. He appeared in the 1930 U. S. Census, a manufacturer of leather goods, living at 756 Pelham Parkway South, the Bronx. In 1940 he lived in Nyack Village, Rockland County, NY, also a manufacturer of leather goods.

William Frankel (1890-1976) was a partner at Heimer Bros. & Frankel until 1941 when he formed his own handbag company, William Frankel Inc. at 12 W. 32nd St. As reported in Women's Wear Daily, 20 Dec. 1940, pg. 38, "William Frankel has withdrawn from the handbag firm of Heimer Bros. & Frankel, 16 West 32d street, it was made known today. Otto and Robert Heimer will continue the business as Heimer Bros., Inc., manufacturing $1 bags. Mr. Frankel's plans were not made known." A year later this notice announced the opening of William Frankel Co., "William Frankel has formed William Frankel Co., Inc. to manufacture dollar handbags. Showrooms are at 12 West 32d street, the factory in Connecticut. George Landman will be in charge of production and designing." Frankel registered for the World War II draft in 1942 when he lived at 850 Amsterdam Ave., Manhattan. Wm. Frankel Inc. lasted from approx. 1941 to 1946. The Bag Lady shows some ads for William Frankel Inc.

Murray Brier (1910-1990?) of Heimer-Brier appears to be Morris Brier, son of Aaron Brier in the New York State Census of 1925. "Morris" was 17 years old, born Austria, immigrated 1912, "errand boy." In the 1930 U. S. Census, Morris "Breyer" was 19 years old and now a shipping clerk "wholesale leather goods." In 1940 Murray Brier lived with his parents at 1088 East 180th St., the Bronx. He was now 30 years old and a salesman of handbags. He seems to be the same Murray Brier, born 27 May 1910, who enlisted in the U. S. Army in 1942, and who died in Kansas City, Missouri, March, 1990. This identification, however, is by no means certain.

Another figure associated with Heimer Bros. was another of Otto Heimer's sons, Murray Seymour Heimer (1921-1962). He was only 18 years old in the 1940 U. S. Census and not yet employed. He enlisted in the army in 1942, then worked at Heimer Bros. from approx. 1945 to 1952, when he joined another handbag company, Gindoff & Grunther, at 347 5th Ave. Gindoff & Grunther were also known as the Honey Bag Co. and the Rainbow Handbag Co.

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