AMERICANS KEPT HOUSE WITH LANDERS, FRARY AND CLARK.
Before his company was incorporated as Landers, Frary & Clark in 1862, George M. Landers had been doing business in New Britain for over 20 years. In 1842 Dewey and Landers was established to manufacture metal products such as furniture casters, coat and hat hooks and other items out of brass; in 1852 with a change of partnership the business was organized in 1853 as a stock company known as Landers and Smith Manufacturing. In 1862, with the purchase of the Meriden business of Frary & Carey, James D. Frary joined the firm and the company was incorporated at Landers, Frary & Clark. 1866 saw the addition of cutlery manufacturing when LF&C instituted the Aetna Works. From the beginning Landers, Frary & Clark manufactured products to make life easier for the American Housewife. Food scales, coffee grinders, cake mixers, bread makers, coffee pots and percolators along with tableware of every description were all in production before the 19th century turned to the 20th. With the advent of electricity in the first quarter of the 20th century Charles Smith, president of Landers at the time, realized the potential and put into production an electric percolator, iron, toaster and coffee urn. The success of these items led to an entire line of electric products including vacuum cleaners, electric ranges, washing machines, blenders, electric mixers and electric blankets (to name a few) which, along with the non-electric items, were sold all over the world. Speaking at a meeting of the Newcomen Society in 1955, LF&C President Richard White stated that it was the development of the Universal Bread maker (a gold metal winner at the 1904 World’s fair), the Universal Food Chopper and the Coffee Percolator that helped establish Landers, Frary & Clark as a leader in the American housewares industry. In the 1960’s the cutlery division was closed and the small electrics sold to General Electric.