The Sawyer Tanning Company of Napa, California
Napa County, CA Biographies





THE SAWYER TANNING COMPANY.
The Sawyer Tanning Company of Napa, California, was established in 1869 and has operated continuously for more than a half century under the same management. The business was founded by F. A. Sawyer, who was joined by his father, B. F. Sawyer, a tanner from New Hampshire, in 1870, and in 1871 by Emanuel Manasse, also a tanner and a son of a tanner. In 1872 A. W. Norton, and in 1875 S. E. Holden, joined the firm, which was conducted as a partnership under the name of B. F. Sawyer & Company until 1886. At that time The Sawyer Tanning Company was incorporated under the laws of California. Practically all of the common stock has always been and still is held by the descendants or relatives of the five original founders, and the present management consists of sons and a nephew of the founders.

During the fifty seven years of the company's existence no labor trouble has ever occurred, and the present relations between the management and the employes are most friendly. No customer of this concern has ever entered suit against it in all this time, and only once has the company been obliged to sue a customer, which suit was promptly decided in favor of the company.

The plant of the concern is modern in every respect, being equipped with the latest type of machinery, and it is managed by men who have devoted their entire lives to this industry, aided by younger men who act as assistants while preparing for full responsibility. The location of The Sawyer Tanning Company's plant at Napa, California, is an asset of considerable value. Situated on the Napa river, convenient and economical freight transportation by water is always available. Part of the firm's success is due to this fact.

The product of the company consists of upper leather for shoes, and glove leather. The present maximum capacity of the plant is about fourteen hundred sides per day of upper leather for shoes. As this amount is less than one per cent of the amount of upper leather used in the United States, and as this is the largest upper leather tannery west of the Missouri river, the opportunity for further expansion is practically unlimited Over seventy five per cent of the product of the company has always been sold in the eastern states and most of the output at the present time is marketed in Boston, Milwaukee and St. Louis.

Napa leather is known all over the world for its quality, and the name has been adopted by leather manufacturers in many foreign countries, an example of the saying that imitation is the sincerest form of approval and praise.

From:
History of Solano County, California
BY: Marguerite Hune
and Napa County, California
BY: Harry Lawrence Gunn
The S. J. Clarke Publishing Co.
Chicago 1926


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