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Jennings Brothers


American, 1891 - 1953
Biography: Jennings Brothers, also known as JB, was begun about 1891 in Bridgeport, Connecticut by Edward Austin Jennings (8 January 1863 - 13 September 1952.) The Jennings Brothers Manufacturing Company made finely crafted art metal pieces, employing production methods that required meticulous techniques that did not lend themselves well to mass production. They also made a name for themselves a as fine silver manufacturers. Originally formed by Edward and his brother Erwin in 1888, the American Jewelry Company reorganized as Jennings Brothers Manufacturing Company in the early 1890s. The first formal listing of JB (all Jennings Brothers pieces are marked somewhere with the letters JB) as a business appears in the 1892 Bridgeport City Directory, and the last listing was in the 1953 directory. The firm moved into 219 Elm Street after purchasing the Bridgeport Gun Implement Company building in 1905. The company prospered under the leadership of successive family members, including Edward Austin Jennings' son, Henry Ashton Jennings (d. 1937). After his death in 1937, he was succeeded by his son, Erwin Strickland Jennings. The firm was threatened by a fire that caused $100,000 worth of damage in 1941, but it survived. It remained in business until 1954, when the site of the firm was purchased by James J. Sullivan. The Philadelphia Manufacturing Company purchased the Jennings Brothers molds in the 1960s, so even though the firm closed in 1954, recent Jennings manufactures do exist.