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Carl Schon Inc., records

Identifier: MS 1829


This collection contains fifteen boxes of orders and receipts, bills and invoices, forms from the U. S. Treasury and insurance companies, as well as business correspondence dealing with Carl Schon Inc., a Baltimore-based jewelery firm.


  • 1927-1965


Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open for research use.

Conditions Governing Use

The reproduction of materials in this collection may be subject to copyright restrictions. It is the responsibility of the researcher to determine and satisfy copyright clearances or other case restrictions when publishing or otherwise distributing materials found in the collections. For more information visit the MCHC’s Rights and Permissions page.

Biographical Note

A biographical sketch of Carl Schon is a sketch of the firm of Carl Schon Inc., because Schon himself died in 1923 and the firm and name were bought from his estate. Carl Schon was a jeweler who lived and had a shop at 109 W. Saratoga street from 1915 to 1923, according to the Baltimore city directories. Before 1915, Schon was a manufacturer of metallurgic novelties in Catonsville (Metallurgic Art Company, Eden Terrace). He was at this location as far back as the 1895 city directories.

In 1924, the entry in the directory says Carl Schon (estate of), jeweler. From 1925 on, the firm is still called by Schon's name, but incorporated with a president, vice president, and treasurer-secretary. The President in the 1920's is Emmett White, who is also the person who did the European purchasing in person in 1927-29. John Frech is vice-president at this time. By the mid 1930's, John W. Frech is president, Grace Frech is vice president, and Carl Frech is secretary-treasurer.

French continued as president until the business was sold in 1970. It is never stated who did the actual jewelry manufacturing. French himself answered correspondence and told the customers whether their ideas were feasible, and sometimes included a sketch. Whether this indicated that he was a jeweler himself or not cannot be determined from these business records. French may have just acted as business manager. The shop was rented from someone named White (perhaps Emmet White) who lived in North Carolina. When the rent was raised, Frech told him he would not pay the increase and that the shop was moving to 111 West Saratoga.

John French gave up the business or died in 1970 or before and the business was sold to B. D. Nuitz, Jewelers, of 507 N. Charles Street. The business records were given to the Maryland Historical Society, and the business must have been absorbed by the Nuitz firm. Today there is no jewelry firm listed under B. D. Nuitz.


8.0 Linear Feet (15 boxes )

Language of Materials



The files in this collection are arranged alphabetically by the company name or the last name of the individual.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Carl Schon Inc., was absorbed in 1970 by B. D. Nuitz Co., at 507 N. Charles St., who asked the Maryland Historical Society to clear out the Saratoga Street store.

Scope and Contents

The collection consists of fifteen boxes old receipts, orders, and correspondence from 1927 to the 1960's, arranged alphapetically as to the company or person involved. The dates within each group are various. Within each alphabetical letter designation are separate folders of correspondence with people and correspondence with dealers and suppliers most often dealt with. Included also is United States Treasury Department information and reports, tax information, replacements estimates for insurance purposes, and other categories. The inventory list shows all the designations. The rest of the collection is 69 volumes of accounts in books and ledger volumes. There are also three scrapbooks of Carl Schon's jewelry creations and advertisements.

There are a few letters of a personal nature to and from John W. Frech, president of the firm from the 1930's on. Generally these refer to business, as they were perhaps an order from a personal friend, or from a relative. Many, many letters are inquiries and further inquiries as to why an order was taking so long. Occasional orders were lost in the mail. People wrote to express their pleasure at the jewelry made for them; others complained of the high prices. Some orders the firm said it could not do, or could not do for the price the customer wanted to pay. They did copy antique rings, they made rings larger and smaller, repaired and replaced stones, and they made molds to create certain animals, flowers, and other designs requested. A lot of the designs seem rather horrible to modern taste, such as Brahma bull earrings, a boa constrictor belt buckle (with the rest of the snake as the belt), many designs of dragon and snake rings, and a vertebrae brooch, made for a chiropractor.

Guide to the Carl Schon Inc., records
Under Revision
Ruth Anne Becker
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Code for undetermined script
Language of description note

Revision Statements

  • 2019-12-18: Manually entered into ArchivesSpace by Mallory Herberger.

Repository Details

Part of the H. Furlong Baldwin Library Repository

H. Furlong Baldwin Library
Maryland Center for History and Culture
610 Park Avenue
Baltimore MD 21201 United States