Archives Center, National Museum of American History

Guide to the Finlay Straus Scrapbook


Collection ID:
Wertheimer, Frederick P.
Vorchheimer, Bert
Vorchheimer, Carol
Finlay Straus Company.
ca. 1929-1933.
Physical Description:
1 Cubic foot
1 box
Scrapbook documenting Frederick P. Wertheimer's advertising and marketing work for the Finlay Straus Company, a jewelry and optical dealer. The scrapbook contains advertising, mostly in the form of circulars and newspaper advertisements, but also catalogs and mailings.

Scope and Contents

Scope and Contents
The scrapbook contains advertisements dating from circa 1929-1933 from the Finlay Straus Company. Although the advertisements focus on jewelry, many other items are advertised as well. Especially prominent are the Christmas advertisements for Finlay Straus stores in which buyers receive a free baby doll if they spend twenty dollars or more. Catalogs, circulars, mailings, and other advertisements are also included among these materials.


This collection is arranged in one series.

Biographical / Historical

Biographical / Historical
Finlay began as a mail order house for fine jewelry in 1887. In 1924, Abraham Hirshberg took over the debt-ridden business and expanded with Finlay-Straus stores throughout the metropolitan New York area. In 1968, Finlay was purchased by Seligman & Latz, a publicly traded company listed on the New York Stock Exchange. Seligman & Latz operated Finlay until 1985 when it became privately owned. Finlay remained privately held until April 1995, when its parent, company Finlay Enterprises, Incorporated held its initial public stock offering.
With the acquisition of Carlyle & Company Jewelers in May 2005, Finlay returned to operating freestanding luxury stores. Carlyle consisted of 35 stores located primarily in southeastern United States under the Carlyle, J. E. Caldwell, and Park Promenade names. In November 2006 Congress Jewelers (a group of five stores located in Southwest Florida) was added, By August 2009, there were 182 Finlay locations: 67 Bailey Banks & Biddle, 34 Carlyle & Company four Congress specialty jewelry stores, and 77 licensed departments with The Bon Ton. On September 24, 2009, Finlay Enterprises announced completion of a bankruptcy auction for its business and assets to Gordon Brothers Retail Partners, LLC. Gordon Brothers was appointed to act as the Company's agent to conduct "store closings" or similar sales of merchandise located at all of the Company's retail store locations and the Company's two distribution centers.


Kiley Orchard
Immediate Source of Acquisition
Collection donated by Bert and Carol Vorchheimer.
Processing Information
Processed by Kiley Orchard (intern), 2008; supervised by Vanessa Broussard Simmons, archivist.

Using the Collection

Conditions Governing Use
Collection items available for reproduction, but the Archives Center makes no guarantees concerning copyright restrictions. Other intellectual property rights may apply. Archives Center cost-recovery and use fees may apply when requesting reproductions.
Conditions Governing Access
Collection is open for research but is stored off-site and special arrangements must be made to work with it. Contact the Archives Center for information at or 202-633-3270.
Preferred Citation
Finlay Straus Scrapbook, 1929-1933, Archives Center, National Museum of American History.


Keywords table of terms and types.
Keyword Terms Keyword Types
Advertisements -- 20th century Genre Form Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Jewelry Topical Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
advertising Topical Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Opticians Topical Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Scrapbooks -- 20th century Genre Form Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid

Archives Center, National Museum of American History
P.O. Box 37012
Suite 1100, MRC 601
Washington, D.C. 20013-7012
Business Number: Phone: 202-633-3270
Fax Number: Fax: 202-786-2453