A Brief History of American Founded Companies

American businesses have flourished throughout the years because of a genuine work ethic and quality products. The oldest American business still in operation, Caswell-Massey, began as an apothecary shop in 1752, and continues to sell products in New York City. Although there have been changes, including recessions and wars, some companies are able to stand the test of time.

Baker’s Chocolate

Families all over America know and trust the Baker’s Chocolate brand, and might be surprised to learn it was founded in 1765. The Irish immigrant who founded the store left the business to Baker, who expanded the line to chocolate bars, sweet chocolate, candy-making chocolate, and unsweetened cocoa powder. This company is one of the oldest American companies still in business.

Jim Beam

Another well-known company was founded in 1795 by Jacob Beam. First called “Old Jake Beam Sour Mash,” this whiskey company officially changed its name to Jim Beam in 1943. In 2005, the company sold its 10 millionth barrel of whiskey. It survived despite Prohibition, and is still run by Beam family members today.


Known for its dinnerware, Pfaltzgraff was established in 1811, when an immigrant family set up a potter’s wheel and kiln on their homestead in York County, Pennsylvania. The company was known for its quality and design. It eventually became part of Lifetime Brands, which includes KitchenAid, Farberware, and Cuisinart. Families who are searching for American made dinnerware continue to turn to Pfaltzgraff for their kitchen needs.

Dunkin’ Donuts

Originally called the Open Kettle, Dunkin’ Donuts became a household name in the 1950’s. It was founded by William Rosenberg in Massachusetts. His son became the company’s CEO at the age of 25, and opened its hundredth location in 1963. Over the years the menu options have changed, and the company now boasts 12,000 locations in 36 countries.

Russell’s Western Wear

Western Wear Gifts
Western Wear Gifts

Originally opened in Tampa, Florida in 1967, Russell’s Western Wear is a premier store for authentic Country-and-Western style. It is known for high-quality safety footwear and work boots, and it also carries an extensive collection of classic shoes and fashionable clothing. The company offers styles for any occasion, whether you are buying a gift, dressing up for a wedding, or hanging out with friends.

Image via Flickr by FutUndBeidl

Michaels Craft Store

First established in Dallas, TX in 1973 and later as a publicly-traded company, Michaels is one of the largest American arts, crafts, framing, and floral stores. The company operates more than 1,250 stores all over the country, and offers custom framing, wholesale prices, and a varied selection of home decor items.

Supporting American business helps the country grow stronger and encourages entrepreneurs to create quality products and services. The most well-known brands have grown over time because of a willingness to change and meet the needs of changing consumers. Companies might have started off as one business and changed to another, or changed their target market. Whether you are interested in fashion, food, or fun, well-established American companies with a long history of success are ready to serve.

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