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Location July 1942:

Ingber & Co.
347 Fifth Ave.
New York

Factory & Home Office: 2701 North Broad Street Philadelphia, PA

The US Trademaert in its early script form was first used in July, 1910 and was registered December 3, 1946 to Benjamin Ingber, whose facsimilie signature was reproduced in the trademark.

Ingber & Co. exhibited at the Second National Merchandise Fair, held July 23- August 3, 1923 at the Grand Central Palace, New York City. (New York Times May 3, 1923, page 9)

The New York Time, March 9, 1938 praised thriving American Manufacturers, Including Ingber & Co. in a full page ad on page 6. The "Made in America Industrial Exhibition" at Bloomingdales Department Store March 10-17 was "Designed to make more work for Americans by stimilating in consumers a fuller appreciation of the high quality of American-made products."

Ingber & Company is an example of the American Dream made real by one family's had labor and creativity. The company was established on 1903 by brothers Issac and David Ingber. It survived into the 1960's, so it spanned the bulk of the 20th Century! Connie Ingber, granddaughter of founder Issac W. Ingber and daughter of Issac's son Bernie graciously shared some of her memories.

"My grandfather was Issac W. (Willy) Ingber. He came to this country via New York, where he worked in a shirt waist factory. He then brought, one by one, his family to this country. He bought a factory in Philadelphia that made wallets. It was a loft on Market Street. Then I believe they purchased a factory across from the old Connie Mack Baseball Stadium. And then finally a factory in Kensington on H and Westmoreland St. (Note: Kensington is a neighborhood of North Philadelphia.)

My grandfather weathered the depression, but unfortunately in the 60's they could not compete with all the imports. Hard leather bags were the rage but all their machinery was geared for soft leather.

A point of interest is they made the pocketbooks for the movie Marjorie Morningstar starring Natalie Wood and Gene Kelly. They had no say on the bags and they really disliked them that when they were asked to make the handbags for the movie The Carpetbaggers, they turned it down.

They did however design the carpet bag used in the movie Around the World in 80 Days. I have this bag which I cherish."

David A. Ingber sat on the original 1935 National Authority for the Ladies Handbag Industry, one of 125 leaders of the industry from 70 firms. National Authority For The Ladies Handbag Industry . His son Benjamin was head designer until his death at age 49 12/1/1964, after which there was no designer at the firm. The company closed two years later. Benjamin's son, Jonathan Inger worked at the factory at H & Westmoreland in the summers of 1965 and 1966. Thanks for your input!

Easter styles for 1942 are introduced in the February 1942 Luggage & Leather Goods, page 42. Emphasis is on "Morale! . . . one of the most important words in our vocabulary today. What has it to do with the handbag department ? Plenty, we say! It's the gay novelties that lift many a spirit out of the doldrums. Handbags this season will play their part in adding color and life to even the most tailored costume."

"Combination knitting bag and purse in bright red felt. Also available in blue in a vibrant shade. Has a top handle and 14 inch frame. The purse section is attached to the outside of the bag and closes with an envelope flap. Retails $5. From Ingber & Co."

The same issue carries this news item on page 54.

Congratulations to Ingbers

"On January 7, 1942, the engagement was announced of Miss Selma Ingber, daughter of I. W. Ingber, to Dr. Milton Gelman. Dr. Gelman at the present time is connected with the Veteran's Hospital in Fargo, North Dakota. The couple expect to be married very shortly."

Ingber Increases Wages

"Ingber & Co., prominent handbag manufacturers of Philadelphia, have just put into effect a general increase in wages to all employees in their service a year or more." (February 1942 Luggage & Leather Goods, page 63)

Half page ad April 1942 "Luggage & Leather Goods," page 48

Page 55 of the same April 1942 issue "Handbag News" column:

Ingber Stresses Faille

"Outstanding in the group of fabric bags at Ingber & Co. are the failles to retail at $3, $5 and $7.50. Both tailored and soft styles are in the collection which is shown in black, brown, navy and such high shades as red, green and purple. These are recommended for Mother's Day promotion.
Reports from the firm indicate that "Pigtex" bags are again becoming popular in better grade merchandise. When Ingber first developed "Pigtex" several years ago it immediately became the rage in $3 and $5 lines. These bags were called "Jumbo" and were really lambskin with a grained finish to resemble pigskin. At that time they were copied in lower priced bags and later went out of style. Due to present scarcity and high cost of leather they are being revived with success.\\"

Later, on page 57, "Handbag News" column of the same April 1942 "Luggage & Leather Goods" included this announcement.

Selma Ingber Weds

"Mr. and Mrs. William Ingber announce the marriage of their daughter Selma to Dr. Milton Gellman. The wedding took place on March 15 at the home of the bride's parents in Philadelphia."

The industry confronted unique and dramatic changes as World War II geared up. As a founder of Ingber & Co., David Ingber shared his wisdom on business in the August 1942 Luggage & Leather Goods, page 48.

Good Will of Buyers is Manufacturer's Most Important Asset
Dave Ingber Discusses Current Needs of Handbag Industry

"Good will is an insurance policy and an asset on which there is absolutely no income tax," says Dave Ingber, a senior member of the firm of Ingber & Co. Mr. Ingber applies this thought to his daily contact with buyers and finds that it pays great dividends in friendship and what's more in orders.
There are bound to creep up from time to time, disputes between buyer and manufacturer. "Neither one can always be right," asserts Mr. Ingber, "so I just put myself in the other person's place and try to work out a solution from that angle."
Too many manufacturers have a tendency to think only about making money and about getting as large orders as possible. Mr. Ingber believes in selling a buyer only what he thinks the store will be able to use profitably rather than trying to force more merchandise than can be assimilated. The good will developed with such a policy has a definite dollar and cents value that is worth a great deal to any manufacturer.

Many manufacturers blame all their troubles on Labor Unions. That too is a fallacy, according to this experienced merchant. Until a short time ago the manufacturer knew only how to make profit on labor. His main source of revenue was low-cost production. Why, it was even prevalent for a bag manufacturer to sell his goods first and then figure the cost of production. Fortunately a sounder basis of operation has 'been developed in the last ten years and the bag worker, manufacturer and the retailer are all profiting by the change.
It is Mr. Ingber's contention that many manufacturers run into difficulty by jumping into great volume production when they are not accustomed to it. As long as things run smoothly, they are all right. As soon as there is trouble, such a firm is unable to cope with it. "To be successful as a volume operator, a factory must be adaptable to quick change," according to Mr. Ingber. This is extremely important today because of the fact that handbags are an important style item and not just a receptacle for one's money. An example of the need for quick change was very much apparent only a few years ago when, almost overnight the demand changed from small bags to mammoth sized ones.
The treatment of manufacturers towards their sources of supply is another subject which Mr. Ingber considers of paramount importance if a successful manufacturing business, is to be maintained. The supplier is the life blood of the bag manufacturer because there are so many small but important parts needed for the completion of a handbag. It was common practice for many supply buyers to take advantage of their sources when materials were plentiful and they could always get them somewhere for less if they chiseled hard enough. Today practically everything that goes into a bag is difficult to obtain. Naturally the supply man will give preference to a house that has always treated him fairly. Mr. Ingber states that he owes his present success and ability to maintain operating schedules on the fact that he has always given the supply man utmost consideration.
To insure his retailers adequate delivery service Mr. Ingber always has on hand the major materials for making each bag in the line before even the sample is finished. The Ingber firm has complete confidence in its designs. Instead of getting orders first and then trying to get the materials, they stock their supplies beforehand and thereby are able to make deliveries of merchandise without too great a delay.
In popular priced bags such as the Ingber firm specializes in, Mr. Ingber believes that the ultimate consumer looks first for color, second for style and third at the quality of the bag. In his dealing with buyers he makes every effort to sell only the types of bags, and in the colors which he believes will sell over the counter in that particular store, because he is more interested in keeping the buyer's good will than in selling a large quantity of merchandise that may be slow-moving when it reaches the store.

The 1950s

Half page ad "Handbags and Fashion Accessories" February 1950, page 8

Ingber Florentine Filigree
INGBER reaches out to Old World craftsmanship and places the knowledge of the centuries in a New World setting. The delicately created filigree framework is guarded by a wrought leaf clasp. Luxurious faille softly draped, makes this INGBER fashion a portrait in itself. The antique silver and golden finishes bring a tone quality to this handbag.
Black, brown, navy. At fine handbag counters everywhere. Slightly higher in some locations.

M. Hausman & Sons Inc., a New York maker of linings, Salutes Ingber's 50's Anniversary in Business 1903-1953

July 1954 Handbags & Accessories, page 6

May 1955 Handbags & Accessories Travel Bag article, page 14

This unique navy wool handbag is an example of Inber's creativity. The safety pin handbag has a surreal look and makes this a hot collectible. Measures 12 x 12". The gold pin is 12" long. Sold online in 2002 for a mere $51.

The October 1955 "Handbags & Accessories" features an extensive collection of bags for The Holidays and these words of guidance for buyers looking for enticing possibilities.

Show novelties and classics for Christmas

MATERIALS: look for fur, the real thing and imitations thereof processed cowhide elegant calf, rich suede
DETAILS: note whangee touches, medallions tabs end buckles double entry openings
SHAPES: include severe through softened silhouettes continue the slim look

"KING SIZED foldover clutch is of luxurious O'llegro, a combination of Orion and Dynel. Bag has a highly polished brass frame and is satin lined. Prom Ingber"

"Handbags & Accessories" October 1955, page 17

Accessory market round-up

"Brightly colored wool travel bags, with zip tops and calf handles have interesting striped linings. These are at Ingber. There are several good shapes in black, nude, brown or white O'llegro. Another facet of this line includes satin, velvet, or faille foldover clutches lined in satin, and trimmed with large hand set stones that exactly match their color" "Handbags & Accessories" October 1955, page 52.

Bags for Spring 1956 were presented on January 3, 1956 by agreement as a member of the National Authority for the Ladies Handbag Industry. 1956NationalAuthorityMembers

Examples from 10 prominant makers illustrated the article "New textures give new faces to casual bags for fall" on pages 14-15 of the August 1956 issue of "Handbags & Accessories." Ingber's contribution:

CALF in matching or contrasting colors trims enorŽmous pouch of colored felt. Satchel, calf tabbed and handled, is available in brown and blaclc tweed or solid colored flannel. Ingber, 347 5th Ave.

B00370: Ingber Black Satin oval handbag with pin-tucked detailing. The lid is fitted with an oval mirror in excellent condition. The black satin interior is pristine. The outside shows some age with edge wear on the lid and bottom and some discoloration and lightening. Measures 6 1/4 x 3 1/4 x 6 1/4".

Valued at $35 and available at The Bag Lady Emporium

Cruise Wear Varies For Day and Evening
A varied assortment of bags is necessary to a woman traveler. Both day and evening bags are needed as are roomy bags designed particularly for travel. $10 - $25
(Handbags & Accessories December 1959, page 48)

SATIN flat envelope is enhanced with a round jewel lock. It has amazingly large interior. 24 Kt. gold jersey is magnificent in soft draping, dropped jewel frame and knob closing Ingber Inc., 347 Fifth Ave.

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Page last modified on November 09, 2011, at 05:26 PM