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Location August 1920:

Supreme Leather Goods Company
460 West Broadway
New York

Location September 1928:

Supreme Leather Goods Company
347 Fifth Avenue
New York

Information provided by the Resnick and Carlin families has claified the history of Supreme Leather Goods and their connection to the Carlins and Resnicks.

At 19 years of age Morris Carlin and his wife Fanny Resnick Carlin, bring with them William, Charles, Eva and Julius Resnick and their son Harry Carlin. They arrived in New York in November 1902, having immigrated from Ostryna, Russian Empire through Canada. Family members that had arrived earlier had become pocketbook workers and so did Morris. By 1919, he established Supreme Leather Goods Company.

Nothing is ever easy, it seems. A New York Times article of August 19, 1920, pg 10, quotes Morris Carlin regarding repeated burglaries at the premises. "According to Morris Carlin, President of the Supreme Leather Goods Company, 460 West Broadway, his concern has been plundered 3 times in six weeks. The first visitation of the thieves, who entered by way of a skylight, resulted in a loss of $200 worth of fancy leather goods. Four weeks ago the burglers came back and obtained $1,000 aditional." The thieves were caught and prosecuted.

Trunks and Leather Goods, September 1928, page 74

The Depression hit hard in 1932 Supreme Leather Goods filed for bankrupcy New York Times June 7, 1932, page 28. Morris Carlin moved on the work with his brother-in-law at Julius Resnick until 1943 when he formed Carlin & Fried CarlinFriedInc with Louis Fried.

The April 1953 issue of "Handbags & Accessories" featured a special tribute to Morris Carlin, shortly before his death.

HANDBAGS & Accessories for April 1953

Two Anniversaries for Morris Carlin
President of Carlin & Fried celebrates 50 years in business on his 70th birthday

It was in November of 1902, a half century ago, that young Morris Carlin arrived in New York with his wife, and almost immediately became a part of what is today, a modern thriving handbag industry. Relatives had preceded him to this country, and had become pocketbook workers. so Mr. Carlin found that his initiation into the American business world was as a pocketbook worker. In the days of his early association, goods were made by hand, and consisted of little change purses and other leather goods items.

As the trend changed, the firm that Mr. Carlin was working for began to make chatelaine bags in walrus, pin seal and alligator. These were worn hanging from belts by little chains. As a matter of fact, the alligator bags were completed to give them a shitty finish.

In 1919 Morris Carlin was in business for himself as the Supreme Leather Goods Co. The firm started out by making 50 cent leather purses for children, and fabric bags for women. By 1922 they had expanded to making leather frame and vagabond bags from $3 up.

It was in 1925 that Mr. Carlin introduced the tapestry bags that earned him the title of the 'Tapestry King" during the 20's. This type of bag had formerly been manufactured in France, and was sold here as finished imports. Mr. Carlin saw no reason why the bags couldn't be made here of imported fabric, at a smaller cost, thus increasing their popularity! At that time Mr. Carlin employed about twelve salesmen who were handling his leather items. He gave each of them six of the tapestry samples, and told them to give away the bags if they couldn't sell them! And the proverbial happy ending was that they sold like "hot cakes" . . .until the depression.

After dissolving Supreme Leather Goods, in 1934, Mr. Carlin became associated with his brother-in-law, Julius Resnick. However, in 1943 be again decided to form his own company and the present concern, Carlin & Fried, emerged.

In looking back over the more than 50 years Mr. Carlin has been active in the handbag industry, be chuckled with pride as he mentioned that today the production of Carlin & Fried is greater than that of the entire manufacturing industry 30 years ago. His other accomplishments of which lie is inordinately proud are his wonderful family, for Morris Carlin is 'Dad" to six-daughters and two sons.. His two sons are carrying on the family name in the handbag business, as owners and operators of Carlin Bros.

So we take great pleasure in congratulating Mr. Carlin on his golden anniversary in the handbag business. And we wish him a very happy birthday on April 15, when he will be "70 years young." Mr. Carlin also told us that it's a triple holiday since his oldest son, Harry Carlin. and Harry's son Michael make three Generations of the Carlin family whose birthdays are April 15.

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Page last modified on September 30, 2009, at 06:17 PM