Swank Lighters - Carlton - Kum-A-Part
Swank, Inc. is a leading manufacturers of men's and women's jewelry and leather goods. Swank's products are marketed under the brand names Pierre Cardin, Colours by Alexander Julian, Anne Klein, Anne Klein II, Guess?, and Swank. Swank's products are also sold internationally throughout over 50 countries.
The beginnings of Swank, Inc. can be traced to the year 1897, when Samuel M. Stone and Maurice J. Baer founded the Attleboro Manufacturing Company to produce and sell jewelry for women.
In 1908, Baer formed a new division, called Baer and Wilde, to oversee the production of men's jewelry, while Stone remained in charge of Attleboro Manufacturing. The new Baer and Wilde division operated with marginal success alongside the Attleboro Manufacturing Company until 1918, when the Kum-A-Part cuff button was designed and became an immediate success.
Kum-A-Part shows up marked on all the early Carlton and some Swank lighters.
By the time the United States became involved in World War I, the Attleboro Manufacturing Company was large enough to handle the production of thousands of metal identification tags, better known as "dog tags," for the military.
The name Swank actually appeared in 1927 on a print advertisement for a men's collar holder, but it was almost another decade before it became the corporate name. In 1936 Swank Products, Inc. was created. In 1941, the company changed its name once again and became Swank, Inc., a designation which stuck for the next 50 years and beyond.
In 1966, Swank strengthened its blossoming leather products division with the acquisition of the Prince Gardner Company of St. Louis, Missouri, a manufacturer of men's and women's leather goods marketed under the Prince and Princess Gardner brand names. In 1989 the company sold the assets of its Prince Gardner division.
PRIMARY SOURCE: http://www.fundinguniverse.com/company-histories/Swank-Inc-company-History.html