Charles Lewis Tiffany

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Charles Lewis Tiffany

Birthplace: Killingly, Windham County, Connecticut, United States
Death: February 18, 1902 (90)
New York City, New York, United States
Place of Burial: Brooklyn, Kings County, New York, United States
Immediate Family:

Son of Comfort Tiffany and Chloe Tiffany
Husband of Harriet Olivia Avery Tiffany
Father of Charles Lewis Tiffany; Annie Olivia Mitchell; Louis Comfort Tiffany; Louise Harriet Tiffany; Henry Charles Tiffany and 1 other
Brother of Eliza Morse; Charlotte Draper; Harriet Amanda Tiffany and Wiliam Henry Tiffany

Managed by: Edward Leo Neary
Last Updated:

About Charles Lewis Tiffany

CharlesTiffany and John Burnett Young were boyhood friends and when they decided to go to New York to open a dry good store they borrowed money from Charles' father Comfort Tiffany. In September 1837 Charles and John opened their store called "Tiffany & Young"

The year was 1837. Charles Lewis Tiffany and his schoolmate John Young traveled from New England to New York City with an idea and a dream that were to become Tiffany & Co. While the first day of business brought a mere four dollars and 98 cents, the world of jewelry and luxury goods would never again be the same. Charles Tiffany's tireless search for one-of-a-kind objects charmed and fascinated the wealthy of New York. But when the store obtained some of the French crown jewels in 1887, Tiffany's fame spread far and wide.

Charles Lewis Tiffany went on to introduce the nation's first retail catalogue. And, his obsession with the simple elegance of classic silver design earned Tiffany & Co. the highly coveted Award of Merit at the Paris Exposition Universelle in 1867. This was the first time an American company had been recognized by a European jury.

Of the many individual achievements made under the leadership of Charles Lewis Tiffany, the introduction of the celebrated engagement ring in the 6-prong Tiffany® Setting is one of the most noteworthy. But, of course, Charles Lewis Tiffany's grandest accomplishment was to establish America's preeminent house of design and the world's premier jeweler. - []

On November 30, 1839, Charles Lewis Tiffany married John B. Young's sister, Harriet Olivia Avery Young (1816–1897) with whom he had six children:

  • Louis Comfort Tiffany (1848-1933)
  • Charles Lewis Tiffany, Jr. (1842–1847)
  • Annie Olivia Tiffany (Mrs. Alfred Mitchell; mother-in-law to Hiram Bingham III) (1844–1937)
  • Louise Harriet Tiffany (1856–1937)
  • Henry Charles Tiffany (1858–1859)
  • Burnett Young Tiffany (1860–1945) Birth 15 Feb 1812 Killingly, Windham County, Connecticut, USA Death 18 Feb 1902 (aged 90) Manhattan, New York County (Manhattan), New York, USA Burial Green-Wood Cemetery Brooklyn, Kings County (Brooklyn), New York, USA Show Map Plot Section 65, Lot 619 Businessman. He was the founder of Tiffany and Company in New York City, New York, that specialized in the manufacturing of jewelry. He was also responsible for creating the first retail catalog used in the United States. Born in Killingly, Connecticut, his father owned a cotton mill and also ran a small general store that he helped to manage when he was 15 years old, later working in the office of his father's mill. In 1837 he borrowed $1,000 from his father and he, along with a school friend, John B. Young, established a small stationery and gift shop in New York City, selling glassware, porcelain, cutlery, clocks and jewelry. In 1841 the store expanded, changing its name to Tiffany, Young and Ellis, specializing in Bohemian glass and porcelain, as well as making its own jewelry. It soon established a reputation for selling only the finest goods. In the early 1850s, the company reorganized under the name Tiffany and Company, opening branches in London, England and Paris, France, and relocated to an uptown Fifth Avenue location in New York City. He was responsible for introducing the term "sterling" to the United States when he adopted the English silver standards in 1851. One of his greatest achievements was teaming up with the renowned inventor, Thomas Edison, and creating footlights and other methods of lighting theaters. This resulted in the increased popularity of Broadway and other shows during that time. In 1886 his company introduced what is known as the "Tiffany Setting,' a six-prong diamond solitaire setting, allowing the stone to receive maximum light, resulting in maximum brilliance. In 1887 the company acquired and sold some of the French crown jewels, an important acquisition that established its reputation for selling quality and one of a kind jewelry. He died in Yonkers, New York at the age of 90. At the time of his death, he company was worth more than $2 million and was acknowledged as the most prominent jewelry company in North America. His son, Louis Comfort Tiffany, became famous for his work as a jewelry designer as well as his work with decorative stained glass.

Bio by: William Bjornstad

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Charles Lewis Tiffany's Timeline

February 15, 1812
Killingly, Windham County, Connecticut, United States
October 7, 1842
New York City, New York County, New York, United States
November 22, 1844
New York, New York, New York, United States
February 18, 1848
New York, New York, United States
December 18, 1856
New York, New York, United States
September 1, 1858
New York, New York, United States
April 12, 1860
Manhattan, New York, New York County, New York, United States
February 18, 1902
Age 90
New York City, New York, United States
Green-Wood Cemetery, Brooklyn, Kings County, New York, United States