Friday, June 24, 2016

Voices from the Past: The Death of Ed. K. Tryon Jr. (1894)

The following obituary for Edward K. Tryon, Jr. comes from the September 29, 1904 issue of Iron Age magazine. It gives a brief overview of one of the most important men in fishing tackle history. It was under Ed. K. Tryon Jr.'s watch that the firm that carried his name became the largest fishing tackle wholesaler in the nation. His impact on the tackle trade cannot be overestimated; Tryon is a major reason so many tackle firms succeeded, from Hendryx to Penn. At their peak the Tryon tackle catalog was 400+ pages. It's an amazing legacy, and he appears to have been a decent human being, too.


EDWARD K. TRYON, JR., senior partner of the firm of Edward K. Tryon, Jr., & Co. of Philadelphia, died suddenly at his home at two o'clock on Monday, September 19, from appoplexy. Mr. Tryon had been ill for about two weeks, but had shown such marked improvement that his physicians had given every assurance of his speedy recovery.

Mr. Tryon was in his sixty-first year, having been born in Philadelphia April 14, 1844. He received his education in Friends schools and the Germantown Academy, but at a very early age he entered the employ of the Tryon firm, then composed of his father, Edward K. Tryon, and brother, George W. Tryon, Jr., who were established in business at 625 Market street, and also at 220 North Second street, the site of the original establishment, which was founded in 1811 (The Sign of the Golden Buffalo). In 1863 his copartnership was dissolved, the senior Tryon retiring. Edward K. Tryon, Jr.. and his brother forming a partnership under the name of Tryon Brothers, which partnership continued in existence until 1868, when George W. Tryon, Jr.. retired. The firm then changed to Edward K. Tryon, Jr., & Co., which name the copartnership retains at the present date, Edward K. Tryon, Jr., having remained the senior partner until the time of his death, the firm now occupying the premises at 10 and 12 North Sixth street and 611 Market street.

While Mr. Tryon was still a boy the family moved to his father's country place. Pittville, near Germantown. where Mr. Tryon spent his boyhood days, which property has been purchased by the United States Government and is now one of the national cemeteries. Mr. Tryon had been in active business all his life, but about ten years ago relinquished part of his business affairs, determining to devote the time thus gained to charitable and philanthropic work. At the time of his death he was a member of the Board of Directors of the Home Missionary Society of Philadelphia, a director of the Evening Home and Library Association for Boys, of which institution he was one of the founders and for a number of years its president; a member of the Board of Directors of the Women's Medical College and Hospital, a director of the Trades League of Philadelphia, a member of the Academy of Natural Sciences, a member of the Historical Society of Pennsylvania and a trustee of the "First Unitarian Society of Philadelphia."

At the time of the battle of Antietam, when President Lincoln issued his call for 75,000 men, Mr. Tryon enlisted and served a short time with the Pennsylvania Volunteers. He Is survived by a widow and two children, and his surviving copartners in the firearms firm are Edward B. Mears, Jr., Evan G. Chandlee and Charles Z. Tryon. In the death of Edward K. Tryon, Jr., the community loses a clean man, one whose voice was always for right methods in business, and whose integrity, fidelity and honesty endeared him to his many friends, who profoundly mourn his loss.

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