BOWRING & COMPANY
BOWRING & COMPANY
THE name of Bowring has been associated with important maritime interests for more than a century, and now, through the firm of Bowring & Company, is prominent in New York, that firm being largely engaged as ship brokers, steamship agents, and exporters and im-porters of merchandise.
The original Bowring enterprise was that of Bowring Brothers, which was started in St. John's, Newfoundland, by Benjamin Bowring in 1813. The New York house was established as Bowring & Archibald by William B. Bowring (afterward Sir William B. Bowring, Bart.) and Brenton Archibald, son of Sir Edward Archibald, who was at that time British Consul-General at New York.
The firm was established to do business with the Newfoundland house, and for a considerable time confined its attention exclusively to the importing of Newfoundland products. Later, however, the firm went into the petroleum business, in which Bowring and Archibald were pioneers, and the firm was one of the first shippers of a full cargo of barreled oil to England, and among the earliest developers of tank steamers especially built for petroleum shipments.
The English firm of C. T. Bowring & Co. was founded in Liverpool in 1830. Its London house was established in 1870, and that at Cardiff, Wales, about 1880. William B. Bowring of the New York house went to Liverpool in 1871, and Thomas B. Bowring (afterward Sir Thomas B. Bowring) came to New York as the head of the house here. After the death of Mr. Brenton Archibald, Mr. Frederick C. Bowring, now president of the British company, came here. Mr. T. B. Bowring went to London in 1892 and Mr. Lawrence B. Stoddart came to New York, and in 1897 Mr. Charles W. Bowring also came.
C. T. Bowring & Company, the British house, became a private limited company in 1899, and the New York house of Bowring & Company-was incorporated under the laws of the State of New York in 1902, the Newfoundland house becoming a limited corporation under the name of Bowring Brothers, Limited. The New York house is owned and controlled by the parent companies,
Messrs. Lawrence B. Stoddart and Charles W. Bowring, both of whom are great-grandsons of Benjamin Bowring, who founded the business more than a century ago, being the resident directors and also being directors in the British house of C. T. Bowring & Company, Ltd., and in Bowring Brothers, Ltd., the Newfoundland house.
In 1886 the Red Cross Line was started by the Bowring interests and has since been engaged in regular traffic between New York, Halifax, Nova Scotia, and St. John's, Newfoundland. The New York house is the agency for the Red Cross Line, also agents for the Bibby and Henderson Lines to Rangoon, Burma. They are also United States agents for large Scandinavian steamship owners and for the London house of C. T. Bowring & Company, who are large owners of tank and cargo steamers. The petroleum business of the Bowring interests has been developed into the Bowring Petroleum Company of London, which is a subsidiary organization.
Bowring & Company do a very large business as ship brokers, specializing in both British and Scandinavian tonnage and contracting for the building of new steamers specially constructed for particular trades—largely for Canadian coal, iron, and steel interests—and also specializing in steamers for the nitrate trade from Chile.
C. T. Bowring & Company were originally very large owners of sailing vessels, afterward developing into steam tonnage, and because of their connection with the petroleum trade were among the first owners of tank tonnage.
Bowring & Company are still very largely identified with oil shipments, and during the war period were very large shippers of fuel oil to the British Admiralty. They are also large carriers of grain in normal times from the United States, and of cotton and naval stores from the South Atlantic ports to the United Kingdom and the European continent. They are also, in normal times, contractors for bringing large quantities of pyrites from Spain in their own bottoms. They still carry on a large business by the Red Cross Line in the bringing in of Newfoundland prod-ucts. The steamship "Stephano," of this line, was torpedoed by the submarine "U 53" off Nantucket. This was a ship especially built and strengthened for sealing, the Newfoundland house of Bowring Brothers being one of the largest owners of sealing steamers in the world. The steamship "Florizel," which was also specially built for ice work, has the distinction of having brought in the largest cargo of sealskins ever carried, aggregating 49,600. Bowring & Company and the New York house are very large handlers of seal products, including sealskins, seal oil, etc.
Mr. L. L. Richards, who is a director in the New York house, and who is particularly in charge of the ship brokerage interests of the firm, was director of the Bureau of Transportation of the War Trade Board in Washington.
The firm of Bowring & Company are very largely engaged as general exporters and importers. They export all kinds of American products and merchandise, but their exports are especially large in steel products, oils, industrial chemicals, drygoods, paper, machinery, and hardware. Their exports are worldwide, but are especially large to Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, the Phil-ippine Islands, Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Peru, Bolivia, Uruguay and Paraguay, Cuba, Porto Rico, British West Indies, Newfoundland, Italy, the United Kingdom, and the European continent generally.
The imports of the house are very varied and include practically every article of commerce for which there is a demand in the United States. Among the more important are the following:
From the Philippines—Tobacco, cigars, hemp, cocoanut oil, gum copal, mother of pearl and other shells, ylang-ylang.
Australia—Eucalyptus oil, Kauri gum, rabbit, kangaroo, and other skins, wool, shells, copra.
Africa—Wool from South Africa; and from W est Africa palm oil, kernels, cocoa, and other products.
Spain—Almonds, garbanzos, beans, olive oil, sirrron, cinnamon, peppers, cloves, sardines and anchovies, canned pork sausage, figs, and olives; :rom Portugal similar products are imported.
Canary Islands—Almonds, cochineal, and va- r: us products similar to the Spanish list.
South America—From the Western Coast, including Chile, Peru, and Bolivia, wool, hides, sheep skins, goat skins, fur skins, beans, peas, minerals and mineral ores; and from eastern South America, ores (tungsten, platinum, manganese, etc.), peas, beans, fibres, wool, and hides.
From India—General lines of drugs, essential oils, castor beans, vegetable oils, and spices from Ceylon.
Japan—Tungsten ores (originating in China and Korea), vegetable oil, fish, oils, potato starch, canned crab meat, menthol, peppermint oil, beans, peas, isinglass, chemicals, silks, hides, aluminum and antimony wares, artificial flowers, bamboo articles, bronze wares, brushes of all kinds, buttons of all kinds, chinaware, porcelain, enamel ware, knives, leather goods of all kinds, matches, medical instruments, lacquered wares, rubber goods, toys, soaps and toilet articles, silverware, stationery and tissue papers, braids, manufactured silks, cotton underwear, chip braids, imitation Panama hats, and innumerable other manufactures.
The firm of Bowring & Company still continue to be leaders in the handling of Newfoundland products, cod and seal oils, etc., and in all of the various departments of their business the firm works in harmony with the parent houses and controls, through these connections, unsurpassed facilities for doing business in any part of the world. Through foreign connections and correspondence, they are prepared to secure tonnage or to place orders for merchandise in any port, and through their long connection with the business and the unsurpassed standing which they enjoy, they have been enabled, through the stress of the war period, to be among the most successful firms in the procuring of tonnage for various ventures.
The reputation of this house is backed by a century's record of sound business principles and of men reared from boyhood to the business of shipping and international trade. The departments of their, business are ably organized under competent heads, and with the return of normal times the house will efficiently resume, on an enlarged scale, the various activities in which it has long remained in a position of leadership and great international influence.