Marine Link
Monday, January 22, 2018

Henrey A. Kessel


ON sea as on land the question of supplies is a vital one, and in a great seaport such as New York the business of ship store dealer is one of great importance to the welfare of the port and of the ships that visit it. Among the representatives of this line one of the most prominent is the Henry A. Kessel Company, with offices at 35 Pearl Street.

Mr. Henry A. Kessel, who established the business, is at the head of the present company, as president, treasurer and general manager. He was bora in London, England, April 15, i860, but came to this country with his parents when he was a boy. He received his education in the public schools of Brooklyn and later attended New Y'ork University until 1878. He worked in the Custom House for four years, then went into the steamship supply busi-ness, until he established for himself in 1898.

In 1900 he incorporated the Henry A. Kessel Company, under which name he established branches in Philadelphia and Baltimore, the New York house continuing under the name of Henry A. Kessel as an individual enterprise until 1902, when it was bought by the Henry A. Kessel Company and additional branches were established in Boston, Norfolk, and Newport News. Additional offices have been established in Bergen, Norway, Christiana, Norway, and Copenhagen, Denmark.

The trade of the company is with vessels from all coastwise and foreign ports, and in addition to its general business the company has secured es-pecially valuable connections in supplying ships of foreign Governments, and in 1915 it filled for the Argentine Government the largest single contract ever, up to that time, let in the United States for fitting out of a foreign battleship. The contract was for fitting out the great superdreadnought "Moreno," then just completed, and included all kinds of articles, from food to clothing and the varied supplies needed in the engine room. It included, for instance, 200,000 gallons of oil and several carloads of paint.

Since then the com-pany has been awarded a contract to furnish with materials and supplies all the vessels under the ju-risdiction of the French Government calling at all the ports in which the company has established its branches as well as in New York. This is one of the largest contracts with a foreign Government ever secured by a steamship supply house.

An association of ship store dealers of the North Atlantic seaboard has been organized to eliminate trade abuses, and in this movement Mr. Kessel has taken great interest, and is prominent in the association as its treasurer and member of the Board of Directors. Lie is a strong believer in the interchange of ideas and views between people whose business interests are alike, and in the commercial progress that results from well-directed business associations.

Mr. Kessel is a member of the Elks and Masonic Orders, the Lincoln Club, the Huntington Marine and Golf Club, the Maritime Association, the Boston Chamber of Commerce, the Philadelphia Bourse, Chamber of Commerce, and the Norfolk Chamber of Commerce.

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