J.E. Caldwell & Co. was founded by James Emmot Caldwell (1813 – 1881). He was born in Poughkeepsie, New York and apprenticed at 14 to the silversmith Peter Hayes. In 1835, after his apprenticeship he moved to New York City and worked for Samuel Benedict learning watchmaking before moving south to Philadelphia. In 1839 he opened his own retail premises at 163 Chestnut Street and took on James Bennett as a partner. At the time they traded as ‘Bennett & Caldwell’ until 1848 when Bennett died and John C. Farr replaced him as partner. This is when the name was officially changed to J. E. Caldwell & Co, which is how it remained. The firm moved several times as it expanded, settling at 902 Chestnut Street in 1868. They exhibited at the Centennial International Exhibition of 1876 in Philadelphia which was the first official World’s Fair to be held in the United States. It was open from May to November and attracted nearly 10 million visitors exposing the firm to a far wider audience. James Caldwell passed away in 1881 leaving his son James Albert Caldwell (1844 – 1914) to run the firm. They were focusing on silverware, accessories and even watches with movements being imported from Vacheron Constantin. This gave way in the early 20th century to the Belle Époque style and was a style that Caldwell excelled at. Caldwell continued through the deco and retro periods. and in 1952 Austïon Homer became president of the company. The following year he began an ambitious expansion opening in the Hotel DuPont in Wilmington, Delaware. Then Princeton, King of Prussia and New Jersey. After several changes of ownership and a sad decline in fortune, the flagship store closed in 2003 followed by the remaining branches in 2009.