The 6 Oldest Companies Ever Established in the United States

Ever wondered which companies are the oldest brands in the United States? As many of the most well-known companies are relatively young compared to other household names, some have been around for centuries, and even the beginnings of America.

Here are the six oldest companies ever established in the United States.

Caswell Massey – 1752


Founded in 1752, Caswell-Massey is a personal hygiene and apothecary shop in Newport, Rhode Island. Founded by William Hunter, a Scottish doctor, the primary products that were sold were soaps, lotions, fragrances toiletries and shaving products.

Dr. Hunter serviced his social clientele who were living nearby. As Newport, Rhode Island was the destination to buy European luxury items; Dr. Hunter began selling cosmetic, hygiene, and personal care products aside from medical items. He also started to import fragrances from Europe to blend twenty different colognes.

It was said that President George Washington purchase a bottle of Cologne #6 as a gift for the Marquis de Lafayette and explorers Lewis and Clark carried their products on their travels.Today, Caswell-Massey is privately owned and based in New Jersey.

The Hartford Courant – 1764


Establish by printer Thomas Green in 1764; the newspaper company was headquartered in Connecticut and known as the oldest newspaper in America. It was also considered as “older than the nation” as the publication boasts of historical moments that took place in America. In fact, George Washington was said to have put an ad in the paper. Another fact was that Thomas Jefferson sued the publication for lost and libel and Mark Twain tried to purchase stock in the article.

The Hartford Courant was also run by Hannah Watson, American’s first women publisher in 1777. Today, the publication is owned by the Tribune Co.

Baker’s Chocolate – 1765


According to the Bostonian Society, the chocolate company was founded in 1765 by James Baker, a Harvard doctor and John Hannon, an Irish immigrant. The Company was originally named Walter Baker & Company. The duo started importing cocoa beans and producing chocolate in Dorchester Massachusetts.

The first recorded sale in 177 was in 1772. However, Hannon began his journey to buy cocoa from the West Indies in 177 and never returned. James Baker took over the entire business and started making its first Baker’s branded chocolate in 1780.

Eventually, the company expanded their products from cocoa powders to unsweetened chocolate, sweet chocolate, flavored chocolate bars, and candy-making chocolate. Baker’s chocolate is now owned by Kraft and is continuing to sell a large variety of Baker’s products.

Ames – 1774


Famous for the hand tools we still use today, the tool company was founded in 1774 by a blacksmith, Captain John Ames in Massachusetts. Ames Manufacturing Company made the first shovels in the United States of America.

The company was continued by Ames’ son, Nathan Peabody Ames. Ames then produced the first swords for the US government as well as cannons and bells. Ames continued to establish a tool and cutlery factory in 1829 as well as producing military equipment. The company also became a major bicycle supplier to the Overman Wheel Company in 1883.

Ames manufactured some of the most well-known statues including the large equestrian statue of George Washington, Benjamin Franklin, Major John Mason and the bronze doors of the US Capital.

King Arthur Flour – 1790

Founded in 1790, Henry Wood had initially named the business Sands, Taylor & Wood Co. in Boston Massachusetts. The company imported European supplies of flour, mixes, ingredients, cookbooks and baked goods specially made for bakers in America and eventually introduced their own flour at the Boston Food Fair.

Since the humble beginnings 200 years ago, King Arthur Flour’s headquarters are now based in Norwich, Vermont and still in production today. In fact, the company was named one of the Best Places to Work in Vermont in 2006 and now offers baking classes and demonstrations.

Cigna – 1792


Originally founded in 1792 as Insurance Co. of North America (INA), Cigna became the first marine insurance company in America. In 1982, INA collaborated with the Connecticut General Life Insurance Co.

Cigna now provides insurance for medical, dental, disability life, and accidental insurance among other related services and products. As an in-house international protection platform, CGHB offers a network of hospitals and physicians for its 550,000 members in the US and nearly 140,000 members outside of America.

Since its beginning in Pennsylvania, the company is headquartering in Bloomfield, Connecticut. Cigna is still one of the oldest stockholder-owned insurance businesses in America. The insurance company now operates in nearly 30 countries with $53.74 billion in assets.

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