History & Philosophy
Foundation of Craftsmanship and Customization
Born in 1888 in Pennsylvania, founding partner Byard Franklin Brogan, Sr. began his career as an engraver; a true artisan at a time when nearly every piece of jewelry created was hand engraved. In 1908 he opened the manufacturing business known today as Byard F. Brogan, Inc. based on a foundation of excellence in craftsmanship, attention to detail, and decency and respect in all business relationships.
INNOVATIONS – “The Better Kind”
Through the late teens and early twenties the manufacturing business continues to expand, with design and craftsmanship as a driving force. Multiple design patents we’re awarded during the 1920’s and tooling was developed to make die struck, seamless eternity rings. In 1932, Byard F. Brogan, Sr. is awarded U.S. Patent No. 1,863,617 & 1,863,618 for the eternity ring design and the method of manufacture. We still use these inventions to this day to create our eternity bands; enabling infinite combinations of colored stones, diamonds and finger sizes.
In the 1920’s, Mr. Brogan begins importing cultured pearls from Japan. These are marketed under the Princesse Pearl Brand and become an substantial part of the business. He continues to create and innovate; receiving an additional patent in 1936 regarding pearl clasp design, while helping to support the company and employees through the Great Depression.
With the outbreak of World War II, much of the company’s production shifted to Palladium as Platinum and Gold availability was restricted due to their strategic importance. With the Philadelphia Naval Shipyard booming with wartime production, the company allocated internal resources to the manufacture small parts for use in radar and torpedoes. Polishers worked on brass clocks and compasses for newly commissioned ships.
After the war jewelry demand booms as GI’s return home and are eager to marry and start families. Byard F. Brogan, Jr. starts at the firm full time in 1949.
ADAPT, INNOVATE and GROW
Under the stewardship of BFB, Jr., in the 1950’s, The Princesse Plus program is introduced. In another jewelry industry innovation, one or more loose Japanese Akoya pearls are strung on a gold chain with the ability to continually add pearls until the strand is complete. Often each addition was an annual Christmas or Birthday gift throughout childhood. The program grew substantially over the years, eventually becoming the largest in the country. We continue to source the finest pearls from Japan to start new necklaces and add to the tens of thousands being assembled.
In 1955 the firm sells the 805 Sansom building and leases two larger floors at 801 Walnut Street. The firm occupied this space before moving to much larger facility in the Philadelphia suburb of Glenside in 1966.
Tradition of Excellence
Family owned and operated for more than 110 years, the company now run by Byard F. Brogan , III who joined the company in 1994 and has headed the business for the last decade, after his father retired after sixty years in 2009. He is married to his wife, Laura, and has three children – Grace, Kate and Byard, IV
Future of Excellence
With this advent of CAD applications in the early 2000’s, the firm shifted its custom business to computed aided design. Shortly thereafter investments were made to bring 3-d printing in house. Also at this time the company purchased laser welding and engraving machines to bring the latest technologies to the fine jewelry manufacturing process.
We take pride in the fact that we continue to manufacture in Philadelphia. We believe that it matters that our jewelry continues to be created by our experienced team in the United States. With a renewed commitment to our customers, our employees and a supply chain that treats all people with respect using ethically sourced goods. We travel overseas routinely to visit sites and production partners.