James Van Inwagen
BornMay 16, 1869(1869-05-16)
DiedSeptember 1, 1928(1928-09-01) (aged 59)
Buffalo, New York
CitizenshipUnited States
Alma materUniversity of Michigan
Known forBusinessman, athlete

James W. Van Inwagen, Jr. (May 16, 1869 – September 1, 1928)[1] was an American businessman and a member of the Tiffany family. He played college football for the University of Michigan from 1888 to 1891 and was captain of the 1891 Michigan Wolverines football team. After graduating from Michigan, he operated the Tiffany Enameled Brick Company in Illinois with his father, James Van Inwagen, Sr. He later moved to New York where he served as the president of the Tiffany Electric Manufacturing Company, the maker of Tiffany Never-Wind Clocks.

Early years Edit

Born in 1869, Van Inwagen's mother was Mary Louise Tiffany[2] and his father was James Van Inwagen, Sr.[3] He received his preparatory education at Phillips Exeter from which he graduated in 1888.

University of Michigan Edit

After graduating from Phillips Exeter, Van Inwagen attended the University of Michigan. He played college football for the Michigan Wolverines football team from 1888 to 1891 as a fullback, end and halfback.[4][5][6][7] He was the captain of the 1891 Michigan Wolverines football team.[7][8] Van Inwagen was also competitor in track and field. In 1888, he won the running high jump event at the University of Michigan Field Day with a jump of 5 feet, 6 inches.[9] He also placed second in the 120 yard hurdles after falling over one of the hurdles.[9]

Family and personal life Edit

File:Tiffany Enameled Brick Works, Momence, Illinois 1904.png

In April 1901, Van Inwagen married Mildred Mabel Congdon. They had one child, Jean, born in 1901.[2]

Van Inwagen's younger brother, Arthur Van Inwagen, committed suicide in 1898; he shot himself at the Denver Athletic Club.[10] His father died of malarial fever in November 1904 at Van Inwagen's home.[11] His oldest brother, Fred Van Inwagen, committed suicide in 1905 at age 45.[12]

On New Year's Eve 1902, Van Inwagen was arrested and charged with assault, disorderly conduct and using abusive language. According to the arresting officers, he entered the Polk Street Depot in downtown Chicago and asked a train dispatcher for a special train to take him to Momence. When he was refused, he allegedly attacked the dispatcher. He was locked up at the Harrison Street station but later released on bond.[13]

Business career Edit

File:Tiffany Never-Wind ad.jpg

After graduating from Michigan, Van Inwagen joined his father at the Tiffany Enameled Brick Co. in Momence, Illinois. Van Inwagen served as the vice president and manager, while his father was president and treasurer.[14][15] An article on the company in the early 1900s noted that Van Inwagen "bears on his shoulders with ease the many burdens resultant from his position. Mr. Van Inwagen is a young man, not bound in any way by traditional practice, eager to embrace all devices calculated to improve the product of the plant and lessen the cost of production."[14] Van Inwagen published articles about the company's enameled brick products in building industry publications.[14][16]

By January 1907, Van Inwagen had moved to New York City, where he was the president of the Tiffany Electric Manufacturing Company[17] Among the products manufactured by the company were never-wind electric clocks. By 1912, Van Inwagen had moved the company to Buffalo, New York.[18] By 1918, some seven models were offered. Though fairly expensive, the "Tiffany Never-Winds" enjoyed success.[19] [20] Van Inwagen was still with the Tiffany Electric Manufacturing Company in 1919.[21]

Later yearsEdit

At the time of the 1920 United States Census, Van Inwagen was married to Mildred Van Inwagen and residing in Buffalo with their daughter Jean Van Inwagen.[22]

References Edit

  1. Michigan Alumnus, vol. 35, page 88 (1928)
  2. 2.0 2.1 Ella Frances Reed Wright (1904). Genealogical Sketch of the Tiffany Family. Mattatuck Press. p. 47.
  3. Cooper, H.C. (1892). The Biographical dictionary and portrait gallery of representative men of Chicago and the World's Columbian Exposition. pp. JAMES VAN INWAGEN.
  4. "1888 Football Team". University of Michigan, Bentley Historical Library.
  5. "1889 Football Team". University of Michigan, Bentley Historical Library.
  6. "1890 Michigan Football Roster". University of Michigan.
  7. 7.0 7.1 "1891 Football Team". University of Michigan, Bentley Historical Library.
  8. "University of Michigan Football Captain, James W. Van Inwagen, 1891". University of Michigan, Bentley Historical Library.
  9. 9.0 9.1 "Field Day". The Michigan Argonaut: p. 229. June 2, 1888.
  10. "SUICIDE OF A CHICAGO MAN: Arthur Van Inwagen Kills Himself at the Denver Athletic Club—Ascribed to Depression". Chicago Daily Tribune. November 16, 1898.
  11. "JAMES VAN INWAGEN IS DEAD: Pioneer Citizen and Insurance Man Passes Away at Son's Home in Momence, Ill.". Chicago Daily Tribune. November 1, 1904.
  12. "Fred Van Inwagen Dead: Suicide Like His Brother; Kills Himself by a Shot, Leaving Widow and Children at Momence". Chicago Daily Tribune. March 11, 1905.
  13. "Young Van Inwagen Arrested: Charged with Assaulting Railroad Official for Refusing Him a Special Train – Released on Bonds". Chicago Daily Tribune. January 1, 1903.
  14. 14.0 14.1 14.2 "The Tiffany Enameled Brick Co., Momence Ill.". Brick. March 1, 1904. pp. 121–124. Inwagen, Jr., is stated to be the vice president and general manager at page 124; Van Inwagen, Sr., is stated to be the president and treasurer at page 122)
  15. "News from the Classes". The Michigan Alumnus. November 1900. p. 84."James Van Inwagen, Jr., ... is now manager of the Tiffany Enameled Brick Co.")
  16. James Van Inwagen (1903). "Enameled Brick". Fireproof magazine.
  17. News from the Classes. The Michigan Alumnus. January 1907. p. 173."James Van Inwagen, Jr., ... is president and general manager of the Tiffany Electric Manufacturing Company, .... New York City.")
  18. "News From the Classes". The Michigan Alumnus. January 1912.
  19. Tiffany Electric Manufacturing Company – Antique Clocks Guy: Antique Clocks and Mechanical Musical Instruments. We bring collectors and buyers together. Always the highest quality antique clocks available; fabulous antique automatic musical instruments. (1904-03-08). Retrieved on 2010-12-17.
  20. General Catalogue of officers and students, 1837–1911. University of Michigan. p. 173.
  21. The quarter-centennial reunion, class of eighteen-ninety-two, University of Michigan, June twenty-fifth to twenty-seventh, nineteen hundred and seventeen: and addresses of all classmates University of Michigan. Class of 1892 University of Michigan, 1919.
  22. 1920 Census, Place: Buffalo Ward 25, Erie, New York; Roll: T625_1108; Page: 8A; Enumeration District: 240; Image: 429.
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