The history of the Bishop Gutta Percha Company began in 1847 when S. Armstrong and Samuel Bishop first began importing gutta percha to the United States. Gutta percha is a substance, similar to india rubber, with noteworthy properties, including elasticity under heat, rapid oxidation in air, and it is non-porous in water. Originally popular in England for surgical uses, Armstrong and Bishop imported it to be used as insulation on telegraph wires. In 1862, William Heaton, William Marks (Armstrong's nephew) and Francis Bridges formed the company named the Bishop Gutta Percha Company, with Samuel Bishop as the general agent. Bishop died in the 1870's and his wife, Sarah had a controlling interest in the company until her death in 1881. At that time Henry A. Reed was hired to assist the company's legal consel - Boardman and Boardman - settle the estate. The BGP Co. was assigned, by Bishop's will, to six female relatives, and Reed helped reorganize the company in their interest, and as a result, was named secretary of the Bishop Gutta Percha Company, newly incorporated in 1885. Reed and his family eventually purchased the controlling share of stock.
In 1930 Bishop Industries was incorporated in New York, N.Y. with Louis Reed, Alfred Buck, and Charles Bassford as directors. This company purchased some stock and property of the BGP Co. The BGP Co. was then purchased by the Bishop Manufacturing Corporation in 1950. The Bishop Manufacturing Corporation had been incorporated the same year (1950) by Pendennis Reed, A.J. Ratichek, and H. Selby, in Summit, N.J. The next year the Bishop Export Company was incorporated with Pendennis Reed as agent and the Bishop Manufacturing Corporation as its sole stockholder. In 1971 Bishop Manufacturing's name changed to the B-P Corporation and then to the Bayberry Corporation.
Henry A. Reed was the first of the Reed name to become involved in the Bishop Gutta Percha businesses. He was born in 1829 in Carmel, N.Y. and spent some time in the telegraph business - a colleague of Samuel B. Morse, and ran a bookstore before turning to accounting in the 1870's. A brother-in-law to Samuel Boardman, the BGP Co. lawyer, he was originally hired by the company to settle an empending patent infringement. He then helped settle Sarah Bishop's estate and was given an office in the new company, becoming president by 1905. He and his wife Alice Amelia Boardman Reed had three sons, William B., Henry D., and Louis F., all of whom became active in the Bishop Gutta Percha Company. Pendennis W. Reed, Henry A.'s grandson, was the family member of the third generation to be most actively involved in the company.
Emma J. Foster was born in 1853 and lived until 1910. She was a prominant citizen of the town of Carmel, N.Y. and was actively interested in genealogy and history. Her father, William Hill Foster had been Presbyterian minister in Carmel, and she wrote a history of that church. She became associated with the Reed family when her sister, Bessie, married George E. Reed.
From the description of Collection, 1787-1978. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 122573760