Founder Thomas Kirkpatrick emigrated to the U.S. from Dumfries, Scotland in the 1850s. After a few years at Ball, Black & Co. (where he was known to sleep under the counter to protect the stock), Kirkpatrick opened his own store and art gallery and prospered during the Gilded Age. A crony of "Boss" Tweed (reporters dubbed the jeweler Tammany's "badge man") and Teddy Roosevelt (on whom Thomas bestowed a "lucky" penny blessed by Pope Leo and then set in gold), he passed on December 27, 1906. His elder son John Kirkpatrick took over the store at 334 Fifth, later moving it to No. 664. The firm also had an outpost at the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel. After the younger Kirkpatrick died in 1928, a third generation kept the business going until the 1980s.
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