Jacob Bromwell was born in Richmond, Virginia in 1785, a country village not far from Cincinnati, Ohio. He is not to be confused with his grandson, Jacob Henry Bromwell, born May 11, 1848, who was a former U.S. Representative from Ohio.
Mr. Bromwell was educated in the Quaker Schools of Baltimore, Maryland and was a young soldier of the War of 1812, one of America's earliest military conflicts. A frontier entrepreneur, he soon accumulated enough money to enable him to leave Baltimore and see the new territories opening out West in that new town with the funny name of Cincinnati.
So he forged his way across the American frontier and started the first wire-weaving and housewares business, calling it The Bromwell Brush & Wire Goods Company. Originally located at 181 Walnut St. in Cincinnati, Ohio, Mr. Bromwell's company created cutting-edge products that fulfilled the demands and needs of fellow pioneers during his era. The products included shoe and scrub brushes, leather and wood horse shiners, dusting and window brushes, mops, rat traps, sand screens, corn poppers, and sifters. They were meticulously crafted by hand with portions constructed on innovative machinery to quicken production. He was successful, and by 1910, Jacob Bromwell’s wire goods company was one of the largest in the country, with over seven factories, billing itself as having "the largest capacity in the country."
Jacob Bromwell spent his retirement years in Cincinnati, surrounded by his children and grandchildren, and was greatly adored for his kind and amiable character. He was said to have been a large portly man, to have been fond of good living, and to have kept an open house and table for all his friends and kindred. Today, his hard-working and cheerful character shines through nearly two centuries later.