Rolling With the Changes

E.W. Parker Jewelers in Madison, Wis., has been in business since 1857. Founder Edward Worthington Parker initially built his business around the needs of local railroad workers, ensuring that their pocket watches were timed precisely to meet train schedules. It wasn't until later in the 19th century that jewelry was incorporated into the product mix. The store has witnessed plenty of change during its 148 years, both within its walls as well as outside. Current store owner John Parker Worthington Jr. blew the dust off piles of old ledgers, photos, advertisements, and receipts to give JCK readers a glimpse into the early days of retail jewelry. The earliest accounting records from E.W. Parker Jewelers are dated 1916. As the century turns. While the rest of the world was fighting World War I, Parker was selling diamond solitaires. Store records show he sold a .30-ct. cushion-cut flawl

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