THE HISTORY OF CONSTANTINES FROM 1812 TO PRESENT
CONSTANTINES, the company known throughout the world for fine woods and woodworking tools and supplies for the craft and woodworking trade will be celebrating its 200th anniversary in 2012.
When Thomas Constantine opened his cabinet making shop in New York City in 1812, under the name of Constantine & Co. he had no idea that in 198 years his company would become Albert Constantine and Son, Inc., a large mail order company selling fine woods and supplies for the woodworker all over the world.
In 1818, then a cabinet maker of fine furniture and an authority on mahogany logs, Thomas was commissioned by the Vice President of the United States to build the desks and chairs
for the new Senate Building in Washington D.C., the desks still being used today. He was slso designated an official inspector for the United States government of the shiploads of mahogany logs which arrived in the Port of New York from Africa and Honduras.
In the early 1900's his grandson Albert Constantine, Sr. continued the tradition of importing logs of mahogany and other fine woods and manufacturing and selling veneers to the country's large furniture and piano manufacturers. He was considered a foremost authority of hardwood logs in the country. During the war years of 1940-45, the company sold large quantities of birch veneer to the U.S. Navy from which they built the wings for their gliders.
Albert Constantine, Jr. joined his father's business in 1920 at the age of 18, and in 1932 started the now famous Constantine Craft Division, building it into the largest source for veneers, lumber and woodworking supplies for the craftsmen in this country.
He also wrote the book "KNOW YOUR WOODS"
which is considered one of the most informative books on woods by libraries and schools. Constantines first catalog, a 32 page booklet, selling mostly veneers and lumber had grown into a 116 page catalog, listing over 250 sizes and kinds of hardwoods and over 150 varieties of veneers and thousands of woodworking tools, hardware and other supplies for craftsmen.
Upon the death of Albert Jr., in 1967 his widow, Gertrude M. Constantine continued the business and was joined by her daughter, Dorothy Docherty and her grandson, Glenn Docherty.
The headquarters for this family-owned business was in the Constantine building, a large modern building in the northern part of New York City. Unfortunately, due to various reasons, this location was forced to close their doors in June 2001. There is also another location in Fort Lauderdale, FL which was started in 1975 by Albert Jr's eldest grandson, John Constantine Docherty. It is still run by family, with John recently retiring and his daughter and son-in-law and grandchildren still carrying on the Constantine Tradition!