Henry's founder, Harry Himelstein, was born in Russia
in 1890. As a youth, he worked long hours in harsh conditions
as a laborer on the Trans-Siberian railroad. It was there,
amongst the multitudes of young men earning a living with
their hands, he learned the delicate skills of a watchmaker.
Enterprising from the start, Harry immigrated to Canada in
1906, a mere 16-years-old. Like many of the newly arrived,
he shortened his name and became Harry Stein, Canadian
and resident of Toronto. The Himelstein's were a scattered
bunch, with four brothers and sisters immigrating to various
locations in the United States.
With his honed skills as a watchmaker, it was a natural that
Harry gravitated to the watch and jewelry business in his new home.
In 1909 at the age of 19, Harry Stein opened his first jewelry business. He called the store Henry & Company, since he never really liked the name Harry. So there you have it ... there never was a "Henry"!
In the 1909 census, he is listed as a "jeweler" with a modest annual income of $900. As a young businessman with scant English and little money, he moved his business several times in the early years.