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Tip Top Products Co. Issued to Pinkerton and Co. - 1961-1963 dated Stock Certificate

Inv# GS1251C   Stock
State(s): Nebraska
New York
Years: 1961-1963

Stock printed by Woodruff Printing Co., Lincoln, Nebr. issued to Pinkerton & Co.

The bobby pin and the pink hair curler were invented by an Omaha company, and for more than 40 years, they were manufactured at North 16th and Cuming Street. Declared to be “the world’s largest manufacturer of hair products,” this is a history of the Tip Top Products Company. Commerce High School graduate Carl Renstrom (1902-1981) founded the Tip Top Products Company and started selling solder in a tube. Starting the company by making and packaging the solder in his basement, Renstrom became successful selling it directly to stores and through mail-in orders. Tip Top Products Company had two different factories in the North Downtown neighborhood. Their original location was a two-story brick building constructed in the 1890s at 1508 Burt Street. The company moved in around 1929. Their second location was a five-story factory at 1515 Cuming Street, which they moved into in 1935. Originally built as the Omaha Ford Model A plant, that company closed this factory when the building’s layout prohibited upgrades to the manufacturing process. Tip Top took it over and made millions of dollars in the process. In 1936, the Tip Top Products company patented a design for a simple metal hair curler he called the Tip Top Easy Curler, and after they got the first United States patent for the device, they sold extremely well. The company kept innovating, and by 1964 Tip Top Products had 24 patents. That year, the Tip-Top Products Company was producing more than 600 products when it was sold to a Minnesota company for $25,000,000. The new owners used the name Faberge, and also had another building across the street at 1524 Cuming Street for their “Division Faberge,” which operated there until 1981. Moving to a single-story building at 1841 South 54th Street, the company operated a large plant there for a decade. Although Faberge is long gone from Omaha, that building is still located there today. With the entire presence of the Tip Top Products Company gone from Omaha today, there is no indication the company ever existed in the city except for the apartments located in their former factory.

Carl W. Renstrom (1902–1981) was an Omaha, Nebraska businessman and multi-millionaire who made his fortune selling hair curlers and other hair accessories through his company, Tip-Top Products.

Carl Willard Renstrom was born in Omaha, Nebraska on September 27, 1902. His parents were Swedish immigrant Nils August Renstrom and his Iowa-born wife, Vera Pearl Bartlett. Renstrom's father was a general laborer who had a knack for mechanics. He filed several patents, including one for an electro-magnetic blanket in 1896.

Renstrom attended the public schools in Omaha, graduating from the now closed Commerce High School.

Following his graduation from high school, Renstrom embarked on a variety of sales positions, including selling Fuller Brushes. When the Depression quickly reduced his sales of church bulletin boards, Renstrom founded Tip-Top Products Company and went looking for a product to sell. While selling door-to-door, Renstrom had crossed paths with a gentleman selling heatless liquid solder in a can. After efforts to form a company with the man failed, Renstrom worked on replicating the unpatented solder in a squeezable tube. He initially manufactured the product in his basement and then went from store to store selling it. The solder was an immediate success and gave Renstrom financial security. Within a year he had purchased a building, and hired production and sales staffs. The building Renstrom purchased was at 1508 Burt Street in Omaha.

After his success with his solder product, Renstrom was looking for his next opportunity. His sister, Grace, had returned from Europe with a poorly made metal hair curler, purchased in Germany, that she showed to Renstrom. The curler was called the "Ruck Zuck". Similar curlers were selling in the U.S. for about 5 cents each. Renstrom improved the curler's design and obtained his first patent for a simple metal hair curler on July 14, 1936. He christened the curler the Tip Top Easy Curler – four aluminum curlers on a card priced at 10 cents a card. The consumer response to the curler was overwhelming.

When World War II intervened and aluminum was at a premium, Renstrom retooled the machines that had once produced curlers to fabricate military wire reels, barbed wire throws and land mine crates. His production building had to expand to accommodate the volume.

Renstrom's experience working with the War Department on his military contracts led him to run for office as a Douglas County Commissioner. He was elected in 1944 and served through 1948.

When the war ended, he converted his curler production to plastic and expanded his hair product line. By 1964, Renstrom's company had received 24 patents and was manufacturing over 600 products.

In 1964, Renstrom sold his Tip-Top Products Company to Rayette Co., (later named Faberge), of Minneapolis, Minnesota for $25 million.

The sale of Tip-Top Products made Renstrom a very wealthy man. In retirement he continued to pursue business ventures that interested him: the development of the Granada Royale Hometel and the building of The Omaha Tower, both in Omaha. He donated to charities he cared about, including The Boys Club of Omaha. He entertained at homes in Omaha, Acapulco, Miami, Ontario, Canada, and Minnesota. In 1969, he dined twice with President Richard M. Nixon. But mainly, Renstrom traveled. He skied in Switzerland, fished in Mexico, scuba dived in The Bahamas, hunted in Europe and Canada, and photographed big game in Africa. Renstrom used his private Learjet to fly to whatever destination interested him. A friend of Renstrom's once told a reporter that he had agreed to accompany Renstrom on what he thought was a ten-day trip to Glasgow and Paris. By week five, the friend was pleading with Renstrom to start thinking about returning home.

In the 1950s, Renstrom built a family vacation home in what was then the emerging resort town of Acapulco, Mexico. Renstrom christened the property Villa Vera, after his oldest daughter. Renstrom eventually added five smaller villas to the property to entertain clients and friends. His next door neighbor was Teddy Stauffer, or "Mr. Acapulco" as he came to dubbed. Renstrom convinced Stauffer to manage his property whenever he was away. Together the two of them entertained the "jet set" of the time. Elizabeth Taylor married Mike Todd in what was originally the Renstrom family home (Villa No. 6), with Debbie Reynolds and Eddie Fisher as attendants. Lana Turner lived at Villa Vera for three years, and Brigitte Bardot honeymooned there. As the popularity of the area grew, Renstrom continued to expand the property, which today is called the Villa Vera Hotel & Racquet Club.

Renstrom married four times. He divorced his first wife, Catherine A. Gannon, in 1953. She was the mother of one daughter, Vera Pearl Renstrom. His second wife, Genevieve L. Taylor, died of leukemia in 1956. He divorced his third wife, Elizabeth or "Betty", in 1976. She was the mother of Renstrom's youngest daughter, Lisa. Then in 1978, he married his fourth wife, Carmen Patricia De Alba of Mexico City. Carmen Patricia was the mother of his only son, Carlos Rene Renstrom, who was four at the time of his father's death.

Carl W. Renstrom died November 13, 1981 in Omaha, Nebraska and was buried in Forest Lawn Cemetery there.

After his death, Renstrom's heirs sub-divided his 84-acre horse farm at 10001 Pacific Street in Omaha for redevelopment. Renstrom's mansion and 8-acres remained a private home, while the remaining land became apartments, office towers and the One Pacific Place shopping center.

Elizabeth Ann "Lisa" Renstrom, Renstrom's youngest daughter, is a past president of The Sierra Club.

Two of Renstrom's grandsons, Cris and Curt Kirkwood, are founding members of the alternative punk rock band, Meat Puppets. They are the sons of Renstrom's oldest daughter, Vera Pearl Renstrom.

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Condition: Excellent

A stock certificate is issued by businesses, usually companies. A stock is part of the permanent finance of a business. Normally, they are never repaid, and the investor can recover his/her money only by selling to another investor. Most stocks, or also called shares, earn dividends, at the business's discretion, depending on how well it has traded. A stockholder or shareholder is a part-owner of the business that issued the stock certificates.

Item ordered may not be exact piece shown. All original and authentic.
Price: $45.00