Welcome to Caswell-Massey, America’s original purveyor of luxury personal care products and accessories. Before there was the United States of America, there was Caswell-Massey, the original purveyor of the finest personal care products and accessories and America’s oldest operating retailer. Since its founding in 1752 in Newport, Rhode Island by Dr. William Hunter, Caswell-Massey has been privileged to serve a distinguished clientele including the Founding Fathers, the pioneers of Wall Street, and legends of art and film.
On July 4th, 1887, The New York Times wrote: “There is no house in the world that handles goods of more absolute and invariable purity and reliability, or that has a more important or select class of trade than Messrs. Caswell, Massey & Co."
Caswell-Massey is an intriguing blend of pioneering firsts, American history, corporate history, product innovation and entrepreneurial persistence. Along with being America’s original apothecary, we are also one of the oldest operating companies in the country and are very proud of our made in America heritage.
Started in 1752 by Doctor William Hunter in Newport Rhode Island, Caswell-Massey was originally an apothecary, where Dr. Hunter mixed his prescriptions and administered them to his patients who drank them then and there. To make the medications more palatable, he mixed them into a blend of orange juice and carbonated water, creating the first orange soda, and probably the first instance of guaranteed patient compliance in the colonies. The soda fountain, an American invention & tradition was invented by Caswell-Massey at the Newport- Rhode Island apothecary store.
Like pharmacies today, Dr. Hunter sold related items-ointments, soap, toiletries at the store and also created his own fragrances. Over the years the company changed ownership and finally in 1876 became Caswell-Massey, with two stores, one in Newport, RI and the other in New York City.
Ownership of Dr. Hunter’s Apothecary, as it was originally known, transferred through apprenticeship for the majority its history, with each retiring pharmacist handing over the keys and expertise to his apprentice. The company took its present name in 1876 when then-owner John Rose Caswell became partners with New York businessman William Massey.
Today, Caswell-Massey continues the traditions of crafting only the finest personal care products and accessories, and of procuring the best of what the world has to offer. More than 258 years after Dr. Hunter opened his doors, Caswell-Massey continues to honor his commitment to quality, service, and innovation. Some things never change.
Caswell-Massey strives to be kind to our world and its inhabitants, and has honored this commitment for over 250 years and counting. The company does not, nor has it ever tested on animals or had animal testing done on its behalf.
Caswell-Massey is passionate about environmental awareness and sustainability. All our soaps are vegetable-based and biodegradable, and packaging materials are either biodegradable or recyclable.