Simon Nordlinger: Los Angeles’ Pioneer Jewish Jeweler

Simon Nordlinger  

Simon Nordlinger, early pioneer jeweler of Los Angeles

Values Codes I – E – P


Simon Nordlinger was born in Alsace, near the Swiss border, in 1845.

At 13 years of age, he was apprenticed to a Swiss watchmaker.

Nordlinger came to the United States in 1864, and to Southern California in 1869.

Los Angeles

In 1869, Simon Nordlinger bought a watch-making business at 3 Commercial Street between Main and Los Angeles Streets.

Nordlinger started with a small stock of watches and some cheap jewelry displayed in a small window, in the back of which was his work bench.

A large wooden watch hung outside as a sign.

Nordlinger lived in the rear of his store, locking up when he went for lunch.

A few years later, he moved around the corner onto Main Street, where he employed a watchmaker and a salesman, Mr. Abramson, who remained with Nordlinger for 20 years.

In 1886, Nordlinger moved south to 130 Main Street and added a manufacturing jeweler to his staff.

His nephew, Louis Nordlinger, joined the firm.

The business expanded to include jewelry and gold and silversmithing.

Considered one of the pioneer merchants of Los Angeles, Nordlinger expanded his business.

Inside of Nordlinger’s Jewelry Store, Los Angeles, 1890’s

The business continued until his sons merged with another company in 1923.



Simon Nordlinger married Fanny Berg in 1874, the first Jewish girl on record to be born in San Francisco.


Simon Nordlinger died in 1911.

S. Nordlinger & Sons invoice, December 31, 1918, made out to Eleanor Frances Eads of Los Angeles. (Courtesy of Ms. Eads’ granddaughter, Syble Eads.)


  • Norton B. Stern, “Simon Nordlinger,” Western States Jewish History 41/3.
  • William M. Kramer, “Melville Nordlinger, Los Angeles, 1924,” Western States Jewish History 42/2-3.