Charles H. Stewart and Company was founded in 1870 as the "O.L. Story Scenic Company" and holds the distinction of being the oldest theatrical supply company in the USA, beating out J.R. Clancy by sixteen years.
Incredibly, several century-old drops from the O.L Story shop survive and continue to grace ancient New England Opera Houses. Story estimated the life expectancy of his drops to be "12 to 15 years, with good care."
In the 1930's, Story sold out to Charles Stewart, pictured below. The Gilbert quotation is from The Pirates of Penzance.
After World War II, Stewart's son Stanley ran the company, and when I did business with that gent in the 1980's, the shop was located on the stage of a long-forgotten Somerville vaudeville house, formerly known as the Teale Square Theatre. Both Mr. Stewart and the theatre building succumbed in the mid-90s.
The shop, now located in North Andover, is under the management of George Christo, and click their site to see them now.
O.L. Story featured one-stop shopping for all of your backstage needs. This catalog, circa 1916, features drop curtains, including those designed to travel in trunks; complete package sets of scenery; and scenic rollers, such as are still utilized at the Goodspeed Opera House. The catalog also offers oil and electric lighting devices, and wooden and iron rigging components, all claimed to be manufactured in-house. Here is the Story story: