L.G. Balfour Exhibit

Jewelry's Finest Craftsman

Museum Hours

Th, Fri: 10AM-4PM, Sat: 10AM-2PM

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What Will You See at the Exhibit?

If you’re a sports fan, you’ll love our Balfour exhibit. The World Series trophy, Super Bowl and World Series rings, and All-Star Game and World Series press badges were all created by the Balfour company—right here in Attleboro.

Our display cases feature plenty of sports ‘bling,’ including a Super Bowl ring designed by Joe Namath, a Dodgers National League Champions ring, a replica World Series trophy, and plenty of baseball press badges. In our exhibit, you’ll also find a reproduction of Balfour’s office, a large safe, high school rings, fraternity and sorority pins, a commemorative medallion for a visit by the pope, a large safe, and walrus hide (used in the production of jewelry.)

From Traveling Salesman to Jewelry Dominance - L.G. Balfour's Biography

Part 1: The Beginnings

L.G. Balfour was born in 1885. He was a native of Kentucky and was educated in the public schools of Louisville. He received a B.A. degree from the University of Louisville and an LL.B. degree from the University of Indiana.

For five years, he was a traveling sales representative for a manufacturer of fraternity jewelry. While performing this job, he saw firsthand the problems within this industry such as poor quality and poor service. 

On June 13th of 1913, he founded the L.G. Balfour Company and set up shop in an old unused loft in Attleboro Massachusetts. This site was chosen because of the skilled jewelry craftsmen that lived in the area. Balfour hired four craftsmen, a production man, a tool maker, a die-cutter, and a stone setter. With a weekly payroll of ninety dollars, the new company began to take orders for fraternity jewelry. 

As the first orders came in, the company established a reputation for creating a superior product at the right price and with on-time delivery. As increased orders flowed in the company expanded its operations and product line. Medals, plaques, and sports trophies became a new part of the business. In 1922 Balfour began selling high school graduation rings and they quickly became a major part of its business. In 1928 a commercial department was added and Balfour also expanded into a paper products division and a leather and ceramics division.

Historic Photos Showing Production of Balfour Rings

Selected images from our historical photo collection. Use only with credit to the Attleboro Area Industrial Museum.

Part 2: Jewelry's Finest Craftsman

The tag line on billboards from the 1940’s – 1970’s was “Jewelry’s Finest Craftsman”.  The Balfour Company was highly thought of by its workers, customers, and the community at large. Over the years the Balfour Company made substantial contributions to scholarship funds, as well as educational and charitable organizations. Employees of Balfour could choose to participate in many company-sponsored activities such as sports teams and leagues as well as cultural events such as concerts.

Lloyd G. Balfour retired as company president in 1960. He retained ownership of the company until his death in 1973. At that time the Balfour Company employed about 2300 workers. 

After his death, the company was put into a trust called The Balfour Foundation and was sold to a New York investor in 1983. The company was traded several more times and in 1996 all Attleboro operations were moved to Texas. The County street factory was torn down the same year and the site is now the Lloyd Balfour River Walk Park.

Fast Fact #40

Did you know? The World Series trophy was created in Attleboro, MA in 1967. You can see a replica of the original trophy in our Balfour Exhibit.

See Us In Person

Plan Your Visit

Museum Hours

Thursday & Friday: 10AM - 4PM
Saturday: 10AM - 2PM

Visit for Free

Donations help keep our museum running, but visiting is free.

Guided Tours

Adults: $4, Children $3.

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Have a Story You Want to Share?

We’d love to hear your story about Balfour, whether it’s a family anecdote, possession, or something else. Please let us know if we can tell your story online or in the museum.