Over 100 Years of Experience

What started as a simple, one-man operation in New York City in 1910 has evolved into one of the most successful electronic security operations in the United States. From its humble beginnings in Manhattan a century ago – to its top ranking among the nation’s top 100 security firms – New York Merchants Protective Co. has demonstrated its unyielding commitment to protecting lives and property with the absolute best security solutions and customer service available.

New York Merchants Protective was founded January 7, 1910 by Hyman Glass. His career began at the age of sixteen, when he was hired to work as a bouncer in one of the many saloons gracing the Lower East Side of New York City. As his no nonsense reputation grew, other local merchants requested that he guard over their businesses as he walked to and from his job each night, a practice that gradually grew into the night patrol profession. As his business blossomed, Glass hired men to cover other areas, ultimately serving most of Manhattan.

By 1920, the company had expanded its services to include the installation and service of burglar alarm systems. The business evolved into a U.L. certified central station with four locations within the garment and fur districts of Manhattan. In the early days, the connecting telephone lines were run across tenement roof tops. Tales of cut telephone line wires and other forms of sabotage by rival companies have been told and retold for generations. We can only hope these lively stories of the genesis of our industry live on for centuries to come!

By the mid 1920s, New York Merchants Protective ran one of the largest private detective agencies in New York City from the second floor of what is now the R.H. Macy building. When the depression struck in 1929, Glass had to move quickly to stop his company from going the way of so many others, by making a deal with the Holmes Protection Company. Glass sold the central station portion of his alarm business to Holmes in exchange for their night patrol business, while retaining local alarm installation customers.

In the 1930's, day to day operations took a dramatic turn when members of “Murder Incorporated” threatened Glass’s life in an effort to take over his business with their own brand of protection. A contract was actually issued on Glass’s life! Fortunately after confronting the mob head on, he held on to his life—and his business.

The night patrol business was straightforward. Each business paid a monthly fee for a New York Merchants Protective patrolman to watch over their location each evening. Many stores didn’t have protective gates, and patrolmen frequently reported broken windows, lights left on, keys left in doors and even burglaries in progress.

In the 1950’s, Glass’s sons Allen, Irwin and Larry entered the family business. Hyman Glass died in 1957, and his wife, Sarah, continued his directorship. With no prior business experience, she made a seamless transition from homemaker to businesswoman as her sons eased into roles in outside sales, collection and purchasing as well as service and installation. New York Merchants Protective reentered the central station monitoring portion of the business, and the company entered a period of rapid growth.

At the end of the Second World War, burglars—and burglaries—grew more sophisticated, and alarm systems became, of necessity, ubiquitous. Break-ins through walls and ceilings defied detection by patrols. By the 1960’s, the night patrols had been phased out and New York Merchants Protective became solely an alarm company. The limited selection of products was available, and New York Merchants Protective was noted for the development and manufacture of alarm and test equipment. New York Merchants Protective was one of the first manufacturers to introduce rechargeable battery power supply to the security industry.

In response to the increase in crime in the 1980s, new, more sophisticated types of protection were invented and incorporated by New York Merchants Protective to provide the best possible protection and service. At the same time, it was realized that it would be necessary for the company to develop alliances with even more diversified and technically advanced companies.

It was this change in leadership that would ultimately guide New York Merchants Protective through more rapid growth for the decades that followed, and become the nation’s industry-leading security firm that it is today. 

The company changed ownership from 1989 to 2012. Now New York Merchants Protective Company is lead by some of the most respected and experienced professionals in the security industry. This recent change in executive management and equity ownership has come with a vast financial commitment leaving NYMP in its strongest and best financial state since its inception.

This change in leadership will ultimately guide New York Merchants Protective through more rapid growth for the decades that followed, ultimately allowing the company to maintain its title of the nation’s leading security firm.

In January 2010, the company celebrated 100 years of continuous operation, and is already poised for significant growth in the century to come.

Today, after 100 years of continuous operation, New York Merchants Protective Company has maintained its long-term commitment to subscribers’ security, backed by industry-leading technology.

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