The Napier Company was started by E.A. Bliss and J.E. Carpenter in 1875 in Meriden under the name Carpenter & Bliss and underwent several name changes before becoming the Napier Company in 1922. During World War I, the company manufactured war materials. The 'Penguin' shaker was designed by Emil Schuelke, and launched at New York's Hammacher Schlemmer store in September 1936 in time for the Christmas season. Officially known as "The Penguin - a bird of a shaker" this model became on the most popular designs until deleted in 1941.