From the Wiss 125th Anniversary Celebration Booklet found here http://jwissandsons.com/edge-excellence.pdf:
If Jacob Wiss ever had a power failure in his first cutlery shop at 9 Bank Street, Newark, he knew where the problem lay: The dog was tired. It was 1848 and steam power had of not yet come to Bank Street. Jacob ran his grinding and polishing wheels with a belt connected to a treadmill, and the treadmill was powered by a St. Bernard. Jacob Wiss had come to America from Switzerland in 1847 and gone to work for Rochus Heinisch, an Austrian who had already established a thriving cutlery business in Newark. A year later, Jacob struck out for himself and began to build a business and a reputation for superior and durable shears.
There is an excellent source of information on the Wiss Company that can be found here including catalogs, advertisements, etc. http://jwissandsons.com/