Samuel Bath Thomas opened a shop in New York City in 1880 and helped to give the product fame as "English muffins." Thomas's muffins are baked elsewhere today, but they're world-famous for their "nooks and crannies that hold the melted butter," as the old ad goes.
21 January 1871, Appletons' Journal, pg. 81:
These steams, with solemn murmur, the massy tea-urn; there, in the centre looms the mystic circular dish without which no well-regulated table is spread in England - the tripod throne of English muffins - fed from beneath with flame which the butler, as officiating seer, dresses wuth reverent care.
18 July 1874, Appletons' Journal, pg. 69:
He strengthened the home-feeling by confining his breakfast to English muffins and souchong, with a slice of bacon in addition, and he furtively procured for his sole personal use a copy of the latest London Times.
30 April 2000, New York Times, pg. CY2:
Q. Is it true that so-called English muffins were first baken, and sold, in New York City?
A. Yes. Samuel Bath Thomas was born in Plymouth, England, in 1855, and as a young man traveled to New York, where he opened a bakery in 1880, at 163 Ninth Avenue in Chelsea. (...)
As demand grew in the Bronx, Brooklyn and Queens, he established a second bakery at 337 West 20th Street. After Thomas died in 1919, his business was inherited by his daughters and nephew, who opened a bakery in Long Island City, Queens, in 1922. The company moved its muffin-making operations out of the city in 1865, and was acquired by what is now Bestfoods in 1970, The Thomas's English Muffins sold here today are baked in Greenwich, Conn.
Miss Parloa's New Cook Book
New York: C.T. Dillingham, 1882.
View Recipe (pg. 364)
Good Things to Eat
Chicago: Rufus Estes, 1911.
View Recipe (pg. 87)
The Neighborhood Cook Book
Portland, Oregon [Press Of Bushong & Co.] 1914.
View Recipe (pg. 36)