Immigrant Entrepreneurship on Twitter

Follow Immigrant Entrepreneurship on Twitter! We'll post links to our latest articles, news, and events, as well as link to interesting news articles related to Immigration and Entrepreneurship. Read More »

Merchants of Migration

This essay examines how, in the period 1800-1820, merchant practices refined during the colonial era helped to bring thousands of Germans to the New World, in a period before regular commercial shipping between Germany and the United States could furnish large-scale immigration. Read More »

Isaac Singer

The son of a German immigrant, Isaac Merritt Singer was the man behind one of the sewing machine patents that succeeded within an extremely competitive market in the mid-1850s. Read More »

Emil Leopold Boas (1854-1912)

Emil Leopold Boas was the general manager and resident director of the Hamburg-America Steamship Company (Hamburg-Amerikanische Packetfahrt-Actien-Gesellschaft or HAPAG) in New York City from 1892 to 1912. Boas joined HAPAG after serving in various capacities in the Hamburg and New York offices of his uncle's steamship ticket agency, C.B. Richard & Boas Co. Read More »

Moses Herman Cone (1856-1908)

A second-generation German-American, Moses Cone began his career as a travelling salesman for his father’s Baltimore dry goods business. His customers included Southern mill owners who taught him much about the textile industry. Moses Cone eventually used this knowledge to break into the industry himself. By 1908, the year of his death, Moses Cone and his brother Ceasar led the world in denim production. Read More »

Herman Adolf DeVry (1876-1941)

Herman Adolf DeVry was an inventor and manufacturer of cameras and portable projectors who eventually found fame and fortune as one of the leaders in the area of career-based education. Read More »

An Ordinary Man among Titans: The Life of Walter P. Spreckels (1888-1976)

Walter Spreckels emigrated to the United States to become a clerk in his cousin’s sugar factory in Yonkers, New York. He started a family and made a fine career as a sugar business executive, where he eventually rose to become president of the Syrup Products Company, a subsidiary of his former employer, the Federal Sugar Refining Company. Read More »

Hartmut Esslinger (1944-)

Hartmut Heinrich Esslinger is one of the world’s leading industrial designers and the former head of frog design. In 1969, he founded esslinger design, which was later renamed frogdesign in 1982. Over a career spanning more than forty years, Esslinger worked with firms in diverse fields of industry and technology. His innovative approach to design refined Louis Sullivan’s classic motto of “form follows function” into frog’s slogan of “form follows emotion.” Read More »

Chris Strachwitz (1931-)

Chris Strachwitz is a music producer and the founder of Arhoolie Records, which has become a Grammy-winning record label that specializes in roots music. Read More »

Charlotte Cramer Sachs

Charlotte Cramer Sachs' company, Cramer Products Company, pioneered the manufacture and distribution of many types of prepared food mixes under the brand Joy Prepared Mixes. Read More »

Immigrant Entrepreneurship on Facebook

Immigrant Entrepreneurship has now joined Facebook. Please feel free to "like" the project there and comment on the latest content. We'll post links to our latest articles, project news and events, as well as share links to interesting news articles relating to the project. Read More »

Welcome to Immigrant Entrepreneurship

Immigrant entrepreneurship was one of the decisive factors in the United States' rise as an economic superpower in the late nineteenth century. The country benefited from the relative openness and freedom that attracted talent from around the world and encouraged minorities who fled discrimination elsewhere to try their luck.

The collaborative research project Immigrant Entrepreneurship: German-American Business Biographies, 1720 to the Present explores the entrepreneurial and economic capacity of immigrants by investigating the German-American example in the United States. It traces the lives, careers, and business ventures of  German-American businesspeople of roughly the last two hundred and ninety years, integrating the history of German-American immigration into the larger narrative of U.S. economic and business history. This online biographical dictionary synthesizes the results of the collaborative research project with a large collection of archival materials. The project is also a work in progress. New materials and essays will be added on a continual basis as the project expands. Continue Reading about the project...