Entries

Ludwick, Christopher
SEE Ludwig, Christopher»
Ludwig, Christopher
Christopher Ludwig was one of the most successful German immigrant entrepreneurs in the British North American colonies and later the United States during the late eighteenth century. Following his arrival in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, in 1754, Ludwig converted his savings and culinary skills into a bakery and confectionary shop in the Letitia Court district. The enterprise thrived, which allowed Ludwig to expand his bakeshop and branch out into other business endeavors. Within two decades Ludwig had amassed significant wealth that included ownership of numerous properties in the region. Continue Reading »
Mallinckrodt, Edward Sr.
Industrialist Edward Mallinckrodt Sr. achieved success in the chemical manufacturing and pharmaceutical industries through a combination of factors that included strong connections to Germany, an awareness of the broader business environment, and an ability to formulate innovative responses to technological and economic changes. Continue Reading »
Mandelbaum, Fredericka
Fredericka Mandelbaum was born on March 25, 1825, in the central German city of Kassel. She settled in New York City in 1850 during the large, midcentury wave of German and Irish immigration to the United States. Mandelbaum arrived poor and, starting as a peddler, built a successful business as a criminal entrepreneur, the most noted “fence,” or receiver of stolen property, of her time, achieving success and fame from the 1860s through the early 1880s. Continue Reading »
Martin, Christian Frederick
C.F. Martin and Company closely resembles a classic German Mittelstand enterprise set down in Pennsylvania’s lush and rolling Lehigh Valley. Founded in 1833 by German immigrant Christian Frederick Martin, today the acoustic guitar manufacturer is run by the the sixth generation of his family. Continue Reading »
Marx, Marcus
SEE Schaffner, Joseph»
May, David
The founder of the May Department Store chain, David May was one of the most influential businessmen and philanthropists in early Denver. Continue Reading »
Menger, William
William A. Menger, the son of a master miller in Hanau, Electorate of Hesse, came to prominence as one of the most successful business owners in the frontier state of Texas in the 1860s and 1870s. His Menger hotel, a tourist staple in San Antonio to this day, was a vital and elegant dwelling that catered to military and civilian travelers alike, and housed the largest brewery in the state of Texas for decades. Continue Reading »
Mengers, Sue
Sue Mengers emerged as a powerful Hollywood agent in the late 1960s and 1970s, a time of enormous challenges and transformation in the film industry, as independent-minded stars and directors took greater control over their projects, a tactic enhanced by the innovative work of agents like Mengers. Continue Reading »
Merchants of Migration: Keeping the German Atlantic Connected in America’s Early National Period
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. Continue Reading »
Mergenthaler, Ottmar
Ottmar Mergenthaler arrived in the United States in 1872 with an extremely valuable store of technical know-how that he had developed as a watchmaker’s apprentice. Thirteen years later, he received a patent for his “Single-matrix” typesetting machine (i.e., the Blower), an invention that quickly changed the American printing industry, and, by extension, American culture as a whole. Eventually, the Linotype’s influence radiated beyond the U.S., leading to the Americanization of the British and international printing industries. Continue Reading »
Miller, Henrich
A printer, journalist, bookseller, and translator who had traveled much of the eighteenth-century Atlantic world before beginning his publishing business in Philadelphia in the early 1760s, Henrich Miller counteracted ethnic isolationism among German immigrants and ensured their investment and enfranchisement in the emerging public sphere of early national America. From his ardent rejection of the Stamp Act to his enthusiastic support of American Independence, Miller did not merely witness and report the momentous political, civic, and cultural changes occurring in North America, but he actively shaped and participated in these events. Continue Reading »
Miller, Henry
Henry Miller immigrated to the United States in 1847. After building up a thriving butcher business in San Francisco, he engaged in cattle rearing and farming, invested heavily in irrigation systems, and formed a partnership with fellow German immigrant Charles Lux in 1858. By the end of the nineteenth century Miller & Lux had become America’s largest integrated cattle and meatpacking enterprise, owning close to 1.3 million acres of land in California, Nevada, and Oregon. Continue Reading »
Müller, Johann Heinrich
SEE Miller, Henrich»
Muhlenberg, Frederick
Frederick Muhlenberg was one of the most influential Germans in colonial Pennsylvania and later the early United States. The second son of Lutheran patriarch Henry Melchior Muhlenberg and Anna Maria Weiser, Frederick was educated in Halle, Duchy of Magdeburg, but returned from Europe to become a Lutheran minister. However, he left the ministry to pursue a dual career in politics and business. During the 1780s he operated a general store adjacent to his house in Trappe. Following the death of his father-in-law – David Schaeffer Sr., a sugar refiner – Frederick went into the sugar refining business. Frederick amassed significant wealth, political influence, and social prominence. From 1790 to 1797, he was also president of the German Society of Pennsylvania. His untimely death in 1801, at the age of only fifty-one, was a severe loss to the Pennsylvania German community. Continue Reading »
Neiman, Carrie Marcus
Carrie Marcus Neiman was a German-American and Jewish co-founder of the Neiman-Marcus department store and an innovator in the department store industry during the early-to-mid twentieth century. As the daughter of German immigrants, Carrie drew inspiration from European fashion and brought high-quality and cutting-edge merchandise to the Neiman-Marcus stores and customers. Continue Reading »
Netzer, Joseph
Joseph Netzer, a German immigrant, was an entrepreneur of the U.S.-Mexico borderlands. Along with many others, he journeyed to the US-Mexico border region in the late nineteenth century, attracted by new economic opportunities created by the construction of railroads that connected the industrializing areas of the U.S. with emerging capitalist centers in Mexico, including Monterrey and San Luis Potosi. Netzer, a hardware store owner and plumber by training, rose fairly rapidly to prominence in Laredo business and social circles. He became part of a cosmopolitan business class consisting of ethnic Mexicans, immigrants from western, southern and eastern Europe, from the Ottoman Empire, and from the northeastern and midwestern United States. His life illuminates the role of entrepreneurs who helped to integrate the U.S. and Mexican economies in that era. Continue Reading »
Nolte, Vincent
After coming to New Orleans as a result of the Hope-Baring Operation during the Napoleonic Wars, Vincent Nolte went on to become one of the largest cotton dealers in the city after the war ended. In the great financial crisis of 1825, his business failed for the first time, and in the next great financial crisis of 1837-1839, he went bankrupt a second time. Likewise, his effort to begin anew in Europe also failed. In his final years he turned to writing, leaving behind several economic texts, as well as an autobiography. Continue Reading »
Oberlaender, Gustav
Gustav Oberlaender, a Rhinelander who spent his adult life in the United States, became a dominant figure in the full-fashioned hosiery industry. He and his partners, fellow immigrants Ferdinand Thun and Henry Janssen, used skills acquired in Germany to establish textile machinery and hosiery firms in the United States, undercutting their birth country’s exporters. Continue Reading »
Ochs, Adolph
Adolph S. Ochs was the foremost newspaper publisher of the late-nineteenth and early-twentieth centuries. He resurrected the New York Times after purchasing it in 1896, and brought his own rigorous editorial standards to the Times and the field of American journalism. Continue Reading »