Entries in Mid-Atlantic

Albrecht, Charles
Charles Albrecht was one of the most important musical instrument makers in early America. He immigrated to Philadelphia in the mid-1780s and by 1789 went into business as a piano maker. His business thrived for nearly thirty years in a very competitive market, as more instrument makers settled in Philadelphia and imported pianos became increasingly common. By 1825, Albrecht had earned sufficient wealth to retire from the instrument-making business and became a leisured gentleman. Continue Reading »
Albrecht, Johann Andreas
Johann Andreas Albrecht was a European-trained gunstocker, who emigrated in 1750 to the Moravian community of Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. After initially being deployed as a music teacher and a tavern keeper by the Moravian community, Albrecht established a new gun shop at Christiansbrunn in 1763, which supplied arms to Pennsylvania during the American Revolution. At Christiansbrunn and later at Lititz, another Moravian community where he lived the last three decades of his life, Albrecht trained a new generation of gunsmiths, including Christian Oerter and William Henry Jr. Continue Reading »
Altman, Benjamin
Benjamin Altman founder of B. Altman & Company. Continue Reading »
Annenberg, Walter
Walter Hubert Annenberg was a publisher, editor, diplomat, and philanthropist. After assuming control his father's company, Triangle Publications, he went on to create a veritable media empire that included Seventeen magazine and TV Guide. Continue Reading »
Astor, John Jacob
Over the course of John Jacob Astor's career, he applied his great entrepreneurial talent to build the first modern American trade empire with partners in Europe, Asia, and the Americas. Continue Reading »
Beinecke, Frederick W.
Frederick W. Beinecke nurtured, along with his two brothers and lifelong business partners Edwin and Walter, The Sperry & Hutchinson Company (S&H) of New York City, the leading trading stamp company in the United States. Continue Reading »
Berliner, Emile
Although he has been overshadowed in the public imagination by contemporaries Alexander Graham Bell and Thomas Edison, German-American inventor and entrepreneur Emile Berliner actually improved two inventions associated closely with those other men, the telephone and the talking machine. Continue Reading »
Berlitz, Maximilian D
German-Jewish immigrant Maximilian D. Berlitz founded the first Berlitz School of Languages in the United States in 1878. He went on to create a company that made his name synonymous with foreign-language instruction in the United States and throughout the world. Continue Reading »
Bettmann, Otto
Otto Ludwig Bettmann was a German Jewish refugee who emigrated from Berlin to New York City in 1935 and established a unique picture archive in the United States. At a time when photojournalism was on the rise, he was able to channel his personal penchant and obsession for collecting pictures into a thriving business. Continue Reading »
Bloede, Victor Gustav
Between his birth in Germany and his death eighty-eight years later in Catonsville, Maryland, Victor Bloede became an eminent chemist and the proprietor of his flagship enterprise, the Baltimore-based Victor G. Bloede Company. Bloede was a real-estate developer, a banker, the founder of a construction company, a gentleman farmer, an advocate for issues of public concern, and a generous philanthropist. Continue Reading »
Boas, Emil
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. Continue Reading »
Brune, Frederick W.
Frederick W. Brune was one of the most prominent merchants in Baltimore's history. Brune immigrated to Baltimore from Bremen in 1799 and worked as a partner in the merchant house of Von Kapff & Brune, which was later renamed F.W. Brune & Sons. Continue Reading »
Cone, Moses Herman
A second-generation German-American, Moses Cone began his career as a travelling salesman, or “drummer,” 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, first by securing ownerships stakes in various Southern mills, then by founding Cone Export & Commission Co., and finally by building his own mills in Greensboro, North Carolina. By 1908, the year of his death, Moses Cone and his brother Ceasar led the world in denim production. Continue Reading »
Demuth, Christopher
Christopher Demuth was a tobacconist whose business — Demuth’s Tobacco Shop — operated for over two centuries at the same location in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. Continue Reading »
Dickert, Jacob
Jacob Dickert was a leading gunsmith in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, the center of early American rifle-making throughout the eighteenth century. Over his long career, which extended from the French and Indian War to the War of 1812, Dickert helped transform Lancaster’s scattered, independent, small-scale gunmakers into a coordinated industry that could fulfill enormous government contracts and petition Congress for trade protection. Continue Reading »
Enoch, Kurt
Kurt Enoch grew up in Hamburg as one of three children to liberal progressive Jewish parents who owned a Hamburg-based printing plant. Following the rise of National Socialism in Germany, Kurt Enoch immigrated to France, England, and then the United States continuing his career as a publisher at each stop. An innovator in the publishing field, Kurt Enoch helped introduce changes such as sleeker formats, updated designs, and a thoughtful, strategic marketing of his books made Enoch a major transformer and pioneer of the paperback publishing business with his influence showing in the trade until today. Continue Reading »
Fink, Albert
After emigrating to America in 1849, Albert Fink got his start as an engineer at two successful railroads, the Baltimore & Ohio and the Louisville & Nashville. However, it was his role in the creation of two major railway pools the Southern Railway and Steamship Association and later the New York-based Trunk Line Association where he truly made his mark as an "organizational entrepreneur." Continue Reading »
Frank, Werner
Werner L. Frank was a pioneering figure and longtime contributor to the United States and international computer industry. After being exposed to the young field of digital computing in the U.S. Army and studying it in college, Frank went on to co-found Informatics, one of the path-breaking early producers of software products in the 1960s. Continue Reading »
Gemünder, George
August and George Gemünder pioneered high-quality violin making and trading in the United States and were responsible for establishing violin making as a respected craft in the U.S. and also for facilitating the flow of classical violins into the country. Continue Reading »
Genthe, Arnold
In 1895, Arnold Genthe accepted an offer to work as a tutor for an affluent German-American family in San Francisco. In between tutoring responsibilities, he taught himself photography and began publishing some of his photographs in local magazines. By 1901, he had already become one of the most sought-after portrait photographers on the West Coast. His award-winning photographic landscapes and pictures would soon bring both domestic and international recognition. Continue Reading »