Entries in Transfers

Business of Migration since 1815
Millions of American immigrants, who worked in business or started new businesses of their own, also used businesses in order to reach America in the first place. Before the mid nineteenth century advent of the telegraph, railroad and steamship, this migration usually relied on the services of multiple businesses and intermediaries in order to carry out long multi-stage journeys across land and ocean. In the modern “global village,” interconnected by widely available fast air travel, key services needed by international migrants are also generally dispersed across multiple businesses, often related mainly to surmounting and adapting to legal restrictions. In between, during late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, the business of migration was concentrated mainly on the crossing of the North Atlantic. Mass transatlantic migration then became the core segment of the world’s first major intercontinental travel industry, a business in which large German shipping lines played a leading role. Within a longer term context, this essay emphasizes that middle epoch of commercially-provided physical relocation from Europe to the United States, and also includes a sub-focus on entrepreneurship of German origin. Continue Reading »
Krug, August and Joseph Schlitz
Brewing is surely the business most closely associated with German-American immigrant entrepreneurs, and the Joseph Schlitz Brewing Company was one of the most prominent and best known examples. This biographical case study, however, stresses that the success of immigrant entrepreneurs was not only related to a new type of (lager) beer and an intense knowledge transfer from Germany to the United States. The Joseph Schlitz Brewing Company was the result of the work of three different families, closely connected by regional origins, marriage, and kinship. When Georg August Krug opened a saloon and a small brewery in Milwaukee in 1848–1849, he offered a service like that provided by hundreds of other German immigrants. Upon Krug’s death, in 1856, Joseph Schlitz, his bookkeeper, took over the business and eventually married Krug’s widow Anna Maria. Schlitz built the brewery into one of the larger local and regional players over the years before his accidental death in 1875, when it was taken over by his nephews, the Uihlein brothers. Continue Reading »
Trade, Family, and Religion: Forging Networks in the German Atlantic World
Network analysis offers a means for unpacking the relationships between Atlantic World inhabitants and the political-economic, social, and cultural linkages that developed during the colonial period and the era of revolutions/independence in the eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries. This essay will examine networks that helped to structure the eighteenth- and nineteenth-century German Atlantic World. It will focus primarily on transport, capital, and communication networks, but will also address some of the ways in which ethnicity, marriage, and other social and cultural forces influenced the growth and development of these linkages. In particular, it will focus on German-American actors’ roles in shaping the topology of networks through their twin status as immigrants and entrepreneurs. Continue Reading »