#24 Oppenheim, Oberndorf and Company in York; Part of a Baltimore Shirt Manufacturer
In my post Late 1800s Factory Inspection Reports Assist in Identification of an East Prospect Photo I wrote about finding these reports in the State Library of Pennsylvania. For this series on the Top 50 York County Factories at the end of 19th Century, I’m using data from the 10th Report of the Pennsylvania Department of Factory Inspection.
The 10th Factory Inspection Report is for the Department’s year ending October 31st 1899. I ranked the 479 York County factories by numbers of employees; #50 has 47 employees, on up to #1 with 510 employees. In the coming weeks, on Monday and/or Tuesday, I’m counting down to the top employer in York County at the end of 19th Century.
At #24 in the count down of the Top 50 York County Factories at End of 19th Century is Oppenheim, Oberndorf and Company in York. The illustration contains a copy of their business summary that appeared in the 1916 Moody’s Analyses of Investments. This Baltimore based shirt manufacturer eventually has several plants located in York County and also scattered around Pennsylvania and Virginia. However the York factory was their initial plant outside of Maryland and their only factory in Pennsylvania until 1921.
Oppenheim, Oberndorf and Company was founded in Baltimore, Maryland, as a men’s shirt manufacturer in 1888. The founders of the company were Eli & Isaac A. Oppenheim and David Oberndorf. Their offices were originally located at 112 to 124 West Fayette Street in Baltimore.
In 1892, the company started to establish satellite factories in communities surrounding Baltimore. Their first out-of-state factory was located in York, Pennsylvania; in 1899 they were located in a building on the northeast corner of E. Newton Avenue and Howard Avenue.
The 10th Factory Inspection Report notes that on March 23rd 1899 Oppenheim, Oberndorf and Company in York has 98 employees; 6 male and 92 female. Of these 98 employees, 62 employees are under 21-years-old; of which 2 males and 13 females are between 13 and 16-years-old. The goods manufactured are recorded as “Shirts.”
In searching through Pennsylvania Industrial Directories, the first year that I could find another Oppenheim, Oberndorf and Company factory in Pennsylvania is in a 1922 Industrial Directory.
Glen Rock—An Historical Review; 1859-2009, by Dr. Charles Glatfelter, John Hufnagel and Ron Dise, notes on page 226 that in April 1921, Oppenheim, Oberndorf and Company opened a factory in the Wambaugh building (31-33 Main Street) to sew union suits. Soon afterwards Oppenheim, Oberndorf and Company also opened a factory in Jefferson with plants in other Pennsylvania locals to follow. At the company’s peak, they employed over 2000 workers in factories scattered around Maryland, Pennsylvania and Virginia.
A review of my count down, thus far, of the 50 top factories in York County at the end of 19th Century follows. As a group, these 27 factories provided employment for 1,857 people in York County during 1899.
- #24 Oppenheim, Oberndorf and Company in York; 98 employees
- #25 Industrial Sewing Company of Glen Rock; 96 employees
- #26 New York Wire Cloth Company in York; 90 employees
- #27 Peter C. Fulweiler & Brothers Cigar Factory in York; 89 employees
- #28 York Safe & Lock Company in Spring Garden Township; 89 employees
- #29 Keystone Farm Machine Company in York; 87 employees
- #30 J. E. Williams & Company in York; 85 employees
- #31 Acme Wagon Company in Emigsville; 80 employees
- #32 Columbia Embroidery Works in Wrightsville; 80 employees
- #33 Hanover Silk Company in Hanover; 75 employees
- #34 George A. Kohler & Company Cigar Factory in York; 74 employees
- #35 Weaver Organ & Piano Company in York; 71 employees
- #36 York Knitting Mills in York; 67 employees
- #37 D. F. Stauffer Bakery in York; 66 employees
- #38 LaButa Cigar Factory in York; 65 employees
- #39 A. F. Hostetter Cigar Factory in Hanover; 64 employees
- #40 Broomell, Schmidt & Company Factory in York; 62 employees
- #41 William H. Raab Cigar Factory in Dallastown; 59 employees
- #42 Edwin Myers & Co. Cigar Box & Lithographic Works in York; 56 employees
- #43 Paragon Cigar Factory in York; 54 employees
- #44 York Cracker Bakery in York; 53 employees
- #45 Penn Heel & Innersole Factory in Hanover; 52 employees
- #46 George W. Gable Cigar Factory in Windsor; 50 employees
- #47 Charles P. Ketterer Wagon Factory in Hanover; 50 employees
- #48 National Cigar Manufacturing Company in West Manchester; 50 employees
- #49 George W. Hoover Wagon Factory in York; 48 employees
- #50 David S. Detwiler Cigar Factory in Wrightsville; 47 employees