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Entries : Wolff (L.) Manufacturing Co.
Wolff (L.) Manufacturing Co.

Wolff (L.) Manufacturing Co.

L. Wolff Manufacturing Co., 1912
Ludwig Wolff emigrated with his family from Germany to Chicago in 1854, when he was 18 years old. The following year, he started a small plumbing business with Torrence McGuire that specialized in making copper and brass plumbing devices for candy and alcohol manufacturers, even making its own alcohol for a time. By 1876, Wolff had a large plumbing supply factory, and his company took the name L. Wolff Manufacturing Co. Wolff built a large new Chicago plant at Carroll and Fulton Streets in 1887; this facility soon employed about 1,000 men and produced $1.5 million worth of goods a year. As indoor plumbing became more common by the late nineteenth century, Wolff began producing a wider array of plumbing items for homes, hospitals, businesses, and schools. By 1910, the company had about 3,500 workers at two Chicago-area plants and sales and service operations in about 10 other cities. Wolff's operations shrank during the Great Depression, when it employed only about 450 people at its Fullerton Avenue site. The company stopped operating shortly after World War II.