A predecessor company to Louis A. Silk & Co. was Silk & Ullmann, also located in this building (1915-1916). (Click for 1915 ad.) Traces of under painting here may belong to an earlier sign reading Silk & Ullmann. The partners at Silk & Ullmann were Louis Albert Silk (1881-1937) and Hugo Herman Ullmann (1883-?). Louis Silk was born in Hungary and immigrated to the U. S. as a young boy (1888). He appears in the U. S. Census of 1900 living on Tompkins Ave., Brooklyn, with his father, Moritz Silk, a grocer. By 1910 Louis Silk listed his occupation as "Wholesale Merchant Laces." He lived at this time on West End Ave., Manhattan, with 3 younger sisters. The firm of Silk & Ullmann began at 11 East 22nd St. in 1913. Hugo Ullmann was born in Switzerland and immigrated to the U. S. in 1901. At the time of his registration for the World War I draft he listed his place of business as "Louis A. Silk & Co., 142 Fifth Ave. NYC."
In 1913 the following notice appeared in the journal, Dry Goods Reporter (22 Nov. 1913, vol. 43, no. 47, p. 47), "A new firm of Silk & Ullman, manufacturing and importing embroideries and laces, have opened a factory in St. Gall and established New York headquarters at 11 East 22nd street. Louis A. Silk was for seventeen years with the Krower & Tyneberg Company, beginning his connection with that concern at the age of fourteen. Hugo H. Ullman is a practical embroidery manufacturer of exceptional experience, who was formerly with Eugster & Company. Both members of the firm have recently returned from a visit to their St. Gall institution. Al Levis, formerly with Leumann, Boesch & Weingart, and lately with Stein, Doblin & Company, is a member of the concern's selling force."
Louis A. Silk & Co. was formed in 1917 and stayed at 142 5th Ave. until 1929. They appear to have been primarily importers but may also have manufactured laces and embroideries. The firm continued to do business until the mid-1960s.
This wall faces north and is seen from 5th Ave. The building, 142 5th Ave., has another entrance on 19th St. and a west facing wall visible from 19th St. The west wall has a sign for F. G. Smith / Bradbury Pianos.
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