The Berger Manufacturing Co. was established in Canton, Ohio, in 1886, and opened offices in New York City in 1897. Initially they were located at 210 E. 23rd St. and moved into this building on 11th Ave. shortly after it was erected in 1907/08. A branch was opened in the Bronx at 406 E. 149th St. by 1909. The Bronx branch moved to East 152nd St. around 1910. In 1919 the Manhattan location moved to 516 W. 25th St. where it remained until 1929. The Bronx branch dropped out of directory lists in 1924. In the early 1930s Republic Steel Corp. was formed, and Berger Mfg. Co. became one of its divisions.
The founders of Berger Mfg. Co. were the brothers John Adam Berger (1847-1916) and Wilson Calvin Berger (1851-1894).
The following notice from the Canton Repository, 9 Sept. 1916, is quoted from the Find-A-Grave page for John A. Berger: "John Adam Berger, 69, of 979 Cleveland Ave., N.W., died at his home Friday afternoon. Death was due to a stroke of paralysis from which he had been suffering for the past four months. Mr. Berger was one of the best known men throughout this vicinity, having been the originator of the present Berger Manufacturing Company. He was born in Bethel, PA, in 1847. In 1866 he married Miss Cecelia Batdorff of Bethel. Mr. Berger came to this city 37 years ago and for a number of years was employed in a tin shop and later as funeral director for the late J.B. McCrea. After working for Mr. McCrea for a number of years, he started his own tin shop which was the home of the first Berger Mfg. Co. He retired from active business life in 1901. Mr. Berger read a great deal and was an extensive traveler. He toured Europe and several times traveled throughout this country. He is survived by two sons, Calvin M. of Chicago, and William D. of Columbus; two daughters, Mrs. J.E. Sharp, of Oak Park IL, and Mrs. D. William Lerch, of this city; two brothers, Harry Berger of New York City, and Lewis Berger of this city, and by two sisters, Mrs. E.A. Forry and Mrs. C.K. Schrade, both of this city. Funeral services will be held at his residence Monday afternoon at 3 o'clock, Rev. E.P. Herbruck officiating. The Masons will hold ritual services at the home. Burial will be made in Westlawn cemetery."
John Berger applied for a passport in 1900 when he said he was born in Millersburg, Pennsylvania, 21 August 1847. He gave his occupation as "superintendent, Berger Mfg. Co."
Wilson Berger also has a page on Find-A-Grave. This specifies his death date as 3 April 1894.
The Berger Manufacturing Co. timeline at www.glassian.org includes the following:
A similar timeline is given at the Republic Storage website, including:
Berger's Eighth Annual Catalogue and Price List, 1894, can be viewed at http://archive.org. Their Catalog No. 10, 1913, is also available at the same source.
This ad for Berger in Canton, Ohio, appeared in The American Artisan, 26 March 1892.
This ad for Berger appeared in Trow's New York City Directory, 1899. It shows Berger's New York address at that time, 210 E. 23rd St.
This ad for Berger appeared in The Metal Worker, 1 February 1902.
This ad for Berger appeared in the National Hardware Bulletin, November, 1906.
This ad for Berger appeared in the journal Insurance Engineering, December, 1910. This shows the New York address at 11th Ave. and 22nd St.
One of the Berger Manufacturing Co.’s entries in Sweet’s Architectural Catalogue, 1917, reads, The Berger Manufacturing Co., Manufacturers of Steel Ceilings, Canton, Ohio. Branches New York, N. Y., S. E. Cor. 22nd Street and 11th Avenue. . . Berger’s “Classik” steel ceilings comprise twelve distinct architectural classes: Stucco, Greek, Roman, Romanesque, Gothic, Moorish, Italian Renaissance, German Renaissance, French Renaissance, Rococo, Empire, Colonial – each elaborated in a great variety of patterns to meet the requirements of various sizes and shapes of rooms. The ceilings give a handsome, decorative, embossed finish, retaining artistic harmony in the effects throughout. The Sweet's article shows this illustration of a "Classik" ceiling method of construction.
This ad for Berger appeared in the journal Sheet Metal, November, 1919.
The information on the Berger building on 11th Avenue at http://www.metrohistory.com describes the building as a 3-story brick and stone store and loft building, constructed 1907, whose owner was Fickinger & Glass, 210 E. 23d St. Emil H. Fickinger and George D. Glass were managers at the New York branch of Berger Mfg. Co. This indicates that Berger constructed this building for their own use.
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