37 W 37
37 W. 37th St. (2003)

Along the side, on the green:     Bloch Winitz
Among others in the stack:     Froehlich & Hartman / Blouses
  Harry Solomons & Son / Trimmed & Tailored Hats
  Brighton Hat Co.

Emanual (Mannie) Winitz, lace salesman, age 25, lived at 1497 Carroll St., in Brooklyn with his wife Mildred at the time of the 1930 US Census. The predecessor company to Bloch Winitz Co., Lace, called Bloch, Winitz & Heller, started around 1935. Within a year Heller dropped out, and Bloch Winitz moved to 37 W. 37th St. in 1942 (Click for classified ad from 1943), where they stayed until the mid-1960s. I'm sorry to say I have not been able to trace the Bloch side of the partnership...


Froehlich & Hartman was a partnership between Henry Froehlich (1874-?) and Albert Charles Hartman (1883-?). Froehlich was born in Newark, N. J. 21 April 1874. He was in business with George H. Hughes (1866-?) to manufacture waists (blouses) from around 1910. This partnership lasted about three years. By 1913/14 Froehlich had his own company, Henry Froehlich Inc.. In 1916/17 this company moved to 37 W. 37th St., where by 1918 he was joined by Albert Hartman. The firm name changed to Froehlich & Hartman in 1919 (New York Times, 10 Jan. 1919, p. 20). In 1922 they left 37 W. 37th and moved to 36 E. 31st St. where they were in business until around 1924. Albert Hartman was born 19 Oct. 1883 in New York City. He left blouse manufacture in the 1930s, and became president of Gold Label Frocks, a dress manufacturer. From 1935 to 1937 he had his own company, Al Hartman Inc. dresses at 1400 Broadway. In 1942 he registered for the World War II draft when employed at Louis Platt, Inc. Dresses. Louis Platt was in business approx. 1940 to 1949 at 1375 Broadway.


Harry J. Solomons, born Georgia, March, 1869, was in the millinery business in New York by 1900. At that time he lived on W. 80th St. with his family that included his son Moses (usually called Mortimer in later life) age 2. Harry Solomons & Son, Ladies Hats, was founded around 1919 (Click for classified ad from 1919 where the company is called Harry Solomon & Son), and Mortimer J. Solomons (1897-1994) was the son. Harry's wife, May, was also involved in the business, which included a "hat body" manufacturing side known as the Tuxedo Hat Body Corp. They moved to 37 W. 37th St. in 1922 and stayed until 1931. Both businesses continued until the mid-1950s.


At the front edge of this wall beneath Block Winitz remain three additional readable signs:

Frankel Importing Co., Beads (Click for image): Frankel Importing was the enterprise of the brothers, Joseph Warren Frankel (1883-?) and Frederick Frankel (1888-1966). In the US Census of 1900 Joseph, 17, and Frederick, 11, were living with their father, mother and 3 sisters on St. Marks Place in Manhattan. Their father was Jacob Frankel, a grocer who immigrated from Hungary in 1883. Joseph's occupation is listed as "Erand boy." By 1915 Joseph Frankel was secretary at Albert Lorsch & Co., dealers in diamonds, precious and imitation stones. And Frederick Frankel was a partner at Apt & Frankel, novelty manufacturers. Frankel Importing was founded in 1918 and was located here at 37 W. 37th St. from 1921 to 1928. They remained in business until around 1942.


Mathushek Pianos (Click for image): The Blue Book of Pianos gives the following on the Mathushek Piano: "One of the oldest and most important names associated with the American piano industry, manufactured by Mathushek Piano Mfg. Co. The instruments were of a very high standard quality containing many valuable, distinctive features, which were most valuable commented upon by the Scientific American in the issue of September 22, 1900... The instrument takes its name from its founder, Frederick Mathushek..."

Frederick Mathushek (1814-1891) was described as follows in his obituary in the New York Times 11 Nov. 1891: He was "born June 9, 1814, in the Palace of Manheim, Germany. From his early youth he showed a great desire to learn the secrets of the piano-making trade, which at that date was in its infancy. The story goes that one day the reigning Grand Duchess, Stephany, caught the youngster in her drawing room calmly dissecting her grand piano. Rather amused than otherwise at this thirst for knowledge, the noble lady had the lad apprenticed to a leading piano manufacturer of the town." At age 17 Mathushek traveled through Germany, Austria and Russia inspecting piano manufacture. In London he "obtained a most responsible position with the great house of Erard." In 1849 Mathushek came to the U. S. and joined the firm of John B. Dunham, where he "constructed the first overstrung piano made in this country." In 1854 he joined the Wallace Pianoforte Co., "which made a specialty of his inventions." Among these were "the double sounding-board piano, the lifting hammer rail for soft pedal purposes ..., the orchestral equalizing scale, and the little Colibri." "At the time of his death he was Superintendent of the Mathushek & Son Piano Company, 344 and 346 East Twenty-third Street." (All quotes from Times obituary.)

Alfred Dolge, in Pianos and Their Makers (1911), had this to say about Mathushek, "One of the most interesting characters in the history of the piano industry was Frederick Mathushek, born at Mannheim on June 9, 1814. He learned piano making at Worms. After serving his apprenticeship, he traveled through Germany and Austria, and finally landed in Henri Pape's shop at Paris, where he became thoroughly infected with that inventor's bacteria. Returning to Worms, he began to build freak pianos similar to those he had seen at Pape's... Although a splendid workman and particularly gifted tone specialist, which enabled him to build superior artistic pianos, his business was not a success. In 1849 Mathushek landed in New York, and was immediately engaged by John B. Dunham to draw new scales and make other improvements... In 1852 Mathushek started again on his own account, continuing until 1857, when Spencer B. Driggs tempted him with most liberal offers to work out the vague, not to say wild, notions which Driggs had conceived of revolutionizing the construction of the piano. It was impossible for even so great and versatile a genius as Mathushek to achieve any practical results by following Driggs' ideas, and we find him in 1866 as head of the Mathushek Piano Company, at New Haven, Conn... In 1871 he left New Haven, and with his grandson started the firm of Mathushek & Son in New York. It was finally changed to a corporation and consolidated with Jacobs Brothers, under whose able management the business has flourished..."

Mathushek & Son Piano Co. was located here at 37 W. 37th St. from around 1918 to 1930/31 (click for ad from 1918). This ad appeared in Polk's New York City Directory for 1922-23.

Before moving to 37 W. 37th St. (approximately 1898 to 1917) Mathushek & Son were located at 1567-1569 Broadway on the corner of 47th St. This ad from 1901 shows this address.

From approximately 1912 to 1947 Mathushek Pianos maintained a factory in this building located at 79-85 Alexander Ave. in the south Bronx. A half block away Alexander Ave. crossed Southern Blvd. (renamed Bruckner Blvd. after World War II). Southern Blvd. was home to the factories of several major piano manufacturers, including Estey Piano Co., whose building still stands (as of Jan. 2011) a block further east at the northeast corner of Bruckner Blvd. and Lincoln Ave.


A. H. Green & Son, Furriers (Click for image): Established 1896, located at 37 W. 37th St. ca. 1915 to 1924 (click for ad from 1916). A. H. Green moved to 6 W. 48th St. in 1925 (click for ad from 1925). Aaron H. Green (1850-?) was Russian and immigrated to the U. S. via England, where he acquired a wife and fathered (at least) 9 children. In 1906 A. H. Green & Son was called A. H. Green & Sons and included 3 of these sons. Primary among them was Mortimer Green (born Jan. 1876, England, immigrated 1890). Mortimer seems to have become sole proprietor of the company by around 1909, and the S is dropped from Sons around 1910. A. H. Green & Son stayed in business until the early 1950s.

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