Peter Woll and Sons Feather Co. / Mfg. Co. Curled Hair

Peter Woll & Sons Feather Co., circa 1891.
Newer “PAPER” sign above, numerous older fainter “FEATHER” signs below.

From 1880 until the present, this family firm has been engaged in the Curled Hair business and its offshoots, such as feathers.

The Woll name is associated from 1891 with the five story brick building with corner towers on the north side of Berks Street. Architectural details on the building appear to make it a twentieth century structure, yet the building outlines and the office on the corner of Berks and Hancock conformed with the 1891 Hexamer insurance map and an advertisement of the firm from circa 1895. By 1891 the firm had expanded, taking over a four story building across Berks Street at the corner of Hancock. Woll structures on both sides of Berks Street carry clearly visible painted signs of the family name and occupation.

In 1916 Peter Woll and Son were joined by Woll and Sons, Feather Company at 169 Berks. In 1922, an atlas showed the firm had moved to the corner of Berks and Mascher, half a block east, and by 1945 their former buildings were occupied by other industries. The larger building became a paper warehouse and today is the Globe Paper Company (hence the vertical “PAPER” sign).

More information here.

Shots from 2008:

“Peter Woll & Sons Mfg. Co. Curled Hair”

The building across the street may have had one or more stories removed; there are signs on the Mascher Street side for the Rapid Electric and Penn Scale manufacturing companies; both were listed in the 1944 industrial directory.

Berks between Hancock and Mutter Streets [map]

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