Documenting history as well as my experiences with repairing and restoring vintage guitars.

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The Richter Manufacturing Company Factory in 1931 Image Credit:  Music Trade Review 1922 Richter Advertisement Image Credit:  Music Trade Re...

Richter Mfg Company - Chicago, Illinois

The Richter Manufacturing Company Factory in 1931
Image Credit: Music Trade Review

1922 Richter Advertisement
Image Credit: Music Trade Review

Check out Charles' existing research with more photos and illustrations of the Richter instruments

About

Carl Hugo Richter was born on May 17th, 1893 in Laramie, Wyoming to German parents Charles (b.1853) and Anna Richter (b. 1872). Harold Henry Joseph Richter was born on December 7th, 1894 in Chicago Illinois.

In 1910, Charles was the proprietor of a saloon and his sons remained in school [17].

By 1917, World War I was in full swing and both young Richter men had to register for the draft. Carl, 24, was a foreman at the Harmony Company and Harold was working in manufacturing at Harmony [8][10].

The 1920 census reveals that their father, Charles, was a president of a musical instrument company. Carl was listed as an "assistant superintendent" and Harold as a "book keeper" for a musical instrument company [9]. 

Obituary for Charles Richter - August 23rd, 1920
Image Credit: Newspapers.com

After the death of the family patriarch, Anna took up her husband's role as president of the new company and held it until 1922 [5]. In 1923, Carl became president of the company with his brother continuing his role as secretary [6].

In 1930, Carl and his wife Florence were living with her mother and he was still the president of a musical instrument manufacturing company [15]. Harold was living alone with their mother and was now a salesman for a security company [16].

World War II led to another round of the draft and both men were self employed with their company [11][12]. Carl was still president and Harold was secretary [4].

The factory folded during the war and by 1942 their factory was now housing the Masterform Tool Company [18].

Carl died in 1956 and Harold in 1970 [13][14]

The Factory

Work began on a single story 125'x125' factory building in 1920 at the northwest corner of Irving Park Boulevard and North Maplewood Avenue. The factory would cost $27,000 [1]. It was owned by architect Henry Sleks from 19 Dearborn Street. The masonry was done by A. F. Deffosse, carpentry by Aaron Miller, Heating and plumbing by Dywer and Co [3]. 

I attempted to find the Sanborn Fire Insurance map of the factory but unfortunately Sanborn and Co passed through the area in 1913 when the property was an empty lot [7].

Present Day

The factory was easy to find as the street names remain the same as they did nearly a hundred years ago. The building remained standing until 2014 until it was demolished to make way for condominiums.

The Richter Factory in 2011

The Richter Factory was demolished in 2014

Condos have replaced the factory





Sources

[1] https://www.google.com/books/edition/Domestic_Engineering_and_the_Journal_of/66PmAAAAMAAJ?hl=en&gbpv=1&dq=2532+Irving+Park+boulevard,+Chicago&pg=PA208&printsec=frontcover\
[2] https://www.google.com/books/edition/Certified_List_of_Domestic_and_Foreign_C/CjFHAQAAMAAJ?hl=en&gbpv=1&dq=richter+mfg+company+chicago&pg=PA950&printsec=frontcover
[3] https://www.google.com/books/edition/The_American_Contractor/5jRYAAAAYAAJ?hl=en&gbpv=1&bsq=%222532%20Irving%20Park%20Blvd%22%20
[4] https://books.google.com/books?id=EHUbAQAAIAAJ&newbks=0&printsec=frontcover&dq=carl+h.+richter+harold+h+richter&q=carl+h.+richter+harold+h+richter&hl=en&source=newbks_fb
[5] https://www.google.com/books/edition/Certified_List_of_Domestic_and_Foreign_C/CjFHAQAAMAAJ?hl=en&gbpv=1&dq=richter+mfg+company+chicago&pg=PA950&printsec=frontcover
[6] https://www.google.com/books/edition/Certified_List_of_Domestic_and_Foreign_C/iXZZ_sYB_osC?hl=en&gbpv=1&dq=%22richter+mfg+co%22+irving+park+blvd+chicago&pg=PA1037&printsec=frontcover
[7] https://www.loc.gov/resource/g4104cm.g01790191319/?sp=79&r=0.393,1.07,0.683,0.394,0
[8]  Carl's WWI card - https://www.ancestry.com/imageviewer/collections/6482/images/005248466_01835?treeid=&personid=&hintid=&queryId=c50245f909a38656d23e74864371eab8&usePUB=true&_phsrc=OTJ286&_phstart=successSource&usePUBJs=true&pId=23286973
[9] 1920 Census - https://www.ancestry.com/imageviewer/collections/6061/images/4300485_00912?usePUB=true&_phsrc=OTJ289&_phstart=successSource&usePUBJs=true&pId=89436551
[10] Harolds WWI card - https://www.ancestry.com/imageviewer/collections/6482/images/005248466_01836?treeid=&personid=&hintid=&queryId=1f2192a7f1a920e89f245e8729e2c75f&usePUB=true&_phsrc=OTJ291&_phstart=successSource&usePUBJs=true&pId=23286974
[11] https://www.ancestry.com/imageviewer/collections/1002/images/30955_165937-05816?usePUB=true&_phsrc=OTJ291&_phstart=successSource&usePUBJs=true&pId=10100188
[12] https://www.ancestry.com/imageviewer/collections/1002/images/30955_165937-05691?usePUB=true&_phsrc=OTJ287&_phstart=successSource&usePUBJs=true&pId=10100127
[13] https://www.ancestry.com/discoveryui-content/view/197849849:60525?tid=&pid=&queryId=17f86aa453dc72dc787ae0810f023f3e&_phsrc=OTJ289&_phstart=successSource
[14] https://search.ancestry.com/cgi-bin/sse.dll?indiv=1&dbid=3693&h=51977416&tid=&pid=&queryId=1f2192a7f1a920e89f245e8729e2c75f&usePUB=true&_phsrc=OTJ291&_phstart=successSource
[15] https://www.ancestry.com/imageviewer/collections/6224/images/4584289_00906?usePUB=true&_phsrc=OTJ289&_phstart=successSource&usePUBJs=true&pId=84767037
[16] https://www.ancestry.com/imageviewer/collections/6224/images/4584289_00248?usePUB=true&_phsrc=OTJ291&_phstart=successSource&usePUBJs=true&pId=84743106
[17] https://www.ancestry.com/imageviewer/collections/7884/images/31111_4328154-00482?pId=112740820
[18] https://www.newspapers.com/image/370232493/?terms=2532%20irving%20park&match=1