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William H. Horstmann and Co. material

Accession: 1052


William H. Horstmann & Co. was a manufacturer and retailer of civilian and military equipment. The material is primarily receipts, a small amount of correspondence related to inspection of goods or contracts, and a newspaper clipping of an engraving of the Horstmann's Manufactory.


  • 1831-1876



55 item(s)

Historical note

William H. Horstmann & Co. (later Horstmann Brothers and Company) was a manufacturer and retailer of civilian and military equipment, including military uniforms, insignias, and flags. The company was established in 1815 by William H. Horstmann (1785-1850), a native of Cassel, Germany. He learned the trade of silk-weaving in France, and upon emigrating to the United States, established himself in Philadelphia as a manufacturer of fringe, laces, and trimmings of various kinds.

In 1828, the company began the manufacture of military trimmings. The company consisted of two branches: one dealt in civilian clothing and goods, and the other in military uniforms and equipment. The company executive large government contracts for the War and Navy Departments.

After his sons, William H. Horstmann (1819-1872) and Sigmund H. Horstmann (1821-1870) joined the firm, they established another branch of the business in New York, New York in 1831. Factories were built, first at the corner of Germantown road and Columbia avenue, and later on Fifth street and Cherry street, both in Philadelphia.

The firm was known by a variety of names: William H. Horstmann & Sons (1843-1893, Philadelphia), Horstmann Brothers & Company (1850-1852, New York; 1859-1893, Philadelphia), Horstmann Brothers & Allien (1852-1877, New York), Horstmann Sons & Drucker (1845-1849, New York), and the William H. Horstmann Co. (1893-1940, Philadelphia).

Scope and Contents

William H. Horstmann & Co. material includes customs withdrawal form 1870, withdrawal made by company; correspondence from Neal Campbell of U.S. Arsenal to Major G.H. Crossman regarding inspection of goods; Correspondence from company to Major W.B. Slack regarding contracts and vouchers received; invoice of Aries Dufour & C., Paris, France; receipts from company, many receipted bills to United States government; and a newspaper clipping of engraving of Horstmann's Manufactory.

Access Restrictions

No restrictions on access; this collection is open for research.

Related Materials

William H. Horstmann & Sons records (Accession 1700), Hisotical Society of Pennsylvania.

Language of Materials


Additional Information

Additional Description

Separated Materials

William H. Horstmann & Sons, manufactory and sales rooms, engraving (Accession 1975.325.2), Audiovisual and Digitial Initiatives Department, Hagley Museum and Library.

View of Independence Hall, 1776, textile souvenir (Accession 1975.325.1), Audiovisual and Digitial Initiatives Department, Hagley Museum and Library.

Related Names


Finding Aid & Administrative Information

William H. Horstmann and Co. material
Description rules:
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description:
Script of description:

Revision Statements

  • 2020: Ashley Williams

Repository Details

Repository Details

Part of the Manuscripts and Archives Repository

PO Box 3630
Wilmington Delaware 19807 USA