Wisconsin, Milwaukee. 1863 Wm. Frankfurth. Stoves. F-510L-3al. Fuld Rarity-Unlisted. EF-40 (NGC).
Copper. Merchant's name and address around a central Indian head to left with long flowing feathers. Rv. STOVES, HARDWARE and the date around a central display of tools, with DON'T DESPAIR on the hand saw blade. An interesting obverse design.
Hardware dealer whose specialties included cutlery, stoves, and plows.
William Frankfurth's hardware business lasted for decades into the 20th century. The following is from biographical sketches of Lorenz Maschauer and Erwin Foerster-both senior executives with the Frankfurth Hardware Co.-published in History of Milwaukee, city and county by William George Bruce (1922):
Lorenz Maschauer, who for many years was prominently connected with the hardware trade of Milwaukee and during the last twenty-four years of his life was president of the Frankfurth Hardware Company . . . In 1861 he entered the employ of the Frankfurth Hardware Company at Third and Chestnut streets. When twenty-one years of age, owing to impaired health, he gave up his position and spent two years in touring Europe. Rest and travel did much for him and with health greatly improved he returned to Milwaukee, where in 1885 he once more became identified with the Frankfurth Hardware Company as a partner and so continued until the death of Mr. Frankfurth in 1892, when Mr. Maschauer became the president of the company and remained as its executive head until his demise. With the exception of the period of two years spent abroad he was continuously identified with this house for fifty-five years and its success was attributable in large measure to his enterprise, his diligence, determination and careful management. He was a prominent figure in the commercial circles of the city by reason of his long association with the hardware trade and the success which he achieved in building up a business of extensive proportions . . .
"Through the steps of an orderly progression Erwin Foerster has become the first vice president of the William Frankfurth Hardware Company of Milwaukee. For fifty-five years he has been identified with the hardware trade and his thorough knowledge of the business and his unfaltering enterprise have long been important factors in the successful conduct of the institution of which he is now one of the chief officials . . . In 1875 he came to Milwaukee and entered the retail hardware establishment of William Frankfurth & Company, who the same year opened a wholesale department, Mr. Foerster becoming the first salesman sent out from the wholesale section. He traveled for a year and then was called in from the road to become assistant buyer of the house, a position which he filled for many years. In 1885 the retail department was separated from the wholesale and removed to 120 Clybourn Street. It was at this time that Mr. Foerster was taken into the firm as secretary and treasurer, a position which he continued to occupy until 1917, when he was elected the first vice president . . . his fifty-five years experience in .the hardware trade have constituted an important factor in making the business of the William Frankfurth Hardware Company one of eminent success."
1857-1858 Milwaukee City Directory: "Frankfurth William. Clerk, Sixth, bt Poplar and Chestnut N."
1868 Edwards Milwaukee Business Directory: "Hardware and cutlery (wholesale and retail) . . . Hardware and stoves . . . plow manufacturers and dealers . . . Frankfurth William, 306 and 308 Chestnut."
From the Alan Bleviss Collection of Civil War Tokens.