L. Wolff MFG Co., est. 1855

L. Wolff Manufacturing history

Museum Artifact: Metal Sink Drain Cover, c. 1910s

Made By: L. Wolff Manufacturing Company, 325 N. Hoyne Ave., Chicago, IL [Kinzie Corridor]

Research is underway on this one and a full write-up will be coming soon.

13 thoughts on “L. Wolff MFG Co., est. 1855

  1. I didn’t realize there was a museum in Chicago that related to companies originating in Chicago. I am a descendent of Ludwig Wolff born March 11, 1836 in Bentwich, a small town near Rostock Mecklenburg, Schwerin in Germany. I am in possession of a memoir written by Christian J. Wolff translated from German. The book covers from birth to the year 1876. There are also photographs of showrooms, The Pottery at Trenton, NJ. Is there an interest for your museum?

  2. I am looking for a Wolff under mount sink with the logo on the inside sink wall. Also always looking for Wolff toilets and parts. Thanks everyone, great site. Just found it and just donated.
    Wonderful place to find info for an under appreciated aspect of what made Chicago great!!!!

  3. My grandfather, Nicholas Kiefer, made enamel at Wolf’s in the late 19th C.. I have his enamel formula books. My father, Walter Kiefer, became an enameler in the late teens. My mother worked in the office. They married in 1921 and moved to Belvidere where dad built an enameling shop for for the Sanitary Scale Co. After the Scale Co. filed for B. R. he started his own enameling co. and developed the beauty salon shampoo bowl. The company still in business in Belvidere.

  4. I have a Wolff toilet and shower we took from my old house (which was my grandma’s house) built in 1905. The shower has a pull down chain to dispense the water which appeared to be heated by gas in gallon increments or so. It fascinates me. The toilet was about a 5 gallon flush so we put a filled milk jug in it to displace at least some of the water. I love these nostalgic antiques, and I imagine they were appreciated in their day.

  5. I found this from the Encyclopedia of Chicago

    Wolff (L.) Manufacturing Co.

    Ludwig Wolff emigrated with his family from Germany to Chicago in 1854, when he was 18 years old. The following year, he started a small plumbing business with Torrence McGuire that specialized in making copper and brass plumbing devices for candy and alcohol manufacturers, even making its own alcohol for a time. By 1876, Wolff had a large plumbing supply factory, and his company took the name L. Wolff Manufacturing Co. Wolff built a large new Chicago plant at Carroll and Fulton Streets in 1887; this facility soon employed about 1,000 men and produced $1.5 million worth of goods a year. As indoor plumbing became more common by the late nineteenth century, Wolff began producing a wider array of plumbing items for homes, hospitals, businesses, and schools. By 1910, the company had about 3,500 workers at two Chicago-area plants and sales and service operations in about 10 other cities. Wolff’s operations shrank during the Great Depression, when it employed only about 450 people at its Fullerton Avenue site. The company stopped operating shortly after World War II.

    1. D. Baum,

      Thank you for posting this information. Im so happy to have learned this about my L.Wolff tub. Love the history behind it. This brings me an ever-greater appreciation Thank you!! 

  6. I have an old toilet made by the L. Wolff MFG Co. and it has a wooden tank that is copper lined. I bought it to refurbish it and install it in my home.From what I can see it looks like it was made in 1907. Very unique looking. It also came with a wooden toilet seat but the hinges are missing some parts. Anybody out there know where a guy could find an original hinge or hinge parts?

  7. I would like some history on a shower that was in my attic – it’s a nickel pin shower with a mixer tank. I have photos I can share.

  8. I just bought an unrefurbished L. Wolff claw foot tub dated 4-8-1918. If you know of anyone who sells parts for this tub I would be interested. The tub came with the feet so I guess I’m ahead that far. I’d be interested in refurbishing it to the way it would have been originally sold.

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