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Encyclopedia of Cleveland History

PRINTZ-BIEDERMAN CO.

PRINTZ-BIEDERMAN CO.

PRINTZ-BIEDERMAN CO., one of the oldest American manufacturers of women's apparel, was organized in Dec. 1893 by master tailor Moritz Printz. A native of Austria, Printz came to Cleveland in 1872 to work for his brother-in-law, cloak manufacturer David Black. The head designer for D. Black & Co., Printz stayed in Cleveland when Black moved his company to New York in 1894. Along with his sons, Alexander and Michael, and his son-in-law, Joseph Biederman, Printz founded the Printz-Biederman Co. as a partnership. The company incorporated in 1904 with Alexander Printz as president, a position he held until 1954.

Operating from a loft at 102 St. Clair, Printz-Biederman grossed $100,000 in its first year of operation. In 1903 the company moved to 71 Bank St. (1213 W. 6th St.) and remained in that area until 1934, when it built a new plant at 1974 E. 61st St. Sales reached $6.44 million in 1922, and the firm merged with H. Black & Co. that year. By 1933 it had sales offices in New York, Boston, and Chicago in addition to Cleveland. When Max Reiter, cofounder of Ritmore Sportswear Co. (see BOBBIE BROOKS) took over Printz-Biederman in 1954, it employed 1,000 workers, two-thirds of them in Cleveland, and annual sales were $8 million. During the 1960s and 1970s the company lost business. In the late 1970s, its line of products was limited to ladies' suits and coats, and the firm employed only 40 Cleveland workers. The Printz-Biederman Co. closed in 1978.


Printz-Biederman Co. Records, WRHS.