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Showing 41-60 of 72 Entries

Malt Industry

Long shot of the Froedtert Malt Corporation barley elevators inside a fenced area. The sturdy structures have a section with a large sign that reads "Froedtert" placed on the top. Above is a clear blue sky. A leafless tree stands on the right foreground.
Milwaukee’s malting industry grew out of its iconic brewing industry. Beginning in the mid-to-late nineteenth century, a variety of firms emerged in the city that processed barley and other cereal grains into malt, a key ingredient in the brewing of beer. As Milwaukee became a national leader in brewing, it also grew into a significant… Read More

ManpowerGroup Inc.

A long shot showing the side view of ManpowerGroup building complex standing on the right, along the Milwaukee River on the left. Placed along the river bank behind metal railings are regularly spaced poles with flags of different countries around the world. A road separates the flagpole area from the ManpowerGroup building that sits behind them. The multi-story structure features glass walls throughout its upper floors.
Headquartered in downtown Milwaukee, ManpowerGroup, Inc. is one of the world’s largest staffing and workforce development agencies. ManpowerGroup has over 2,900 offices in eighty countries. In 2015, the company placed 3.4 million people in temporary or permanent jobs, averaging over 600,000 employees per day. The company employs about 27,000 permanent employees, of which in mid-2016… Read More

Marcus Corporation

Low angle shot of the glowing Marcus Theatre marquee. A vertical sign that reads "Marcus" glows in yellow during the night time. Two small tower-like structures flank the sign. Both emanate lights.
Milwaukee’s Marcus Corporation has its roots in Ripon, Wisconsin where Polish immigrant Ben Marcus (originally Machtey) bought and refurbished the shell of a burned out department store with a $30,000 loan in 1935. He eventually grew the business into one of the largest cinema enterprises in the United States. Marcus arrived in the United States… Read More

Marshall & Ilsley Bank

Low-angle shot of Marshall and Ilsley Bank building under construction showing the final steel beam being hoisted by a crane that appears at the far top of the structure. The beam is inscribed, "Marshall & Ilsley Bank." Some construction workers stand on the building's edge.
Founded in 1847, Marshall & Ilsley Bank, or M&I, was Milwaukee’s oldest and largest bank before being acquired by Toronto-based BMO Harris Bank in 2011. At the time of acquisition, M&I had $49.6 billion in assets, making it the largest Wisconsin-based bank. From headquarters at 770 North Water Street, the bank employed 9,100 people, nearly… Read More

Master Lock Company, LLC

Side view of two horse-drawn vehicles carrying boxes containing Master Lock padlocks. A group of people load the packages onto a train with a large banner hanging on its side. Signs proclaim this "the largest single shipment of padlocks ever made." Inscribed on the wagons' bodies is "Master Lock Co." Four people standing on the wagons make direct eye contact with the camera lens.
Headquartered in Oak Creek, Master Lock Company, LLC, is a subsidiary of Illinois-based Fortune Brands Home and Security, Inc. The Master Lock Company, including its Master Lock, American Lock, and SentrySafe brands, had net sales of $552 million in 2015. At its height in the 1980s and 1990s, Master Lock employed 1,300 workers at its… Read More


Sepia-colored long shot of the F.C. Gross Brothers Company building on the center back and the R. Gumz & Company on the far right back. Both stand on the left side of a long roadway stretching from right background to foreground.
Although now much smaller in scale, meatpacking was one of Milwaukee’s leading industries through much of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, and the most prominent form of food processing in the city. The industry and city grew together as firms slaughtered, processed, and packaged livestock—particularly hogs and cattle—from hinterland farms, distributing products for regional, national,… Read More

MGIC Investment Corporation

Long shot of MGIC building at night. The image shows a portion of its inverted pyramid structure. The multiple-story building has glass window walls on each floor. Some have lights on, emanating their shine outward. A crowd of people stands below in the foreground.
MGIC Investment Corporation is the publicly traded parent company of the Mortgage Guaranty Insurance Corporation (MGIC). With roughly 550 Milwaukee-based employees and offices throughout the country, MGIC is the one of the nation’s largest private mortgage insurers. Despite losses due to the subprime mortgage crisis of the early twenty-first century, MGIC has reemerged profitable. The… Read More

Miller Brewing Company

A postcard features three cartoon characters travelling above the sky with an imaginary vehicle that has a propeller and a barrel of Miller's beer on its top. The barrel is tied to the seating with sausage chains. They sits on a platform that reads "Miller Milwaukee, High Life Beer" while drinking beers. The sky is bright yellow. Below is Milwaukee's landscape with billowing smoke in the air. The top right is "In Milwaukee Looking Over the Town."
The Miller Brewing Company is one of Milwaukee’s historic brewing giants, operating in the city from 1855 to the present. A relatively late bloomer compared to other local rivals, Miller was an important innovator in national beer marketing, a significant developer of light beer, and the last of the city’s brewing giants remaining from the… Read More

Milwaukee Area Labor Council

Sepia-colored full shot of a group of people in warm clothes walking to the left. Some carry protest signs that read "On Strike, Local 248 Amalgamated Meat Cutters AFL-CIO." Parked cars appear in the background. The bottom part of a freeway is visible in the far distance.
The Milwaukee Area Labor Council (MALC) traces its roots to the late nineteenth century and the affiliation of Milwaukee trade unions to the then newly-formed American Federation of Labor (AFL). As of 2015, 52,000 union members from over 140 Milwaukee locals in Milwaukee, Ozaukee, and Washington counties affiliate under the umbrella of the MALC. Waukesha… Read More

Nordberg Manufacturing Company

Long shot of Nordberg Manufacturing Company interior in grayscale. The image shows a man in a dress shirt, tie, and trousers standing on the left on a wooden scaffolding while looking at a large molding press spanning next to him. Multiple pipes appears in the upper background, extending from left to right.
The Nordberg Manufacturing Company was a business that manufactured many different types of heavy machinery, engines, and hoists, as well as mining and railway equipment. Bruno V. Nordberg founded the company in 1890. It existed as the Nordberg Manufacturing Company until 1970 when it became part of Rexnord, a corporation that remains to this day… Read More

North Chicago Rolling Mill and Illinois Steel

Sepia-colored group photo of 39 employees posing in four rows at the Bay View Rolling Mill. Ten men sit in the front row, flanked by two people standing on the edge. All of them wear hats, some in suits. They make direct eye contact with the camera lens. A wall is visible in the background, along with two windows on the left and farthest right.
For just over sixty years, three companies, Milwaukee Iron Company, the North Chicago Rolling Mill, and the Illinois Steel Company operated successively at the same site in Bay View. Called colloquially the Bay View Rolling Mill, these companies produced iron and steel products for customers nationwide, played key roles in Milwaukee’s industrial growth, and employed… Read More

Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance Company

Photograph of the new Northwestern Mutual Insurance Tower and Commons, which opened in 2017.
Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance Company is one of Milwaukee’s largest corporations, and among the largest life insurance providers, real estate investors, and financial services enterprises in the United States. Maintaining its headquarters in downtown Milwaukee since 1859, the company grew along with the city over time, becoming one of its largest employers and a significant… Read More

Pabst Brewing Company

A painted postcard illustrates a bird's eye view of the Pabst Brewing Company plant. The giant building complex has several chimneys that release steam and black smoke. Other buildings and the city's roadways are visible in the surrounding area. Text at the bottom of the postcard reads "Plant of Pabst Brewing Co. Milwaukee."
The Pabst Brewing Company, an early innovator in national beer marketing and production, was one of Milwaukee’s industrial brewing giants, operating in Milwaukee from 1844 to 1996, and the largest brewer in the United States for a much of the late nineteenth century. The company originated as the pioneer brewery of Jacob Best, Sr. and… Read More

Paul Grottkau

Headshot drawing of Paul Grottkau over a white background facing right in a notched lapel suit. A signature is affixed at the bottom of the drawing.
Though he spent less than ten years in Milwaukee, Paul Grottkau (b. 1846, Berlin [Germany], d. 1898, Milwaukee) may have had more impact on the early development of the Milwaukee labor movement than anyone. Employed as a mason in Germany, he became a union leader and outspoken Socialist and was arrested for his writings. In… Read More

Pawling and Harnischfeger

Sepia-colored high-angle shot of Pawling and Harnischfeger manufacturing plant interior. Rows of machines are placed in the large room. Gears and machinery equipment lies on the floor in the foreground. An aisle is visible on the right side. Steel infrastructure lines the left and right sides of the room.
Pawling and Harnischfeger (P&H) was a Milwaukee-based company that specialized in electronic motors, crane design and production, and later the manufacturing of mining equipment. Setting up in Walker’s Point, Alonzo Pawling and Henry Harnischfeger started a small machine shop that repaired and fabricated machinery for local businesses. The company also produced knitting and sewing machines… Read More

Pfister & Vogel Leather Company

Long shot of a portion of the Pfister & Vogel Tanning Company facade facing slightly to the left on Water Street. Brick walls compose this five-story building. It has repeating rectangular windows almost on its entire exterior walls. The company sign is installed in the top front, beneath several windows on the fifth story. A big water tank sits atop the flat roof on the left side. Below this is a two-story round arch framing an entrance. A lower structure appears adjacent to the entrance. The blue sky is above. A two-way street with green space is visible in the left foreground.
Tanning magnates Guido Pfister and Frederick Vogel, Sr. migrated separately to the United States from the German Kingdom of Württemberg in the mid-1840s. Both worked briefly at the tannery of Vogel’s cousin in Buffalo, New York, before moving to Milwaukee in 1847. In Milwaukee, Pfister opened a leather retail store on Market Street Square and… Read More

Port Milwaukee

Bird's eye view of a portion of Milwaukee that borders Lake Michigan. The blue-colored water body spans the image's right. Jones Island stretches from the image's center to the foreground. Port Milwaukee appears on the left and right sides of the island. The left side is the inner harbor; the other is the outer. Several boats are docked around both sides. Next to the inner harbor, closer to the background, is the sewage treatment plant. It has a tall chimney billowing white smoke. A residential area is in the left foreground. Interstate 794 highway runs from the land in the background towards the island's right side through the Hoan Bridge. Part of the road on Jones Island is under construction. Downtown Milwaukee's landscape is in the far background.
By its very name, Milwaukee references a location intimately tied to the three waterways that course their way through inland expanses before emptying into Lake Michigan. During the Native American era as well as in the early American settlement days, the Milwaukee River, subsequent to its confluence with the Menomonee, angled southward, separated from Lake… Read More

Printing Industry

Grayscale photograph of the interior of Milwaukee Journal press room. A man works on a machine on the left. He stands on an aisle. Several brightly lit lamps are hung in a row above the aisle. Behind the man is a row of equipment. Steel structures and concrete walls are visible.
Tied largely to newspaper and magazine publishing, Milwaukee’s printing industry formed in the decade prior to the city’s charter and matured into one of the city’s largest industries, becoming a national industry center through the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. In 1836, Daniel Richards established Milwaukee’s first printing operation near the current corner of Old World… Read More


The Mader's Restaurant advertisement in grayscale urges people to stock up on liquor and beer. The painted ad illustrates a large poster installed on a sizeable window-like structure. The poster is filled with text written in big font. It reads, "Prohibition is near at hand! Prepare for the Worst, Stock Up Now! Today or Tomorrow, Soon There'll be Nothing but the Lake. Ask for Our Price List." Another announcement below the poster informs the price of burgundy and beers. Next to the poster is the image of a standing woman in a hat, a long-sleeve top, and a long skirt facing to the left.
Due to efforts by the temperance movement in general and groups like the Anti-Saloon League in particular, alcohol consumption became a political issue following the American Civil War. Aided by growing anti-German sentiment following the outbreak of World War One, the prohibition movement—or a ban on the production, sale, importation, and transportation of alcohol—gained support… Read More


Grayscale elevated shot of three men working inside the Quad/Graphics Pewaukee plant. A set of large machines sits on two-level of platforms in the background. Steel structure in the ceiling is visible. A man in the left background walks down the stair attached to the platform. Two other employees stand in the foreground in the area below the machine. Both check on the papers they have printed. The man in a headset on the farthest right stands at the end of the machine that releases printed products. His hands are on top of a stack of the products.
Headquartered in Sussex, Quad/Graphics is an international printing giant, focused primarily on magazine and catalogue printing, with multiple plants in the Milwaukee area. Operating from 1971 to the present, Quad/Graphics was a relatively late-bloomer in Milwaukee’s printing industry but became a national industry leader in the late-twentieth century. After graduating from Columbia Law School, Harry… Read More