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Hutzler Brothers Company papers

Identifier: MS 2691


This collection contain correspondence, reports, legal and financial records, employee data, handbooks, and printed ephemera related to the Hutzler Brothers Company. The collection reflects the community's economic adn retail history for over a century. A seperate section deals with members of the Hutzler family.


  • 1784-1977


Conditions Governing Access

The collection is open for research use.

Conditions Governing Use

The reproduction of materials in this collection may be subject to copyright restrictions. It is the responsibility of the researcher to determine and satisfy copyright clearances or other case restrictions when publishing or otherwise distributing materials found in the collections. For more information visit the MCHC’s Rights and Permissions page.

Biographical / Historical

Hutzler Brothers Company, one of Baltimore's major retail stores, was founded in 1858 by Abram G. Hutzler, son of German-Jewish immigrants when he took over a small shop operated by his brother-in-law, Elkan Bamberger. Because he was too young to secure credit in his own name, Abram Hutzler opened the store under his father's name, M[oses] Hutzler & Son, however Moses was never connected with the business. The original store dealt mainly in laces, fine fabrics and fancy goods, the majority of which were imported from Europe.

In 1867, Abram Hutzler took his two brothers, Charles G. and David into the business with him. Until 1888 Abram and Charles ran a wholesale business, leaving David to manage the retail store. After closing the wholesale business, all three brothers concentrated on developing the retail store.

Beginning in 1901 with Louis S. Hutzler, the second generation of Hutzlers began coming into the business. Louis was followed by Albert David, Sr. in 1910 and Charles G. II in 1926. The firm was incorporated in 1908 under the name Hutzler Brothers Co. of Baltimore City, later shortened to Hutzler Brothers Co. This period was marked by strained relations and low morale among the officers and executives primarily due to overlapping job responsibilities and lack of organization. During the 1920's a major reorganization of management, equipment and policies took place which transformed the store into a modern retail business.

Abram Hutzler's original store was located on the corner of Howard and Clay Streets. The building expanded as success increased the store's business. The famous;palace building was completed in 1888 and property along Howard Street between Saratoga and Mulberry Streets continued to be acquired and developed. In 1952 Hutzler's first branch store was opened in Towson, Md. The 1950's and 1960's saw the development of suburban shopping malls. Hutzler's first mall store opened in 1956 at the Eastpoint Shopping Center and was followed by many other mall-located branches.


6.67 Linear Feet (16 boxes, 17 oversize volumes, 8 oversize items)

Language of Materials


Immediate Source of Acquisition

Gift; Hutzler Brothers Company, October 1980

Related Materials

MS 476 Hutzler family papers, 1867-1911

MS 476.1 Hutzler family papers, 1879-1897

Scope and Contents

For a number of years, Hutzler Brothers Company maintained its own archives and developed a filing code, a copy of which is included in this register. Primarily for the safekeeping of memorabilia and items of general historical interest, the archives lacked provisions for legal and financial records. The original system has been maintained, as far as possible, with the addition of a few new subgroups.

The Hutzler Brothers Company Papers is divided into eleven series: Family, Officers and Executives, Employees, Legal Records, Property, Openings/Anniversaries/Expansions, Advertising, Baltimore-A Picture History, World War II, Financial Records, and Scrapbooks.

The Family series contains biographical data on the men who have been involved in the business from Abram G. Hutzler to Charles G. Hutzler, Jr. Although there is some material pertaining to connections with the business,most of the material in the Family series is personal in nature. The first few folders contain genealogical information tracing the family back to the parents of Moses and Caroline Hutzler in Hagenbach, Germany. Of particular interest is Abram G. Hutzler's account book for Pomona his estate in Pikesville, Md. The book records expenses for farm stock and implements, construction and landscaping, furniture, taxes, utilities, and labor between 1915 and 1927.

The Officers and Executives series contains three folders of general correspondence on such subjects as customer relations, merchandise, donations to the Hutzler archives, and contributions of the company to various charities. Of particular note: a letter from Gov. Wm. Preston Lane, Sr. regarding Hutzler's gift of a model of the Ark and the Dove to the State of Maryland, 29 Sept. 1950; a letter from Ogden Nash, 27 Feb. 1957; and letters to and from Edward S. Delaplaine (Nov. 1960) and L.D. Engelbrecht (Jan. 1968) regarding Moses Hutzler's business ventures in Baltimore and Frederick, Md.

The Officers and Executives series also includes the President's Reports for the years 1911-1917 which reflect some of the conflict among the officers during that period. The series contains various reports, from both internal and external sources, regarding sales statistics, space planning, installation of a computer system and customer relations services. This series also documents Hutzler's involvement in various retail and management associations.

The Employees series contains information on a scattering of individuals such as J. Frank Haynie, Superintendent, employed between 1875 and 1930; Michael P. Shiel, divisional merchandise manager, employed between 1919 and 1933; and John F. Wilhelm, merchandise manager, whose Customer Record Book takes note of the size and physical features of his customers. Trends and changes in staff policies can be traced through the general rule books (1926-1955) and inter-office memos (1931-1973). Also in this series are training manuals for drivers, display personnel, copywriters, sales clerks, cashiers, and A.D. Hutzler, Jr.'s secretary. The display vouchers (1976-1977) list all items from various departments that were used in promotional displays. The merchandise transfer books (1970-1975) record items that were transferred from one branch to another. Oversize folders contain management organizational charts from 1921-1958.

The Legal Records series contains the company's legal documents such as a partnership agreement (1868) with Daniel Lowenthal, licenses (1890-1907) to operate one- and two-horse carts, and contracts with various utilities, cash carrier companies, credit bureaus and a rat exterminator (1902). A hold harmless agreement documents a shoplifting incident in 1896.

The Property series contains papers relating to expenses and contracts involving Hutzler's physical structures. An original lease agreement (1784) (located in an oversize folder) describes the lot on Saratoga and Howard Streets where the Hutzler downtown complex would later be located. Another lot on Eutaw and Saratoga Streets is described in a 1786 deed transcribed from an original in the Maryland State Archives. A series of notes from ca. 1885 show cost estimates for opening a new building including merchandise, staff salaries and taxes. Correspondence and reports (1959-1967) from several organizations such as Committee for Downtown Inc., Lexington Street Association and the Retail Merchants Association show the planning and development of the Lexington Street Mall.

The Opening/Anniversaries/Expansions series is one of the original subgroups of the Hutzler archives. The only opening documented is that of the store at Southdale Shopping Center. The expansions category is represented by a notice introducing the electric welding technique in construction activity in 1931. Most of the material in this series relates to promotions of the store's anniversaries.

The Advertising series contains samples of calendars and souvenirs used to promote Hutzler's merchandise. More examples of this type may be found in the Prints and Photographs Division. Advertising circulars (1918-1973) are annotated with the quantity and cost of mailing, sometimes indicating the targeted customer group such as active charge accounts and mens cash customers. Newspaper advertisements (1929-1930) have been preserved in a small scrapbook.

The Baltimore-A Picture History series relates to the production and publicity for the souvenir book Hutzler's published in 1958 to commemorate their centennial year of business. It was revised and reprinted in 1968.

The World War II series is another section from the original Hutzler archives. Included are scripts from the radio show Tribute to the Unconquerableswhich reported the war situation in Greece and Norway. These shows, sponsored by department stores nationwide, promoted the sale of war bonds. Also of note is material relating to a 1944 exhibit in the store called This is the Army Mrs. Jones. The exhibit was designed to illustrate typical army life to civilians at home. Additional material can be found in oversize folders.

The Financial Records series includes daybooks (1904-1950), general ledgers (1904-1964), cash receipts (1941-1964), journals (1950-1962), transfer binder (1917-1953), balance sheets (1862-1904), insurance records (1923-1930), audited statements (1950-1965), disbursements (1961-1964), and payroll and merchandise charts (1973-1976). Three volumes of family accounts span 1867-1904. Tax records for family and business cover 1899 to 1924. A series of reports on the employees' retirement plan (1943-1963) is included. Of special interest are receipted bills (1855-1919) showing early Hutzler Brothers Co. letterheads and a 1932 appraisal of Hutzler's buildings, equipment including store and office furniture, display fixtures, fire protection system, mechanical and service equipment, etc. Some financial records are located in oversize folders.

There are two scrapbooks in the last series. Scrapbook I contains a miscellany of correspondence, photographs, newspaper articles and printed ephemera relating to the store's history. Scrapbook II, Testimonial to Hutzler's 100 Years of Leadership, 1858-1958,contains congratulatory letters on Hutzler's centennial from heads of retail stores throughout the United States (and one from Harrod's in London) who belonged to the Associated Merchandising Corporation.

Awards and certificates relating to both the store and the family are located in an oversize folder. Family members represented are Moses Gutman, Ella Joline Gutman (Hutzler), Abram G. Hutzler, Edwin B. Hutzler, Joel G.D. Hutzler, Albert D. Hutzler, Albert D. Hutzler, Jr., and Henry Oppenheimer. Items include diplomas, membership certificates, confirmations,military papers, awards of merit, and memorials. Other certificates highlight the participation of the Hutzler Brothers Company in community affairs.

Guide to the Hutzler Brothers Company papers
Under Revision
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Code for undetermined script

Revision Statements

  • 2020-03-25: Manually entered into ArchivesSpace by Micah Connor.

Repository Details

Part of the H. Furlong Baldwin Library Repository

H. Furlong Baldwin Library
Maryland Center for History and Culture
610 Park Avenue
Baltimore MD 21201 United States