Jacob J. Vollrath (1824-1898), founder of the company, was born in Doerrebath. Germany, and came to America in 1845. In 1874 he began the manufacture of cast iron hollow ware under his own name in a small frame foundry located at the corner of Huron avenue and Sixth street, Sheboygan, Wisconsin. When porcelain enameling, as applied to cooking utensils, was in its commercial infancy, the process was applied to the Vollrath products in cast iron and, later, to stamped steel wares, which had been added to the manufactures. In the development of the enameling branch of the business and through effort to obtain efficiency in it, there was invented by Jacob J. Vollrath the "Gray Enamel" and later, by C. A. W. Vollrath, his son, that process by which the "speckled" or "peppered" effect in enamel is obtained.
n 1884 the business was incorporated under the Wisconsin laws under the style The Jacob J. Vollrath Manufacturing Company, and in 1911, practically the entire assets were assumed by the new corporation The Vollrath Company, with C. A. W. Vollrath, president, to whose thirty-seven years of effort in the manufacturing departments of the company, the progress of Vollrath Ware might properly be accredited.
The plant of The Vollrath Company, occupying at this time an entire city block at its original location, was deemed insufficient to meet the demands upon it and work upon a new and modern plant was begun upon the forty acre site on Eighteenth street, between Superior and Erie avenues. At the time of this writing, the plant, half of which is erected and occupied, promises to be one of the city's most pleasing industrial plants.
The policy of The Vollrath Company from its inception has been to manufacture ware of high quality rather than the cheaper grades and that success to this end has been attained is evidenced by the standing of the Vollrath Enameled Products in the larger trade centers of the states and by the awards of grand prizes for superiority over others in white and colored enamels at the Cotton Centennial Exposition in 1885, the World's Columbian Exposition in 1893, and the Louisiana Purchase Exposition in 1904.
Information gathered and adapted from History of Sheboygan County, Wisconsin, Past and Present
Carl Zillier, Editor
Pubished by The S.J. Clarke Publishing Company, 1912, Chicago, IL