Wednesday, March 11, 2015

A Plumber's Portrait

My third great-uncle, Emil Wey, had three sons who became plumbers and started their own business called Wey Brothers in the city of Allegheny, Pennsylvania (now part of Pittsburgh). While searching The Plumbers Trade Journal, I found several issues that mentioned the brothers' projects, such as this blurb in 1906:  "Wey Bros., 707 Middle street, Allegheny, are doing the plumbing in the residence of E. E. Garside, of East Bellevue."

On the same page, it is even more interesting to see the mentions of personal information about plumbers, such as the birth of a baby boy and this great photo of a plumber and his wife!

Genealogy and Trade Journals"We show in the present issue a portrait of that successful master plumber of 90 Lowry street, Troy Hill, Allegheny, Pa., John B. Heid, and his charming wife. Mr. Heid is just installing a nice piece of plumbing in the Hubert residence on Troy Hill, and is known far and wide for the high quality of his work. He has one of the best shops in Allegheny and has performed some of the best contracts in that neck of the woods. He has a very delightful home on Lowry street, a couple of squares from his shop. Mr. Heid looks forward to a good year in 1906 and judging from his record in the past he should have a big number of contracts on hand by spring. Mr. and Mrs. Heid recently returned from their wedding trip, which included Cleveland, Buffalo, Niagara Falls, New York and Boston."

Trade journals can tell you more about an ancestor than items related to his profession. You may get lucky and find some great personal details.


  1. Wow - you did it again! I did some searches, and found mention of my great-grandfather, August Ludwig, who was a plumber in Pittsburgh, in a 1904 Plumbers Trade Journal! Thank you!!!

    1. That's wonderful! This is one of the reasons I read so many blogs. The research of others often provides great suggestions for tracking down facts about our own ancestors. I'm so glad my post was helpful!


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