U.S.A. / Pennsylvania / Philadelphia:
 : Ebeling & Reuss (1886 until ...)
Originally founded as 'Zeh, Ebeling & Reuss' by John E. F. Zeh, Frederick Ebeling and Theodore Reuss the firm operated from Philadelphia and later relocated first to Devon and then to Allentown, Pennsylvania. 'Ebeling & Reuss' was a distributor and importer of high quality giftware and quickly became a major supplier of porcelain figures and teapots to shops in North Eastern United States. The company's import volume peaked in the late 1940's/50's. George Ebeling was a long time manager of the firm in the middle of the 20th Century. After more than a decade with Ronald Rapelje as president, the company was sold to the Strathmore Corporation of Pennsylvania on April 15th 2002 and is still continuing business.
In 1986, 'Ebeling & Reuss' became exclusive distributor for the 'Crystal Signature' line of Swarovski figures. But by 1988 'Swarovski International' wanted to halt development of the figurines in breach of its duties under the distribution agreement. During investigation, one of thousands of internal Swarovski documents finally showed that it was planned all along to take back the distribution rights to the crystal figurines if the venture proved to be successful. The resulting trial concluded 1992 with the jury finding in favor of 'Ebeling & Reuss' on all counts, awarding it $55 million.
But what makes this company interesting is the fact that they imported products from many factories, including the German firms of 'Alboth & Kaiser' (Kronach, later Staffelstein), 'Fürstenberg' (Fürstenberg), 'Goebel' (Oeslau / Rödental), 'Heinrich & Co.' (Selb) and, from 1955 onwards, 'Carl Schumann' (Arzberg). The firm also imported goods from the Keramos company (located in Vienna) and the company of Ditmar-Urbach located in Teplitz-Turn (today Czech Republic). And for all those that have not guessed by now ... the trade name 'Erphila' was derived from the 'E' in Ebeling, 'R' in Reuss, and 'Phila' from Philadelphia.
(Picture by Loriann Zsohar)
(Picture by Theresa Hartmans
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