Leinbach & Bros. - Makers and Retailers of Fine Clothing.Return to Historical Articles
Joseph and George Leinbach came to Reading in 1865 from Bern Township to engage in the manufacture of clothing in partnership with Edward G. Spears. The emporium of Leinbach and Spears was at 623 Penn St.
This partnership was dissolved in 1874. Brothers Joseph and George opened a new store at 851 Penn.
It was in 1890 that the Leinbach's erected an impressive structure at 763 Penn. The building was one of the true giants of center city. On the first three floors the brothers housed and displayed their goods.
The Leinbach & Bro. building at 763 Penn St.
was one of Reading's most impressive structures
and was a recognized landmark when it was
razed around 1970.
~Click Image to Enlarge~
Visible at right is the three-story building at
851 Penn St. where Joseph and George Leinbach
went into the clothing business for themselves
~Click Image to Enlarge~
Their manufacturing plant was at the intersection of Ninth and Penn streets, where, under very favorable conditions as to equipment and comfort, a large force was employed in making fine clothing for men and boys.
At the turn of the century Leinbach's employed 265, which included seven cutters and seven trimmers. In addition to the goods retailed at 763 Penn, vast quantities of men's, boys', and children's clothing was wholesaled to merchants throughout Berks and surrounding counties.
In 1906, following the passing of both founding brothers, the family business was reorganized, with Charles H. Leinbach as president. The two other partners were Joseph V. R. Leinbach and E. H. Monyer.
Charles, a nephew of the founders, was born at "Leinbach's" in 1859. He attended normal school classes at both Millersville and Kutztown and taught briefly in Bern Township before joining the firm in 1881 as a clerk. He became a junior partner in 1890.
In late 1924, the Leinbach store went out of business. Charles H. Leinbach was president of the enterprise when the store went out of business. Second in command was Clarence C. Long who headed Weinerth Knitting and Machine Co. He was also vice president of Laurel Hosiery Co. A. D.
Heinly, secretary and treasurer of the firm, apparently desired to continue his involvement in the clothing business as he was listed in the city directory of the following year as a merchant tailor operating at 19 N. Eighth St.
When the store closed in 1924, Charles Leinbach retired. He was 65. He sold his home at 10 N. 11th St. and moved to 1424 Dauphin Ave., Wyomissing, where he passed away several years later.
During the next four decades a series of clothiers occupied the Leinbach building. Among these were Weiner's. Schainuck's, and in the early 1940's, Richard's, which evolved into OPO Clothes. OPO last occupied the premises in 1966. It was razed for urban renewal around 1970.