The Picker brothers were Frederick and Isidor Picker. They were immigrants from Austria, and they both applied for citizenship in the U. S. in 1887. They lived at 1567 First Ave., New York City, and said that they arrived in the U. S. in 1875. Isidor Picker said that he was born 19 Nov. 1864. Frederick Picker said that he was born 12 Feb. 1866. Both gave their occupation as "bartender."
The Picker brothers, however, soon left bartending, and went into the wholesale liquor business. In 1891 their business was located at 861 9th Ave. (near 56th St.). Then in 1893 they moved to West 125th St. From 1893 to 1912 they had three locations on the downtown side of the 300-block, then moved to the building above, 313-315 West 125th St., on the uptown side of the street. They were at this location from 1912 to 1922.
In 1900 Isidor Picker (1867?-1921) applied for a passport where he said that he was born 18 February 1866 in Pilsen, Austria, that he immigrated from Bremen, Germany, in 1880 and that he became a naturalized citizen 19 September 1887. Two years later (1902) he again applied for a passport where he said he was born 18 February 1867 and that he immigrated from Bremen 3 March 1875. A third passport application (in 1905) gave his birth date as 18 February 1868 and his date of immigration as 15 September 1874.
In 1922 Frederick Picker (1868?-1933) applied for a passport where he said that he was born 15 April 1868 in Pilsen, Austria, that he immigrated from Bremen, Germany, 18 May 1873, and that he became a naturalized citizen 19 September 1887. He died in New York, age 64, 23 November 1933.
Pilsen, Austria, is now (2015) Pizen, Czech Republic. Prior to World War I this area was part of the Austrian Empire.
In addition to their liquor business, the Pickers were in business as real esate dealers under the name Picker Bros. Realty & Improvement Co. Two of Frederick Picker's sons, Lawrence F. Picker (1900-1984) and Jerome W. Picker (1897-1974), were involved in this business which was listed in the New York telephone directory through 1944.
313-315 West 125th Street is a castiron building constructed in 1887. Date of construction is recorded in the cornice. The iron was provided by the Lindsay & Graff Iron Foundry. For more on Lindsay & Graff see their page in the Iron Founders section.
The website www.castironnyc.org includes the following on 313 West 125th St., "ID: 43 / Name: Picker Building / Address: 313 West 125th Street, between Eighth Avenue (Frederick Douglass Boulevard) and St. Nicholas Avenue / Block and Lot: Block: 1952 Lot: 28 / Neighborhood: Upper Manhattan / Date: 1887 (NB 1333-1887) / Architect: John F. Miller / Original Use: Commercial / Original Owner: John Cromwell, Crawford, New Jersey / Foundry: unknown / Style: Queen Anne / Other Information: In 1887, architect John F. Miller had his office at 247 West 125th Street in Harlem, one block east of this building. The name of the building is evident on the panel in the center of the cornice."
Copyright © 2015 Walter Grutchfield