Mayer & Kornbau, 110 W. 86th St. near Columbus Ave., New York, 2008
This sidewalk lid, probably a coal chute, is inscribed, "Mayer & Kornbau / 13 Dry Dock St. / New York City." The partners at Mayer & Kornbau were George Mayer and Kennard Kornbau. But before there was Mayer & Kornbau there was Simons & Mayer, where Simons was Isaac Simons. And before there was a Simons & Mayer, there was Simons & Moersfelder, where Simons was Berry B. Simons, and Moersfelder was Jacob Moersfelder.
Simons & Moersfelder were an iron foundry located initially at East 9th Street and Avenue D (131 Ave. D). They were in business from approximately 1897 to 1908, and they moved a block up Ave. D (to 143 Ave. D) around 1899. A Simons & Moersfelder coal chute cover is found at simons-coalchute.htm. This is marked 143 & 145 Ave D, New York. An architectural Simons & Moersfelder foundry mark is found at simons&moersfelder.htm.
Simons & Mayer were an iron foundry located initially at 514 E. 23rd St. The Simons here was Isaac Simons, a brother of Berry B. Simons. They were in business from approximately 1905 to 1918. Around 1907, however, Simons & Mayer moved into Simons & Moersfelder's location at 143 Ave. D. (An example of a coal chute cover by Simons & Mayer is found at 40 W. 84th St.) (An example of vault lights by Simons & Mayer is found at 949 West End Ave.) Both Berry B. Simons and Jacob Moersfelder became real estate dealers around this time. Then in 1918/19 Isaac Simons was replaced by Kennard Kornbau to form Mayer & Kornbau. Initially Mayer & Kornbau were in business at the same 143 Ave. D location. Then around 1921/22 they moved to 13 Dry Dock St. Dry Dock St. was in the same neighborhood. It was mid-block between Ave. C and Ave. D, running north-south from East 10th St. to East 13th. Number 13 was on the west side of the street just north of 11th St. (A map of the area can be seen on the New York Public Library's Digital Collections.) Mayer & Kornbau were in business at 13 Dry Dock St. until 1937.
According to his 1922 passport application, Isaac Simons (1879-1939), was born in Worthville, Pennsylvania, 12 April 1879. He is found in the U. S. Census of 1880, a year-old infant, living with father, mother, his brother Berry (age 10), and three other siblings in Worthville, Jefferson county, Pennsylvania. He appears in later census reports as an iron merchant (1910) and "occupation None" (1920). City directories give his later occupation as Real Estate.
Berry B. Simons (1870-1927) was born in Pennsylvania, March 1870. In addition to the 1880 U. S. Census, he is found in the 1900 census living at 3 W. 114th St., Manhattan, when he gave his occupation was "Iron Contractor." In the 1920 census he lived at 115 W. 118th St. and gave his occupation as "none."
According to a passport application filed in 1907, Jacob Moersfelder (1867-d. after 1930) was born in Standernheim, Germany, 21 Aug. 1867, immigrated to the U. S. in 1884 and became a naturalized citizen in 1891. He is found in the U. S. Census of 1900 living at 117 East 103rd St., Manhattan. His occupation at the time was "Iron Worker." In the 1930 census he lived on Jackson Ave., in the Bronx, age 63, and his occupation was "none."
George Mayer (1860-1945) was born in Baden (Germany) July 1860, and immigrated to the U. S. in 1885/86. He can be traced through four successive U. S. Census reports, 1900 to 1930. By 1915 he was living on Amboy Road, New Dorp, Staten Island.
Kennard Kornbau was Kennard Jones Kornbau (1881-1975). He was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 5 July 1881. In 1910 he lived with his father, a metals worker, at 2450 Germantown Ave., Philadelphia. Some time between 1910 and 1912 he married George Mayer's daughter, Marie. By the time of his World War I draft registration in 1918 he lived with his father-in-law at 2585 Amboy Road, Staten Island. He continued at this address for the rest of his life. Kennard and Marie Kornbau had no children. However, Kennard Kornbau had two additional wives after Marie's death in 1953: Virginia Siebert Kornbau who died in 1960, and Elsa Riete Kornbau who was his wife when he died in 1975. The Connecticut Death Index lists an Elsa R. Kornbau (father's surname Riete), who died 18 Feb. 1989, age 98, at Stamford, Conn.
Copyright (c) 2009 Walter Grutchfield