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1133 S 16TH ST | Property Record | Wisconsin Historical Society

Property Record

1133 S 16TH ST

Architecture and History Inventory
1133 S 16TH ST | Property Record | Wisconsin Historical Society
Historic Name:National Tinsel Manufacturing Company
Other Name:National Toy & Tinsel Manufacturing Company
Reference Number:57561
Location (Address):1133 S 16TH ST
Unincorporated Community:
Quarter Section:
Quarter/Quarter Section:
Year Built:1918
Additions: 1919 1926 1927
Survey Date:19852020
Historic Use:industrial building
Architectural Style:Astylistic Utilitarian Building
Structural System:
Wall Material:Cream Brick
Architect:Earl Miller (1918); William J. Raeuber (1926+)
Other Buildings On Site:
Demolished Date:
Additional Information:A 'site file' exists for this property. It contains additional information such as correspondence, newspaper clippings, or historical information. It is a public record and may be viewed in person at the Wisconsin Historical Society, State Historic Preservation Office.

1986 report information:
The National Tinsel Company plant on So. 16th Street is the second home of what is reported to be one of the early manufacturers of Christmas tree ornaments and toys in the country. Founded by Henry Stolze Manufacturing Company in 1888, the company grew to have a national and even international market in ornaments, tinsel and related products.

The company was purchased in 1918 by W.C. Protz who reorganized it as the National Tinsel and Toy Manufacturing Company. According to the current president, John Protz, the company manufactured tinsel and wooden toys, both products of the Stolze Company. The present plant was built in c.1920 and has two later additions built within the first ten years of operation. Toy making was phased out and the name changed to National Tinsel Company. Although the owner believes his company is the oldest in the country currently manufacturing Christmas tree tinsel, he is not sure that it is the first as stated in the 1974 survey.

The National Tinsel Company provides a unique addition to the City's manufacturing base.

2020 (corrections and clarifications to information above): The Tinsel Manufacturing Company was founded in 1915 by William C. Protz. The business was developed from/an outgrowth of the Stolze Manufacturing Company, which began in 1888 as a manufacturer of artificial flowers. In circa 1897-98, Stolze began making Christmas decorations, including tinsel products. Following purchase of the business, Protz began operations in the former Stolze factory at 814 Marshall Street but soon began construction of the subject brick factory building at S. 16th Street & Hamilton Street. The original block was completed in 1918, with the second addition competed just one year later. Further improvements were made in 1926 and 1927, resulting the large rectangular building that stands today. The name of the company at the time of the completion of the initial block and the 1919 addition was the Tinsel Manufacturing Company. From 1920 to 1923, it was known as the National Toy & Tinsel Manufacturing Company and, thereafter, it was the National Tinsel Manufacturing Company. It was known as Santa's Best as of 1992.
Bibliographic References:1. Falge, Vol. I, p. 377. 2. Story of A Century, p. 69; telephone interview wwith John Protz, President, July 15, 1986. 3. Company Records. 4. Interview with John Protz. 2020: Although company records were cited in 1985, it is presumed that those records are in the possession of the current company, Santa's Best.
Wisconsin Architecture and History Inventory, State Historic Preservation Office, Wisconsin Historical Society, Madison, Wisconsin

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