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Morris Baumann (1857-1937)
Contributed by Sandy Barnes

The Baumann Family
                            ca 1899

Clara and Morris Baumann along with their children Robert, Irwin and Gertrude circa 1899

Morris Baumann was my great grandfather. I am the daughter of Claire Baumann Ginsburgh who was the daughter of Irwin Samuel Baumann who was the son of Morris Baumann.

Morris Baumann was born as Maier Baumann into a Jewish family in the village of Schmeiheim  on Dec 10, 1857 to Isaak Baumann and Gutel Levi Baum Baumann.  He was the youngest of seven children and the only one to immigrate to the US, though some of his nieces and nephews came over later.  His father was a successful cattle dealer.  Maier attended public school until the age of 15 and then became an apprentice in the hardware business.  He came proficient in the manufacture of rubber goods in Frankfurt working for others.

It’s unclear when he changed his name to Morris; likely shortly after his immigration to America, arriving Dec 4, 1883, age 25.  He worked as a foreman for Goodyear India Rubber Company in Naugatuck CT.  After a year, he moved to New Haven where he formed the Baumann Rubber Company with a partner Ernest Schwenk.  In 1891, his partner sold out to Julius Lederer.

Boy holding
                            Baumann Rubber Co. product

Boy holding one of the Baumann Rubber Company products (presumably one of the Baumann or Lederer children) undated

In 1890, Morris married Clara Lederer, daughter of Samuel and Marie Abeles Lederer of New Brunswick, New Jersey and sister of his business partner.  They had three children Irwin S (1891-1973), Gertrude (1892-1980) and Robert (1896-1977).  Irwin Samuel Baumann married Regina Zunder Weil, a member of a prominent Jewish New Haven family and had two daughters Ruth (1918-1972) and Claire (1924-2010). 

Morris and Clara

Morris and Clara Baumann undated

Baumann Family ca

Morris Baumann and his family circa 1920.  Left to right: Morris Baumann, Clara Baumann, Irwin Baumann holding his young daughter Ruth, Regina Weil Baumann, Robert Baumann.  In front: Gertrude with her first husband.

Morris made at least one trip back to visit his family in Schmeiheim but spent the rest of his life in America. 

Baumanns visit
                            Schmieheim        Photographer's Mark

Morris and Clara Baumann - Portrait taken during a trip back to Schmieheim.  Notice photographer's mark.

He held a patent for a seam welding machine of his own invention.

Baumann Patent

Illustration from Patent Application for Machine by Morris Baumann

The Baumann Rubber Company prospered in New Haven making rubber parlor balls as well as full line of specialties of pure gum bathing caps, barber bibs, pure gum ice bags, and toy novelties.  The company eventually employed almost 200 people, had manufacturing plants in New Haven and an office in New York City.  The family members had substantial houses and a house at the beach.  However a commodity crisis in 1928 bankrupted the company in advance of the great depression.  Morris and his family lost most of their assets.

Baumann rubber Company Picnic 1924

Baumann Rubber Company Picnic 1924

Invitation to35th
                            Wedding Annivewrsary Party

Invitation to 35th Anniversary Party 1925

Morris and Clara Baumann were active in Temple Mishkan Israel in New Haven as well as the Harugari Singers, a German singing group.  Morris passed away in 1937 in New Haven, Connecticut.

Baumann Family
                            circa 1930

Morris and Clara with Children and Grandchildren circa 1930

My mother, Claire Baumann Ginsburgh had happy childhood memories walking their little dog with her grandfather and his habit of eating Limburger cheese for breakfast just to annoy her grandmother.

Compiled by Pete Dreifuss (
Last updated 12 November 2013
Copyright © Peter A. Dreifuss 2012
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