New research is shedding light on an artifact which is currently on display at the Berks History Center. The artifact belonged to George E. Haak (1842-1915) of Reading.
After serving in the Civil War, Haak found employment as a “digger”. However, by 1870 he was working in the dry goods store of his father-in-law, Amos Potteiger (1824-1897), which operated at 310 Penn Street. It appears that by 1877, he was running an independent China & Glass business within his father-in-law’s store. It also appears that by 1882 he had moved his china and glass business into its own location, next door at 312 Penn Street, while his father-in-law continued operating the dry goods store at 310 Penn Street.
The sign was presumably made in the early 1870s, while Haak was still working from his father-in-law’s store. The sign is marked “Baker” and we assume that this refers to William B. Baker (1850-1920), a painter who lived at 27 South 11th Street in Reading.
Researched & Written by Curator Bradley K. Smith