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Encyclopedia Dubuque


"Encyclopedia Dubuque is the online authority for all things Dubuque, written by the people who know the city best.”
Marshall Cohen—researcher and producer, CNN

Affiliated with the Local History Network of the State Historical Society of Iowa, and the Iowa Museum Association.


From Encyclopedia Dubuque
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Letterhead. Photo courtesy: Bob Reding
Name plate. Photo courtesy: Cathy's Treasures, 156 Main, Dubuque
Blotter advertising "Sandy" whose sandpaper pants were featured.
Photo courtesy: Jim Massey
Pocket mirror.
Telegraph Herald, Aug. 23, 1908. Image courtesy: Diane Harris
Kretschmer-Tredway was started in Dubuque in February of 1907 by brothers, Herbert and Frederick N. KRETSCHMER. In 1907, they joined Andrew Morrison in forming MORRISON & KRETSCHMER MANUFACTURING CO. The 1909 Dubuque City Directory located this business at the corner of 9th and Washington. When Morrison left, it became Kretschmer Manufacturing Company. Later when the brothers bought out Tredway and Sons (established in 1858), the name was changed to Kretschmer-Tredway Company.

In 1911 the company advertised that it manufactured plumbing and heating supplies and had a specialty in bath trap and double flush water closets. Forty workmen were employed. Until 1936, Frederick Kretschmer guided the company as its president.

From 1936 to 1944, Mrs. L. A. Kretschmer acted as President, being one of the few ladies to hold such a position during that era.

The 1970 through 1977 Dubuque City Directory listed the company at 220 E. 9th St.

In 1998, Kretschmer-Tredway was purchased. Now known as FIRST SUPPLY DUBUQUE, it became the first Iowa facility for the corporation. The successful facility continued to grow and in March 2007 relocated to its current location on Chavenelle Drive.

See close-up
Double bit axe, the "Lincoln Axe," carrying the company's name.
Kretschmer Manufacturing. Library of Congress
Wooden box used to ship the Lincoln Axe
Letterhead: Photo courtesy: Bob Reding

Source: "Chronology" Telegraph Herald, 1979 p. 15D