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Alfred Dolge

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Name  Alfred Dolge

Role  Industrialist
Alfred Dolge Historic Real Estate The Victorian Edition National
Died  January 5, 1922, Milan, Italy
Books  Pianos and their makers, Men Who Have Made Piano History

Part 1 of 4 alfred dolge mansion and daniel green factory dolgeville ny july 20th 2000


Alfred Dolge (December 22, 1848 – January 5, 1922) was a German born industrialist, inventor, and author of two books.

Contents

Alfred Dolge FileAlfred Dolge Mansion Jul 10jpg Wikimedia Commons

Originally an importer and manufacturer of piano materials he later founded his own factory, manufacturing felt products at Brockett’s Bridge, Fulton County, New York which in 1887 was renamed to Dolgeville, New York.

Alfred Dolge mshepherdpianocomwpcontentuploadsDolgeportra

Part 4 of 4 alfred dolge mansion and daniel green factory july 20th 2000 dolgeville ny


Biography

Alfred Dolge Part 1 of 4Alfred Dolge Mansion and Daniel Green Factory

Alfred Dolge was born December 22, 1848 in Chemnitz, Saxony. He attended public school in Leipzig until he was 17 when he entered his fathers’ business, the A. Dolge and Co., Piano Manufacturers, as an apprentice. He pursued high school studies in a night school conducted by the Free Masons in Leipzig and received his diploma from them. He first came to the United States in 1865, when he was 17. He remained permanently in 1868 and worked in piano making and importing in New York City. In 1874 Dolge went to Brockett's Bridge, Fulton County, New York, prospecting for spruce wood to be used for piano sounding boards. He purchased the old Brockett building and in April 1875, he began manufacturing felt in it, later known as the Dolge Company Factory Complex. Within a few years Brockett's Bridge grew from 325 to over 2,000 inhabitants, many of whom were German immigrants, whom he had interested in the area by advertisements and agents. Eventually, Dolge built felt mills, made felt shoes, autoharps, piano cases, piano sounding boards, piano hammers, ran lumber yards, and contributed to the local physical infrastructure and educational needs.In 1887 the citizens unanimously petitioned the authorities at Washington to change the name of the place from Brockett’s Bridge to Dolgeville, New York.

Alfred Dolge Upstate Earth The enlightened capitalism of Alfred Dolge

Dolge failed financially and left Dolgeville in May 1899. He lived in California and started a business there. He died in Milan, Italy on January 5, 1922 on a round the world tour. He is buried in the Dolgeville cemetery.

Alfred Dolge Upstate Earth The enlightened capitalism of Alfred Dolge

In late 2014, Alfred Dolge's 1895 mansion, which stood behind the historic factory complex was destroyed by fire. The mansion was owned by Charles Soukup, who had recently purchased and converted the Dolge Company Factory Complex. To date, the cause of the fire has yet to be determined.

Philosophy

Alfred Dolge Upstate Earth Return to the village of Alfred Dolge

Inspired by his early readings of Liebknecht, Marx, Mill, and Adam Smith, Dolge instituted at Dolgeville a form of what we now call social security in his attempt to create an idealistic socialistic utopia. About 1876, when the factory was first well established, Dolge began to set up his Pension Plan which remained almost exactly the same throughout his tenure. It was extremely generous, ranging from 50 percent of wages for disability after 10 years service up to 100 percent after 25 years. Later he added a system of life insurance paid for by the firm. He also instituted a program of Earning-Sharing whereby an employee received a portion of the earnings according to his contribution in brains or the value of his work. This was not to be turned over until retirement, but was to be reinvested. The Pension Plan was non-contributory by the employee. The employer paid all. When Dolge’s business failed in 1899, few of the benefits which he had envisioned had been paid, but the ideas which he pioneered proved to be very lasting. His ideas gained worldwide attention. The government of Germany officially requested details of his Plan and adopted it with some changes. In 1889, the government of France asked for a detailed account. The insurance, pension and endowment plans instituted by Dolgeville were also copied and adapted by railroads and many other corporations in America.

Books

Alfred Dolge Alfred Dolge Martin Shepherd Piano Service

In 1896, he printed a 243-page paperbound book entitled "The Practical Applications of Economic Theories in the Factories of Alfred Dolge and Son." In 1911 he published a book on the development of the piano in Europe, America, Russia and Japan.

Legacy

Because of Dolge, Dolgeville had the:

  • first Social Security, 1876
  • first felt slipper and shoes made in America, 1881
  • second electric dynamo run by water power, 1879 (Edison’s was the first dynamo)
  • first public kindergarten in New York State, 1889
  • first park system in the Dolgeville area, 1876
  • first upstate village lighted by electricity, Dolgeville 1891
  • References

    Alfred Dolge Wikipedia


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