ebook  History of Watertown, Wisconsin


Brandt Manufacturing Co


E. J. Brandt


Brandt Automatic Cashier Co

De La Rue Cash Systems





1889       FOUNDED by Edward J. Brandt along with several other investors.   The company has played a key role in Watertown’s industry since that time.


Bio profile on Edward J. Brandt 



11 09       TRIP TO CHICAGO

Edward J. Brandt and wife went to Chicago Monday to visit their daughter, Eugenia, who is attending school there.  Mr. Brandt will continue his journey east where he has business in New York, Washington and other places.  WR



09 15       ”BRANDT AUTOMATIC CASHIER" change-making machine

A change making machine was received in the money order department at the Madison post office yesterday and set up for operation today.  It is a marvel of ingenuity.  It has a keyboard like a typewriter, upon which are placed all the figures from 1 to 100.  To get any desired change a person strikes a key bearing the figure of the sum wanted and the amount drops into his hand from a little spout below the machine.  For instance, if a dollar is handed in from which 13 cents is to be taken, the figure 87 is struck and 87 cents are thrown out.  The machine is called the “Brandt Automatic Cashier" and is manufactured in Watertown, Wisconsin.  It costs about $200.  The government sent it to Postmaster Keys, unsolicited, and presumably he is putting it into other offices, soon.  (Madison Journal)    WG



[same date]  The city is full of confidence men of all kinds.  If you don't want to part with your money, don't engage in any game of chance with these fellows, for they are sure to beat you.  During the crush on Main Street Wednesday evening, a man grabbed a valuable diamond stud from Ed. Brandt's shirt bosom.  Mr. Brandt grabbed the fellow and held him until he was arrested and locked in jail, but the diamond could not be found on his person.  Next morning it was found in the gutter near where the fellow grabbed it.  The same evening a lady was robbed of her pocket book and fainted in the crowd.  Leave your diamonds and valuables in a secure place.  Thursday and Friday nights will be good ones here for the light-fingered profession.  Nearly a dozen crooks are now in our city jail.   WG




St. Bernard’s Cecilian Society was formed on April 19, 1892 with Edward J. Brandt elected as its first director.  Brandt continued as director with the choir for 46 years



07 26       PRIVATE FORTUNE PLEDGED in case of bank bankruptcy  




Owing to the development of the two branches of the business for years conducted by the Edward J. Brandt-Dent company each branch being entirely different from the other, the business has been divided into two corporations . . . The corporation name is now the Brandt Cashier Manufacturing Company . . . and this corporation continues the manufacture for the Brandt automatic cashiers for the United States and Canada . . . The two local corporations will be conducted separately, but they will be practically under the same management . . . The gas fixture branch of the business will be conducted by the newly incorporated Brandt-Dent Company.  The officers remain the same.   WDT





The rapidly increasing popularity of automobiles sent Edward Brandt’s mind buzzing.  Until that time, tires for cars were basically solid rubber rims mounted on wheels.  He felt there had to be a better way, one that would afford the occupants of the car a smoother and more comfortable ride.


Sometime in 1919 Edward seemingly first conceived what was to be his answer to the rigid tire.  He called it a "resilient wheel."  One of the first drawings of a tire concept was prepared on March 26, 1920.  By that time he had identified his new idea as the "Brandt Pussy-Foot."  Within a year, at least one full scale drawing of the cross-section of the tire had been made.  The concepts employed were sufficiently novel that Edward was granted two separate patents on the tire.


The tire itself can be best described as a hollow rubber "doughnut" that fit over the outer rim of a car wheel.  Inside the "doughnut" a series of springs, evenly spaced, were attached to a mounting frame.  Each subassembly which contained a spring, a locating pin to retain it in place, and a cylinder which held both, was called a "pussy-foot."  As the car encountered bumps or stones or similar obstacles, the springs compressed, offering a far smoother ride to passengers than the previous rigid types.


Edward had a set of Pussy-Foot tires fabricated.  They presumably were handmade.  They were mounted on the family's car, a Chandler, which was one of the prestige cars of the period.


Edward firmly believed his new tire was a major technical breakthrough, for on May 21, 1921, he formed a new company to market his innovative marvel.  It was called the "Brandt Pussy-Foot Tire Company."  The company survived until August 11, 1924, when it was quietly dissolved.  The idea behind the tire surely was creative, but Edward unaccountably did not seem to recognize the simplicity and relatively low cost of the air-filled pneumatic tire, and his brainchild did not succeed.


     - Derived from Edward J. Brandt, Inventor, by Charles J. Wallman




The three-story building with basement at 102 and 104 West Main Street [the Wiggenhorn Bldg] has been leased for a term of years by the Brandt Manufacturing Co.  The entire first floor will house the general and administrative offices of the company while the upper stories will be used for assembling.


The constantly growing demand for the Brandt Automatic Cashier and other Brandt products caused the company to make immediate plans for additional space.  All departments of the main plant are crowded and to relieve the congestion it is planned to make several changes whereby the main plant will be devoted entirely to the manufacture and assembly of the Cashier.


It has been conservatively estimated that the yearly mechanically computed payments made by the Brandt Automatic Cashier are over 450,000,000 while the number of coins paid mechanically are over 1,575,000,000, saving in time over 1,250,000 hours to the users and a further saving to the public of 6,250,000 hours.


Executive & Manufacturing Divisions

E. J. Brandt, Chairman

C. R. Acker, General Sales Manager

O. E. Hoffman, Auditor

A. W. Guetzlaff, Service Manager

H. Breunig, Production Manager

F. W. Kleeman, Foreman

G. Sauer, Foreman

Henry Breunig, Foreman

E. W. Quirk, Foreign Manager

R. J. McAdams, Purchasing Agent

W. G. Halfpap, Superintendent

Edward J. Cavanaugh, Shipping Division

Albert Schultz, Foreman

M. Novotny, Foreman

Carl Kopfer, Foreman

Gust Erdman, Foreman


The 1920 sales convention will take place late this month.  Special drawing room sleepers have been chartered which will be side tracked in Watertown during part of the five-day meeting.  An educational trip will be made through the factory after which other interesting points of the state will be visited.                 WDTimes, 04 23 1920






           Society holding, uncertain date


-- --           “LAST HORSE-DRAWN DRAYAGE”

     Brandt Automatic Cashier, 507 & 515 S. First St.

Brandt shipment to A. B. Affarssytem of Stockholm, Sweden.


1921, Watertown High School Orbit


Quite a number of years ago the founder of the present Brandt Manufacturing Company was employed in a local bank [Bank of Watertown] where it was necessary for him to pay out various items usual in banking transactions, over the counter.  In addition to this he was required to make up the payroll for a railroad employing a very large number of men.


These latter payments, together with the regular transactions of each day, made the total of small coin payments so great that it was a considerable mental strain.  Moreover, the likelihood of error was always present.  The thought suggested itself that a mechanical means of dispensing silver and pennies would be a tremendous saving of time and labor.


Mr. Brandt had from time to time constructed mechanical devices as a pastime after banking hours. Among these was a miniature old-fashioned flour mill with an overshot water-wheel. Disposed about the mill were various moving figures such as customers, a fisherman, and also sitting in the shadow of the mill, a young couple.  The mill with its mechanical figures was placed above a large aquarium. The whole was propelled by a weight. The water was drawn from the aquarium and as it ran over the wheel turning it, it was apparently driving the mill.


In the working out of this and similar interesting but non-essential devices, the thought became more pronounced that the counting and paying of money, mechanically, would be an excellent subject to work upon.  The idea once conceived it was merely a matter of a few days to crystallize a general principle for carrying it into effect. It took one year, however, to work out in detail and produce the first machine to be used commercially.


So thoroughly and accurately was this first model constructed that it is still in use in one of our local banks. This pioneer machine has now passed its twentieth birthday.


The object of the machine was to make a given payment of change or gold by the depression of a single key, thus eliminating the work of selecting the coins necessary to make the payment. For instance, when the key 87 is depressed the machine delivers the least number of coins necessary to make the payment and in this case these coins would be in a half dollar, a quarter, a dime, and two pennies.


Computation is unnecessary and as the machine selects the coins and delivers them it can readily be seen how important the machine is to the business world. In the case of the changer machine the difference between the amount tendered and the amount of the purchase is automatically returned without computation. For instance, if a dollar is tendered and the sale is 13c the machine returns the correct change by simply depressing the 13th key, computation being unnecessary.


As the Brandt Automatic Cashier was the pioneer in its field it took years to establish it as one of the standard equipments in use in the business world.  The sale of the machines has, however, gained momentum in recent years and there are between four and five millions of dollars worth of the same now in use.


The plant here is equipped with a large number of special appliances to make the different parts of the machines and one hundred employees, under competent foremen, are necessary to keep this machinery in operation and to assemble the parts made. The office force employed in the factory office and in the main office on Main Street, number thirty.


The principal departments for administering business, together with the names of those administering them are as follows:


E. J. Brandt   ................  Experimental Department

E. W. Quirk   .................  Foreign Department

C. R. Acker ...................  Sales Department

A. W. Guetzlaff  ..............  Service Department

R. D. Easton  .................  Engineering Department

O. E. Hoffman   ...............  Auditing Department

E. J. Cavenaugh  ..............  Shipping Department

G. E. Bullock  ................  Production Department

W. G. Halfpap    ..............  Factory Superintendent

R. J. McAdams. ................  Purchasing Department


The general offices for conducting the business have been variously located in New York, Washington, Chicago and Watertown.  It has been necessary in the more recent history of the business to occupy an office building here located on Main Street and from this point the business is conducted through various offices in New York, Washington, Boston, Pittsburgh, Philadelphia, Atlanta, Minneapolis, and other points.  These offices are controlled by District Managers who report to the home office here.  There are fifty men employed in the sales force.


The officers of the company are:


Edward J. Brandt     President and General Manager

C. R. Acker          Vice-President and Sales Manager

E. W. Quirk          Secretary and Foreign Manager


Cross Reference:  Edward Brandt at Bank of Watertown:

1898        01 26       A good improvement to the Bank of Watertown has been made in the arrangement of a private office for Cashier Edward J. Brandt from which that official has an unobstructed view of the entire banking house.   WR





The Wiggenhorn Building at 102-104 W. Main (removed).  Patriotic Brandt float in undated parade





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01 23       The Brandt Automatic Cashier Company office building [515-517 S. First], opposite its plant on South First Street, is well under way.  The location will be more convenient to the factory than that of its present offices on Main Street.


Their two offices, general and factory, will be consolidated and will have a considerably larger space than the combined space of these two offices.


The office floor together with the shipping room below will have a total space of 8000 square feet.


The building will be fireproof and it will have a sprinkler system.  The arrangement of the offices is with special consideration for the comfort of the employees.  The floors throughout the offices will be cork facing on concrete.  The entry, steps and bases will be finished in various harmonizing marbles and the auxiliary rooms are planned to have white tile finish.  The furnishings will be of the latest designs.


The building will have a frontage of forty feet on First Street and one hundred feet on Wisconsin Street.  Claude & Starck, Madison, are the architects and Maas Brothers of this city are the general contractors.


Built on the northeast corner of First and Wisconsin Streets, formerly the old Mendenhall residence (Ellis A. Mendenhall & Sons, heating, hot water, steam heating, pumps, windmills).



02 05       EDWARD J. BRANDT  (1859-1937)





Civic Leader was 77; Active in music here


Many Achievements in His Career Made His Name Widely Known


Edward J. Brandt, 77, chairman of the board of the Brandt Automatic Cashier company, whose name was internationally known, died suddenly today at his home, 412 South Fourth Street.  Mr. Brandt had been in failing health for some time, but had been quite active until the last.


Mr. Brandt, one of Watertown’s noted men whose career included achievements as an inventor, manufacturer, banker and musician, was born in Watertown July 18, 1859.  He was a son of Frederick and Wilhelmine Brueck Brandt, both of whom were natives of Germany.  Both came to the United States early in life.  The father established his home in Indianapolis where he engaged in the sawmill and lumber business.  He was at one time the owner of the land on which the capital of Indiana now stands.


During the pioneer era of development which was then sweeping the country, Frederick Brandt came to Wisconsin and settled in Watertown.  He helped clear away the forests from what is now part of this city.  He was the city’s first drayman, starting with an old-fashioned two-wheeled cart drawn by a single horse.  Later he entered the merchandise business and helped establish the store which later operated for many years under the name of William F. Brandt and Son Company.


Younger of Two Sons


Edward J. Brandt was the younger of two sons of the family.  Early in life he gave indication of an inventive turn of mind and in 1877, when but 18 years old, was allowed patents on the principle later used in vestibules on railway coaches.  He had no capital then, however and could not push his invention to commercial success.  In that year he entered the Bank of Watertown as bookkeeper and seven years later was promoted to the position of cashier.  He aided practically in the management of the bank until December, 1898, when he resigned his position to give his entire time and attention to his commercial interests.


In 1891 he organized the Western Manufacturing Company in conjunction with Robert Dent and began the manufacture of gas fixtures.  Mr. Brandt became president and general manager of the business.  The company later became known as the Brandt-Dent Company and later his interests were succeeded in the Brandt Automatic Cashier Company.


Cashier Became Famous


Mr. Brandt’s factory was equipped with a great many machines designed by him to manufacture his products, among them the Brandt automatic cashier, a money paying device which carried his name to all parts of the world.  The automatic cashier manufactured here is used the world around and has been designed to fit coins of many different nations.  It was in a way his greatest achievement and he always considered it as such.  The invention ranks in importance with the cash register, the adding machine and other similar devices.


On September 12, 1883, Mr. Brandt married Thekla Wiggenhorn, a daughter of Mr. and Mrs. A. Wiggenhorn, pioneer Watertown jeweler and of one of the city’s best families.  To them was born a daughter Eugenia, now Mrs. Earl W. Quirk.  Mr. Quirk has been president of the cashier company since Mr. Brandt’s retirement from active business.  Mr. Brandt had retained the position as chairman of the board of directors.  There are three grandchildren, Catherine Jean Quirk, Lillian Brandt Quirk, and Edward James Quirk.


Music His Chief Hobby


Mr. Brandt was a man of strongly marked characteristics.  He had not only a keen business sense, but he was as inventive genius. He possessed ability of a high order. 


Aside from business his chief interest was music and he was a vocalist of considerable attainment.  He could turn from business to music as a source of interest and pleasure and recreation.  It always gave him sense of relief from business concentration.  For several years he was a student in the old Luening conservatory of Milwaukee and for many years was director of St. Bernard’s Catholic church choir.  He was a soloist at the opening of the Luening conservatory, with Hugo Kaun as director, and sang several times as soloist in St. Patrick’s cathedral in New York city.  He served the old Concordia society here as president and his appearances in musical circles here and in other cities covered a long period of years.  In many of these he shared honors with his wife who also had been a singer for many years.  For many years his daughter was his regular accompanist.


One of Mr. Brandt’s greatest local musical achievements was his conductorship of a grand concert program in Turner hall by the choir of St. Bernard’s church.  In addition to a chorus and orchestra which he conducted there were several soloists.  He was given a tremendous ovation by an audience that packed the hall.  It was one of the greatest nights of music Watertown had in a half a century.


Made Tour of Europe


Travel also occupied his attention in later years of his life.  One of the trips which he took with his wife was a tour of Europe covering several months during which they visited the famous musical and art centers.  Century-old cathedrals also attracted him and he wrote a series of articles on the trip which appeared in the Daily Times.  The series ran daily for several weeks.  Many people have preserved them, because they gave not only a vivid account of their travels, but because they embodied Mr. Brandt’s individual style of working and description in which he was also somewhat of an artist.


Mr. Brandt was a past president of the board of park commissioners.  Although he never aspired to public office he was always actively interested in civic affairs and took part in many undertakings that advanced the city.


One of the city’s most versatile men, his successful achievements have been along many varied lines.  He was one of the few men who successfully combined business and inventive ability and at the same time found time and interest to enjoy the arts and to share in the finer things of life.  He was a man richly endowed and he made the most of his gifts.


A member of the Watertown lodge of Elks, he was for many years active in its affairs.


Loyal to Watertown


Throughout his long life Mr. Brandt maintained his loyalty to Watertown.  When opportunity came to him through his inventions he chose to remain in Watertown and maintained his factory and office here, as well as his home.  As a host he was charming and gracious and his golden wedding anniversary some years ago was for him and his wife one of the happiest events of their lives.  They received floral tributes from old friends and associates that literally filled their spacious home and hundreds of people called to wish them well.  One of the happy incidents that day was a serenade by a band and the group of workers from the Brandt plant


His name will go down in the history of Watertown as one of the men who rose from the ranks and made his way in the world leaving behind a record of real achievement.  He possessed a keen sense of humor and always took pride in the fact that he had once been a writer, pointing to his reports of his travels and his comments on various questions.  Some time ago some of his writings were collected in booklet form and are much treasured by many old friends.


No funeral arrangements had been made this afternoon and will be announced tomorrow.


Buried in Oak Hill cemetery 




    Brandt, Edward J., b. Jul 18, 1859, d. Feb 5, 1937


Tributes to E. J. Brandt


Messages from Many Cities Record Evidences of

Respect and Admiration and Mourn Death of

Famous Watertown Man


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The high place that Edward J. Brandt occupied in the business world and in the associations with his friends and acquaintances is strikingly illustrated in the avalanche of messages, letters and telegrams which the family has received since his death at the age of 77 a week ago.  Inventor of the Brandt automatic cashier and founder of the firm which bears his name, the product carried his name the product carried his name to all parts of the world, but there was something deeper and more vital in his makeup that made friends for him and placed him in a position where his death is being mourned not only in his home community, but in distant places where he was known and where his record of achievement made him an outstanding individual. 


The messages which have come into the home here since his passing are from old friends, from acquaintances, from business associates and from people in all walks of life who knew him, some on intimate terms and others in a casual way.  All of them bear the imprint of sincere regret at his death.  No man here has received so many fine tributes.


The Daily Times today is printing a few brief excerpts from some of the letters and messages.




Among those selected is the following quotation from a letter received from Dun and Bradstreet, the mercantile agency:


“Mr. Brandt has indeed made an enviable record, not merely in the field of mechanics, invention, and material success, but in the field of integrity both personal and commercial.  His commercial record is ‘clear’ and he leaves a record and memory which certainly is an inspiration.”


Another friend wrote “You have the memory of a truly great and wonderful spirit.”


In the following quotations are expressions voiced by various individuals and concerns, selected from the many which have arrived the past few days:  Surely we have lost a valuable and irreplaceable possession.  Yet appreciation can be best demonstrated by continuing the fine things which Mr. Brandt created and lived for.


“Few men in this nation have been able to inscribe their names in the hearts and minds of the people of the world as that of Mr. E. J. Brandt with the wonderful product that he invented and manufactured.”


“I had the greatest respect for Mr. Brandt on account of the wonderful machine which he produced. 


This machine will be a perpetual monument to the name of Brandt in all places where cash is handled. In his passing the civilized world has lost one who has done as much as any other man to relived business of a hard and arduous task.”


“He was a wonderful gentleman and a genius and I know that his death will cause quite a void in the business world.”




“His achievements, coupled with several years of pleasant relationship that I have found in being connected with the firm which he founded and which bears his name has caused me to look upon him with profound admiration.”




“I have always been able to feel, from the beginning a certain current of close ties which undoubtedly has been fostered and has been the pride and aim of that very fine gentleman, Mr. E. J. Brandt.”




Tribute in Poem

The angel of Peace attends our way,

With us now, and to the end

If we but see, and seeing know

Our ever present friend.


When doubt and fear oppress our soul,

Look bravely forth and grasp the way

That lends thy spirit into light,

Unto the perfect day.


Ever present, ever kind.

The spirit leads the willing mind

With voice so gentle—like a dove

Love is God and God is Love.


1940s & 50s







Brandt Coin Sorter used by City Treasurer E. E. Lemmerhirt.  In use at city hall to sort and tabulate coins collected from parking meters




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Lakeland Memorial Hospital, Woodruff, WI.  Counting machine provided by Brandt Automatic Cashier of Watertown.




The Brandt Automatic Cashier Company, manufacturer of coin handling machines and allied products, announced today that arrangements for construction of a new manufacturing plant have been completed.  Contracts have been let and construction will start March 3.  The new plant will be one story high, of brick construction, 488 feet long and 140 feet wide, excluding the enclosed loading dock.  The new building with the loading dock will have an area of approximately 71,000 square feet and will be built on a thirteen acre site acquired by Brandt several years ago.  The site is located on the east side of South Twelfth Street, immediately south of the Chicago, Milwaukee, St. Paul and Pacific Railroad tracks.  With the new plant, Brandt will have approximately 175,000 square feet of office, manufacturing and storage space.   WDT



06 27       Completion of its new factory, 705 South Twelfth St; additional plant located on N. Water St.   WDT



05 07       The North Water Street building, formerly owned by the Brandt Automatic Cashier Co., has been sold to Harvey Properties, Inc., according to a deed filed in the office of the register of deeds at Jefferson.  The price is listed at $20,000.  The building was originally the home of the Woodard and Stone Bakeries, makers of crackers and confections which operated there for many years.  Later the business was sold to the National Biscuit Co. which, after some years, discontinued the plant.  Still later it housed the Wolfram Shoe factory and office.  The last owner to utilize it as a plant was the Brandt Automatic Cashier Co. which used it for part of its manufacturing operations until it completed its new South Twelfth Street plant.    WDT




Visitors from the Watertown area who attend the World’s Fair in New York will be able to see a touch of “home” in many areas.  A large number of Brandt machines for coin paying, sorting, counting, and packaging have been installed at the fair in banks, exhibits, concessions, cafeterias, restaurants and the like.  These machines manufactured by Brandt Automatic Cashier Company of this city area used for check cashing, payment of exhibit admissions, food service checkout, and the handling of coin receipts.  First National City Bank, New York, performs all of the banking operations at the fair and is well equipped with Brandts.   WDT


12 29       O. E. HOFFMAN

The retirement of O. E. Hoffman, 119 South Church Street, vice president and treasurer of the Brandt Automatic Cashier Company, was announced today by E. James Quirk, company president.  A native of Madison, Mr. Hoffman graduated from the University of Wisconsin, majoring in accounting.  He came with the company in 1919 and has been active in the general management of the business since 1921.  In 1926 Mr. Hoffman was elected to the position of secretary, and in 1934 to the office of vice president and treasurer as well as a member of the Board of Directors..   WDT



08 18       75th ANNIVERSARY

The Brandt Automatic Cashier Co., local manufacturer of money handling products, is celebrating its 75th anniversary this year.  To commemorate the event, the company entertained the employees at a “birthday party” picnic on Saturday on the grounds of the Watertown Outboarders Club.  An 1890 theme was followed at the picnic, the year that Brandt was founded.  Many company personnel were dressed in handlebar mustaches and clothing of the period.  All of the other ingredients of an 1890 picnic were there too.  There was a German band, ponies, refreshments of all kinds and a buffet dinner.   WDT



The Brandt Automatic Cashier Co. of Watertown, established in 1890, is observing its 75th anniversary, the official beginning of which is on Saturday.  Established by the late E. J. Brandt, who is credited with being the inventor of the first coin-paying device, the firm has developed into one of the world’s leading producers of coin handling machines. 


Embracing a full line of electric and manually operated change-making and dispensing machines as well as coin sorters and coin counters, the Brandt firm is housed in three installations in Watertown.  The most recent is a manufacturing facility covering 71,000 square feet of space completed in 1959.

The one-story building is an integrated unit engaged in the manufacture of all the components used in the Brandt lines.  Now headed by E. James Quirk, grandson of the founder, Brandt supplies coin-handling devices to banking institutions, savings and loan associations and vendors throughout the United States and Canada, as well as many countries abroad.   WDT


11 17       EDWARD REHBAUM

Edward Rehbaum has been appointed foreman of the machine and fitting departments of the Brandt Automatic Cashier Company, according to an announcement made by E. James Quirk, president.  Mr. Rehbaum has been a lifelong resident of Watertown and is married to the former Mary Lea Funk.  He is a veteran of World War II and has served as first sergeant in the National Guard.   WDT



Brandt Automatic Cashier Company held its annual 20-Year Club party at Chauncey’s Supper Club last night.  Ninety-two Brandt employees, husbands and wives, attended the event.  The get-together was presided over by Brandt’s president, E. James Quirk.  He welcomed six new members into the Club, Leslie Schmutzler, Florence Reimer, Roland Schauer, Otto Schott, Luella Tesch, Lester Strege.  One of the highlights of the evening was the unveiling of a plaque honoring 20-Year Club members.  The plaque will be mounted in Brandt’s main plant.  Members of the club are recognized by individual name plates, and new members names will be added as they become eligible for the club in the future.    WDT



On behalf of the Brandt Automatic Cashier Company, E. James Quirk, president of the company, presented a check for $5,000 to the Watertown Memorial Hospital Association Inc., to be used for the purchase of additional equipment that is needed by the hospital.  In making this gift Mr. Quirk stressed that Brandt, a local industry, was vitally interested in supporting this worthwhile community project and wanted to take this opportunity of wishing the Watertown Memorial Hospital Association continued success.  WDT




A 40-year service pin has been presented to Arnold R. Buchholz, 323 Elizabeth St., by E. James Quirk, president, and Charles J. Wallman, vice president of the Brandt Automatic Cashier Co. in recognition of his long record of service with the company.  The presentation was made during a get-together of Brandt supervisory personnel during which Mr. Buchholz was also presented with a rotary grinder and cutter, to tie in with his hobby of wood working.   WDT


08 25       JOHN R. (JACK) ERDMANN

John R. (Jack) Erdmann of 112 North Montgomery Street has been appointed sales promotion manager of the Brandt Automatic Cashier Company, according to an announcement by E. James Quirk, president of Brandt.  Mr. Erdmann’s career with Brandt began in 1964 when he took charge of the company’s IBM department.  He subsequently worked on several additional assignments that led to his latest promotion.  Prior to joining Brandt, he was manager of Hutson-Braun Lumber Company in this city. He had earlier been with J. C. Penney Company in Watertown.



01 19       WILLARD SEMON

Willard F. Semon of 420 South Washington Street has been appointed foreman in charge of the assembly operations at the Brandt Automatic Cashier Company, according to an announcement made today by E. James Quirk, president of Brandt.  Mr. Semon has been with Brandt for over 27 years, working in areas primarily connected with assembly and testing of Brandt equipment.  In his new assignment he will have a variety of responsibilities connected with the assembly of the entire line of Brandt money handling machines.   WDT




Plans to expand its facilities in Watertown were announced today by E. James Quirk, president of Brandt Automatic Cashier Co.  He reported that the company would erect a new office building and that present manufacturing areas would be expanded.  This is Brandt’s second major expansion within the past ten years.  The new office will be located to the north and slightly west of the company’s main plant in South Twelfth Street.  It will be of Fond du Lac stone and will have a large amount of window area.  Plant wells on the north and west sides will enhance the overall appearance.  A courtyard in the center of the building will join all interior rooms.  The size of the new building will be 13,500 square feet.  Corridors will connect it to the present plant and to the assembly wing.     WDT



The Brandt Automatic Cashier Company held ground breaking ceremonies this morning at its plant in South 12th Street.  A new office building will be constructed and present manufacturing areas are to be expanded.  The new building will be built to the north and slightly west of the company’s main plant.  It will be of Fond du Lac stone and will contain 13,500 square feet.


Company officials, city officials and contractors taking part in the ceremony were Lester H. Rehbaum, assistant secretary of the company; Charles Wallman, vice president; Mayor A. E. Bentzin; E. James Quirk, company president, who turned the first spade of ground; William F. Kraemer, purchasing manager; William Carroll, executive secretary of the Watertown Area Chamber of Commerce; Arthur E. Radloff, secretary-treasurer of the company; Anthony Pawlowsky of the Potter, Lawson, Findlay and Pawlowsky architectural firm, Madison, designers of the new facilities; James Sievert of Dietz Electric, Milwaukee; John Mitchell of Pelikan Plumbing and Heating, Sullivan; William J. Rupnow, plant manager; Joseph Promersberger of Pro-Tel Heating, Brookfield; Russ Kammer, Madison, general contractor.



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Governor Warren P. Knowles spent a busy afternoon in Watertown on Monday afternoon and he was most impressed at what he saw.  At noon he addressed the weekly luncheon meeting of the Watertown Rotary Club, following that, he visited the plant of the Brandt Automatic Cashier Company, Allard Express, Lindberg Hevi-Duty, the Bank of Watertown and Carnation Farms Breeding Service.  At Brandt’s he spent much time touring the plant, observing the manufacturing of the various coin sorting machines made by Brandt’s.  He shook hands with dozens of employees.  He also visited the new addition under construction.  An addition of 35,000 square feet is now being built, a portion of which will be for the new office quarters, and the other will be for manufacturing.




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Strike idled approximately 244 employees


06 22       STRIKE ENDS

The strike at the plant of the Brandt Automatic Cashier Company is over.  Striking employees yesterday afternoon, by a vote of 137 to 97, accepted the company offer.  The meeting was held at Turner Hall.  The strike was in its eighth week.  It began May 5.  At a meeting of employees on June 18, a company offer was rejected by a vote of 122 to 108.  About 244 employees are involved.  Some of the workers returned to their jobs today.    WDT


-- --           NEW OFFICE BUILDING /  705 South Twelfth Street





         Brandt Plans 3rd Major Expansion in 12 Years

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Plans for the move of its Karma Division to Watertown were announced today by E. James Quirk, president of Brandt Automatic Cashier Co.  He reported that a new office and manufacturing plant will be erected for Karma on South Twelfth Street.  This will be Brandt's third major expansion in Watertown within the past twelve years.


Karma is a manufacturer of food service equipment, including hot chocolate dispensers, fudge warmers, tea dispensers and similar products.


It was acquired by Brandt in 1968 as the first move in a long-range diversification program, and has been located in Addison, Ill.


The operation is being brought to Watertown because of Karma's need for expanded facilities.  Initially about 20 to 25 people will be employed.


Richard J. Skiera, division manager, will continue in charge of Karma operations.


The new Karma building will be of masonry and metal construction. The front will be partially faced with Fond du Lac stone. It will have approximately 20,500 square feet of space. Over 2,200 square feet will be office, the remainder will be for manufacturing.


Construction of the new facility will begin immediately.  Completion expected in September and operations will begin shortly thereafter. The entire project is being handled by R. H. Sommer Co., Waukesha.


In announcing the plans to bring Karma to the city, Quirk particularly stressed the recent and anticipated growth of that operation. He added he was delighted that through Karma, Brandt would be able to continue its growth with Watertown.









Arthur E. Radloff, vice president-finance of Brandt, Inc., retires from active employment with the company effective May 31.  Radloff joined the company in 1936 after graduation from Watertown High School. He has been with Brandt since that time, with an interruption of four and one-half years for duty in the U.S. Army during World War II.  During his tenure with Brandt, Radloff worked primarily in financial areas.     WDT



05 06       Karma, a division of Brandt, Inc., sold to three employees of Karma    WDT



E. James Quirk, chairman of the board of Brandt, Inc., has retired from active service with the company.  The retirement was effective Sept. 29, and employees of the firm were told of the decision on Tuesday.  While he continues as Brandt's chairman, he will no longer be involved in its day to day activities.  Quirk's career with the company, founded by his grandfather, Edward J. Brandt, spanned over 39 years.  As a summer employee and later during a period following World War II military service, he worked in all 26 of the then-existing departments of the company, giving him a broad knowledge of the organization.   WDT


10 03       BRANDT’S TO BE SOLD   

Brandt, Inc., one of Watertown's oldest industries, is to be sold in the near future, according to announcement today by officials of the firm.  Central Jersey Industries, a New York-based financial firm, has signed a letter of intent to acquire Brandt, according to Lawrence Johnson, president and chief executive officer.  The purchase price is $34 million.  Johnson told the Daily Times this morning that he would be in New York much of this week to begin planning for the transition to the new owner, and added that further information on the sale will be made available in the near future.   WDT



Company remained in the Brandt-Quirk family until January of 1984 when sold to Nelson Peltz and Peter May, investors from the east coast. 


04 18       Karma named the Opportunities Inc. “Employer of the Year”   WDT


10 19       The book “Edward J. Brandt, Inventor,” being made available to the public    WDT



07 17       A reorganization of the management structure of Central Jersey Industries, parent of Brandt, Inc., headquartered in Watertown, may mean more jobs locally in the future.  The reorganization, already under way in some areas of the business, will mean a reduction in management personnel working out of the local plant, but future production may increase, according to a statement by company officials.  The increased employment would be in the area of additional manufacturing jobs as some processes are transferred to Watertown from other plants owned by Central Jersey.   WDT



07 18       The Watertown Common Council took a step to alleviate overcrowding in city hall Tuesday by endorsing the purchase of two properties on South First Street.  The council voted, 11-1, to offer $87,500 for buildings and land owned by Brandt Inc. at 507 and 515 S. First St.    WDT


08 08       Brandt Inc. has tentatively accepted the city’s offer of $87,500 for two buildings on South First Street, pending a detailed study of the properties.  Mayor David R. Lenz said the city has 15 days to inspect the buildings to determine if any major repairs are necessary.  If so, the city could stipulate that Brandt correct the problems before the sale is completed.  “We can turn it down or they can turn it down if the repairs are too expensive,” Lenz said.  The common council authorized city officials to purchase the buildings on 507 and 515 S. First St. on July 19.  The city proposes to move the park and recreation department and the health office to 515 S. First St., as well as the youth activity center.  The other building would be removed to provide additional parking.    WDT


11 19       NEW YORK, N.Y. -- Triangle Industries, the parent company of Brandt Inc. of Watertown, has been sold to a French conglomerate.  Pechiney SA, a state-owned French company, has purchased Triangle with an unsolicited offer.  Triangle Industries is a New York-based firm that was formerly known as Central Jersey Industries (C.J.I.).  When C.J.I. acquired the larger Triangle Industries with a leverage buyout, C.J.I. assumed Triangle's name.  Brandt Inc., a company that produces coin-sorting and currency-handling equipment, is located at 705 S. Twelfth St. in Watertown.   WDT




Brandt Inc., which has an office in Watertown, has been awarded a contract to produce nearly $1 million worth of equipment for the federal government.  Officials of Sen. Robert Kasten’s office in Washington, D.C., announced this week that Brandt had received the contract from the U.S. General Services Administration (GSA).  Brandt is a leading producer of coin and currency processing machinery.   WDT


09 11       100th ANNIVERSARY

Brandt, Inc. will celebrate the beginning of its 100th year of business with an open house, a picnic and other events in Watertown on Saturday.  The gala will begin at 10 a.m. with an open house of the Brandt plant, located at 705 S. Twelfth St.  A speakers program, featuring several dignitaries, will follow at Riverside Park, beginning at 1 p.m.  Brandt, Inc. is an international leader in the design, manufacture and distribution of coin and currency handling equipment for the banking, retail, transit, vending, gaming and other industries.  The company’s product line is sold and serviced in more than 75 nations throughout the world.    WDT



06 04       HONORED BY WSPE

Brandt, Inc. of Watertown and Hamlin, Inc., of Lake Mills have been honored by the Wisconsin Society of Professional Engineers (WSPE) as part of the 22nd Annual Governor’s New Product Award (GNPA) ceremony in Madison.  Brandt, Inc. of Watertown was honored for its 7,500 Express Coin Packager . The coin-counting machine is capable of processing more than 4,000 dimes per minute.  It is designed for use by vending companies, post offices or toll booths.  Used to verify coin quantities or fill coin rolls, it can also fill coin bags with a specific amount.  Hamlin Inc. of Lake Mills was honored for its crash sensors.  The sensors activate automotive air bags and tighten seat belts.  The new sensor is 70 percent smaller than previous models and is designed to be two to three times more effective.   WDT




Brandt Inc. has been awarded a prestigious 1991 Quality Supplier Award from the U.S. Postal Service in a ceremony in Washington D.C.  The award was one of 12 given by the Postal Service in four categories.  Winners were selected from 60,000 firms on the Postal Service’s National Supplier’s List. Brandt won in the large business manufacturing category.  Other finalists, but not winners, in the same category were Motorola Inc. of Hyattsville, Md., and Systemhouse Inc. of Arlington, Va.  Ed Opperud, vice president of manufacturing coin products and operation, Watertown, said the Watertown plant manufactured 5,550 coin counters and packagers and the Bensalem plant manufactured 2,000 currency counters which were sold to the U.S. Post Office in a multimillion dollar contract.  He said the equipment is being used to process money received by the post office in an efficient manner, helping to keep postal costs down.


08 29       ZERO DEFECTS DAY

An intensive quality improvement program at a local company was marked last week with a program called “zero defects day.”  Hundreds of Brandt employees were excused from work Friday afternoon to participate in an award presentation and lunch hosted by the corporation.  Looking over a sea of employees dressed in royal blue shirts with the Brandt insignia, President Douglas Rattray commended the efforts made during the past three years.  “We’ve done a lot in the last few years and we deserve a party,” he said.  “We’re going to have one today.”  Rattray listed the improvements made to the 102-year-old money handling manufacturer since beginning a quality improvement program in 1989.  Brandt’s worker compensation figures are the best in the industry, he said.  He also noted that Brandt opened its first international branch this year in the United Kingdom.   WDT



Brandt Inc. of Watertown has filed reorganization under federal bankruptcy law as a result of a $1.5 million judgment for damages in a patent infringement lawsuit.  Brandt filed a petition Monday under Chapter 11 of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code in Milwaukee for protection from its creditors, including Cummins-Allison Corp. of Mount Pleasant, Ill., which successfully sued for patent infringement damages for a high-speed coin sorting machine allegedly copied by Brandt.  “Our business would be severely impacted if we were required to pay the sum set by the court,” said Brandt President Douglas Rattray in a press release.  “That is the reason we are seeking protection under Chapter 11.”   WDT




Brandt Inc. has been purchased by a group consisting of about 40 members of the company’s management, independent district managers and suppliers.  The sale, which was completed last Thursday, brings to a close a turbulent period for the company, which has been offered for sale for the last several years by owners Nelson Peltz and Peter W. May.  The two men have had direct or indirect ownership of Brandt since January 1984.  Brandt also went through Chapter 10 bankruptcy proceedings recently as a result of a patent infringement suit lost to a competitor, Cummins-Allison Corp. of Mount Pleasant, Ill.  Douglas C. Rattray, who will serve as chairman and chief executive officer of Brandt, said the purchase will allow the company to concentrate on the manufacture of money-handling systems.


1995       Nelson Peltz and Peter May sold business in August of 1995 to De La Rue. 



A corporation headquartered in Iowa has entered an agreement to acquire Brandt, Inc.  The sale will not affect operations or employees at Brandt manufacturing plants in Watertown or Pennsylvania.  LeFebure Corp., a subsidiary of De La Rue Company, will acquire Brandt, Inc. pending approval by United States government agencies and Brandt stockholders.



02 02       Brandt, Inc., 705 S. Twelfth St., has been selected to manufacture all coin handling products throughout the entire world for its parent company De La Rue of the United Kingdom.  All production will be concentrated in Watertown rather than the current system of separate De La Rue manufacturing facilities throughout the world.  In August of 1995 De La Rue announced that Brandt and its former competitor LeFebure headquartered in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, would become complimentary divisions of the parent company.  Both firms were involved in the money handling industry.  Brandt concentrates in coin and cash handling, while LeFebure’s concentration has been in security areas such as banking security, automatic transaction machines, etc.  WDT


02 12       The shift in production focus at Brandt, Inc., 705 S. Twelfth St., Watertown, will result in 34 positions being eliminated over the coming months, an official confirmed today. Under the new reorganization, to be phased in over the next nine months, Brandt, Inc., will focus on assembly of all coin handling equipment at the Watertown location. Research and development will continue here as well. However, the areas to be phased out will be the machine shop, and the punch press, plating, painting and finishing departments. All work of that type will be done by other firms on a contract basis, Ed Opperud, Brandt executive vice president, said.  WDT



Brandt Inc., a name synonymous with manufacturing in Watertown for 107 years, will no longer exist.  On Monday, Brandt Inc. officially became De La Rue Cash Systems, a change that company officials hope will signal the beginning of a period of significant growth for the firm.  Edward Opperud, De La Rue vice president, said the new name will help the company capitalize on the De La Rue brand name, which is well known outside of the United States.  "De La Rue's strategy is to build a worldwide business that takes maximum advantage of the De La Rue brand name in every country and market sector in which we operate," Opperud said.   WDT




The parent company of De La Rue Cash Systems, Inc., 705 S. Twelfth St., Watertown, plans to sell the local business to a private equity firm.  The local firm is one of Watertown’s oldest industries, dating back to the 1800s when it was known at Brandt Automatic Cashier Company.  De La Rue, Plc, the world’s largest banknote printing company, announced its Cash Systems division, which consists of the Watertown plant as well as one in Lisle, Ill., is to be sold to Carlyle Group, a private equity firm, for about $700 million cash.  De La Rue, Plc is headquartered in London.  The Cash Systems division makes cash-handling equipment such as automated teller machines and coin and currency counters for banks and retailers. It was put up for sale in May following a strategic review of the company which concluded the division provided little opportunity for synergies with the other businesses the company owns.



De La Rue Cash Systems Inc. will soon undergo a change of ownership and will be changing its name.  Effective Sept. 1, De La Rue Cash Systems Inc., which is located at 705 S. Twelfth St., will be known as Talaris Inc.  De La Rue, Plc, the parent company of De La Rue Cash Systems and the world’s largest banknote printing company, is in the process of selling the local business to a private equity firm.  De La Rue, Plc is selling its Cash Systems division, which consists of the Watertown plant as well as one in Lisle, Ill., to the Carlyle Group for about $700 million in cash.


-- --           In September De La Rue, Plc sold its Cash Systems division, consisting of Watertown plant and one in Lisle, Ill., to the Carlyle Group. 


The Carlyle Group purchased the business on Sept. 1, 2008, and changed the name to Talaris Inc. In the past four years the company’s earnings have increased 40 percent as Carlyle focused on expanding the company into new markets worldwide, according to the release.




Talaris Inc., a leading provider of cash handling equipment and software solutions to financial institutions and retailers worldwide, is laying off some employees because of the struggling economy.


Talaris, which was formerly known as De La Rue Cash Systems Inc., was sold last year to a private equity firm, the Carlyle Group.


The number of employees being laid off is “within the realm of normal business operations.”


The local firm is one of Watertown's oldest industries, dating back to the 1800s when it was known as Brandt Automatic Cashier Co.  The local operation, which was formed by Edward J. Brandt and several other investors, has been a large part of Watertown's industrial and civic foundations since that time.


The company remained in the Brandt-Quirk family until January of 1984 when it was sold to Nelson Peltz and Peter May, two investors from the east coast.  They continued to own the business until August of 1995 when it was sold to De La Rue.  In September of last year, De La Rue, Plc sold its Cash Systems division, which consists of the Watertown plant as well as one in Lisle, Ill., to the Carlyle Group for about $700 million in cash.   WDT



For the second time in less than one year, controlling interest in Brandt, Inc., based in Watertown, has been sold.  Triangle Industries, Inc., based on New Brunswick, N.J., announced that it has purchased a controlling block of shares in Central Jersey Industries, Inc.  Central Jersey on Jan. 14 purchased Brandt, Inc., from the Brandt-Quirk family, and the firm became a wholly owned subsidiary of Central Jersey.  Along with the transfer of shares will go a transfer of power on the Central Jersey board of directors.   WDT




Talaris Inc. outsourcing the manufacture of its coin products currently produced in Watertown to Flextronics Internationals.


Talaris is exiting from the manufacture of coin products so that we can focus on our core competencies - sales, service, engineering and design,” Chris Reagan, president of the company, said. “However, we remain committed to Watertown and its pool of skilled labor.”


In addition to manufacturing, Talaris has engineering, call center, service, repair and parts depot and finance functions in Watertown. According to Reagan, while no jobs are expected to be lost this year, there will be a reduction of between 20 to 30 positions in 2011. More than 120 people will remain employed at the site.


The local firm dates back to the 1800s when it was known as Brandt Automatic Cashier Co.  The local operation, which was formed by Edward J. Brandt and several other investors, has been a large part of Watertown's industrial and civic foundations since that time.


The company remained in the Brandt-Quirk family until January of 1984 when it was sold to Nelson Peltz and Peter May, two investors from the east coast.  They continued to own the business until August of 1995 when it was sold to De La Rue. 


In September of 2008, De La Rue plc sold its Cash Systems division, which consists of the Watertown plant as well as one in Lisle, Ill., to the Carlyle Group for about $700 million in cash.


Today Talaris is a global business as a leading provider of cash handling equipment and software solutions to financial institutions and retailers worldwide. It has about 2,000 people working in more than 30 offices, including over 1,000 service and support staff.  An additional network of 130 business partners increases the coverage to over 85 countries.  With more than 250 patents granted across 26 countries, Talaris delivers cash handling solutions on every continent, wherever money moves.


The company's new change in business includes transferring production of its coin products, which include high-speed, high volume coin counters and coin sorters to Flextronics. Flex-tronics is a leading electronics manufacturing services provider.  The firm helps its customers through a network of facilities in the United States and 30 countries on four continents.  This global presence provides design and engineering solutions that are combined with core electronics manufacturing and logistics services.


Today's announcement marks the culmination of over six months of study and analysis by Talaris.  During that period, the company examined multiple options for its coin manufacturing operations.   WDT



02 20       TALARIS TO BE SOLD

Glory, a Japanese manufacturer of money handling systems, has offered the Carlyle Group $1 billion to purchase Talaris, according to a release from Carlyle.  Talaris is a world leader in manufacturing cash handling and automated teller machine equipment.  Its Watertown branch, located at 705 S. Twelfth St., focuses on engineering, service, repair, replacement parts and finance functions.   WDT



Glory Global Solutions


One of Watertown's oldest manufacturing companies, formerly known as Talaris, will continue to operate in Watertown following a global acquisition by a Japanese company last year.  The Glory Group of Japan purchased Talaris in July 2012 and formed the new company Glory Global Solutions, which officially began trading on April 1 of this year.    The company, originally known as Brandt Automated Cashier Co., was founded in the 1800s by Edward J. Brandt, along with several other investors. The company has played a key role in Watertown's industry since that time.  After Brandt's death in February 1937, the company was passed to his son-in-law, Earl Quirk. It then stayed in the Brandt-Quirk family until it was sold in 1984, to East Coast investors Nelson Peltz and Peter May. The pair sold the company in 1995 to De La Rue, which changed the name to De La Rue Cash Systems Inc.  The Carlyle Group purchased the business on Sept. 1, 2008, and changed the name to Talaris Inc.   WDTimes story




Glory Global Solutions officially broke ground at its site on South Twelfth Street Monday afternoon, executing plans for a 25,000-squarefoot warehouse addition and other various renovations.


President of Glory Limited, Glory Global’s parent company, Hirokazu Onoe flew in from Japan to join American President Chris T. Reagan and dozens of employees for the ceremony.  Several civic leaders including Watertown Mayor John David also attended the event.  Onoe said the company’s Watertown location has several functions, all of which will be made stronger by the additions and renovations.


Glory Global Solutions remains an industry leader in money handling machines and cash management systems.  Its origins stem from the Brandt Automatic Cashier Company founded in Watertown and Kokuei Machinery Manufacturing founded in Himeji, Japan.  Going through a number of name changes and acquisitions over the years, the two legacy companies combined to become Glory Global Solutions in 2012.


The eight-phase project will begin in July and take approximately 32 months to complete.



06 28       FAE ANN MEKELBURG (1928-2018)

Worked at Brandt, Inc. for 45 years, starting as a secretary, promoted to sales administration manager and later became the credit and collection manager.  In September of 1977, Fae Ann was appointed assistant secretary of Brandt, Inc.  She was a life member of the Watertown Hospital Auxiliary, now known as Friends of WAHS.  Fae Ann was also a member of the Wethonkitha Auxiliary, historical society and Watertown Humane Society.




Retired from Brandt Mfg,/De La Rue/Talaris/Glory after employed there for 45 years.



Glory Global Solutions is poised to bring a coin sorter production line from one of its factories in Japan to its Watertown headquarters.  The move of the production line also brings with it an estimated four-six positions that include assembly, support and quality functions.  Glory Global — a global leader in cash technology solutions across the financial, retail and personal and commercial banking industries — is located at 705 S. 12th St. in Watertown.



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Cross References:

Edward Opperud, obit

Brandt-Quirk home 




Table of Contents 

History of Watertown, Wisconsin