Rumpel, George (1850-1916)

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Rumpel, George (1850-1916)

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The Rumpel Felt Company was established in 1912 by Geroge Rumpel (1850-1916). A German immigrant, George Rumpel came to Canada in 1868 and lived in Hamilton as a shoemaker for five years. In 1875 he founded the Berlin Felt Boot Company with 3 employees which manufactured leather boots and felt lumberman ankle-high boots. In 1903 George and his two sons Walter and Oscar returned to Germany to study advanced felt making. With the implementation of this applied knowledge, the company grew rapidly. When he sold the company to the Consolidated Felt Company in 1909, the company employed 300 workers. George Rumpel continued as president until 1912 when he started the successful Rumpel Felt Company. George Rumpel was a prominent member of Berlin society by serving as member of the Park board, the water commission, and town council for five years. He was Reeve in 1897 and mayor in 1898. The family also owned an asbestos mine in northern Quebec, The Berlin Asbestos Mine which was managed by George's son Oscar Rumpel. Walter Rumpel, George Rumpel's son and successor managed the Rumpel Felt Company from 1916-1944. Walter established a felt factory at the corner of Victoria and Duke Streets in Kitchener, Ontario where it has operated ever since. From 1944-1966 Walter was succeeded by his son John W. Rumpel, who was succeeded by his son David Rumpel from 1966-2007. In 2007 the company closed production of felt but continue as a wholesaler from the factory.

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