Brought to you by The BMW Store & Richter & Philips
Richter and Phillips History
Richter & Phillips was started by George Richter and Ferdinand Phillips in 1896. The first store was located on Race St. near 4th. In 1903 they moved to 5th and Main and then to the Temple Bar building on East Court St. across from the courthouse. By 1977, they moved the store to the Gwynne Building on 6th and Main, and, finally, in 2016, across the street where they are today.
George Richter was the son of Norbert Richter, who was also a jeweler. The Richter family moved to Cincinnati from Germany in 1850. Norbert worked for Edward and David Kinsey Jewelers on 5th St. near the 5th St. Market. The store’s balcony is where Abraham Lincoln made his pre-election speech in 1859. Norbert opened his own Jewelry store in 1861 on Vine St. in Over-the-Rhine. All 4 of Norbert Richter’s sons went into the jewelry business. George specialized in jewelry and making spectacles.
Ferdinand Phillips was the brother-in-law and partner to Aaron and Joseph Plaut. They were jewelry wholesalers with a shop in the Emery Arcade. Ferdinand specialized in watchmaking. He was in charge of buying for Richter & Phillips and traveled frequently. Eventually, Ferdinand’s brothers joined the firm.
Richter & Phillips offered their customers catalog shopping. Items were available in the nationwide mail-order catalogs, including jewelry, giftware, luggage, purses, trophies, plaques, clocks, electrical appliances, sporting goods, musical instruments, dolls, and toys. Charles E. Richter, a nephew to George Richter, became Phillips’s partner when George left the firm in 1900. Charles ran the firm until the 1930s. The Great Depression hit Richter & Phillips hard. Frederick W. Fehr, a traveling diamond salesman, purchased the business to keep this Cincinnati institution afloat! Fred Fehr and his right-hand man, Lawrence Fledderman, continued running The Richter & Phillips Company in the same capacity through World War II. Located in the Temple Bar Building. Mr. Fehr handled all diamond and jewelry deals. At the same time, Mr. Fledderman took care of business. In 1946, Fred’s son Fred jr, started to work in the store, eventually taking the reins after his father’s retirement. In 1981, after becoming a Graduate Gemologist, Fred Fehr Jr.’s son, Frederick W. Fehr, III (Rick), joined the staff at The Richter & Phillips Company. Upon hiring, Rick took over all diamond and gemstone purchasing and sales.
In 1990, Fred Fehr, Jr.’s other son, Arthur (Art) Fehr, joined the staff after becoming a Graduate Gemologist. Soon after, Rick & Art’s sister, Christy Vigil, joined the team taking over inventory management and constantly adding new lines to our ever-growing collection.
Rounding out the true feeling of the family-owned business, Rick’s son, Eric (4th generation), has joined the line of Fehr’s at Richter & Phillips Jewelers. After studying and performing law for almost a decade, Eric decided to take a leap of faith and take on his family legacy. As of 2017, Eric is a Graduate Gemologist and serves as Richter & Phillips’ President.
Today at Richter & Phillips Jewelers, you can find Rick, Eric, and Christy busy at their desks or assisting customers in the showroom.
Richter & Phillips specializes in diamonds, watches, and jewelry as they do today. I’m confident that they are the most trustworthy store for buying diamonds. They hold many events at the store, including Drinks & Diamonds, where Eric Fehr teaches you everything you need to know about looking for the perfect diamond! Richter & Phillips are continuing the rich history of Cincinnati jewelers! They are genuinely a Cincinnati gem!
The BMW Store History
The BMW store in Silverton is a special store not only is it a place to purchase a beautiful BMW but it also has a mini BMW museum. It’s really cool.
Cincinnatian’s love their automobiles. BMW a German car company, makes so much sense in our Germantown. Cincinnati has always loved their cars and we had quite a few car manufactures back in the day.
The first recorded auto being made in cincinnati was in 1891 by William George Wagenhals. ( oh my gosh I love his last name! Wagenhals! So cute!) He was the General manager of the Cincinnati Incline Plane Railroad Company. He called his little car “The Flivver” imagine this ….. it’s a usual quiet September Sunday morning in St. Bernard 1891. You are joining your neighbors on your way to church when all of the sudden from down Vine street you hear “BANG !BANG!RICKETY!POP POP! BANG! Coming from a little horseless two seater buggy chugging up the street surrounded in smoke with Mr. Wagenhals at the wheel .what a sight that must have been!
William built his Car in his spare time in the old St. Bernard street car barns.he selected a two setter buggy, cut the shafts, and put in a one cylinder motor in the front part of the buggy there was no reverse and you used a hand brake to stop it.
William Wagenhals went on to become an accomplished mechanical engineer. He moved to St. Louis and then to Detroit and opened his own automobile factory. He was known for making small 3 wheeled delivery cars that made it easy to get around the crowded inner city.
Since Wagenhals bumpy ride in 1891 there have been many automobiles made in Cincinnati in this early days. Most were made by established Carriage builders. Cincinnatis carriage manufacturing industry was one of the largest in the United States.
Emerson &Fischer pivoted from making Carriages in 1896… the company didn’t last long after that. Horace Fischer went on to form his own company a few years later.
Cane and Breed were coffin Makers who got into the automobile business in 1902 they made a horseless hearse.
Jacob Haberer was a successful carriage maker in cincinnati for many years. He and his Five sons owned Haberer co. Jacob Died in 1901 at his Sadamsville’s home. Jacob f. Haberer jr. Became president and started making The 4 cylinder “Cin-o” toeing car. It could drive the furthest then any car at that time. They went out of business in 1913.
Even Shillitos made an Automobile!
By the 1920s, car manufacturers in Detroit and Henry Ford made it hard to compete in the automobile industry and pretty much all the small car company’s in Cincinnati went out of business.
These days there are many car dealerships thru out our city . I had the pleasure of touring the BMW store on Stewart rd. and it was such a treat!
BMW was started in 1916 in Munich when the Rapp Motoren werke company, a struggling aircraft engine manufacture owned by Karl f. Rapp, was taken over by Austrians Frank Popp and Maxx Friz. They merged their company with another aircraft engine manufacture called Gustav Flugmaschinefabin owned by Gustav Otto. They called their new company, Beyersiche Flugzevgwerke. Eventually they change the name to Bayersiche Motoren Werke … Bavarian Motor Works ….. BMW.
The company made aircraft engines, motorcycles and automobiles until most of their factories were bombed during World War One. After the war they were forbidden to make any motor vehicles or air craft in their remaining factory in west Germany. For the company to survive those years , the made pots and pans and bicycles. By 1928 they were back in production, automobiles was now their main business.
Today BMW is one of the top Automobile Brands in the world with an emphasis on class, quality and, performance.
The BMW store is a very special place. They are dedicated to help Cincinnatians continue their passion for Autombils today! Passion loves Company!
Click here to take the tour!
Written by Molly Wellmann