Question of the Week
In 1687, the Morris family of Philadelphia opened one of the city's first businesses. What kind of business was it?
Answer: A brewery
One of Philadelphia's earliest breweries, The Francis Perot’s Sons Malting Company, was established on Front Street near the Delaware River in 1687 by Anthony Morris, who originally came over on the good ship “Welcome” with William Penn. The brewery remained in the Morris family's hands until the 1820s, when it was turned over to Francis Perot. A successful brewer in his own right, Perot had apprenticed under the Morrises and had become part of the family through his 1823 marriage to Elizabeth Marshall Morris.
Perot went into a partnership with his brother, William, and in 1850, the Perots quit brewing altogether and focused solely on malting, the process of turning barley seed into malt, one of the primary components of beer. After William Perot retired in 1868, his brother continued his malting business with one of his sons, T. Morris Perot, and his son-in law, Edward H. Ogden, under the name Francis Perot’s Sons Malting Company. The company remained in Philadelphia until 1907, when the Perots moved their business to Buffalo, New York, where they were able to produce better products at larger capacities.
Image: Francis Perot print (circa 1890)
About the Author
Look for these history stories every Sunday in the Philadelphia Inquirer. The stories, called Memory Stream, are published in the Currents section of the newspaper.