Answer: The J. G. Brill Company
The J. G. Brill Company was founded in 1868 by a German cabinetmaker named Johann Georg Brill (later known as John George or J.G.) and his son, George Martin Brill. This small company they established at 31st and Chestnut streets eventually grew into an international corporation with plants that were located throughout the United States and in Europe.
During its history, the J.G. Brill Company produced over 45,000 railroad cars, buses, and trolleys. At its height, Brill was manufacturing between one-third and one-half of the country's trolley cars, and was one of the world's largest producers of undercarriages. During World War I, the plant converted almost entirely to the production of war materials for the United States government and some of the Allies’ governments. In addition to its significant production, the company persisted in being an innovator in the field— its engineers and employees held hundreds of patents on everything from signal bells and door-opening mechanisms to full car designs.
The records of the J. G Brill Company at HSP (#1556), consisting predominantly of photographs, document almost the entire span of the company’s production history up to 1930. The photographs, numbering into the tens of thousands, include interior and exterior views of railroad cars, trolleys, buses, ambulances, and trucks, as well as images of undercarriages, small parts, and seats. The collection also documents the factory grounds at 62nd and Woodland, particularly for World War I.