Voland and Sons
Peter Gottfried Voland was born in Cassel, Germany in 1852 where, with his father, he engaged in many scientific pursuits. At the age of 19 he bought a ticket on the ship Berlin and sailed from Bremen, Germany on the North Sea. He arrived at the port of Baltimore, Maryland on the 26th of June, 1871 Not long after his arrival, he married Caroline Henze. He secured work for a brief time with Thomas Edison and soon thereafter was employed by Becker & Sons Balance Company in New Rochelle, New York, where he learned the trade of balance making.
In 1888 he formed a partnership with Henry Van Zelm, who also worked for Becker & Sons, and established Voland and Van Zelm at New Rochelle in a small building on Huguenot and Division Streets. The goal of this new company was to supply analytical balances for the rapid expansion of American industry and universities and also to supply assay balances for the gold prospectors of the 0ld West. In 1910 the factory was moved to a newly built three-story, block-deep factory at 32 Relyea Place in New Rochelle.
Voland and his wife had two sons, George Gottfried and Emil, and one daughter Gertrude. After Van ZeIm's death in 1903, Voland took his two sons into the business and the firm became Voland & Sons. Peter Gottfried Voland died on November 27, 1915 Successful operation of the company continued, however, and in 1927 necessitated an enlargement of the facility. Although (George Gottfried Voland died in 1928 and Emil Voland in 1938, Voland & Sons continued to operate under the leadership of Helen Wright, daughter of Amelia E. Voland and the late George Gottfried Voland, Sr.
Sometime in the middle 1 940s, the firm was purchased by James C. Jacobson, who became president, and Charles A. Jacobson, the new secretary-treasurer. At this time there were forty workers, and the new president planned to enlarge the staff by ten to fifteen individuals. When the Voland Company marked its 6Oth anniversary in 1948, 150 employees and guests
were entertained. Also in 1948 the firm completed manufacture of a bullion balance ,to be used by the Argentine Central Bank for weighing gold and silver. it stood eight feet high and weighed more than a ton, was accurate to within 2 1/2 grains and could weigh a pin or a feather. it had a capacity of 10,000 ounces.
In 1969 the firm was acquired by Emtech Research Products Corporation of New Rochelle and continued under the Voland name until January of 1989. At that time it became part of AN Systems, Inc. in Massachusetts. AN systems, Inc. was a principal supplier of ultrahigh precision mass-measurement equipment to leading industries, universities and government agencies
such as NASA and the National Bureau of Standards.
In addition to marketing assay balances under its own name, Voland & Sons provided many assay balances for the leading scientific instrument supply companies. At least some evidence of that fact can be found by comparing the photo of the Voland model No. 1005A with the one advertised by Eimer and Amend as early as 1898 and continuing for a number of years afterward
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