EDWARD ADAM PREISENDANZ was the son of Rudolph and Annie Priesendanz. He was born in Camden NJ on November 14, 1883. Rudolph Priesendanz. was in the wagon building business, first working for Jacob Rettberg, then opening his own shop, and eventually buying Rettberg's West Jersey Wagon Works, at 15-17 Market Street. The business expanded to 15-21 Market Street, and specialized in building and repairing the light and heavy business wagons used by Camden's many small and large businesses. The firm also maintained a lumber and storage facility across the street at 14 Market Street. He also later acquired Jacob Rettberg's wagon showroom (the equivalent of a new car dealership) at the northwest corner of Delaware Avenue and Market Street.

When Edward Preisendanz was born the family lived at 122 Elm Street. The 1887-1888 Camden City Directory shows that Rudolph Preisendanz had moved to 109 Linden Street, and that his business was then located a short walk away, at 111 Front Street. Another son was also born to the family, Rudolph Jr., in 1890. The family was still living at 109 Linden Street at that time. By the turn of the century the Preisendanz family had moved to 211 Pearl Street

The Preisendanz business was quite successful, however, Rudolph Preisendanz Sr. suffered from a bad heart. Struck by a near fatal attack around Christmas of 1907, he was revived, but suffered a second and fatal heart attack on January 28, 1908. His sons Edward and Rudolph Jr., better known as Rud, subsequently took over the family business. Mrs. Priesendanz, daughter Henrietta, and Rud Jr. were still residing at 211 Pearl Street when the Census was taken in 1910. 

Edward Preisendanz had married in 1907. When the 1910 Census was enumerated he and wife Claudia were living at 215 Elm Street. A daughter, Annie, was born in 1910. The house was damaged whem hit by a falling tree when a tornado hit Camden on April 2, 1903. The family was still at 215 Elm Street as late as 1914.

Edward Preisendanz registered for the draft in September of 1918. He and his wife Claudia were then making their home at 636 Penn Street, across the street from prominent Camden attorney Howard M. Cooper. They stayed on Penn Street through at least 1927. By 1929 Edward Preisendanz, his family and his widowed mother had moved to 1381 Kenwood Avenue in Parkside.

By 1917 the family business had been relocated to 34-44 North 5th Street. This property was acquired during the construction of City Hall and turned into the park which became known as Roosevelt Plaza. The business, which was then known as Rudolph Preisendanz Sons and run by Rud Preisendanz Jr., moved to 1706-1716 Federal Street in East Camden, where it specialized in truck bodies. This property had been an automobile dealership as late as 1929. 

Edward Preisendanz and his brother Rud also partnered in a real estate company called the Gillanz Company with Lee J. Gill, a contractor who lived in Merchantville, in the 1920s. Their business was located at 4 North 2nd Street.

Edward and Rud Jr., carried on the family business through 1930.  Both Edward and Rud Jr. were active in the fund raising drive that culminated in the building of the Walt Whitman Hotel. Edward Preisendanz also was a charter member of Camden's Rotary Club. Rudolph Preisendanz Sr. was active in civic and fraternal circles, including the Camden Lodge of Elks. Edward and Rud Jr. would follow in his father's footsteps with the Elks. 

In 1930 the Preisendanz brothers sold the body business to longtime employee Robert Becker. Edward Preisendanz and Rud Preisendanz Jr. went into the broadcast business, setting up the Broadcast Advertising Company. This firm leased municipally-owned radio station WCAM in the 1930s. 

Edward Preisendanz passed away unexpectedly on October 6, 1933 after being stricken with what the newspapers reported as acute indigestion. He was 49 years old at the time of his passing. Edward Preisendanz was survived by a daughter, Anna, his mother, Mrs. Anna C. Preisendanz, and his brother Rud Jr. By January of 1938 Rud Preisendanz Jr. had by the passed away. By 1947 the body works had closed, and at 1706-1716 Federal Street a Food Fair grocery store had been erected. 

Philadelphia Inquirer * April 3, 1912

Cyclone of April 2, 1912

Anna Cleary - Anna Gehrend - Vine Street
Oxford Copper Company - North 4th Street - North 10th Street - Elm Street Edward Francis - Mrs. Mills - Albert Roberts - Mary Goldy - Charles Houser Edward Trappe - Joseph Layton - August Weber - Mrs. George Waldis
John Presher - Susie Aborn
Edward Priesendanz - Harry Curtis - Frank Nice - GeorgeBeckert
Mrs. A.M. Magrath -
Thomas Reed - George Eckenhoff - Lillian Rhoades
S.M. Blair - John Getty - Mrs. Howard Ivins - George Batchelor - Raymond Wallen
Charles Jordan - Michael Burke - Allen Naylor - William Conerdi
Matthew J. Lemon -
Dr. Howard F. Palm - William Ackley - Thomas Wescott
Frank Kears -Otto Shapiro
North 2nd Street - North 5th Street - North 8th Street - Linwood Street 
Elisha A. Gravenor
Samuel S. Elfreth
Scott Veazey

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Philadelphia Inquirer - April 25, 1913

James McDade - J. William Simpson - Market Street
North Front Street - North 6th Street
West Jersey Carriage Works
Cooper Hospital - West Jersey Hospital
Victoe Talking Machine Company

World War I Draft Card

Camden Courier-Post - January 11, 1928
Elks Are All Set For Hi-Hat Show

Offering the pick of local talent under skillful direction in an ambitious revue, the annual Elks Frolic for 1928 will be presented Thursday, Friday, and Saturday evenings in the Elks auditorium at Cooper and Seventh Streets.

"Hi-Hat” is the title of the new revue and the appearance of Elsa Dorn is a feature. The revue opens with an act programmed as “Hits and Bits”, in which Rud Preisendanz will act as master of ceremonies. From that point on, the revue makes its way through a series of dances, songs, spectacles and comedy skits until its conclusion.

William H. Iszard, chairman of the frolic committee, also becomes an actor in the performance. Others in the cast include the following. 

Benton Vansciver, Ronald Hollingsworth, Fred Peterson, Elmore Craft Jr., Dorothy McDonna, Bernice Hendrickson, Lillian Hill, Jeanette Smith, Dot McGuire, Dot Hemphill, Bill Geyer.

Catherine Hill, Lillian Starke, Irma Huff, Virginia Simms, Mary Hall, “Billie” Dryer, Anna Prayne, Margaret Printz. 

Justin McCarthy, Dorothy Ferat, Ed Brewer, Charles Wright, Fred Peterson, Dave Reese, Biel Davis, Bill Huff, Lillian Hill, Roland Hollingsworth, Ed Kelly, Al Durfer, Ed Preisendanz, Bert Poland, Curt Hitchner, Jack Sauerhoff, Perrin G. Somers Jr., Alberta O’Hara. 

Harry Todd, Pete McGuire, Bill Gravenstine, Paul Horompo, Frances Brabazon, Irma Huff, Ella Huff, Eleanor Townsend, Bernice Hendrickson, Lillian Hill, Jeanette Smith, Mary Hall, Anna Prayne, Margaret Printz, Marie Carmichael, Elmore Craft, Charles Wright, Joe Hill, Larry Callahan, Harry Glazer, William Ambright, Frank Garrison, Ralph Willey, Jr., William Leckfeld.

Collegiate? You Said It!

No wonder so many people go to college these days if this couple is truly representative of the college spirit, which they purport to represent in the annual Elks Frolic which opened its three-day run last night. They are Dot McGuire, of 98 Park Avenue, Collingswood; and Irma Huff of 317 State Street.


January 13, 1928

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Colorful Revue With Snappy Features Delights Big

Colorful arid melodious, bearing the mark of skillful coaching and disclosing notable talent, the annual Elks’ Frolic was given its first performance last evening.

An appreciative audience applauded the various performers and their skits as the array of ‘Camden and South Jersey talent offered their musical or humorous wares from the stage of the Elks’ auditorium, at Seventh and Cooper Streets.

Open to the public, the revue, which hears the title of “Hi-Hat,” is to be presented again this evening and tomorrow evening, Not only does the large cast bear no hint of amateurishness in the performance, but through the frolic, the public is given an opportunity to see a number of men prominent in business and professional circles in Camden turn entertainers for the evening. William H. Iszard, former assemblyman, is a member of the cast of “Hi-Hat”. So is Rud Preisendanz, exalted ruler of the Camden Elks’ Lodge and prominent businessman.  

The opening act, ‘Hits and Bits,” gives opportunity to a group of clever singers and dancers. Prominent In this act is Preisendanz as ‘master of cere­monies.” The specialties introduce Justin McCarthy, Bill Guyer, Jannette Smith, Dorothy Ferat, Cliff Okerson, Charles Wright, Virginia Sims and Joe Hill. A dancing chorus composed of Dorothy McDonna, Bernice Hendrickson, Lillian Hill, Jannette Smith, Dot McGuire, Dot Hemphill, Catherine Hill, Lillian Starke, Francis Brahazon, Mary Hall, Bernice Hendrickson and Irma Huff, execute a series of timed dances. Miss Elsa Dorn has an important role in this and subsequent scenes.  

A blackface novelty Introduces Pete McGuire and Harry Toll in “The Transfer Men".

A juvenile diversion features Kathleen Lyle and Ruth Matthiessen. It is called  “We Moderns” and depicts a child’s idea of the modern flapper and her collegiate boyfriend.

A sketch dealing with one of the vital problems of the day entitled “Pre-War Scotch,” serves to introduce David Reese as a bellboy, Bill Huff and Bill Geyer are two salesmen, and Bill Davis as the proprietor of a rural hotel.

‘Modern Fairy Tales’ sung by Katherine Hill and Lillian Stark, tells the song story of fairy tales of the past compared to fairy tales of mod­ern times. The sketches are played by Lillian Hill and Justice McCarthy.  

Another playlet of the “collegiate” mode is called “The Elopers”. Special song numbers by Perrin G. Somers are interpolated in the act. 

“The Musica1 Tourists,” a parody on the popular songs of the day, coupled in such a manner that they tell the story of the purchase of a second-hand touring car, is one of the hits of the performance. In. this act are Ed Kelly, Al Durfer, Ed Preisendanz, Ben Hardy, Harry Todd, Bill Guyer and Jack Sauerhoff. 

The Elks’ “Madcap Dancing Ensemble” introduces a series of clever dances by Frances Brahazon, Alberta O'Hara and Virginia Sims. In this are acrobatic, ballet, waltz, clog, buck and eccentric dancing

The closing scene, beautifully mounted in costumes and scenery, has, has been given the title “Palate D’Or.’’ Prominent among the performers are Charles Murray, Bert Poland, Jack Sauerhoff, Ed Kelly, Bill Gravenstine, Elsa Dorn, Pete McGuire, Ed Preisendanz, Harry Todd, Al Durfer, Dave Reese, Dot McGuire, Dorothy McDonna, Irma Huff, Pail Horompf, Lillian Starke, and Rud Preisendanz. A mixed chorus of fifteen voices lends color to the scene. Am augmented orchestra was under the direction of Perrin G. Somers, director of the frolic.

The curtain rises promptly at 8:30. 


JANUARY 30, 1928


All Types of Jobs Handled By Becker Body Company

Business is good at the Becker Body Company plant, Seventeenth and Federal streets .

The photograph accompanying this article gives a glimpse of one corner of the shops. It could be duplicated anywhere in the plant and every picture would show skilled craftsmen busy working.

The work of the Becker Company consists of the repair of damaged automobile bodies and in the repainting or enameling of bodies. The plant is also equipped to handle all truck repairs and to manufacture new truck bodies as well as handle repair work.

The firm employs experienced , blacksmiths, metalsmiths, expert carriage painters and stripers, finishers, welders, woodworkers and others. The plant is carefully departmentalized so that whatever the work, there is always a skilled and expert craftsman to take care of it.

It Is the result of having hundreds of customers that keeps Becker's busy. In truck work they have a following among dairy firms, bakeries, meat packers, and other indus­tries who send their work here. The truck department is busy right now and in addition to being crowded with repair work there are half a dozen big bodies being manufactured that look as though they may be intended for beer trucks.

The company's work on pleasure cars comes largely from insurance companies and automobile dealers of South Jersey. Robert Becker who took over the business of R. Preisendanz and Sons three years ago, was for 15 years associated with the Preisendanz firm.

Plenty of Work In This Shop

Photo shows a corner of the Becker Body Company plant at Seventeenth and Federal Streets, which Is busy with a variety of work on bodies of all types. The firm does work for many large concerns.

Camden Courier-Post - June 23, 1933

A resolution was passed protesting an increase in power authorized by the federal government to Station WORC and WEPS, of Worcester, Mass. An increase to 1280 kilocycles and to 500 watts causes interference in broadcasting, from WCAM, the resolution pointed out. 

Another resolution was adopted by the commission clarifying to the federal government its position relative to responsibility as· to operation of WCAM. It was pointed out in the resolution that the mayor and city clerk had entered a supplemental agreement with the Broadcast Advertising Company, which leases the station from Camden. The government desired to establish that nothing be construed in the agreement which would relieve Camden from responsibility in operation of the station. 


October 11, 1933

Camden Rotary Club
Camden Lodge of Elks
Fred Veiser - Joshua C. haines
Edward A. Mechling - Joseph H. Murray
Rude Preisendanz Sr.
Rud Preisendanz Jr.
WCAM - Cooper Street
North 5th Street - Market Street



Firmin Michel

Rud Priesendanz Jr.

John J. Crean

Clarence Moulette

George E. Brunner

Frank J. Hartmann Jr.

Frederick von Nieda

Harold W. Bennett

Federal Street