We always thought the origin story of the Coppersmith’s workshop went like this: In 1877, mr. Weissenbruch (coppersmith) came to Amsterdam from Quedlinburg (Sacksen-Anhalt, Germany) together with his journeyman Julius (F.W.) Baller (1859). Weissenbruch opened his coppersmith’s workshop at the Rusland 1 (a street in Amsterdam). After some years Julius Baller took over the workshop and changed its name to Koperslagerij Julius Baller (Coppersmith’s workshop Julius Baller).
However, in 2023 we found out the real story is slightly different. A coppersmith’s workshop had been around much longer than we knew.
According to the hisgis archives A. Weening already was working as a whitesmith at the Rusland-location in 1832. The population register shows that by 1851 the workshop had been taken over by whitesmith J. Greven (born 10 August 1793). On 18 February 1876 J.H. Weissenbruch (born in The Hague, 26 January 1826) took over the company from the widow of J. Greven. Most likely the company was by then run by J.H. Greven (born 9 March 1825), also registered as a whitesmith.
After working for Weissenbruch for 12 years, Julius Baller took over the company on 1 May 1892 and changed the name to Julius Baller.
In 1903 the workshop was moved to Kloveniersburgwal 54 (actually just around the corner). At 1 January 1916 his son, Julius (F.W.) (1888) was officially included as his associate. The name was changed to Koperslagerij Julius Baller & Zoon (Coppersmith’s workshop Julius Baller & Son). Some decades later, the sons of Julius Baller (1888), Evert (1920) and Henk (1929) became associates. Due to health issues, Evert had to retire in 1973. Henk passed away in 1975. Because there was no one who could take over the business, closing down was the most likely option. This would mean that the old profession of coppersmithing would disappear from Amsterdam. Because of the important role the firm had in renovation works in Amsterdam, Marten Tulleners (of Tulleners Plumbery/loodgietersbedrijf), Hans ‘t Mannetje (Restauratieatelier Uilenburg) and Juul Baller (1922) decided to take over the company. In 1983 Hans ‘t Mannetje and Juul Baller stepped down and the coppersmith’s workshop was moved away from the Kloveniersburgwal to the site of the Plumbery and became a part of Tulleners BV.
Several years ago the coppersmithery was resurrected independently from Tulleners as Julius Baller. Since 1 January 2016 led by Sander Pronk. Information about the current firm can be found at www.juliusballer.nl