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The Guggenheim fortune began with Leadville

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Say the name “Guggenheim” and you might think art, architecture, museums and philanthropy. The Guggenheim fortune was one of the world’s largest in the late 19th and 20th century, and it all began in Leadville in the 1880s with Meyer Guggenheim.

The poor Swiss immigrant ran a small import business in Philadelphia for more than thirty years. Then he bought two silver mines in Leadville which changed his luck. Both mines made the Guggenheim family a lot of money. Their mining profits grew by adding a smelter in Pueblo, then expanded beyond Colorado and built an international industrial empire – M. Guggenheim’s Sons.

Of the eight sons, Solomon established the flagship Guggenheim museum in New York City. Simon was Colorado’s U.S. Senator for one term. Benjamin – father of Peggy Guggenheim – was on the Titanic. He did not survive, but another millionaire with Leadville roots did: Molly Brown.

About Colorado Postcards

Colorado Postcards

Colorado Postcards are snapshots of our colorful state in sound. They give brief insights into our people and places, our flora and fauna, and our past and present, from every corner of Colorado.