A.J. Reach Company
The A.J. Reach Company, also known as A.J. Reach & Co., was the largest manufacturer of sporting goods in the United States in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Founded by Al Reach, a former player and founder of the Philadelphia Phillies franchise, it was based in Philadelphia, PA. Al Reach first operated a sporting goods store in 1874, which moved in the 1890s to a prominent location at 1820 Chestnut Street. Reach then added a large factory on Tulip Street.
The Reach Company manufactured baseballs, footballs and boxing gloves on a site that was previously a textile factory. The company also developed a prototype batting helmet in 1900, although it never found widespread use. In 1934, Reach sold all of its properties to its chief rival, Spalding, and its name disappeared from use.
Reach was also known for publishing an annual baseball guide - the Reach Guide - which was one of the most important sources of information on baseball in the first four decades of the 20th century. It eventually merged with the Spalding Guide, before being replaced by The Sporting News' guide.