While born in Germany, Egolf was mostly raised in Philadelphia. Although he initially began his antique business in Philadelphia, in 1893, Gus Egolf opened a new business on East Main Street, an impressive four-story structure that immediately became a Norristown landmark. Egolf, “short and stout, with a wen on the back of his head [was] a keen dealer in old furniture and old books.”
Antiques were a major component of his stock from the beginning; Pennsylvania governor Samuel Pennypacker, an avid collector of books and antiques, was a frequent customer. At one time, he was the most extensive dealer in antique goods in the United States. The store was located at 113 East Main Street.