According to records maintained for the Franklin Institute Drawing School (Pupil Record Books, Franklin Institute Archives), Herman Wendell attended the Drawing School in the first quarter of the 1869/1870 term. Herman Wendell first appears in Philadelphia city directories in 1875 as a carpenter with a residence in the Frankford section of Philadelphia. Rapidly, however, he expands and by 1877 has become a partner in Wendell & Price
, carpenters. Returning to the carpenter designation in 1878, Wendell remains with that occupation until ca. 1882 when he and Walter B. Smith
, one of his classmates from the Franklin Institute Drawing School, launch one of the most prolific and profitable development companies in Philadelphia, Wendell & Smith
, responsible for the development of Overbrook Farms and Pelham in Philadelphia and St. Davids outside of Philadelphia.
In 1917 Wendell appears alone in the city directories and remains so for the duration of his listings. During this time he designates his occupation as "real estate."