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Our holdings include hundreds of glass and film negatives/transparencies that we've scanned ourselves; in addition, many other photos on this site were extracted from reference images (high-resolution tiffs) in the Library of Congress research archive. (To query the database click here.) They are adjusted, restored and reworked by your webmaster in accordance with his aesthetic sensibilities before being downsized and turned into the jpegs you see here. All of these images (including "derivative works") are protected by copyright laws of the United States and other jurisdictions and may not be sold, reproduced or otherwise used for commercial purposes without permission.

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VINTAGRAPH • WPA • WWII • JOIN THE NAVY, 1917

Issar in America: 1905

Issar in America: 1905

At the behest of his older brother Benny, my mother’s future father, Issar, left his home in what is now Poland, for America. There he had his picture taken at Hurwitz’s Photographic Art Studio, 273 E Houston Street, New York City. At the time he spoke no English and had little formal education, but he had been apprenticed in the garment trade. Together the brothers formed Weinstein Brothers Cloak and Suits in NYC.

Exactly when his name was changed from his birth name of Issar Derrish to his “American” name of Isadore Weinstein I do not know. I never met him to ask, though if I had, I would have asked which dumb cluck brother thought that very Eastern European ethnic name was American. My mother describes her Uncle Benny as an outgoing life of the party kind of fellow and says he was “the outside man” of the company. Her more reserved father was the “inside man” making the patterns and supervising whatever employees the company had. I translate that as being the salesman and the craftsman.

When Benny died suddenly during the 1930's, the company folded, leaving Issar to freelance from company to company, making each one a pattern so that they would have new product for the coming season and stay in business during those hard times. Reportedly Issar loved children, opera, and cigars.

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SHORPY HISTORICAL PHOTO ARCHIVE
Shorpy.com | History in HD is a vintage photo archive featuring thousands of high-definition images from the 1850s to 1960s. (Available as fine-art prints from the Shorpy Archive.) The site is named after Shorpy Higginbotham, a teenage coal miner who lived 100 years ago.

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