The Filson Historical Society Digital Projects

Browse Items (876 total)

  • A_L265_2_9a.jpg

    Frank Raymond Lane, Camp Zachary Taylor, Louisville, Kentucky, to Nellie Rahe, Milan, Indiana.
  • A_L265_2_13a.jpg

    Frank Raymond Lane, Camp Zachary Taylor, Louisville, Kentucky, to Nellie Rahe, Milan, Indiana.
  • A_L265_2_17a.jpg

    Frank Raymond Lane, Camp Zachary Taylor, Louisville, Kentucky, to Nellie Rahe, Milan, Indiana.
  • 1914 demonstration doll_BF_J59_301.jpg

    In this letter to the Jewish Hospital board president Samuel Hess, Gussie Newberger outlines how the Jewish Ladies Benevolent Society No. 1 wants its donations to the hospital to be used. She explains that the society would like $65 spent on a “Demonstrator” doll for medical training, “in order to protect the Charity Patients from Fright [and] Exposure” from being used as learning material for medical or nursing students.

    Through donations and volunteer work, the Jewish Ladies Benevolent Society No. 1 contributed to the mission, maintenance, and growth of Jewish Hospital. The Jewish Welfare Federation and the National Council of Jewish Women Louisville Section also gave critical support to the hospital.
  • 1919 Bernheim Memorial Hosp_BF_J59_296.jpg

    In January 1918, distillers and philanthropists Bernard and Isaac Bernheim contributed $100,000 for an addition to the Jewish Hospital. One of the conditions attached to the brothers’ donation was their request to rename the hospital Bernheim Memorial Hospital in memory of their parents. The blank hospital bill with the “Bernheim Memorial Hospital” letterhead is a remnant of the board’s initial acceptance of the donation with its conditions.
  • 1918 Bernheim letter 1_BF_J59_297.jpg

    Letter from Bernard Bernheim to the Board of Directors of Jewish Hospital responding to a decision to keep the Jewish Hospital name. Bernheim contributed $100,000 for an addition to Jewish Hospital on the condition that they rename the hospital Bernheim Memorial Hospital in memory of his parents.
  • 1967 kosher foods_BF_J59_146.jpg

    In this letter, Hy Spikell of Kosher Foods writes that after Jewish Hospital closes its Obstetrical Department, his business will provide “orthodox pre-cooked frozen meals” to Jewish patients at other Louisville hospitals.

    Georgetta and Ella Manser were seamstresses in Cincinnati in the 1880s. At the time, thousands of "sewing girls" worked in the city, assisting dressmakers, tailors, and other clients with basic tasks. Most worked long hours and were poorly paid. Georgetta and Ella's mother described their work in an 1885 letter:

    "The girls have to work very steadily from early morn till night, have no time for recreation, but their labor enables them to meet all the expenses and keep a nice home over our heads, and they grow fat on it...I do not think you can have any idea how much sewing they can do. Their custom is very large and constantly increasing. They have to refuse work almost every day. At present they cannot take a new order till June they have so much in the house. Besides they have orders up to November, a whole wedding outfit to make through the summer. They have over a hundred garments in the house."

    In a letter to the Jewish Hospital board president, Gussie Newberger outlines how the Jewish Ladies Benevolent Society No. 1 wants its donations to that hospital to be used. She explains that the society would like $65 spent on a “Demonstrator” doll for medical training, “in order to protect the Charity Patients from Fright [and] Exposure” they may have experienced if used for training purposes themselves.  

    The dawn of the 20th century brought changes and challenges for American Jews. German Jewish immigrants of the mid 1800s had established houses of worship, community groups, and successful businesses throughout the United States. But the late 19th and early 20th centuries brought a new wave of Jewish immigration from eastern Europe. Fleeing oppression and violence, many arrived on American shores destitute and unfamiliar with the language and customs of their new home. Groups such as Jewish Ladies Benevolent Society No. 1, organized in Louisville in 1849, sought to ease the way of these new Americans.  

    In his work The American Jewish Woman: A Documentary History (1981), Jacob Rader Marcus describes Hebrew Ladies Benevolent Societies as  

    “An essential part of the structure, of the very being, of the entire Jewish group in any area. Its functions were manifold. Very often it was a mutual-aid society helping the local Jewish poor, especially impoverished women. Though dedicated to charity and synagogal aid, it was at the same time the social club for the town’s Jewish women. Whatever the guise, the members persisted in emphasizing their identity as women.” 

    A framed set of four documents from the Filson's exhibit "Women at Work." Documents start from the left and go clockwise:
  • FHS Mss A G984 178 Hundley contract color image.jpg

    Women sometimes exercised greater power than the letter of the law accorded them. Annie Henry Christian, an early settler of Jefferson County, directed her husband's salt works operation south of Louisville following his death in 1786. Eliza Tevis, a free woman of color, consulted lawyers on multiple occasions--suing the estate of her former employer for withheld wages in 1838 and drawing up a prenuptial agreement prior to her marriage in 1843.

    The young women found the seminary's rules severe. They were afraid to be caught talking during the strictly enforced quiet study time. In their correspondence, several students refer to their school as a "nunnery." They sometimes found it a lonely place, lacking the company of young men and society. Stow's older brother's occasional visits to the seminary were always highly anticipated.

    Stow expressed some envy of her brothers and the difference in their school experiences. She expected that her older brother was "enjoying himself finely" at school in Cincinnati. She told her younger brother that she was glad he was next in line for "edification," assuring him that boys are given more privileges than girls, so he wouldn't have a hard time at school.

    Stow began to see the school in a more positive light as graduation approached. She wanted to be a teacher but expected her mother and older brother to oppose her aspirations. She taught in her hometown for several school terms in the early 1860s but quit teaching after her marriage in 1862.

    Several of Stow's schoolfriends also embarked on teaching careers. Stow's cousin, Julia Stow, briefly taught in Marble Hill, Indiana, while Maggie Brown moved farther away to teach music in Loda, Illinois. Melissa Jackson was a teacher in Lawrenceburg, Indiana, before pursuing better pay near the Ohio River in Boone County, Kentucky, which she describes in the letter.
  • NCJW_letter_pg1.jpg

    October 18, 1908 letter from the NCJW’s Chairman of the Committee on Religion, Julia S. Genzburger, asking to use the Temple’s Assembly Hall to conduct religious instruction for “the children of the West End and of the East End.” Courtesy of the National Council of Jewish Women, Louisville Section [future donation]

    Letter to Hollingsworth from Coleman of the Western Recorder in Louisville. Coleman and Hollingsworth are meeting for a job opportunity.

    Letter to Hollingsworth from J.J. Swan of the Union Depot Hotel in Rockport, Indiana discussing Bethel Church.

    Letter to Hollingsworth from J.S. Phelps of Planters Tobacco Warehouse writes to Hollingsworth on behalf of his business partner, Winston, and Winston's wife, Phelps' cousin. Letter is marked Louisville, KY

    Lettet to Hollingsworth from E.H. Black of the Kentucky Insitution for the Education of Feeble-Minded Children confirming the arrival of a little girl from the home.

    Letter to the home from R.E. Ryan of the Daily and Weekly Ledger, concerning a woman interested in sending her seven year old daughter to the home. Answer written on the back, addressed to a Dr. Peter.
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