Respondent
Fienberg, Jacob
Interview Date
February 16, 1974
Abstract
Fienberg, Jacob, owner of a women's dress shop on Fifth Avenue in Pittsburgh, the largest wholesale district between New York and Chicago from the 1930s to the 1960s; year of birth, 1894;
[T1S1] parents, Russian immigrants; six siblings, all born in Russia; early residences in Pittsburgh; father, first president, Beth Abraham Cemetery; father's employment at Schenley Park and in the tobacco industry; family life at home; Bar Mitzvah at Beth Hamedrash Hagodol; education, Franklin School and Letsche School; recollections of school days; experience with anti-Semitism in school; medical care; selling newspapers at age sixteen; employment with Princess Dress Company on Fifth Avenue at age seventeen; some history of remodeling Washington Street Synagogue; effects of Prohibition; recollections of playing cards and drinking with other merchants on Fifth Avenue; opinions on the demise of the Fifth Avenue wholesale district; negotiating for purchase of property on Washington Street where Epiphany Church used to stand; Fifth Avenue district in the 1930s and 1940s;
[T1S2] Blank.
[T2S3] obtaining a loan from Washington Trust Company and opening a store with Hyman Schmidt; employees in the store; his role as caretaker for his mother; political affiliation; recollections of depression Era; dishonesty of some merchants during the depression; his opinions about this dishonesty; more about Prohibition; move to the William Penn Hotel in 1935; mother's death; his obligation to care for his mother; life at the William Penn Hotel; opinions about Jewish community and his life.
Subjects
Business; Industries; Fifth Avenue (Pittsburgh, Pa)
Birth Date
1894
City
Pittsburgh, PA
Profession
Dress store owner
Occupation (father)
Tobacco industry
Length (hours)
2
Interviewer1
Cohen, Marian
Collateral Materials
Box 101 FF 25
Identifier
ais196440.121
Rights
All rights reserved. University of Pittsburgh