Respondent
Gordon, Herman
Interview Date
1989
Abstract
Herman Gordon, a dentist for fifty-six years in Pittsburgh and the son of Benjamin Gordon of Gordon's Shoes; birth date, March 26, 1912;
[T1S1] description of the Hill District of Pittsburgh in the 1920s and 1930s; names of Jewish merchants in business there at that time; father a shoemaker from Lithuania; lifestyle there during prohibition; art classes at the Irene Kaufmann Settlement; brother Charles Gordon, founder of "Doc Gordon Club" for boys; studying dentistry at the University of Pittsburgh; opens an office with his brother Charles, a dentist also; retirement at age seventy-seven; resumes interest in art after fifty years; prizes for art and exhibitions in early life; his siblings and their lives; changes in Pittsburgh since his childhood;
[T1S2] more recollections of the Hill District in the 1920s; names of doctors who practiced on the Hill; colorful characters in the neighborhood;
[T2S3] enlistment in Navy during WWII as a Junior Lieutenant; his role as a dental officer; his experiences while stationed in the Pacific; invasion of the Philippines; ends his service as a Lieutenant Commander;
[T2S4] family residence above Gordon's Shoes in 1912; discussion of businesses and professionals in the Hill District; religious instruction; further recollections of business and landmarks on the Hill;
[T3S5] social clubs and professionals in the Hill District; discussion of the "Doc Gordon Club" basketball team, city champions in 1922-23 and Allegheny County champs in 1926-27; high schools in the area; the demise of the Hill District; riots of the 1960s; recollections of politicians in the 1920s and 1930s;
[T3S6] discussion of being Jewish in the Navy in 1942; non-Jewish friends and roommates during service; recreational activities in Navy; racism against Blacks in the Navy at that time; discussion of early dentistry and his practice on Center Avenue; changes in dentistry;
[T4S7] discussion of dentures; old methods of anesthesia in dentistry; experimental use of plastics in 1940s; the rise of cosmetic side of dentistry; economics of dentistry;
[T4S8] advent of insurance, changes and abuses in his field; emphasis on quantity, not quality; the profusion of specialists; anesthetics in the 1940s, 50s and 60s.
Subjects
Dentists; Dentistry; Hill District (Pittsburgh, Pa.); World War, 1939-1945
City
Schmielnik
Length (hours)
4
Interviewer1
Graff, Doris
Interviewer2
Gordon, Debra
Indexer
Gordon
Collateral Materials
Box 102 FF 9
Identifier
ais196440.171
Rights
All rights reserved. University of Pittsburgh