Respondent
Harrison, Roland
Interview Date
1996
Abstract
Respondent Business man; born 7/27/23: Pittsburgh, PA.
[T1S1] Respondent names mother: Hermine Hirsch, father: Michael (Myer) Harrison; gives dates of their births and deaths. Respondent provides lengthy discussion on maternal and paternal grandparents, their siblings and occupations. Respondent notes maternal great grandfathers from Laupheim, Germany; and Karlsruhe, Germany. Respondent mentions names of many relatives; provides description of parents wedding: Rodef Shalom Temple, 9/19/1916; details reception: Rittenhouse Party Place; East Liberty, Pittsburgh, PA. Respondent's father born, Scranton, PA; mother, Wayne, PA; discusses father's family: 3 members born in Poland/Russia, remainder born in America. Respondent explains origin of family name: Harrison; describes grandfather's work, grandmother Orthodox Jew; maternal grandmother among founders of Rodef Shalom Temple. Respondent reflects on fathers various business ventures: promoter, started housing development: Baldwin Manor, Pittsburgh, PA; names other businesses: mail order, Kool Vent Awnings, Federal Stamping Co. and Jones and Brown siding business: father could start businesses, could not sustain them. Respondent attended Wightman School, Taylor Allderdice and Shadyside Academy; graduated 1941, lists various addresses where he lived, attended religious school at Rodef Shalom Temple and mentions summer camp in Ellwood City, PA. Respondent's first position with Warner Brothers: managed several theaters in Pittsburgh; after 1 &#189; years, enlisted in Army; sent to Indiantown Gap, then Fort Benning and 10<sup>th</sup> Armor Division.
[T1S2] Respondent reflects on Army: sent to University of Kentucky, degree in electrical engineering. Respondent comments on his confirmation: Rodef Shalom Temple; holidays spent at paternal grandmothers home and details father's term in jail: sold Stock without license; comments on beginning of Securities and Exchange Commission and visits to father in jail. Respondent reflects on mother's ability to support family: taught new immigrants; Respondent had small printing press in home; earned additional money; Respondent able to remain at Shadyside Academy; continues discussion on father's jail term: 2 years in Blawnox workhouse. Respondent explains father's business ventures after incarceration: pioneer in aluminum siding and home improvement businesses. Respondent provides additional information on Army experience: sent to Korea to repair electrical systems; discusses Korean culture; discharged from Army after 3 years, returned home, joined father's ventures. Respondent discusses courtship and marriage to wife Mary Amson; 1949, 1<sup>st</sup> apartment on Fifth Avenue, then move to Fox Chapel; comments on their extensive travel. Respondent discusses plans to relocate business: Kingsford/Builders Edge; how it is operated; explains how aluminum is made; manufactures exterior decorative building material and plastic shutters. Respondent provides names of children and grandchildren; their careers;
[T2S3] Respondent discusses Kool Vent Awnings: started 1944; mentions activity as volunteer in Fox Chapel fire department and membership in several clubs; expresses feelings about religion.
Subjects
Aluminum; Business; Industries; Correctional institutions; Kingsford/Builders Edge Company; Kool Vent Awnings; Korea; World War, 1939-1945
Length (hours)
1.3
Interviewer1
Dinman, Gabrielle
Interviewer2
Harrison, Mary
Indexer
Berger, Betty
Collateral Materials
Box 102 FF 21
Identifier
ais196440.187
Rights
All rights reserved. University of Pittsburgh