Respondent
Jackson, Alexander
Interview Date
1976
Abstract
Alexander Jackson, an engineer and manager at Blawnox Steel for forty years and a serious lover of music, he has served as chairman of the program committee for the Pittsburgh Chamber Music Society and the performing arts committee for the Three Rivers Arts Festival; birth year, 1906;
[T1S1] grandfather's birth in Germany; story of changing the family name to Jackson; his grandfather's clothing store in downtown Pittsburgh, 954 Liberty Avenue; recollections of the store; description of his grandfather, Henry Jackson; grandfather's affiliation with Tree of Life Synagogue and Rodef Shalom Temple; Friday evenings at the grandparent's home; his grandfather's electric generator that supplied power to his store and surrounding businesses; residences of his family; Henry Jackson's activity with Zionism; father's career as a general practitioner at Montefiore Hospital for fifty years; his father's partnership with Dr. K. I. Sanes; maternal grandfather was founder and president of the Jewish Foster Home in Philadelphia, PA; discovery of unknown relatives graves in Pottstown, PA; mother's service as president of the Sisterhood of Rodef Shalom and Ladies Hospital Aid; discussion of the three doctors in his family; their extended family household in his early life; discussion of the middle years of Reform Judaism; celebrating Christmas and Hanukkah; early residences; his confirmation by Rabbi Levy in 1922;
[T1S2] education, in his home until age eight, Osceola School, Linden School, Schenley High School; influential teachers in his life; graduation from Cornell University at age twenty; friendship with Donald Steinfirst and Charles Dreyfus; recollections of high school activities, his neighborhood on Denniston Avenue; other friends; ice skating on Bruce's pond around Wilkins Avenue, Homewood Cemetery, and Duquesne Gardens; music lessons with Lenore Morgenstern; views about living in the past; health care in the family; father's friendship with Dr. Chevalier Jackson, inventor of the bronchoscope; names of family doctors, Barach and Eaton; recollection of a streetcar crash in 1910; his degree in mechanical engineering from Cornell University, 1926; employment in engineering and management for Blawnox Steel for forty years; early married life to wife, Ruth; his family's prominence in the Jewish community in Pittsburgh; activities in his parents' household; family love of music; his Uncle Arthur's musical collaborations with George Gershwin; his uncle Fred who wrote for the movies in Hollywood; their honeymoon in Ashville, NC; their children's educations, careers and families; residences during marriage;
[T2S3] No abstract for this side.
[T2S4] Blank
[T3S5] his great love of music; involvement with the Pittsburgh Chamber Music Society; history of and his role in the beginning of the Pittsburgh Chamber Music Society; success of the Society; his service as chairman, Program Committee; his involvement with the original music committee at the Young Men's and Women's Hebrew Association; views about his education at Cornell; his service as chairman, Performing Arts Committee for the Three Rivers Arts Festival in Pittsburgh; discussion of growing interest in the Jewish community for the festival; board member, Pittsburgh Child Guidance Center, Pittsburgh Plan for Art, Montefiore Hospital, and past-president of Concordia Club; comparison of his upbringing and that of his children; discussion of changes in the social and cultural atmosphere in Pittsburgh; recollection of the furor over the French Impressionist exhibit at the International Exhibitions at Carnegie Institute; conducting a demographic survey at the Three Rivers Arts Festival; discussion of the changes in Squirrel Hill and the Jewish community in Pittsburgh;
[T3S6] views about his accomplishments; his contemporary home; effects of growing up during the depression; differences in his children's attitude toward life; his travels in Europe, the Soviet Union, the Orient, and Africa; interest in language.
Subjects
Blaw-Nox Steel Co.; Economic Depression; Engineers; Engineering; Family life; Musicians; Music; Pittsburgh Chamber Music Society; Squirrel Hill (Pittsburgh, Pa.)
Length (hours)
3
Interviewer1
Kabet, Marion
Interviewer2
Benson, Stephanie
Indexer
Reynolds, Jacqueline
Collateral Materials
Box 102 FF 36
Identifier
ais196440.205
Rights
All rights reserved. University of Pittsburgh