Richard E. Rauh Photographs

What's online?

The Richard E. Rauh Photographs contain images dating from 1891 through the mid-1930s. The images primarily depict Bertha Rauh, her family, and her swearing in as Director of Charities, later called the Pittsburgh Department of Public Welfare. Additionally, many of the photographs illustrate Bertha Rauh's efforts to transform Mayview Hospital, then known as the Pittsburgh City Home and Hospital, into a modern psychiatric hospital. Of note are photographs depicting Bertha Rauh and the Pittsburgh City Council members, the Pittsburgh Mayors William A. Magee, Charles H. Kline, and John S. Herron, and Amelia Earhart.

What's in the entire collection?

The Richard E. Rauh Photograph Collection (1891-2000), held by the Rauh Jewish Archives at the Senator John Heinz History Center, comprises 1.75 linear feet of images and negatives of the Rauh and Floersheim family and friends. This collection also contains several portrait albums compiled by the Floersheim family in the mid to late nineteenth century. Further, the collection contains photographs of Pittsburgh dignitaries, artists, and of the Pittsburgh City Home and Hospital. Photographs of note include several autographed portraits including that of Ida Tarbell and of several conductors and musicians who appeared at the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, including Eugene Goossens, Yehudi Menuhin, and Percy Grainger.

About the Rauh Family

Bertha Rauh was born in Pittsburgh, Pa., on June 16, 1865. She was the daughter of Samuel Floersheim, a merchant associated with the firm of A. Guckenheimer and Brothers, and Pauline Wertheimer Floersheim, both immigrants from western Germany. Known for her dramatic and musical talents, Bertha Rauh was educated at the Grant School and Central High School, from which she graduated with highest honors. In 1888, she married Enoch Rauh and had two children, Helen B. and Richard S.

Enoch Rauh was born to Soloman and Rosalia Lippman Rauh in Dubuque, Iowa, on June 12, 1857. In 1863, his family moved from Iowa to Cincinnati, where he was educated in the public schools, and then moved to Pittsburgh in 1870. Enoch Rauh completed his education in night school, and in 1882, he founded the firm of Rauh Brothers & Company, a wholesale men's furnishings business, with his brothers Marcus and Abraham. In 1911, Governor John K. Tener appointed him to the newly formed Council of Nine, a small council of citizens which was a predecessor of the city council. He was re-elected twice by popular vote and served under the Magee, Armstrong, and Babcock administrations until he died in 1919.

Bertha Rauh was active in civic and philanthropic community service from her student days. In 1904, she was elected president of the Pittsburgh Section, National Council of Jewish Women, a position she held until 1919. She initiated several programs beneficial to public welfare which were later taken over by the city, including the penny lunches in public schools, social work at Juvenile Court, outdoor schools for tubercular children, a labor bureau to find jobs for the unemployed, and a Committee to Aid the Blind, which eventually became the Western Pennsylvania Federation of the Blind, and later the National Association for the Blind. Additionally, Bertha Rauh was a founder of the Soho Public Baths, Consumer's League, Equal Franchise Society, Equal Franchise Federation of Western Pennsylvania, League of Women Voters, and the Pittsburgh and Allegheny Milk and Ice Association, which guaranteed pasteurized milk and pure water to poor children in the city. With the cooperation of the National Council of Jewish Women, she successfully argued for penal reform and local and state laws regulating fund raising. By 1919, Bertha Rauh was a member of thirty boards, including those of the Humane Society and the Irene Kaufmann Settlement. In 1923, she was invited to serve on the Board of the Federation of Jewish Philanthropies for a one-year term until January, 1924. She and her son Richard were founders of the Pittsburgh Symphony Society.

In January 1922, she was appointed Director of Charities by Mayor William Magee and was the first woman in the United States to be a member of a mayoral cabinet. Reappointed by mayors Charles Kline and John Herron, her tenure in the position lasted for twelve years. Bertha Rauh was a member of the Republican Party and of Rodef Shalom Congregation.

One of Bertha Rauh's greatest achievements was the transformation of Pittsburgh City Home and Hospital , later known as Mayview Hospital, into a modern psychiatric hospital. The institution, located sixteen miles from the city of Pittsburgh, consisted of a hospital, housing for the indigent and aging, and a working farm. The physical facilities, from infrastructure to living and service areas, were in dire need of repair and renovation. During her first year as Director of the Department of Public Welfare, she introduced new clinics and technologies, including occupational therapy, physical therapy, hydro-therapy, oral, eye, nose, and throat clinics, a new X-ray department, and new laboratories. Dr. Edward Mayer, a psychiatrist, headed a survey for improvements to the hospital, and plans were developed from 1922 to 1927, when construction began. By 1932, extensive renovations were almost completed. At this time the hospital was headed by a medical director and superintendent and staffed ten physicians, seventeen visiting physicians, two visiting psychiatrists, nurses, and social workers.

Bertha Floersheim Rauh died on October 21, 1952, at the age of 87. She was survived by a son Richard S. Rauh, her daughter Helen Rauh, and a grandson, Richard Enoch Rauh.

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