Guide to the Reizenstein Family Photographic Collection, c. 1860-1970

Rauh Jewish Archives

Summary Information

Repository
Detre Library & Archives, Heinz History Center
Title
Reizenstein Family Photographic Collection
Creator
Reizenstein Family
Collection Number
MSP#73
Date [inclusive]
c. 1860-1970
Extent
0.5 linear feet (1 Box)
Language of Materials
The material in this collection is in English.
Abstract
Charles Reizenstein came to the United States from Germany with other family members around 1848. By 1882, he had established a business named the Charles Reizenstein Company that sold glass and gifts, located on Federal Street in Allegheny City, now Pittsburgh’s North Side. Through marriages of Charles Reizenstein’s descendants, the family grew to include the Schamberg, Silberstein, and Silverman families. The Reizenstein Family Photographic Collection primarily consists of family portraits and snapshots. Also in the collection are photographs from the travels of Louis J. and Florence Silberstein Reizenstein and those taken at the dedication of Reizenstein Middle School.

Preferred Citation

Reizenstein Family Photographic Collection, c. 1860-1970, MSP#73, Rauh Jewish Archives, Library and Archives Division, Senator John Heinz History Center

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History

Charles Reizenstein came to the United States from Germany around 1848. He married Freda Jacobs (1859-1922) and they had four children: Charles (c1880-1954), Harry, Elrose, and Louis (1898-1977). He began his career as a peddler of china and glass from a wagon and, by 1882, he had opened Charles Reizenstein Company, located in Allegheny City on Federal Street, now Pittsburgh’s North Side. By 1906, the business had a second location in downtown Pittsburgh. A few years later Charles Reizenstein closed his store in Allegheny City and moved his downtown store to 959 Liberty Avenue. By 1965, the company was sold to Kaufmann's Department Store executive, I. D. Wolf. Soon after the sale, the company was closed.

The Silverman Family, into which both Elrose and Charles Reizenstein married, also immigrated from Germany. Henry Silverman, a dry goods merchant (1827-1909), and "Mother Selig" (1827-1884) had nine children. In 1879, Henry Silverman’s son Philip, married Hannah Schamberg and they had three children Alexander (c1880-1962), Babette (1884-1955) and Freda (1886-1946). Alexander Silverman became a well known chemist in glass manufacturing and also taught at the University of Pittsburgh where he became the first Jewish head of an academic department at the University.

Alexander Schamberg (-1864), a violinist, married Rosa Levi (1818-1890), and lived in Hesse-Nassau, Germany. They had five children Nettie, Sol, Regina, Max (d1895) and Hannah (1853-1922). After coming to the United States, Max Schamberg began a foreign exchange and steamship agency in 1867. He was also appointed Austria-Hungarian consul in Pittsburgh in 1876.

Son of Austrian Army General Daniel Silberstein, Samuel Silberstein, an inventor (1865-1932), and his wife, Sara Tannenbaum (1871-1930), immigrated to the United States from Vienna, Austria. He opened a furnace and tin ware business in Homewood, a neighborhood in east Pittsburgh. The Silberstein family also maintained a summer farm and home in Bakerstown, Pennsylvania. One of their daughters, Florence Silberstein, married Louis Reizenstein. She was active in health and social welfare, human relations, civil rights, fair employment and housing, and education and legislative reform for the city of Pittsburgh. She helped establish the Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission, the state Human Relations Commission, founded the Fair Employment Practices Commission (FEPC), and served as its first female director. She also served as Vice President to the Negro Education and Emergency Fund (NEED) and to the local National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP). Florence Silberstein Reizenstein won several awards and was named a Distinguished Daughter of Pennsylvania in 1964. After her untimely death in 1970, a newly created Pittsburgh Public Middle School was named in her honor.

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Scope and Content Notes

The Reizenstein Family Photographic Collection consists primarily of family portraits and snapshots from the Reizenstein, Schamberg, Silberstein, and Silverman families. The collection also includes one photograph of the Silberstein storefront and one of the Silverman storefront. The collection also documents trips made by Louis and Florence Silberstein Reizenstein and the groundbreaking and dedication of the Reizenstein School.

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Arrangement

  • The Reizenstein Family Photographic Collection consists of twenty folders housed in one archival box and arranged alphabetically by family name.

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Administrative Information

Publication Information

Rauh Jewish Archives Senator John Heinz History Center, March 2010

Senator John Heinz History Center
1212 Smallman Street
Pittsburgh, PA 15222

Restrictions on Access

No Restrictions.

Restrictions on Use

Property rights reside with the Senator John Heinz History Center. Literary rights are retained by the creators of the records and their heirs. For permission to reproduce or publish, please contact the Library and Archives of the Senator John Heinz History Center.

Acquisition Information

The materials for the Reizenstein Family Photographic Collection were received in five accessions.

Gifts of Celeste Behrend, niece of Florence Silberstein Reizenstein on February 27, 1990, May 31, 1994, and March 1, 1997.

Gift of Lois Michaels February 5, 2004.

Gift of Jane Rosenberg Berkey, daughter of Jack and Charlotte Reizenstein Rosenberg June 20, 2007.

Processing Information

This collection was processed by Rachel Balliet and Sandy Baskind on April 10, 1994. Further processing, arrangement, and description of the collection provided by  Theresa E. Rea on March 6, 2010.

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Related Materials

Separated Materials

Two boxes consisting of the Reizenstein Family Papers have been separated, arranged, and described with the catalog designation of MSS#73.

One folder consisting of oversize photographs has been separated, arranged, and described with the catalog designation of MSR#73.

One folder consisting of oversize documents has been separated, arranged, and described with the catalog designation of MSO#73.

A book containing information about the history of the Urban League of Pittsburgh, a Peabody High School commencement book dated 1918, and yearbook dated 1927, have been separated, cataloged, and transferred to the Library.

Several items including a child's dress and shoes, wedding handkerchief, painted portraits, white kid gloves and a beaded evening purse have been separately cataloged and transferred to the Museum Division.

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Controlled Access Headings

Corporate Name(s)

  • Silberstein Store
  • silverman Store
  • Reizenstein Middle School

Geographic Name(s)

  • Pittsburgh (Pa.)
  • Bakerstown (Pa.)

Personal Name(s)

  • Reizenstein Family
  • Schamberg Family
  • Silberstein Family
  • Silverman Family

Subject(s)

  • Jews--Pennsylvania--Pittsburgh
  • Jews--Social life and customs--Pennsylvania--Pittsburgh
  • Jewish Women--Pennsylvania--Pittsburgh
  • Education--Pennsylvania--Pittsburgh
  • Jewish businesses--Pennsylvania--Pittsburgh

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Collection Inventory

Section: Reizenstein Family 

  BoxFolder
Reizenstein Family  c. 1880-1960 11
  Folder
Charlotte Reizenstein (Rosenberg) and Jack Rosenberg c. 1897-1960 2
  Folder
Florence Silberstein Reizenstein c. 1918-1970 3
  Folder
Freda Silverman Reizenstein c. 1886-1930 4
  Folder
Louis Reizenstein c. 1917 5
  Folder
Louis and Florence Silberstein Reizenstein c. 1965 6
  Folder
Louis and Florence Reizenstein-Travel c. 1960-1970 7
  Folder
Reizenstein School c. 1974 8

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Section: Schamberg Family 

  Folder
Schamberg Family c. 1870-1910 9
  Folder
Hannah Schamberg (Silverman) c. 1860-1922 10

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Section: Silberstein Family 

  Folder
Silberstein Family c. 1860-1960 11
  Folder
Ethel Silberstein (Goldsmith) c. 1913-1939 12
  Folder
Herschel Silberstein 1899-c. 1965 13
  Folder
Samuel and Sarah Tannenbaum Silberstein c. 1880-1930 14
  Folder
Silberstein Store n.d. 15

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Section: Silverman Family 

  Folder
Silverman Family c. 1880-1947 16
  Folder
Alexander Silverman c. 1880-1947 17
  Folder
Philip Silverman c. 1865-1885 18
  Folder
Silverman Store n.d. 19
  Folder
Unidentified n.d. 20

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