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From the Archive

From the Archive

Dreidel – “a great miracle happened there”

                      Here we have various colored plastic and wooden dreidels. Dreidel is Yiddish for "spinning top”. The Hebrew letters inscribed on a dreidel are Nun, Gimel, Hey or Chai, and Shin. The letters form an acronym for the Hebrew saying Nes Gadol Hayah Sham, which can be translated to "a great miracle happened there," referring to the miracle which Hanukkah is centered around. The custom of playing dreidel on Hanukkah is based on a legend that, during the time of the Maccabees, when Jewish children were forbidden from studying Torah, they would defy the decree and study anyway. When a Greek official would come close they would put away their books and take out spinning tops, claiming they were just playing games. To play dreidel, each player begins with an equal number of game pieces, which can be coins, candies, nuts etc. At the beginning of each round, every player puts one game piece into the center “pot”. Players then take turns spinning the dreidel. When the top lands on nun, the player gets nothing; on gimel, the player gets the entire contents of the pot; hey, the player gets…
DJHS Admin
October 8, 2020
From the Archive

Samuel Charles Blumenthal – WWI Dog Tags

Samuel Charles Blumenthal’s (1893-1978) WWI dog tags are located in the DJHS archive. Before World War I, Mr. Blumenthal lived in Georgia and was 23 years old. His name is stamped along the curved top edge of the alluminum tag. After July 26, 1918, all tags could be stamped with the letter indicating religion, i.e. “C”, “H”, or “P”. Mr. Blumenthal didn’t have H for Hebrew on his tag but it looks like he scratched a Star of David on his tag. His service number punched in the middle.  The dog tag was introduced to military srvice members in December 20, 1906. During the American Civil War there were so many unknown casualties that the American government decided soldiers needed to carry an identifying tag with them. What started as a single circular aluminum disc to be worn as an identification tag became required in 1913, and in 1916 the second dog tag was required--one to identify the soldier, and one to mark a coffin or burial site. The World War I dog tag was aluminum, the size of a silver half dollar, and imprinted with the individual's name, rank, regiment, and branch of service to be worn around the…
DJHS Admin
October 6, 2020
From the Archive

Bedikat Chametz – Feather, Spoon, and Candle Kit

There's an ancient Jewish custom called Bedikat Chametz (literally, “the search for Chametz). The night before Passover there is a search for any food that's made of grain and water that have been allowed to ferment and "rise”. The candle is for light when searching, the feather is used as a broom, and the spoon as a dustpan. The next morning you are to burn the items used to find the Chametz, as well as any of the found Chametz. In the DJHS archive, we have a Bedikat Chametz kit along with the instructions for the blessing.    chabad.org/library/article_cdo/aid/1172862/jewish/The-Feather-the-Spoon-and-the-Candle.htm https://www.thejc.com/judaism/features/judaism-101-what-is-bedikat-chametz-1.461010
DJHS Admin
October 1, 2020
From the Archive

Red Cross Nurses Outfit – August 1948

This is a nurse's uniform hat from the Red Cross from around August 1948. The online guide states: Indoor Uniform: Figure 73 Commando blue seersucker or blue poplin (latest selection since seersucker no longer obtainable) one-piece dress with either long or short sleeves, convertible collar, and 2-inch woven red cross on the upper pocket. Cap: Matching buttoned cap with 1-inch red cross centered on front of facing.    Red Cross Uniform Guide  Online photo of the complete nurses outfit, for reference   https://www.worthpoint.com/worthopedia/vintage-blue-wwii-nurse-nurses-1927456632 https://collectarc.com/Uniform%20Guide.pdf
DJHS Admin
September 29, 2020
From the Archive

E. M. Kahn and Company

Here we have a metal shoehorn from the E. M. Kahn and Company, “Complete Outfitters to Men & Boys,” which was located on Main and Elm, at Lamar. The founder Emanuel Meyer Kahn, a Jewish immigrant from Alsace-Lorraine, France, founded the E.M. Kahn Company in Dallas in 1872 at the age of 21. He was one of the first businesses in Dallas to put price tags on his merchandise, rather than haggling, which was normal with customers. The company was a retailer of menswear and eventually had girls and women's departments, with multiple locations. The business continued for ninety-two years as a family-owned business and had the distinction of being the oldest retail store in Dallas, as well as the city's first air-conditioned store. It was known that E. M. Kahn, always stood out in a crowd, immaculately dressed in a chocolate-brown suit.   https://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/entries/kahn-emanuel-meyer http://dallasmemorabilia.blogspot.com/2015/07/em-kahn-co.html https://www.dmagazine.com/publications/d-magazine/2008/november/the-jews-who-built-dallas/ https://infoweb.newsbank.com/resources/doc/nb/image
DJHS Admin
September 24, 2020
From the Archive

Van Bibbers Little Cigars

Here we have Dallas resident Louis Oppenheimer’s (1868-1948) “Van Bibbers Little Cigars'' case and cigar cutter.  The container is a heavy pressed paper or light weight cardboard, and has a striker on both ends. The Lorillard Tobacco Company which was located at 11601 Plano Rd, Dallas, TX 75243 carried the Van Bibber brand, and had ads in the Dallas Morning News. The  Van Bibber Little Cigars was by H. Ellis & Co., of Baltimore, USA . Manufactured by “The American Tobacco Company.”
DJHS Admin
September 22, 2020
From the Archive

Morton Rachofsky – Geometric Art

Morton Rachofsky (1930-2019), a Dallas realtor, inventor, and artist among many other things created this work of art. We previously posted about his 25 hour clock that he patented; and it was eventually sold at Neiman Marcus. The Dallas Morning Newspaper on May 5, 1979 had an article about Dallas City Hall holding Dallas Art 79’, a juried show that included a similar wooden geometric piece of Rachofsky’s. Below is a link to Russell Tether which sells works by Morton Rachofsky. You can understand his material choice, and geometric design aesthetic by viewing multiple art pieces.   https://www.russelltetherfinearts.com/works-available-for-sale.html http://bit.ly/infowebmortonrachofsky  
DJHS Admin
September 17, 2020
From the Archive

Parity – A Game of Economics, by I.L. Sanger

Donated with the Sanger-Badt Family Collection were game pieces and instructions for "Parity," a card-based economics game designed by I.L. Sanger in the 1930s, the object of which is to balance the bank of your nation by trading/depositing/spending based on amounts outlined on game boards. Several sets of handwritten and typed instructions accompany the game, evidence that he dedicated a great deal of time to fine-tuning his invention. In 1937, I.L. sent letters to several game companies, such as Milton Bradley, Monopoly, and Cadaco, Ltd. in an attempt to have the game manufactured and dispersed. Unfortunately, it does not appear that his efforts were successful.  Game pieces include: 15 cards representative of "Francs" in denominations of 100 billion to 1500 billion, plus a card that says "France International" 15 cards representative of "Lire" in denominations of 100 billion to 1500 billion, plus a card that says "Italy International" 15 cards representative of "Dollars" in denominations of 5 billion to 75 billion, plus a card that says "United States International" 15 cards representative of "pounds" in denominations of 1 billion to 15 billion, plus a card that says "England International" An additional card that says, "Royal International." Four game boards, 2…
DJHS Admin
September 15, 2020
From the Archive

Roman Lachrymatory

At the DJHS Archive, we have a lachrymatory bottle which can also be called a tear bottle, tear catcher, tear vial, unguentaria, or unguentarium. This particular lachrymatory bottle, from the Roman Period 63 BCE - 330 CE, was given to Mrs. Mabel Byer (1888-1976) by the Chairman of the Jewish Agency Executive, Pinchas Sapir. This artifact is accompanied by a certificate of authenticity, provided at the time it was gifted to Mabel Byer. Tear bottles were fairly common in the Roman Empire near the turn of the Common Era when mourners filled small glass bottles or cups with tears and placed them in burial tombs as symbols of respect. There is some speculation as to the validity of these claims, as apothecary bottles with other uses were also common during this time. Collection of the Byers Estate                                     http://www.lachrymatory.com/History.htm  
DJHS Admin
September 3, 2020
From the Archive

Marcy Lee Manufacturing Company – 1957 Framed Photograph

Marcy Lee Manufacturing Company originated in Tyler, Texas in 1923 and, in 1927, moved to Dallas. In 1964, Marcy Lee Manufacturing Company was the first tenant at Apparel Mart. The “Marcy Lee” name is a contraction of the name of the original partners, Lester Lief, Luis Marmar, and Morris Siegel. In the DJHS archives, we have a framed photograph of Marcy Lee workers from January 1957 in Dallas, Texas. The photo says taken by Garrett. We have an Etsy store linked below that sells antique Marcy Lee dresses. The Lief Family Collection   https://www.etsy.com/market/marcy_lee_dallas https://tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/dlc02
DJHS Admin
September 1, 2020