Tag Archives: job

October 26, 1934 “Did you ever try to write a letter while riding a streetcar?”

October 26, 1934 “Did you ever try to write a letter while riding a streetcar?”

October 26, 1934

Dear Goldkinder,

Did you ever try to write a letter while riding a streetcar? Well, that’s what I am doing now. Since Monday I am traveling every day 2½ hrs on the streetcar and I do not like to waste so much time.

Again I have been very lucky. Last Thursday we were told no work tomorrow and call on Monday if there is something. I had already noticed that things were getting very slow.

Chicago Streetcar 1934

Chicago Streetcar

On Friday when I got a haircut I told the operator that I feared I was out of work. I left my phone number there and sure enough one of the girls called and gave me the address of a good friend where I should apply for a new job. Of course I went there the next day and started working on Monday morning at 9:00 a.m.

It is the biggest hat factory here, the work is similar as in the other place but much cheaper work and material and of course pay. The owners and employees are mostly Polish and several of them Jewish.

Hats and Hair Styles 1933 -1934

Hats and Hairstyles

And the other place declared bankruptcy on Saturday and Gus got married.

My salary from last week I will probably only get through the court settlement. Wasn’t I lucky! To have already another job?

Sorry my writing is so bad but the streetcar here is the shakiest most unsympathetic transportation here.

Maybe you can find on the Chicago map 700 North and 900 West on Milwaukee Ave. That’s where I am working now.

Aunt Henny and I are planning to move Nov. 1. First of all we want to give up the apartment and I would like to move closer to work, and where I can walk downtown, so I do not need so much money for transportation. And besides I will be closer to Leonard.

This stationery is 3 yrs old when his Republican party was still in power in Chicago. He was until then very much involved in politics here. Since 3 yrs the Democrats are in power and he and his friends are out. That’s why he lost so much money and his supposedly very nice wife and darling little girl.

Last Sunday he visited me with his adorable 5 yr old girl. On Saturday night we went all dressed up to the Opera Carmen. A gigantic Opera House. All seats taken and everybody dressed up. Excellent performance.

Leonard and Flora Mae

Leonard and Flora Mae

On Sunday evening I spent 3 hrs with him at his office and helped him pack because he moved to another place on Monday.

It was nice to see Max here although we got together only one evening. He was the only person I did not bid farewell to in Germany and the first one to visit me here.

Now we are having lunchtime. If I had taken more stationery with me I could write some more on my long trip to Rose’s tonite.

Now I am sitting in a restaurant near the factory to eat supper. Just saw something unusual — a man driving his car on only 3 wheels–he had just lost one–for several blocks to a garage.

It is already 7:30 p.m. and I am very hungry. Usually we eat here between 6-6:30–Last night I was at Samuels again. They have nice German Jewish friends and they welcome every newcomer.

Actually I am not very much interested in a lot of people anymore unless I can make hats for them.

Nightview of Fair

World's Fair at Night

It is very complicated for me to remember to write to everybody’s birthday on time. I talked again to Rose Tauber, Aunt Fanny’s daughter. Will call them again tomorrow.

Now I will take the streetcar downtown 15 min and the I.C. south to Rose’s ½ hr. It would take an additional 1½ to 2 hrs in the streetcar. It is really great how much you can ride on the streetcar for 7¢ or on a bus for 10¢. Farther than from Ffm to Mainz.

Max also liked Chicago much better than N.Y.

I really enjoy watching all the different types of people on the public transportation. You can hear all different languages and see all different types of clothing. I have to get especially used to seeing so many black people. Some of them very clean and good looking and whites in rags and miserable.

Only 6 more days until the Fair closes. I think I will go once more on Sunday if the weather is still so very nice. Our train is just passing the fairground and I enjoy over and over the beautiful sight of lights and colors.

Trudel and Leonard

Photoshop 1934*

Do you still have the book on fancy knitting? This is very popular here now and I could do some of that too.

That is it for today.


*Note: This picture, in which Trudel has pasted cut-outs of her head and of that of my father, appears on the page of her photo album devoted to her Greyhound Bus trip from New York to Chicago several months before she met him.


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March 17, 1935 – Boy, was I ever delighted, not that I had a job, but that I had this job.

March 17, 1935 – Boy, was I ever delighted, not that I had a job, but that I had this job.


My Dear Ones,

When I have a lot to tell you I just never seem to find enough time. For a change this is happening again this week.

First of all, I am very glad that Doddo wrote me again after three months. The photo I think is excellent. Gabor is really a great artist. Weils did not want to believe that it is Doddo. Leonard is very charmed and everybody else I showed it likes it very much. When will I get such a photo of Pappa and Ernale?

Lotte Adler

Lotte Adler (Probably later photo)

What is the matter with Steffi? What’s happened to her? Why did she come back? I have no idea at all. It all sounds so strange to me what you write.

Did you not receive the answer to your postal card very fast?

I like to add that Max should get in touch with Aunt Henny first, before he starts any business with Uncle Alfred. As I wrote you before, he is not too reliable business-wise, especially at such a distance.

Everybody who sends me regards, please reciprocate.

Now to myself again. When did I write you last? Oh, yes! Last Friday. That evening I had as usual a very good dinner at Samuels.

Saturday I was at Weils from noon on and when I arrived I had to eat bean soup and sausage right away. Then we listened on the radio from the New York Metropolitan Opera live “Tristan and Isolde.”*


Click for YouTube

Afterwards Eugenie and I went shopping. She is the funniest person I have met.

For supper a 59th cousin of ours and his young wife joined us. To be a little more clear: his grandfather was Max Adler, from Arheiligen, oldest stepbrother of Aunt Jenny Weil – which means a cousin of our Dad. Do you remember him? He came to the USA when you were about 12 years old. He had one son and one daughter. The daughter, Mrs Mitchel, has several sons and daughters and he is one of those. A very nice young fellow.

He is here about five months but was earlier for one year in Washington. It was interesting to meet more relatives.

Leonard was supposed to join us but he worked until 6:00 a.m. Sunday in his office. Of course he had not much ambition on Sunday. So we only took a little walk, read the papers, listened to the radio and I crocheted and went early to bed.

Monday evening I was again at Aunt Henny’s. She is in good spirits and goes out quite a bit. No idea with whom!

Tuesday evening I worked downtown. Gwen recommended me to a lady who has a little hat shop at Washington and Wabash Avenues on the 7th floor. She is Jewish and very nice. Of course, I was delighted to make hats. I will be working for her now every Tuesday and Thursday evening and all day Saturday.

Also she took me Wednesday morning to the best hat wholesale house and introduced me to the manager and told her I would like to work for them. She told me to be there at 8:30 a.m. the next day. They really had enough workers, but she wanted to try me out. You can not imagine how happy I was.

Garland Building

Garland Building*

I went once more to the old job, but told the manager that I was quitting that day. She really had been very nice to me, letting me come to work many days 3 hours earlier than the other girls so I could get a little more work out. I actually worked too nice for that place.

Pittsfield Building*

Wednesday night I was at Gwen’s but went home early and early to bed. The next morning at 8:30 I was at the new job at 12 S. Michigan Ave. 50 or 60 girls. Completely handmade hats. Work like I did at Ethic Schariot. But so exactly like the model, and I am not at all used to that anymore. If only I had never seen those very cheap so-called hats.

Of course all the women were much too busy to show or explain something to me. Those two days 3/14-15 were probably the worst for me business-wise. The first hat I made was in their opinion useless. I remember when I worked for Hilda Lorsch how upset I was when we ordered something and it was not exactly like the original. Maybe it was made by a person who tried as hard and was as unhappy as I was those two days. After that first unsuccessful try, the manager gave me another model to try my luck but that was not good enough either.

The manager was very nice. She saw that I was sewing very well but explained that they were too busy to teach me and I should not waste my and her time. Nevertheless she was nice enough to rip that hat and make it over. Before I put the trimming on it I showed it to her and all of a sudden it was O.K.

I had been so careful and finished it and she told me to come again on Monday. Boy, was I ever delighted, not that I had a job, but that I had this job.

Of course I am not sure that they will keep me. The head manager had not seen my work yet and it depends how I continue to the work. But I think I learned some tricks already and it may work out. And if it doesn’t I go one floor higher in the same building where Marei Bing is and I am sure they will take me.

In any case I will not go back to those very cheap hats. I did learn a lot in those two days but was so tired that I was in bed at 9 o’clock.

Yesterday I worked for Miss Cooper downtown.

In the evening we went to a real kosher restaurant. In this kosher place you get butter served if you eat milkish or meat! The place is very clean and not more expensive than other restaurants.

Yesterday the case against the yogi was finally concluded. So this case is finally over and to celebrate we went to a movie for a change. An excellent film: The Barretts of Wimpole Street. I recommend it to you if it comes to Ffm.

Wimpole Street Poster

Click for YouTube

Today we were all afternoon here in the hotel with Flora Mae. I took three snapshots on the way here. I hope they come out OK. I started this letter when Leonard left to take Flora Mae home, just a couple blocks from here. I can’t understand what takes so long.

Also I have no idea what time it is, according to what I have written it must be a long time since they left. Now he is coming. I hear his voice. So, I am finishing this, so we can eat. My stomach is growling.

I do have a very good appetite, but fortunately I have not gained any weight. On the opposite in the ten months since I am in this blessed land I have gotten seven pounds lighter.

Today we had beautiful weather but pretty cold. Yesterday snow and ice, the day before summerlike and the day previous warm and rain. I guess I wrote enough now. I cut out the enclosed newspaper clippings while I ate breakfast yesterday.

Now I close with greetings and kisses

*The YouTube clip is from the same performance of “Tristan and Isolde” that Trudel and the Weils listened to over the radio from the Met. I grew up listening to the Met on the radio every Saturday afternoon with Trudel – usually in her 1941 Dodge.

*The Garland and the Pittsfield buildings are across the street for one another on Wabash at Washington. It is more likely that Trudel worked at the Garland Building, which had smaller shops and stores. I remember Trudel taking me there to small shops that sold buttons and ribbons and other kinds of trim she used on hats. A wonderland for a little boy. Today the famous Cajun restaraunt, Heaven on Seven is in the building on the 7th Floor. (I worked in the Pittsfield Building when I was 13 years old.)

Apologies for the commercial at the beginning of the “Barrets of Wimpole Street” YouTube. I couldn’t find an ad-free version.

I had always thought the professional photo of Trudel used as the top image this week was taken in late 1936 but my brother tells me he believes it was taken in Germany before she came to the States. Perhaps it was taken by Gabor, the photographer she refers to above.

Special thanks to Chuckman’s Chicago Nostalgia site. Many of the vintage images I use on this site are courtesy of John Chuckman. It is worth exploring


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