Summary Information
Title: Seder Family Photographs,
Collection Number: PSS#31
Creator: Seder Family
Collection Dates: c. 1900-1940
Extent: 0.25 linear feet (1 box)
Isaac Seder was a Russian immigrant who came to the United States about 1885, when he was nine years old. He began a career in the mercantile business with his partner Jacob H. Frank selling wholesale women’s wear before moving to retail sales. He was co-founder and president of the original Frank and Seder store, located in downtown Pittsburgh, from 1907 until his death in 1924. The business continued to be run by his son and the partners until its closing in 1954. The photographic collection consists of images of the interior, exterior, and construction of the store, store events, anniversary dinners, and Seder family individual and group images. A portion of the photographs in this collection have been digitized and are accessible online at


The material in this collection is in English.


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

Date Published:

April 2010

The guide to this collection was written by Theresa E. Rea.

Encoded by Theresa E. Rea on April 15, 2010 from an existing finding aid.


Isaac Seder was a Russian immigrant who came to the United States about 1885, when he was nine years old. He got his start in the merchant business when he entered wholesale women’s wear trade with Jacob H. Frank, also a Russian immigrant. The partners moved from wholesale to retail trade when they opened a store in downtown Pittsburgh in 1907. Bennie Neiman, of Neiman’s Department Store, also located in downtown Pittsburgh, partnered with Isaac Seder and Jacob H. Frank. With the success of the store they expanded and opened a newly constructed building on Fifth Avenue and Smithfield Street in 1918. The department store also expanded outside the area with branches in major cities such as Philadelphia, Detroit, and New York.

In 1904, Seder married Gertrude Friedberg, and had four sons, Jerome, Harold, Theodore, and Jules. Jerome Seder started working in the family business at the age of seventeen as a stock boy in the silk department. He eventually became chief assistant to Bennie Neiman before he was named president by the board of directors, after the death of Bennie Neiman in 1949.

Isaac Seder was also a philanthropist and active in Pittsburgh’s Jewish community. He and his partners were major contributors to the campaign and building of the new Montefiore Hospital. Seder also contributed financially to worthy relief, educational, and other public welfare organizations and institutions. He served as a trustee for the Tree of Life Synagogue, member of Rodef Shalom Temple, and trustee of the Hebrew Institute. After his death in 1924, his wife continued to do philanthropic work. She opened the Isaac Seder Education Center of the YM&WHA and the outpatient clinic at Montefiore Hospital, both dedicated to her late husband and also donated the Abraham Friedberg Eye Clinic to Riverview Center in memory of her brother.

Jerome Seder, like his father, was also involved in Pittsburgh’s Jewish community. He was vice president of Montefiore Hospital, life trustee of the Jewish Home for the Aged, and a member of the administrative committee of the University of Pittsburgh’s Retail Training Bureau.

Collection Scope and Content Note

The photographs consist of building construction, exterior, and interior shots of the Frank and Seder store; events, such as commemorative and anniversary dinners and fashion shows dated 1922; business associates; and street scenes during large sales events. Also included in the collection are family photographs depicting both individual and group portraits. Of note is a family photograph during the Passover Seder, dated about 1910.

A portion of the photographs in this collection have been digitized and are accessible online at


  • The Seder Family Photographs are house in one archival box and arranged alphabetically.

Controlled Access Terms
Personal Names
  • Seder, Gertrude (1883-1987)
  • Seder, Isaac (c. 1876-1924)
  • Seder, Jerome (c. 1905-?)
  • Frank, Jacob H. (c. 1876-1933)
  • Neiman, Bennie
  • Seder Family
Corporate Names
  • Frank and Seder Store
  • Jews--Pennsylvania--Pittsburgh
  • Jewish business--Pennsylvania--Pittsburgh
  • Retail sales--Pennsylvania--Pittsburgh
  • Department stores--Pennsylvania--Pittsburgh
  • Fashion--Pennsylvania--Pittsburgh
  • Jewish life and customs--Pennsylvania--Pittsburgh
  • Pittsburgh, (Pa.)
Access and Use
Access Restrictions:

No Restrictions.

Aquisition Information:

Gift of Meryl Bennett on June 6, 1997.

Preferred Citation:

Seder Family Photographs, c. 1900-1940, PSS#31, Rauh Jewish Archives, Library and Archives Division, Senator John Heinz History Center

Processing Information:

This collection was processed by Theresa E. Rea on April 6, 2010, with generous support from the PNC Charitable Trusts- J. Samuel and Rose Y. Cox Foundation and the Giant Eagle Foundation.


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.

Related Material:
A Frank and Seder Store 30th anniversary souvenir program and a Frank and Seder paper bag with the catalog designation of MFF#4867.

A full page newspaper advertisement for the Frank and Seder Store with the catalog designation of MFO#4867.

Contents List

Box 1
Folder 1 Building Construction, 1917
Folder 2 Building Exterior, n.d.
Folder 3 Business Associates, n.d.
Folder 4 Family Portraits, n.d.
Folder 5 Family Seder, c. 1910
Folder 6 Fashion Shows, 1922
Folder 7 Frank and Seder Store/Employee Events, 1918, n.d.
Folder 8 Fulton School Group, c. 1912
Folder 9 Isaac and Gertrude Seder, n.d.
Folder 10 Street Scenes of Frank and Seder Store, c. 1920, 1941
Folder 11 Topical, n.d.