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Seder Family Photographs, 1900-1940, PSS 31, Rauh Jewish Archives, Senator John Heinz History Center

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What's online

The Seder Family Photographs online collection contains 22 images from 1910 through the late 1960s. The images primarily depict the Frank and Seder clothing store, business associates, and Isaac Seder's family.

What's in the entire collection

The collection, held by the Rauh Jewish Archives at the Senator John Heinz History Center, comprises 25 images taken between 1910 and the late 1960s. The images consist of building construction, exterior and interior shots of the Frank and Seder store; events, such as commemorative and anniversary dinners and fashion shows from the 1920s-1930s; 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 taken during the Passover Seder, dated 1910.

About the Seder Family

Isaac Seder was a Russian immigrant who came to the United States around 1885, at the age of nine. He began a career in the mercantile 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 and opened a store in downtown Pittsburgh in 1907. Isaac Seder was co-founder and president of the original Frank and Seder store from 1907 until his death in 1924. Seder and Frank partnered with Bennie Neiman, of Neiman's Department Store (also located in downtown Pittsburgh), and in 1918, they moved into a newly constructed building on Fifth Avenue and Smithfield Street. The department store expanded outside of the region with branches in major cities like Philadelphia, Detroit, and New York. After Isaac's death, the business was run by his son and the partners until its closing in 1954.

In addition to being a business owner, Isaac Seder was 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. Additionally, Isaac supported many public welfare organizations and institutions. He served as a trustee for the Tree of Life Synagogue, the Hebrew Institute, and was a member of Congregation Rodef Shalom.

Isaac and Gertrude Seder 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 Bennie's death in 1949. Like his father, Jerome was 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.

After Isaac's death in 1924, his wife Gertrude 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. Also, she donated the Abraham Friedberg Eye Clinic to Riverview Center in memory of her brother.