Guide to the Abraham L. Wolk Papers, 1937-1968 AIS.1969.14

ULS Archives & Special Collections

Summary Information

Repository
ULS Archives & Special Collections
Title
Abraham L. Wolk Papers
Creator
Wolk, Abraham L., 1891-1983
Collection Number
AIS.1969.14
Date
1937-1963
Extent
2.5 linear feet (2 boxes)
Abstract
Abraham L. Wolk was born in 1891 and was a Pittsburgh jurist and a former Pittsburgh city councilman whose interests included smoke control, industrial health programs, the "Pay-as-you-go" tax program, and the Civic Light Opera. The collection contains correspondence, memoranda and notes, writings, speeches, memorabilia, photographs and scrapbooks. The scrapbooks have been microfilmed.

Preferred Citation

Abraham L. Wolk Papers, 1937-1963, AIS.1969.14, Archives & Special Collections, University of Pittsburgh Library System

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Biography

Abraham L. Wolk was born in Pittsburgh on September 3, 1891 to William and Rachel (Rosenthal) Wolk. He was educated at South School, Pittsburgh Central High School, Columbia University (A.B.) and the University of Pittsburgh (LL.B). He was admitted to practice before the Allegheny County, Pennsylvania Superior and Supreme courts and the U.S. District Court. He was a member of the Public Auditorium Authority of Pittsburgh and of the Allegheny County Airport Advisory Committee. Wolk was an honorary chairman of the Civic Light Opera Association and honorary trustee of the the Carnegie Library, the Carnegie Institute and the Carnegie Institute of Technology. He was also an honorary life member of the musicians' union.

Wolk was a member of the the American Legion, Sons of Civil War Veterans, Jewish War Veterans, Masons, Elks, Eagles, Allegheny County and Pennsylvania Bar Associations, and many other organizations. Wolk served as the Assistant City Solicitor of Pittsburgh in 1934 and as the Special Deputy Attorney General from 1935 to 1937. He was elected to five terms on Pittsburgh City Council from which he finally resigned in May 1956 due to his appointment to the Orphans' Court. He was elected to a full term on November 4, 1957 and retired from the Orphans' Court in 1968.

Wolk served in World War I as an ensign with the USMRF. He enlisted in May 1918 and was discharged in June, 1919. He married Charlotte J. Krow and was the father of two children.

Among the many interests and activities of Abraham L. Wolk were smoke control, the creation of an Industrial Health Center, and the establishment of the Allegheny County Health Department and the University of Pittsburgh School of Public Health. He was also involved in the Pittsburgh Civic Light Opera and is known as the "father" of the Pittsburgh Arts and Crafts Center.

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Scope and Content Notes

This collection contains correspondence, memoranda and notes, writings, speeches, memorabilia, photographs, and scrapbooks. The scrapbooks have been microfilmed onto 4 reels, AIS.1969.14. The correspondence deals with Wolk's Delayed Tax Reduction (Pay-as-you-go-taxation) Proposal to the the U.S. Department of the Treasury and miscellaneous matters such as the origins of "I am an American Day on Citizenship Day." There are communications with such political figures as Herman Eberharter (Congressman from Pennsylvania), Sam Rayburn, Alban Brakley, John McCormack, Joseph F. Guffey (U.S. Senator, Pennsylvania), Henry Morgenthau and members of Congress in hopes of eliciting their support.

The Addresses in Folder 4 deal primarily with Wolk's proposed "Pay-as-you-go Plan," but also include speeches boosting Pittsburgh(Hungry Club,1940)and the cost of municipal government as well as remarks in honor of Abraham Lincoln and a tribute to Justice Michael J. Musmanno.

Folder 5, Memoranda and Notes, contains information on the "Pay-as-you-go Plan," Social Justice, remarks on city budget, circa 1938, and data on the Bureau of Smoke Prevention.

Folder 6 includes four documents written by Wolk which consist of "A Vignette of the History of the Orphans' Court of Pennsylvania,""A Delayed Tax Reduction Pay-As-You-Go Plan," "A suggestion for the More Effective Maintenance and Preservation of our American Freedom and our American Way of Life Through a Planned Intensive Study of our American Colonial History," and the statement "A Program of Industrial Medicine and Public Health for the Pittsburgh Area."

Folder 7 contains two articles on Abraham L. Wolk. The article in American Jewish Outlook concerns Abraham Wolk and his suggestion for calling a conference on the unity of orthodox and conservative Jews and the article in  The Bulletin Index covers Wolk's Delayed-Tax-Plan.

Included in the Memorabilia Folder are three childhood photographs of Abraham Wolk, a prayer composed for the June 12, 1948 Bar Mitzvah of his grandson Elliot, the words of a patriotic song "We're here, we're there, we're everywhere" set to music by Maurice Spitalny which Abraham Wolk composed in 1943, and a photostat of the motions and resolutions passed by City Council upon Abraham Wolk's resignation.

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Administrative Information

Publication Information

ULS Archives & Special Collections, December 1969

University of Pittsburgh Library System
Archives & Special Collections
Website: library.pitt.edu/archives-special-collections
412-648-3232 (ASC) | 412-648-8190 (Hillman)
Contact Us: www.library.pitt.edu/ask-archivist

Revision Description

 Description of oversize material added to the finding aid. December 2010

Access Restrictions

No restrictions.

Copyright

Permission for publication is given on behalf of the University of Pittsburgh as the owner of the physical items and is not intended to include or imply permission of the copyright holder, which must also be obtained.

Acquisition Information

This collection was a gift of Abraham L. Wolk on September 17, 1969.

Processing Information

This collection was processed by Archives Service Center Staff in December, 1969.

Revision and rearrangement for the encoded version of the finding aid provided by Holly Mengel in February, 2002. Information about the collection title and the controlled access terms was extracted from the MARC record in the University of Pittsburgh catalog Voyager ID number: 1426845.

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Controlled Access Headings

Corporate Name(s)

  • Civic Light Opera of Pittsburgh.

Geographic Name(s)

  • Pittsburgh (Pa.) -- Politics and government

Personal Name(s)

  • Wolk, Abraham L., 1891-1983

Subject(s)

  • Air -- Pollution -- Pennsylvania -- Pittsburgh
  • Environment
  • Industrial hygiene -- Pennsylvania -- Pittsburgh
  • Personal papers
  • Politics
  • Smoke -- Pennsylvania -- Pittsburgh
  • Tax collection -- Pennsylvania -- Pittsburgh

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Previous Citation

Abraham L. Wolk Papers, 1937-1963, AIS.1969.14, Archives Service Center, University of Pittsburgh

Wolk, Abraham L., 1891-, Papers, 1937-1963, ais 69:14, Archives of Industrial Society, University of Pittsburgh

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Collection Inventory

  BoxFolder
Biographical Materials 11

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  Folder
Correspondence, 1938-1943, 1946 2

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  Folder
Correspondence, 1956-1967 3

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  Folder
Addresses, 1940-63 4

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  Folder
Memoranda and Notes, 1939-1943 5

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  Folder
Writings By Abraham L. Wolk, 1943-1953 6

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  Folder
Articles on Abraham L. Wolk, 1932, 1943 7

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  Folder
Photographs 8

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  Folder
Memorabilia, 1946-1948 9

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  Folder
B"nai B'rith, 1939, 1953 10

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  Folder
Citizenship Day, 1939-1941 1947 11

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  Folder
Abraham Wolk's statements regarding the Civic Light Opera 12

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  Folder
Civic Light Opera Correspondence, 1946-1951, 1955 13

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  Folder
Civic Light Opera Photographs 14

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  Folder
Civic Light Opera Miscellaneous Documents, 1946-1955 15

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  BoxFolder
Industrial Health Center Correspondence, 1944-1949 216

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  Folder
Industrial Health Center Legislation, 1946-1947 17

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  Folder
Publications and Brochures on the Industrial Health Center, 1944, 1946 18

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  Folder
Pennsylvania Economy League, 1940-1941 19

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  Folder
Documents relating to correspondence, proposed plans, etc for Pittsburgh, 1940-? 20

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  Folder
Documents relating to Legislation for Pittsburgh, 1940 1944 1947 21

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  Folder
Documents relating to Publications, Brochures, etc., 1941 22

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  Folder
Pittsburgh City Council Agenda 23

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  Folder
Smoke Control Correspondence, 1941-1955 24

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  Folder
Smoke Control Legislation, 1941-1951 25

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  Folder
Publications and Brochures on Smoke Control, 1944-1946 26

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  Folder
University of Pennsylvania State Government Institute of Land and Land Subdivision and Control Zoning 27

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  Folder
Weed Control Program Correspondence, 28

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  Folder
Weed Control Program Legislation, 1942-1947 29

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  Folder
Publications and Brochures on Weed Control Program, 1947 30

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  Folder
World Peace, 1939-1043 31

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  Folder
Tax Clippings 32

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Section: Oversize Material 

  Map-caseDrawer
 1. Columbia University Alumni Club 72
 2. Hartley Hall, 1892 
 3. Unidentified group photos 

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