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 How We Worked 
 

Mielnica
    POLAND

THE TAILOR SHOP
Mielnica, Poland (then Galicia)
c. 1905

Back Row - Chaim Reiter, (Fischel's younger son) Dvorah Schneider14 (Flitter), Fishel Reiter,
Lady with curls?, Maid with cake, Herschel Blitzer, mannequin (ladies suit).
Row 2 - Girl sitting?, Lady (pretty) sitting next to Fishel, young girl, tailor?
Row 1 - Lena Reiter, on her eighth or ninth birthday!
 


From Jeanne Blitzer Andelman:

"My maternal grandfather Fischel/Phillip Reiter about age 65 (c. 1840-1921) stands in the center of this picture, scissors in hand, primed to cut a pattern for a women's suit and or coat he would have designed that he and his workers made for the town's residents and those in the surrounding areas. The picture was taken to celebrate my mother's birthday (little girl sitting in the chair with a Happy Birthday sign).  In the back row a maid holds the birthday cake.

 Records going back to the mid-1700s show that the Reiters were early residents in Mielnica and women's tailoring was their trade.  My father, Adolph Blitzer (c. 1889-1978) was a skilled tailor of women's suits and coats and apprenticed with Fischel. My grandfather, along with grandmother Chana Fleischmann Reiter and my mother, Lena Reiter, immigrated to Toledo, Ohio in September 1913. Fischel retired at the time, lived for eight more years. In the 1930s Fischel's older son Julius Reiter, was named best designer of women's suits and coats in Ohio.  During WW II the Armed Forces asked Julius to design a "zipout lining" for their coats, which he did.


I never knew Fischel, but my mother and relatives talked lovingly of him, and a relative, Julius Reiter, survivor of the war, told me he had heard of Fischel and his tailor shop.  In fact Julius thought this picture was taken in America and sent to the family in Mielnica to show how successful Fischel was (note the two Singer sewing machines), because during the 1930s, the economy in Mielnica, Poland was so bad, especially for Jews, that Julius' parents, also tailors, sewed everything by hand."

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