THE TAILOR SHOP
Mielnica, Poland (then Galicia)
Back Row - Chaim Reiter, (Fischel's
younger son) Dvorah Schneider14 (Flitter), Fishel Reiter,
Lady with curls?, Maid with cake, Herschel Blitzer, mannequin (ladies
Row 2 - Girl sitting?, Lady (pretty) sitting next to Fishel, young
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."