Spice Box


Born at the turn of the 20th century in Vilna, Poland, my great-grandfather did what was necessary in order to support himself. Growing up, his family didn’t have much. As a fourteen-year old boy he came to New York with only the clothing on his back, hoping to be able to make a living and create a brighter future for himself. Upon arrival he enrolled in a vocational school in Brooklyn where he took a course about electricity. At the time, this trade was becoming popular and it was there that he learned about electric motors. A short while later, after having earned enough money repairing motors and building radio kits, he managed to open up an electronics store in Brooklyn and sold televisions and radios. Due to the rise of demand in these products in the early 1930’s his store was very successful. This initial success prompted him to open another store. It wasn’t before long until he owned a chain of electronic stores throughout Brooklyn and Manhattan. In the meanwhile, my great-grandfather married and had a few children. As his electronic store business continued to generate nice profits my great-grandfather decided to venture out into the real estate business. It was here where he made a name for himself. My great-grandfather’s silver spice container serves as a reminder to the family that success is always within our grasp. We just have to work hard, like him.

Place(s): Poland
Year: 1914

– Ezra Magder

Relationship:  Great-grandchild of im/migrant or more Great-grandchild of im/migrant or more