Milton Goldsmith’s Album, Part XVI: His Beloved Sister and Fellow Author, Emily

Most of the remaining pages of the Milton Goldsmith’s album are devoted to his many siblings and their spouses. For example, this page includes photographs of and news clippings about Milton’s sister Emily, who was also a writer, and her husband Felix Gerson, who was a writer and one of the founders of the Philadelphia Jewish Exponent.

I want to highlight the photographs of Emily and Felix, as seeing the faces of those about whom I have written is always a thrill for me:

Emily Goldsmith as a child

Emily Goldsmith Gerson

Emily and Felix Gerson

I will also quote a bit from the news article about Emily. Unfortunately I don’t know when or where it was published.

Mrs. Gerson was most widely recognized as a writer for children. In addition to writing books and editing pages for children, she is the author of a number of playlets, published in pamphlet form, for holiday entertainments in Jewish religious schools. In the last few years adult stories from her pen have appeared frequently in Jewish papers and magazines…

Yet, perhaps in the Young Readers’ Department of the Jewish Exponent, which she originated in 1892, Mrs. Gerson came closest to the hearts of her little readers. The children themselves had a hand in building up this department, and feel that it really belongs to them. They write prize poems and stories, articles and jokes; they give entertainment for charity and send the proceeds to Mrs. Gerson in prettily worded notes; and they contribute about a thousand dollars every year to the Country Week Fund in the department for sending poor Jewish children to the country during the summer.

This page also includes an obituary of Emily’s husband Felix, who died in 1945, almost thirty years after Emily’s death.

The page that follows in Milton’s album includes a biography of Felix Gerson, written presumably by Milton:

Finally, the page below includes several obituaries of Emily, who died in 1917 when she was only 49 years old.

There is also an article about the farm that was named in her honor and used as a summer retreat for poor Jewish children from Philadelphia as well as another photograph of her.

Here are some excerpts from this article and one more photograph of Milton’s beloved sister Emily:

Emily Goldsmith Gereson

In one of the other albums, I found this additional photograph of Felix.

These pages demonstrate how proud Milton was of his sister Emily and how devastated he must have been when she died in 1917.

This is Part XVI of an ongoing series of posts based on the family album of Milton Goldsmith, generously shared with me by his granddaughter Sue. See Part I, Part II, Part IIIPart IVPart V,  Part VI, Part VII , Part VIII,  Part IX,  Part X, Part XI, Part XII Part XIII , Part XIV and Part XV at the links.

17 thoughts on “Milton Goldsmith’s Album, Part XVI: His Beloved Sister and Fellow Author, Emily

    • I don’t at the moment—maybe my cousin Sue will know. Or I can dig around. I know that a stained glass portrait of Emily still exists and is installed in one of the synagogues in Philadelphia. I need to go back and see what I can find. Thanks, Sharon!

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  1. I noticed the many stains on the photos and articles. I wonder if you know anything about the storage history of this precious family album. Like you, I was also fascinated by the portraits of Emily and Felix Goldsmith. A century ago, photographers did truly a fine job in family portraits. Have a great day, Amy!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I know—it’s such a shame. I think the albums have just existed in drawers over these many years. That’s why Sue and I are working on getting them preserved in Philadelphia’s Jewish Archives.

      Liked by 2 people

  2. Pingback: Milton Goldsmith’s Album, Part XVII: The Contrasting Lives of His Sisters Rose and Estella | Brotmanblog: A Family Journey

  3. The condition of the pages reminds me of my grandmother’s scrapbook from about 1915. The pages were all “yellowed” exactly as yours are. Milton was a very loving and proud brother.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Pingback: The Things You Can’t Learn from Genealogy Records Alone: Milton Goldsmith’s Family Album, Part XVIII | Brotmanblog: A Family Journey

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