Keys to the Collection
Rosengarten Fur Stole: What’s a fur stole doing in the collection? Isaac and Dora Rosengarten arrived in Miami in 1929 from Waterbury, CT. By 1933, they began refrigerated storage at SW 1st Street and were the exclusive fur storage for Burdines (a leading department store, now owned by Macy’s). That year, Ripley’s Believe It or Not had an entry “Can you believe there is a furrier in Miami, Florida!” But the snowbirds loved it!
In 1934, the Rosengarten’s moved the business to 118 SW Miami Avenue and expanded to making fur coats. When Isaac died in 1947, his son Henry took over the business until he died in 1976. There were several articles written about the fur storage business, noting the company’s exemplary customer service, storage standards and even the fact that the vaults were burglar and fireproof, protected by A.D.T. The Rosengarten fur pictured was owned by Jackie Traurig, whose husband Bob, is a grandson of Isaac and Dora.
Gamma Tau, Girls Together: In 1945, Gamma Tau was the only high school sorority that permitted Jewish girls in the city of Jacksonville, FL (Duval County Schools). Pictured Standing (L-R): Leona Sampson, Natalie Witten, Jackie Falis (donor), Helen Witten, Myrna Zoslow, Rita Drucker Pictured Seated (L-R): Sylvia Bolasky, Faye Torn, Claire Walker, Joan Bartley, Minna Seitner Photo was taken in Spring 1945. The photo was donated by Jacqueline Falis Wolfson.
World War II Counterfeit Note: Operation Bernhard was the codename of a secret Nazi plan by the RSHA and the SS to destabilize the British economy by flooding the country with forged Bank of England £5, £10, £20, and £50 notes. The notes were produced by Jewish prisoners at Sachsenhausen Concentration Camp. It was the largest counterfeiting operation in history. While most of the notes never made it into general circulation, many were transferred from SS headquarters to a former hotel near Meran in South Tyrol, Northern Italy, from where they were laundered and used to pay for strategic imports and German secret agents operating in the Allied countries. By April 1945, the printing press had produced 8,965,080 banknotes with a total value of £134,610,810 - equivalent to $542,481,564.30 in 1945. The notes are considered among the most perfect counterfeits ever produced, being almost impossible to distinguish from the real currency. Many movies and novels have been made based on the true story. This note was donated by Florida collector Dr. Gary Weiss.