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Ted and Jessie Shwayder Harsham Photograph Collection

 Collection
Identifier: B101

Jessie Shwayder Harsham (named after her grandfather) is a descendant of the Shwayder family, one of the first Jewish families to settle in Colorado. The first member of the extended family, Abraham Rittmaster, arrived in Colorado in the early 1860s and encouraged other family members, including the Rachofskys, Kobeys, and Shwayders to join him in his successful dry goods enterprise in Central City, Colorado. Some family members migrated to other communities in the state, and the Kobeys became prominent in Aspen as the operators of Kobeys Shoe and Clothing Company. In the early 1900s, Jesse Shwayder opened a small luggage factory in Denver with his father Isaac, and brothers Mark, Maurice, Benjamin, and Solomon. Together they eventually turned it into one of the largest luggage producers in America, the Samsonite Company.

Dates

  • 1880-2006

Creator

Conditions Governing Access

This collection has restricted access and is only available for use in the reading room.

Extent

2.75 Linear Feet (2 containers)

Scope and Contents

The collection contains primarily digitized versions of original photographs from the Kobey, Rachofsky, and Shwayder families, including photographs of their stores. It also contains two original photographs, family trees, and family information.

Biographical / Historical

Jessie Shwayder Harsham (named after her grandfather) is a descendant of the Shwayder family, one of the first Jewish families to settle in Colorado. The first member of the extended family, Abraham Rittmaster, arrived in Colorado in the early 1860s and encouraged other family members, including the Rachofskys, Kobeys, and Shwayders to join him in his successful dry goods enterprise in Central City, Colorado. Some family members migrated to other communities in the state, and the Kobeys operated Kobey's Shoe and Clothing Company in Aspen, Colorado. In the early 1900s, Jesse Shwayder opened a small luggage factory in Denver with his father Isaac, and brothers Mark, Maurice, Benjamin, and Solomon. Together they eventually turned it into one of the largest luggage producers in America, the Samsonite Company.

Repository Details

Part of the Special Collections and Archives Repository

Contact:
2150 East Evans Avenue
Denver CO 80208
(303) 871-3428