That is Celia, standing in the back row, second from left. To her left (our right) is her cousin Rose (born Reisel).
Let’s take a look at the 1910 census (originally posted in “Celia’s Uncle Max and Family”). Seventeen-year-old Rose is an “operator” in a “waist shop.” There is a second page, where Celia is listed as “Jennie” and 19-years-old. She is also listed as an operator in a waist shop.
So what was a waist shop? Think of it as a blouse shop. They sold shirtwaists.
What was an operator then? Did the girls work together in this shop? If so, did they make the shirtwaists or did they sell them? I’m guessing that since this was right after Celia arrived, and the family trade seems to have been seamstress/tailor, that the girls sewed the blouses.
Because of something that Amy Cohen mentioned below, I am adding a link here to information about the infamous Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire. History: Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire. It is possible that the place where Celia and Rose worked is similar to this place or a smaller version perhaps. The fire that killed 146 people (mainly young women) occurred in 1911, just one year after the 1910 census. Just one or two years after Celia arrived. I hadn’t put it together until Amy mentioned Triangle, but family lore is that Celia became a bit of an Emma Goldman, standing on a crate and lecturing to people about the need to form unions.
In order not to be complicated here, I am going to skip to the 1925 New York State census to show you something very interesting and gives an idea of how close Celia and Rose became.
This first one is Max’s census report. It shows Max and Anna living with their children Harry, Grace, and Silvia. Presumably, the others have grown up and moved out.
In this second one, we have Celia living with her husband Isidore and their 4-year-old son, Murray. Daughter Eileen has not yet been born, although Celia would have been pregnant with her when the census was taken.
There is a duplication of names on this document, so be careful. Glance at about halfway down on the left side. Look who is living as boarders with Celia and Isidore! Rose and her husband Isidore Cohen and their 5-year-old daughter Grace!
So the two couples lived together with their first children. Imagine! This information was not passed down in the family at all. In fact, none of us had even heard about Rose or this other Isidore!
One note: notice that Rose has a sister and a daughter named Grace. How can that be, given that Jews name their children after deceased relatives? Anna’s mother was Gertruda Yaglovsky, so we believe that Rose’s sister was named after her, her maternal grandmother. It’s possible that Rose named her daughter after Goldi/Gittel Suskin Goodstein, her paternal grandmother.
Another note: Rose’s age at 28 is a little screwed up on that 1925 census, but we have confirmed that this is “our Rose.”