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Travels with Grace: Steaming Away, 1929

Posted on May 14th, 2019 by

Welcome to this week’s segment of our 2019 #TravelTuesday series: Traveling with Grace. This week Grace and her family embark on a long summer journey east across the ocean, beginning in northern Africa and working their way through parts of Europe.

 Going: June 25, 1929

S.S. Saturnia: Cosulich Line

Cut-away printed in 1927, before the maiden voyage, by Arti Grafiche Modiano of Trieste. The ship portrayed is the Saturnia.” Via

Golda and Meyer were here to see us off. This boat is sumptuous, and everyone is courteous from the captain who introduced himself and offered his services to the little boys who bow us into the elevator like tiny courtiers. There is a gorgeous swimming pool all lined in stone mosaics copied from Pompeii, a wonderful gymnasium fitted with all sorts of apparatus, a children’s play room with every kind of toy to delight the hearts of kiddies and a fascinating painted frieze, a solarium furnished in yellow, red and white which radiates brightness and our own little private balcony where we spend many hours of rest and quiet contemplation.

“The indoor swimming pool, in Pompeian style, the work of Gaetano Moretti.” Via

June 30, 1929

Fencing in the gymnasium. Via

About 2 pm we sight some rocky islands, the Azores, which provide a slight variation to the watery distances of five days duration. There is a travel movie every afternoon in addition to a comedy (after lunch a fine concert on deck), a every night horse races and fencing after which refreshments are served.

July 2, 1929

This afternoon we watch some very amusing games in the 2nd cabin.

July 3, 1929

Gibralter, 1929. Spanish town of La Linea can be seen in the distance. Via.

This a.m. we steam into the harbor of Gibraltar to let a party off on a private yacht. Good view of town from deck of Saturnia. Mask ball tonight.

Thanks for reading “Traveling with Grace,” a series where we’re sharing (and annotating) posts from the travel diaries of Grace Amelia Hecht, native Baltimorean, b. 1897 and d. 1955. Next week Grace and her family make landfall in Algiers! As mentioned in my introductory post transcription errors sometimes occur and I’ve made my best guesses where possible, denoted by [brackets]. – Rachel Kassman, marketing manager

Posted in jewish museum of maryland

Bedlam with Corned Beef on the Side: The Jewish Delicatessen in Baltimore Pt. 3

Posted on April 10th, 2017 by

Written by Barry Kessler. Originally published in Generations 1993, reprinted in Generations 2011 – 2012: Jewish Foodways.

Part III: Caplan’s Delicatessen

Miss parts 1 – 2? Start here.

Caplan and Co, advertisement, 1933. Gift of Mrs. Renee Piel. JMM 1993.104.3.4

Caplan and Co, advertisement, 1933. Gift of Mrs. Renee Piel. JMM 1993.104.3.4

Harry R. Caplan’s was the longest-lived of this first crop of delicatessens, remaining in business – although in changed form – from 1897 into the 1960s. After several years in Baltimore as a tailor, Caplan had appeared under “provisions” in the City Directory as far back as 1898 and in 1904, in the alphabetical section of the Directory, his trade was listed as a delicatessen owner. His shop grew and moved around the neighborhood, from 911 to 915 east Baltimore Street, to 910 Watson, to 918 East Lombard, settling the 1920s at 23 South High Street (between Baltimore and Lombard Streets).

Caplan’s delicatessen is remembered today especially for the fragrant barrels of pickles and olives (maslines in Yiddish) in front of its counter, and for the high-quality sliced meats that people came to buy on Saturday nights. A 1933 calendar booklet issued in English and Yiddish by the shop claimed that it was the largest firm of its type in America.[1] Advertisements in the booklet for a wide range of groceries promoted brand-name products packaged by Rokeach, Manischewitz, and Goodman and Sons; the shop carried a full line of Carmel brand strictly kosher meats, including tongue, pastrami, and “wonder sausage.”

The shop sold many products it produced itself, such as Belvedere Coffee, “roasted and blended by us.” Fourteen varieties of fish were smoked daily by Caplan, including shad, Kieler sprotten (sprats from Kiel), capchunkes (salt-cured, air-dried whitefish), rybetz (Russian for big fish), and belerivitze, and he also imported fish directly from Scotland and Alaska – “packed by us in our specially equipped factory” and marketing in glass jars under the Gibralter label.

In 1940 Harry Caplan gave up retailing, turning over his distribution of name-brand groceries to the Joffe Brothers of West Pratt Street.[2] Trading as the Southern Food Corporation at 5 Lloyd Street, he was the regional distributer for the Hygrade Foods line of delicatessen meats from New York. Harry Saval, founder of what is now the largest distributor of deli meats in Baltimore, worked for [Harry Caplan] during this time.

Continue to Park IV: A Decade of Deli


[1] Jewish Museum of Maryland, Gift of Renee Piel, 1993.104.4

[2] Baltimore Jewish Times, March 29, 1940.

Posted in jewish museum of maryland