News + Blog

A Worker’s Union Mandolin Orchestra

9 January 2018

This photo is from a union newspaper in Chicago. I believe it was the ILGWU or Amalgamated Clothing Workers, but I’m not sure. The woman sitting lower right is my aunt, Edith Katzman, and I still have that mandolin. I played for a short time but never got very good.

The text above the English is not Hebrew or Yiddish: it is actually a transliteration of the English using Hebrew characters. (The union had a very high percentage of Jewish immigrants).

Jay Shefsky
Chicago, IL

(received 5/2012)

Who were they? Known and Unknown Mandolin Ensemble Photos From The Past

This is something Dave Betts has wanted to do for a long time… post pictures of “unknown” mandolin groups (or “known” ones… it’s fun to recapture the local history of our favorite instrument). We’ll try to use the power of the Internet to see if we can’t collectively identify some of them.

If you have run across any similar pictures, send a scanned copy of the photo along with a description to