Guide to Joseph Miller Collection
Digitized Content

Summary
Collection ID:
NMAH.AC.0514
Creators:
Miller, J. & D. (Bronx, New York)
Miller, Joseph (cutlery dealer)
Galdston, Irene
Cultural History, Division of (NMAH, SI).
Dates:
1895-1992
Languages:
English
Physical Description:
3 Cubic feet
7 boxes, 1 flat oversized box
Repository:
Letters, envelopes and other business records relating to the cutlery business of J & D Miller, Bronx, New York.

Scope and Contents
Scope and Contents
The collection is divided into three series. The first series consists of personal documents relating to Joseph Miller's life and his family history. The second series consists of business records from the cutlery shop; this series contains four subseries, including purchase orders from the United States, purchase orders from foreign countries, photographs, and miscellaneous business records. The third series contains materials relating to the collection itself and how it came to the Smithsonian Institution.

Arrangement
Arrangement
Collection is divided into 4 series.
Series 1: personal, circa 1885-1971
Series 2: Business, circa 1950-1992

Biographical / Historical
Biographical / Historical
Joseph Miller (1885-1971) was born in Russia, a second son in a Jewish family of seven children. All nine Millers emigrated to the United States in the early twentieth century, bringing with them the family cutlery business. Joseph became a naturalized U.S. citizen in 1912, and in 1917, he joined his brother David in business, forming J & D Miller. The shop specialized in fashioning circumcision knives and kosher knives, like the schochet, for rabbis and mohels. In addition, the company also made knives for surgeons, circus performers, and industrial uses, sold sharpening stones, and accepted dull or broken knives for repair. The company of J & D Miller, communicating in English and Yiddish, shipped its merchandise all over the United States and to foreign countries as remote as Afghanistan, Argentina, and Algeria.
Joseph had two children, Irving and Irene, by his first wife, Essie. In 1961, Joseph lost an adult son, possibly a child from his second marriage, to Gertie. Although Joseph retired from J & D Miller in 1955 at the age of 70, he continued fashioning knives in a basement workshop of his Laurelton home. At his death at 86, Joseph was still receiving international requests for his knives. Joseph was committed to keeping the Miller clan together in America; his poems and family correspondence reveal a man devoted to his family.

Administration
Processing Information
Joseph Miller was a dealer in cutlery in the Bronx, New York. He specialized in knives used for Jewish ritual, including for the slaughter of animals and butchering of kosher meats, and for use by a mohel in circumcision.
Processing Information
Collection processed by Jolie V. Matedne, February 2003.
Author
Jolie V. Matedne
Immediate Source of Acquisition
Donated by Irene Galdston in 1992.

Digital Content

Using the Collection
Restrictions on Access
Collection is ope for research.
Preferred Citation
Joseph Miller Collection, 1895-1992, Archives Center, National Museum of American History.
Terms Governing Use and Reproduction
Collection items available for reproduction, but the Archives Center makes no guarantees concerning copyright restrictions. Other intellectual property rights may apply. Archives Center cost-recovery and use fees may apply when requesting reproductions.

Custodial History
Custodial History
Transferred from the Division of Cultural History.

Keywords
Keywords table of terms and types.
Keyword Terms Keyword Types
Family-owned business enterprises Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Cutlery trade Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Family papers Type Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Photographs -- 20th century Type Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Circumcision Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Judaism -- Customs and practices Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Ledgers (account books) Type Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Business records Type Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Correspondence -- 20th century Type Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Trade catalogs Type Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Certificates Type Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Galdston, Irene Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Cultural History, Division of (NMAH, SI). Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid

Repository Contact
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
P.O. Box 37012
Suite 1100, MRC 601
Washington, D.C. 20013-7012
archivescenter@si.edu
http://americanhistory.si.edu/archives