Jeff, from Philadelphia & Minneapolis (I’m not sure exactly how that works), sent me some really cool information about his family getting started in the seltzer business in New Jersey and the census track that shows the occupation as “Sode Factory”.
- My great grandfather Solomon Friedland worked for a landsman selling seltzer in Plainfield New Jersey for a few years right after his arrival in 1903, until he had enough to bring his family over and open his own dry goods store in Philadelphia. The man my great grandfather worked for was Julius Shrager (b 1863). My father remembers as a boy meeting Mr. Shrager. He was a large man with a beard.
- Both my great grandfather and Mr. Shrager came from the town of Vidz (Vidzy/Widze) in eastern Lithuania. Shrager was not a relative, but a very good friend from the old country.
- I have attached the page from the 1910 census showing the Julius Shrager family in Plainfield. His occupation clearly states “Sode Factory”. The Shrager’s had a large presence in Plainfield and you may be able to learn something from his descendents. We’ve lost track of them, but it should not be difficult to track some of them down.