Ruth Levin Photograph Collection

Collection Number
PG 212
History
In 1918, Menasha and Esther Sher purchased a general store at the corner of Walter Reed Drive and Columbia Pike, where the Arlington Cinema and Drafthouse now stands. The Sher’s had five children, four boys and one daughter, Ida. They were one of the few Jewish families in the area. Ida married Sol Cohen, and the two took over the general store when Menasha Sher became too ill and infirm to do so sometime in the late 1920s. There they had their daughter, Ruth. Sol Cohen closed the store during World War II, opening Columbia Hardware and Appliance after the war ended, only 200 yards away from where Sher’s General Store once stood. Around 1956, this business changed its name to Columbia Furniture. Ruth eventually married Dan Levin, who used to visit the furniture store to watch television. There are oral histories in the Center for Local History with Charlie Sher, Ida’s brother and Ruth’s uncle, and Ruth Levin.
Scope and Content
PG 212, the Ruth Levin Photograph Collection, contains images of the Sher family, Cohen family, and their two businesses. One of the businesses was M. Sher & Sons General Merchandise located at the corner of Columbia Pike and Walter Reed Drive. The other business was Columbia Hardware and Appliance Company, later known as Columbia Furniture, at 3102 Columbia Pike. Both of these businesses were run by Ruth Levin’s father and brothers. The collection includes both interior and exterior photographs for each store, and members of the family outside, usually in front of the store. Most of the photographs are identified.
Arrangement and Description
This collection only contains fifteen undated images. They remain in the order they were originally given to the Center for Local History.
Provenance
Ruth Levin donated these photographs in the 1990s.
Restrictions
There are no research restrictions with this collection.

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