Boris Feldblyum Collection

"Proof size" images presented in this on-line catalogue give but a hint of the finished photograph. When enlarged, the pictures make a tremendous visual impact. The richness of the details and excellent composition make your eye follow human figures, horses, streetcars, so you enjoy the image and at the same time gain more understanding of life a century ago.

The sample photograph on this page is shown in the most popular print size (actually, it has been reduced by about 15%-20% to fit the smallest screen; another example of the clarity of the details is provided in this restored image). It is an early 1900's photo of the Sobornaya (Cathedral) Square in Zhitomir, Ukraine. It was reproduced from a colorized photo postcard - a typical medium of the period. In addition to being an attractive image of a provincial city of the Russian empire, it contains a wealth of information for the inquisitive researcher.









A quick look at the reference sources reveals several important historical facts:
The Volynsky Russian Orthodox Cathedral that dominates the view was built in 1874 on Bolshaya Vilskaya Street, the wide street with a boulevard in the middle of the photo. A street off it and to the right, in the middle of the picture, was called Vilskaya. The small chapel in the foreground was demolished during Soviet years. A small church further down Bolshaya Vilskaya street, in the upper left of the photo, is the Alexander Nevsky Russian Orthodix Church. The building in the lower left corner most likely indicates a corner of Bolshaya Vilskaya and Kafedralnaya Streets, one of the main business streets in town. Sobornaya Square itself was a prime location for many businesses, mainly small stores. An early 1900's business directory lists 28 names of businesses located there, almost all of them Jewish-owned:

Astakhov A. Hardware
Barag I. G. Textile Goods
Bokser Paints and Laquers
Bokser B. I. Office Supplies
Boyarskij Sh. (variants: Boyarsky) Tobacco
Burd Zel'man Hardware
Byalik Zejlik (variants: Bialik) Groceries
Dvokhis Leya (variants: Dvochis) Clothing Store
Fel'dman (variants: Feldman) Paints and Laquers
Fridland Doba Haberdashery
Fuksman I. I. Hardware
Gel'blyum V. S. (variants: Gelbloom, Gelblum) Textile Goods
Gil'shtejn S. I. (variants: Gilshtein, Gilstein) Haberdashery
Gorenshtejn (variants: Gorenshtein, Gorenstein) Drug Store Supplies
Grinbojm Clothing Store
Kats M. S. (variants: Kac, Katz) Hardware
Khabatin A. (variants: Chabatin) Groceries
Khabotin A. I. (variants: Chabotin) Textile Goods
Likhtsinder B. Ya. (variants: Lichtzinder, Lichzinder) Textile Goods
Rabinovich A. M. (variants: Rabinovitz, Rabinowitz) Drug Store Supplies
Rotenberg M. I. Hardware
Shlyapochnik A. P. (variants: Slapochnik) Groceries
Sonis Ya. M. Haberdashery
Tish B. M. Drug Store Supplies
Trakhtenberg (variants: Trachtenberg) Drug Store Supplies
Tsirul'nitskij V. R. (variants: Tsirulnitzky) Clothing Store
Vajsman F. I. (variants: Vaisman) Glass and Supplies
Yanpol'skij (variants: Yanpolsky) Clothing Store

At least as many businesses, also predominantly Jewish owned, were listed on Kafedralnaya Street.

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