Thursday, June 13, 2013

Mystery Picture: Was This a Factory in Lodz Poland?
No, It Was in Tel Aviv, Palestine in the 1920s

A Lodz factory? That's what the caption on the back suggested (Cigarbox Collection, Keren Hayesod, circa 1925)

The article below reflects corrections suggested by "Anonymous" in the comments below.

Some of the pictures in the "Cigarbox Collection" have captions written on the back. They're written in pencil in German, and some are badly faded.  But it's possible to read "factory, Lodz" on the back on the picture above.

The collection contains one picture from Lebanon and another from Damascus, but why would there be a photo from Poland in the middle of the the pictures from the Land of Israel?

Laying the cornerstone for the expansion of Lodzia, 1929.
(Eliasaf Robinson Tel Aviv Collection, Stanford University)
Research revealed that the factory was in Palestine, and the workers were Jewish refugees from Lodz. The textile factory was named "Lodzia" and was first located in Tel Aviv, then Holon.  The picture above was taken in the "Red House," so named because of the red brick used in its construction.

The Red House before its renovation, 2010
(Judy Weiss, Tchochkes)

The factory in Holon was the subject for a series of photographs taken in 1939 by the American Colony Photographic Department archived in the U.S. Library of Congress.

The entrance to the factory (Library of
Congress, 1939)

Finishing socks and stockings (Library of Congress)

Stocking "cotton" room (Library of Congress)
Ironing stockings (Library of Congress)

The factory floor served as a poster gallery during renovations. Compare the picture to the opening picture
above and note the pillars, arches and windows.  (Judy Weiss, Tchochkes)
Lodzia texiles merged with the Gibor Sabrina firm and still produces undergarments which it sells through a chain of stores.  Most manufacturing, however, is done in a subsidiary in Romania or by subcontractors in China, India, Jordan and Turkey. Annual sales surpass $60 million.


  1. So this factory was established before Holon was established (1935). From Wikipedia: Holon was founded on sand dunes six kilometers from Tel Aviv in 1935.[3] The Łódzia textile factory was established there by Jewish immigrants from Łódź, Poland, along with many other industrial enterprises.

  2. The Red House is in Tel-Aviv'%D7%99%D7%94
    It is now privately owned, but I'm not up-to-date on it's status (partly open to the public or not; renovations completed or not).

    Apparently Lodzia moved to Holon in 1936. Indeed, from the size of the hall, it seems that the stocking cotton room picture is from there, maybe the ironing stockings and socks and stockings pictures as well. The rest are from the red house in Tel-Aviv

  3. Good points made here. We have a problem making the dates jive. Clearly the picture of the cornerstone picture from the Stanford archives shows the Red House and its dated 1929. As Ehud points out, that building is/was in Tel Aviv.