Yiddish Typewriter

This typewriter was used by the Chicago journalist Morris Indritz.

Corona Typewriter Company

Morris Indritz was born in 1890 in Courland, Russia, now Latvia. He descended from a Hasidic family, and, as a youngster, often accompanied his father on visits to the rebbe (spiritual leader of a Hasidic group). After emigrating to Chicago at age 24, he became an important member of the city’s Yiddish literary scene, writing for the Jewish Daily Courier, a Yiddish newspaper that catered to the Orthodox.

Indritz was considered an authority on Hasidism and in 1927 published a book titled In the Tents of Chabad. The book, according to Philip Bregstone, a contemporary chronicler of Jewish Chicago, “gathered the many legends and stories woven about the lives of the ‘Miracle Makers’ …in a splendid style, with a fine imagination, sincere sympathy, and much gusto.”

From 1933 until Indritz’s untimely death in 1945, he published a Yiddish quarterly called Yom Tov Schriften (Holiday Writings) that appeared before Rosh Hashanah, Sukkot, Passover, and Shavuot. The complete edition of the Yom Tov Schriften, along with Indritz’s typewriter, was donated to Spertus Institute by Indritz’s daughter-in-law.

Indritz’s career as a highly regarded Yiddish journalist was part of the flowering of Jewish life that occurred on Chicago’s West Side during the first half of the twentieth century. The greater Lawndale area, where Indritz lived and worked, was home to some 110,000 Jews and 60 synagogues. The “Great West Side,” as it is nostalgically remembered, was the largest Jewish community in Chicago’s history and boasted a community center (the Jewish People's Institute), rabbinical school (Hebrew Theological College), hospital (Mount Sinai Hospital), and numerous Zionist, cultural, educational, and fraternal organizations. It also offered Yiddish theater, radio shows, and newspapers to the largely immigrant population.

Name: Yiddish Typewriter
Artist: Corona Typewriter Company
Origin: United States, ca. 1920
Medium: Metal, Paint, Rubber
Credit: Gift of Miriam Indritz
Catalog Number: Unfiled