A Jewish businessman in Manitowoc, Wisconsin

J[onas] L[epold] Brandeis / Pictorial Printing Co., 74 and 76 Randolph St., Chicago, ATTENSHUN-KOOMPAGNIE! GO EVERYBODY AND SEE THE SPLENDID NEW SPRING STOCK OF CLOTHING AT J. L. BRANDEIS’. Manitowoc, Wis., ca. 1870.
Lithographic broadside, 17 1/8”h x 11 ½”h at sheet edge, uncolored

An eye-catching and extraordinarily rare advertising broadside, produced for a major Midwestern Jewish businessman.

This marvelous broadside advertises the wares of J. L. Brandeis’ Clothing Store in Manitowoc, Wisconsin. The focal point is a caricature of three soldiers on parade, one with a dress dangling from his bayonet and another bearing a sign exhorting viewers to patronize Brandeis’ establishment. Below the illustration a caption reads, “If you, reader, have time to follow this Grand Procession, you will find they will ‘Halt!’ ‘Right about face,’ and ‘dress up’ at Brandeis’ Clothing Store…”

Jonas Leopold Brandeis (1836-1903), a tanner by trade, emigrated from Prague (then part of the Austro-Hungarian empire) to the United States some time in the 1850s. He moved to the Wisconsin frontier, married Fannie Teweles of Milwaukee, and in 1860 settled in Manitowoc. There “he engaged in the fur business, trading with the Manitowoc tribes in that section and sending the furs to Milwaukee and Chicago. He was also the first grain buyer in that section of Wisconsin. He became the largest independent buyer of furs in northwest Wisconsin and an important factor in the business affairs of the community.” His shop was located near the intersection of North Eighth and York Streets.

In 1881 Brandeis moved his family to Omaha, Nebraska and established J.L. Brandeis & Sons Department Store, which for decades was that city’s leading retail establishment.

Printers such as the Pictorial Printing Co. of Chicago would commission or license eye-catching illustrations, which were then combined with personalized copy to create these semi-customized advertising broadsides for merchants around the country.

OCLC mentions neither this nor any other publication involving J. L. Brandeis. Helpful background and the photographic portrait were obtained from the biography of Brandeis in Morton, Watkins and Miller’s Illustrated History of Nebraska (1913), vol. 3 pp 555-559.


Toned and trimmed along edges, with a few mends and reinforcements on verso. About very good.