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Franklin Toff Family Collection

Identifier: AR 25768

Scope and Contents

This collection consists of two series. The first series pertains to a set of three books containing bound correspondence. Nearly all the correspondence was sent from Maurice Toff in his New York office or while traveling in the United States to his son Franklin Toff, studying at Webeschule Mühlheim a/R in Germany. Together, the books span all four years of Franklin’s studies (1889-1892).

The second series includes official documents relating to the Webeschule Mühlheim, congratulatory telegrams on various occasions from the early 20th century, a passenger list of the S.S. Colombia voyage, and correspondence sent in 1909.


  • 1889-1926
  • Majority of material found within 1889-1892


Language of Materials

The collection is primarily in English with some German.

Conditions Governing Access

Open to researchers.

Conditions Governing Use

There may be some restrictions on the use of the collection.

Biographical Note

Franklin Toff was born in New York City on October 19th, 1873. He was born to parents Maurice Toff (1843-1917) and Julia Toff Bernard (1850-1893). Maurice was a Jewish immigrant who moved from, Bisenz, Moravia, (today Bzenec Czech Republic) to New York City. He hailed from a long line of rabbis in Europe.

On October 31st, 1889, Franklin boarded the S.S. Colombia in New York City and began his nine-day voyage to Hamburg, Germany. He was traveling to Germany to study weaving at Mühlheim Weaving School. Franklin graduated from the school on February 24th, 1892, and returned home to his family in New York City.

Franklin spent the rest of his life living in New York. He got married to Fannie Vendig on June 9th, 1910, and they had one son named Ira Toff who was born on February 14th, 1912. Franklin died at the age of 82 on the 14th of November, 1955 in New York City. Shortly before Franklin’s death, Ira Toff married Ruth Bluthenthal in 1953.


1 Linear Feet


The collection mainly consists of correspondence between Franklin Toff and his father, Maurice Toff while Franklin was overseas in Germany studying weaving. Telegrams and other official documents are also present in the collection. The Toff family in New York City was of German-Jewish descent.


The collection is arranged in two series:

  • Series I: Bound Correspondence, 1889-1892
  • Series II: Franklin Toff Personal Correspondence and School Documents, 1889-1926

Separated Materials

A candy box from United Happiness Candy Stores was removed from this collection.

Processing Information

Materials were kept in their original order.

Guide to the Papers of the Franklin Toff Family
Processed by Oliver Fallon
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Leo Baeck Institute Repository

15 West 16th Street
New York NY 10011 United States