<b>Charles Ginsberg</b> (formerly Ginzburg), our progenitor, arrived in New York harbor as a 14 year old from Russia with experience and savvy in repairing clocks.  Written his Charles’ hand on this postcard:  “1888.  I was 15 years old.  15. Years old.  In 4 years I saved $400.00 in the bank.  I trade goods for this picture.  6 pictures.” Printed at the bottom:  Picture by Nowack Bros & Berry Floating Gallery, Hudson, Wis. 1888. <br/><br/>Family lore has it that he walked from New York to Minneapolis to connect with distant relatives (now long forgotten).  His son Isadore recalls hearing stories of Indians and dangerous conditions over the 1,000 mile trek.  Charles united with his relatives and shortly thereafter began peddling his wares and services door to door and town to town, making his way down the Missouri River to Council Bluffs, Iowa.<br/><br/>One family account is told of Charles actually immigrating to America as a 4 year old with his father.  Perhaps the idea was to send for the rest of the family after finding work and settling down.  But Charles’ father remarried and started a new family. <br/><br/>Hold on, we know what you’re thinking.  But just image this scenario in 1878:  Single father; doesn’t speak the language; needs work to support himself and his toddler; needs time in the day to work; needs a woman—a mother figure—to look after his son; letters to his family in Russia never get through; loses all communication with the family in Russia; he is probably twice as wound-up as his son will be; etc, etc. <br/><br/>It’s probably happened a million times.  And somewhere along the way, the spelling of our last name changed to possibly between the two World Wars to make it seem less Germanic.

Charles Ginsberg (formerly Ginzburg), our progenitor, arrived in New York harbor as a 14 year old from Russia with experience and savvy in repairing clocks. Written his Charles’ hand on this postcard: “1888. I was 15 years old. 15. Years old. In 4 years I saved $400.00 in the bank. I trade goods for this picture. 6 pictures.” Printed at the bottom: Picture by Nowack Bros & Berry Floating Gallery, Hudson, Wis. 1888.

Family lore has it that he walked from New York to Minneapolis to connect with distant relatives (now long forgotten). His son Isadore recalls hearing stories of Indians and dangerous conditions over the 1,000 mile trek. Charles united with his relatives and shortly thereafter began peddling his wares and services door to door and town to town, making his way down the Missouri River to Council Bluffs, Iowa.

One family account is told of Charles actually immigrating to America as a 4 year old with his father. Perhaps the idea was to send for the rest of the family after finding work and settling down. But Charles’ father remarried and started a new family.

Hold on, we know what you’re thinking. But just image this scenario in 1878: Single father; doesn’t speak the language; needs work to support himself and his toddler; needs time in the day to work; needs a woman—a mother figure—to look after his son; letters to his family in Russia never get through; loses all communication with the family in Russia; he is probably twice as wound-up as his son will be; etc, etc.

It’s probably happened a million times. And somewhere along the way, the spelling of our last name changed to possibly between the two World Wars to make it seem less Germanic.

<strong>Charles Ginsberg</strong> traveled the upper Midwest heading south by river boat and worked his way down the wide Missouri River where he found steady work in Council Bluffs, Iowa and boarding in the home of a Jewish family.  It was there he met his future wife, <strong>Sarah Stein</strong> , who had recently been brought to the US from Romania by this same family to be their live-in maid.

Charles Ginsberg traveled the upper Midwest heading south by river boat and worked his way down the wide Missouri River where he found steady work in Council Bluffs, Iowa and boarding in the home of a Jewish family. It was there he met his future wife, Sarah Stein , who had recently been brought to the US from Romania by this same family to be their live-in maid.

<strong>Charles Ginsberg</strong> and married <strong>Sarah Stein</strong> in 1897 in Council Bluffs, Iowa.  They created a family of their own with Isadore (Izzy) b. 1898, Thelma b. 1903, Elliott b. 1908, and Annette b. 1913.  <strong>Charles Ginsberg</strong> and married <strong>Sarah Stein</strong> in 1897 in Council Bluffs, Iowa.  They created a family of their own with Isadore (Izzy) b. 1898, Thelma b. 1903, Elliott b. 1908, and Annette b. 1913.

Charles Ginsberg and married Sarah Stein in 1897 in Council Bluffs, Iowa. They created a family of their own with Isadore (Izzy) b. 1898, Thelma b. 1903, Elliott b. 1908, and Annette b. 1913. Charles Ginsberg and married Sarah Stein in 1897 in Council Bluffs, Iowa. They created a family of their own with Isadore (Izzy) b. 1898, Thelma b. 1903, Elliott b. 1908, and Annette b. 1913.

<strong>Charles Ginsberg</strong> opened his first storefront business in Leavenworth, KS approx. 1900.  Soon after, he realized that Kansas City was a much more prosperous and commercially active town, so he moved his family and store there.  Charles was a short, impatient man with more stamina than someone half his age.  Standing only 5-ft tall with a trim build, he was always pictured snappily dressed in the fashion of the day, and usually carrying a walking stick or cane.

Charles Ginsberg opened his first storefront business in Leavenworth, KS approx. 1900. Soon after, he realized that Kansas City was a much more prosperous and commercially active town, so he moved his family and store there. Charles was a short, impatient man with more stamina than someone half his age. Standing only 5-ft tall with a trim build, he was always pictured snappily dressed in the fashion of the day, and usually carrying a walking stick or cane.

<strong>Isadore Ginsberg</strong> was the first-born son in 1898 to Charles and Sarah.  Isadore, or Izzy as he was later known, stayed in school until completing 6th grade.  Charles then needed his help to support the family.  One of his early jobs was in a drug store in Kansas City owned by a widow.  Izzy remembers they had cocaine in a barrel and sold it by the spoonful.  The owner traveled a lot and always sent post-cards to her employees in the store.  Izzy recalls a day in 1913 peeking over the shoulders of his fellow workers as they read a newly arrived postcard sent during a European trip. “It looks like the war clouds are hovering over Europe.”  Izzy told that story—and many others—as often as he could to his grandchildren.  This was his witness to history.

Isadore Ginsberg was the first-born son in 1898 to Charles and Sarah. Isadore, or Izzy as he was later known, stayed in school until completing 6th grade. Charles then needed his help to support the family. One of his early jobs was in a drug store in Kansas City owned by a widow. Izzy remembers they had cocaine in a barrel and sold it by the spoonful. The owner traveled a lot and always sent post-cards to her employees in the store. Izzy recalls a day in 1913 peeking over the shoulders of his fellow workers as they read a newly arrived postcard sent during a European trip. “It looks like the war clouds are hovering over Europe.” Izzy told that story—and many others—as often as he could to his grandchildren. This was his witness to history.

<strong>Isadore Ginsberg</strong> worked many jobs to help his family, most notably working on the section of the KATY—Missouri-Kansas-Texas railroad line—that traveled between Kansas City and St. Louis.  This job excited Izzy because it took him outside of his childhood surroundings, working on the railroad line from Kansas City to St. Louis.  He sold anything there was to sell to passengers on the train:  peanuts; popcorn; newspapers; and cigars.<br/><br/>The midway stop on the line was Sedalia, Missouri, about 65 miles west of Kansas City.  It was a vibrant town bustling with activity.  Izzy was always thrilled to see this energy from the depot.  Sedalia was one of the largest railroad intersections in the Midwest at that time.<br/><br/>Izzy vowed to one day open a pawn shop in this town.  When Izzy came of age, and his parents Charles and Sarah were no longer dependent on his financial share for the family household, Izzy indeed took off for that bustling town of Sedalia.  Izzy achieved his dream after all, and he soon realized that the vibrancy of this town was a result of not only being the home of Scott Joplin and the Missouri State Fair, but also the largest “red-light” district of all the railroad lines in Missouri.

Isadore Ginsberg worked many jobs to help his family, most notably working on the section of the KATY—Missouri-Kansas-Texas railroad line—that traveled between Kansas City and St. Louis. This job excited Izzy because it took him outside of his childhood surroundings, working on the railroad line from Kansas City to St. Louis. He sold anything there was to sell to passengers on the train: peanuts; popcorn; newspapers; and cigars.

The midway stop on the line was Sedalia, Missouri, about 65 miles west of Kansas City. It was a vibrant town bustling with activity. Izzy was always thrilled to see this energy from the depot. Sedalia was one of the largest railroad intersections in the Midwest at that time.

Izzy vowed to one day open a pawn shop in this town. When Izzy came of age, and his parents Charles and Sarah were no longer dependent on his financial share for the family household, Izzy indeed took off for that bustling town of Sedalia. Izzy achieved his dream after all, and he soon realized that the vibrancy of this town was a result of not only being the home of Scott Joplin and the Missouri State Fair, but also the largest “red-light” district of all the railroad lines in Missouri.

<strong>Isadore Ginsberg</strong> opened his first store-front business in Sedalia, MO, a pawn shop, in 1920, first on Broadway and then moving to 112 E. Ohio St.  His retail storefront business attracted many salesmen who got to know him well.   <br/><br/>Historically, as merchants left large cities and discovered small town America, they looked after one another, and would often exchange social and cultural news from their communities via traveling salesmen.   <br/><br/>Several salesmen had the same idea of introducing Izzy to one particular young Jewish woman working as a bank teller in Kansas City.  After hearing about this young woman from several salesmen, Izzy decided to meet her.

Isadore Ginsberg opened his first store-front business in Sedalia, MO, a pawn shop, in 1920, first on Broadway and then moving to 112 E. Ohio St. His retail storefront business attracted many salesmen who got to know him well.

Historically, as merchants left large cities and discovered small town America, they looked after one another, and would often exchange social and cultural news from their communities via traveling salesmen.

Several salesmen had the same idea of introducing Izzy to one particular young Jewish woman working as a bank teller in Kansas City. After hearing about this young woman from several salesmen, Izzy decided to meet her.

<strong>Rose Alport</strong> was indeed an appealing and intelligent young woman, and fell equally in love with Izzy, as he would travel often from Sedalia to Kansas City to court her.  <br/><br/>Rose’s family had immigrated to the US from Romania.  As fresh immigrants, her family had suffered under horrible conditions in the pre-union sweatshops in Brooklyn, NY at the beginning of the 20th century.  <br/><br/>Rose’s father, <strong>Louis Aloprt</strong>, was in fact a whistle-blower in the sweatshops.  He “blew his whistle” once too often, and had to rouse his family and leave New York by the cover of night for fear of deadly reprisals from sweatshop thugs.  They fled west, finally stopping at Coffeeville, KS where they settled far away from the threats of industrial corruption.

Rose Alport was indeed an appealing and intelligent young woman, and fell equally in love with Izzy, as he would travel often from Sedalia to Kansas City to court her.

Rose’s family had immigrated to the US from Romania. As fresh immigrants, her family had suffered under horrible conditions in the pre-union sweatshops in Brooklyn, NY at the beginning of the 20th century.

Rose’s father, Louis Aloprt, was in fact a whistle-blower in the sweatshops. He “blew his whistle” once too often, and had to rouse his family and leave New York by the cover of night for fear of deadly reprisals from sweatshop thugs. They fled west, finally stopping at Coffeeville, KS where they settled far away from the threats of industrial corruption.

<strong>Rose and Isadore Ginsberg</strong> married in 1925 and settled down in Sedalia, MO.  They had three sons:  Herman b. 1926; Louis b. 1927, d. 1984; and Stanley b. 1930.  We were just getting started with the 3rd generation of Ginsberg Jewelers, as Charles was still running his business in Kansas City.  <br/><br/>In the late 1920’s, Izzy brought his brother <strong>Elliott David Ginsberg</strong> into the business in Sedalia.  Elliott was fresh and eager to become partners with his older brother.

Rose and Isadore Ginsberg married in 1925 and settled down in Sedalia, MO. They had three sons: Herman b. 1926; Louis b. 1927, d. 1984; and Stanley b. 1930. We were just getting started with the 3rd generation of Ginsberg Jewelers, as Charles was still running his business in Kansas City.

In the late 1920’s, Izzy brought his brother Elliott David Ginsberg into the business in Sedalia. Elliott was fresh and eager to become partners with his older brother.

In 1930 or 1933, through the usual information-mill of traveling salesmen, <strong>Isadore Ginsberg</strong> and his brother <strong>Elliott Ginsberg</strong> learned of a recent widow seeking a buyer of inventory at her pawn shop up in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.  <br/><br/>Inserted here is another version of the Cedar Rapids discovery:  Elliott loved traveling and did much of it in the Midwest area on behalf of their business.  He would pack the car with wares from the pawn shop and sell directly to other businesses and consumers in small towns.  <br/><br/>This alternate version continues that Elliott—not a traveling salesman—came to Cedar Rapids on his own accord and discovered Rozen’s Pawn Shop for sale by the recently widowed owner.  Elliott informed Izzy of his find and desire to stay, but Izzy convinced Elliott that he—Izzy—should be in Cedar Rapids rather than Elliott.  Cedar Rapids was a larger town with a more active business center, and Izzy had a family to feed.  Elliott was still a single man with no family to look after.  <br/><br/>So, Izzy asked that Elliott should to get his tuchus back to little ol’ Sedalia and mind the store there.  It is here that the two alternate versions of the discovery of Cedar Rapids merge into the agreed-upon fact that Elliott stayed in Sedalia and Izzy went to Cedar Rapids.

In 1930 or 1933, through the usual information-mill of traveling salesmen, Isadore Ginsberg and his brother Elliott Ginsberg learned of a recent widow seeking a buyer of inventory at her pawn shop up in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.

Inserted here is another version of the Cedar Rapids discovery: Elliott loved traveling and did much of it in the Midwest area on behalf of their business. He would pack the car with wares from the pawn shop and sell directly to other businesses and consumers in small towns.

This alternate version continues that Elliott—not a traveling salesman—came to Cedar Rapids on his own accord and discovered Rozen’s Pawn Shop for sale by the recently widowed owner. Elliott informed Izzy of his find and desire to stay, but Izzy convinced Elliott that he—Izzy—should be in Cedar Rapids rather than Elliott. Cedar Rapids was a larger town with a more active business center, and Izzy had a family to feed. Elliott was still a single man with no family to look after.

So, Izzy asked that Elliott should to get his tuchus back to little ol’ Sedalia and mind the store there. It is here that the two alternate versions of the discovery of Cedar Rapids merge into the agreed-upon fact that Elliott stayed in Sedalia and Izzy went to Cedar Rapids.

On with the first version of the discovery of Cedar Rapids…  <strong>Isadore Ginsberg</strong> didn’t like driving long distances, so he hired a driver to travel to Cedar Rapids to check it out for himself.  The driver happened to be African American.  Izzy recalled decades later how motels and restaurants would not serve the driver.  He slept in the car and Izzy would have to bring meals out to him.  <br/><br/>Before leaving Sedalia, Izzy met with his local bank to prepare a letter of credit for $2,500 to use for the potential purchase.   When Izzy arrived in Cedar Rapids, he thought he “was in Paris compared to Sedalia.”  During this initial visit to Cedar Rapids, Izzy toured the town and was impressed to find not only a more thriving business and retail center than Sedalia would ever be, but a much larger Jewish population as well.  It wasn’t until he actually moved to Cedar Rapids that Izzy discovered most of the “Jewish” names in town were actually of Czech heritage.  Insert another cartoon sound effect here… “whah, whah, whah”.  <br/><br/>Izzy visited Rozen’s Pawn Shop and learned from the owner that she wanted to sell the entire business, not just the inventory.  Herman surmised years later that she somehow discovered the content of the letter of credit from Izzy’s bank, because she asked for that exact amount of $2,500 for the sale of her business.  Izzy contemplated this purchase.  He visited People’s Bank on the west side of the Cedar River to confirm acceptance of his bank’s letter of credit.

On with the first version of the discovery of Cedar Rapids… Isadore Ginsberg didn’t like driving long distances, so he hired a driver to travel to Cedar Rapids to check it out for himself. The driver happened to be African American. Izzy recalled decades later how motels and restaurants would not serve the driver. He slept in the car and Izzy would have to bring meals out to him.

Before leaving Sedalia, Izzy met with his local bank to prepare a letter of credit for $2,500 to use for the potential purchase. When Izzy arrived in Cedar Rapids, he thought he “was in Paris compared to Sedalia.” During this initial visit to Cedar Rapids, Izzy toured the town and was impressed to find not only a more thriving business and retail center than Sedalia would ever be, but a much larger Jewish population as well. It wasn’t until he actually moved to Cedar Rapids that Izzy discovered most of the “Jewish” names in town were actually of Czech heritage. Insert another cartoon sound effect here… “whah, whah, whah”.

Izzy visited Rozen’s Pawn Shop and learned from the owner that she wanted to sell the entire business, not just the inventory. Herman surmised years later that she somehow discovered the content of the letter of credit from Izzy’s bank, because she asked for that exact amount of $2,500 for the sale of her business. Izzy contemplated this purchase. He visited People’s Bank on the west side of the Cedar River to confirm acceptance of his bank’s letter of credit.

Family lore has it that a major factor in Izzy’s decision occurred when he noticed a loud and large crowd of people on the street in downtown Cedar Rapids.  He followed this throng as it moved as a single entity down the street and into a department store.  As he followed that crowd reaching to the 3rd floor toy department, Izzy realized that this throng was comprised of reporters and audience-members from one of the Vaudeville houses downtown.  <br/><br/> were surrounding a 10-year-old boy who had been performing under the name <strong>Billy The Wonder Boy</strong>, a predictor of events, traveling on the Orpheum & Albee circuit, who was playing Cedar Rapids at the time.  Appeals for predictions were shouted from the crowd to the young boy, who was attempting to enjoy some offstage down-time between performances.  Though his interest was captured only by the toy trucks on the shelves, he occasionally appeased the crowd with a response or two.  <br/><br/>Izzy decided to join the fray, pushing his way to the center of the tempest and shouting “Should I buy it?”  “Buy it, buy it!” was the response from Billy The Wonder Boy.  When Izzy replied, “Buy what?” Billy answered back, “Hock-shop, hock-shop, where you take your watch.”  <br/><br/>Now, we don’t know if there were any “oo’s” and “ahh’s” from the crowd, but that esoteric response from “Billy” was enough for Izzy to finalize his decision to buy Rozen’s Pawn Shop.  It’s not clear how long Izzy was in Cedar Rapids before sending for Rose and the boys, but they were reunited later that same year.

Family lore has it that a major factor in Izzy’s decision occurred when he noticed a loud and large crowd of people on the street in downtown Cedar Rapids. He followed this throng as it moved as a single entity down the street and into a department store. As he followed that crowd reaching to the 3rd floor toy department, Izzy realized that this throng was comprised of reporters and audience-members from one of the Vaudeville houses downtown.

were surrounding a 10-year-old boy who had been performing under the name Billy The Wonder Boy, a predictor of events, traveling on the Orpheum & Albee circuit, who was playing Cedar Rapids at the time. Appeals for predictions were shouted from the crowd to the young boy, who was attempting to enjoy some offstage down-time between performances. Though his interest was captured only by the toy trucks on the shelves, he occasionally appeased the crowd with a response or two.

Izzy decided to join the fray, pushing his way to the center of the tempest and shouting “Should I buy it?” “Buy it, buy it!” was the response from Billy The Wonder Boy. When Izzy replied, “Buy what?” Billy answered back, “Hock-shop, hock-shop, where you take your watch.”

Now, we don’t know if there were any “oo’s” and “ahh’s” from the crowd, but that esoteric response from “Billy” was enough for Izzy to finalize his decision to buy Rozen’s Pawn Shop. It’s not clear how long Izzy was in Cedar Rapids before sending for Rose and the boys, but they were reunited later that same year.

<strong>Isadore Ginsberg</strong> moved his 2nd storefront around the corner and became a marketing genius.  He created the “Amateur Hour” complete with live band in the back of the store, forcing spectators and participants past all of the merchandise as they were coming in and out of the store.  Farmers with mouth-harps and guitars would file into the store for the daily live noon broadcast.  Izzy had a gong at the ready if an act wasn’t allowed to finish.  <br/><br/>At this time, Ginsberg’s is still a combination pawn shop, jewelry store and department store, selling many different items, appealing to a large consumer base and audience.

Isadore Ginsberg moved his 2nd storefront around the corner and became a marketing genius. He created the “Amateur Hour” complete with live band in the back of the store, forcing spectators and participants past all of the merchandise as they were coming in and out of the store. Farmers with mouth-harps and guitars would file into the store for the daily live noon broadcast. Izzy had a gong at the ready if an act wasn’t allowed to finish.

At this time, Ginsberg’s is still a combination pawn shop, jewelry store and department store, selling many different items, appealing to a large consumer base and audience.

<strong>Herman Ginsberg</strong> grew up in the business.  He remembers being at the store at noon just in time to be recruited to don an accordion for Izzy’s daily radio broadcast from the back of the store for amateur hour sponsored by Ginsberg’s Jewelry & Loan.  <strong>Isadore (Izzy) Ginsberg</strong> would always begin the broadcast with “Hello everybody, this is Izzy Ginsberg!”

Herman Ginsberg grew up in the business. He remembers being at the store at noon just in time to be recruited to don an accordion for Izzy’s daily radio broadcast from the back of the store for amateur hour sponsored by Ginsberg’s Jewelry & Loan. Isadore (Izzy) Ginsberg would always begin the broadcast with “Hello everybody, this is Izzy Ginsberg!”

<strong>Isadore (Izzy) Ginsberg’s</strong> daily noon broadcasts of Amateur Hour from the back of his store couldn’t have happened without the professional prowess of <strong>Al Gerardi</strong> conducting the band, and <strong>Bert Puckett</strong> announcing live to the radio audience listening in to the contest.  <br/><br/>Puckett was a regular at WMT-Radio in Cedar Rapids, a job he would hold until later moving to the biggest station in Chicago, changing his professional name to Bert Wilson, and becoming the permanent announcer of the Chicago Cubs from 1944-1955, predating Harry Carey by nearly three decades.  <br/><br/>Bert Wilson’s tag-line became, "I don't care who wins, as long as it's the Cubs!"  When one person asked Bert why he changed his name to Wilson from Puckett, he answered, “What do you think hecklers would do to your name if it was Puckett?”

Isadore (Izzy) Ginsberg’s daily noon broadcasts of Amateur Hour from the back of his store couldn’t have happened without the professional prowess of Al Gerardi conducting the band, and Bert Puckett announcing live to the radio audience listening in to the contest.

Puckett was a regular at WMT-Radio in Cedar Rapids, a job he would hold until later moving to the biggest station in Chicago, changing his professional name to Bert Wilson, and becoming the permanent announcer of the Chicago Cubs from 1944-1955, predating Harry Carey by nearly three decades.

Bert Wilson’s tag-line became, "I don't care who wins, as long as it's the Cubs!" When one person asked Bert why he changed his name to Wilson from Puckett, he answered, “What do you think hecklers would do to your name if it was Puckett?”

During WWII <strong>Isadore (Izzy) Ginsberg</strong> store moved into his 3rd location and called it Ginsberg’s Jewel Box.  For some reason the neon sign on the storefront was on two separate electrical circuits.  The one circuit for “Ginsberg’s” and “el” would frequently blow out, but no one would notice until nightfall.  <br/><br/>Herman remembers the family taking leisurely drives at night, passing the store along the way, and his mother Rose pleading to Izzy in embarrassment to get the sign fixed, as it blazed “Jew Box”.

During WWII Isadore (Izzy) Ginsberg store moved into his 3rd location and called it Ginsberg’s Jewel Box. For some reason the neon sign on the storefront was on two separate electrical circuits. The one circuit for “Ginsberg’s” and “el” would frequently blow out, but no one would notice until nightfall.

Herman remembers the family taking leisurely drives at night, passing the store along the way, and his mother Rose pleading to Izzy in embarrassment to get the sign fixed, as it blazed “Jew Box”.

<strong>Herman Ginsberg</strong> couldn’t wait to enlist in the Army Air Corps right after high school graduation in 1943.  And immediately after enlistment, he couldn’t wait to get out of the service.  He served a tough two years in New Mexico and Texas.  The closest he ever got to a cockpit was hosing out the vomit from bombardier’s & gunner’s turrets on the B-17’s and B-24’s.  <br/><br/>However, the G.I. Bill saved the day, and Herman was the first of the Ginsberg family to attend college.  Herman remembers a time during his first year at the State University of Iowa (now University of Iowa) that a huddle of students was surrounding an old man in front of his dormitory.  This “old man” was his grandfather Charles, who was asking all the students about their books, as he was eagerly waiting to see the first of his family to attend college.  <br/><br/>Herman’s graduation ceremony occurred on a rainy Saturday morning in June 1948.  As Herman recalls, “we drove back up to Cedar Rapids that afternoon, I went in to the store, and I haven’t left since.”

Herman Ginsberg couldn’t wait to enlist in the Army Air Corps right after high school graduation in 1943. And immediately after enlistment, he couldn’t wait to get out of the service. He served a tough two years in New Mexico and Texas. The closest he ever got to a cockpit was hosing out the vomit from bombardier’s & gunner’s turrets on the B-17’s and B-24’s.

However, the G.I. Bill saved the day, and Herman was the first of the Ginsberg family to attend college. Herman remembers a time during his first year at the State University of Iowa (now University of Iowa) that a huddle of students was surrounding an old man in front of his dormitory. This “old man” was his grandfather Charles, who was asking all the students about their books, as he was eagerly waiting to see the first of his family to attend college.

Herman’s graduation ceremony occurred on a rainy Saturday morning in June 1948. As Herman recalls, “we drove back up to Cedar Rapids that afternoon, I went in to the store, and I haven’t left since.”

<strong>Herman Ginsberg’s</strong> brothers Lou and Stanley soon followed into the business.  During the 1950’s the 3rd-generation Ginsberg boys started a jewelry wholesale business called H & L Stanley Co.  Herman & Lou took turns traveling to small communities around the Midwest, much like their uncle Elliott did 20 years earlier, selling engagement and wedding rings to jewelers unable to travel to market on their own.  <br/><br/>In 1952, Herman and his brother <strong>Louis Ginsberg</strong> conceived the idea of an addition to the business by starting H & L Stanley Co, a wholesale diamond wedding & engagement ring business using a long associated diamond supplier in New York and various ring manufacturers for the blanks. <br/><br/>H & L Stanley Co. (HLS) stood for Herman, Louis and Stanley, the three brothers of the 3rd generation. Stanley was serving in the Korea War at the time. Herman & Lou would sell to jewelry stores in small Iowa towns thinking stores in bigger towns were too sophisticated to buy from this start-up wholesaler. Lou called on jewelry stores in Iowa and north. Herman traveled Missouri, Kansas & south. <br/><br/>They alternated weeks on the road and every night would call home collect and ask for “apartment #_”, using a number that indicated the $-dollar amount of sales they did that day. After that number was received, the collect call was refused by saying "no one in that apartment.” <br/><br/>Later, Herman and Lou expanded their travels to Nebraska, the Dakotas, Arkansas, Oklahoma, and Texas. As the brothers married and started families in the late 1950’s, they stopped traveling and H & L Stanley Co. was disbanded as a wholesale jewelry business. To this day, an occasional elderly customer will come in for a ring cleaning and we’ll notice the “HLS” stamp in the shank.

Herman Ginsberg’s brothers Lou and Stanley soon followed into the business. During the 1950’s the 3rd-generation Ginsberg boys started a jewelry wholesale business called H & L Stanley Co. Herman & Lou took turns traveling to small communities around the Midwest, much like their uncle Elliott did 20 years earlier, selling engagement and wedding rings to jewelers unable to travel to market on their own.

In 1952, Herman and his brother Louis Ginsberg conceived the idea of an addition to the business by starting H & L Stanley Co, a wholesale diamond wedding & engagement ring business using a long associated diamond supplier in New York and various ring manufacturers for the blanks.

H & L Stanley Co. (HLS) stood for Herman, Louis and Stanley, the three brothers of the 3rd generation. Stanley was serving in the Korea War at the time. Herman & Lou would sell to jewelry stores in small Iowa towns thinking stores in bigger towns were too sophisticated to buy from this start-up wholesaler. Lou called on jewelry stores in Iowa and north. Herman traveled Missouri, Kansas & south.

They alternated weeks on the road and every night would call home collect and ask for “apartment #_”, using a number that indicated the $-dollar amount of sales they did that day. After that number was received, the collect call was refused by saying "no one in that apartment.”

Later, Herman and Lou expanded their travels to Nebraska, the Dakotas, Arkansas, Oklahoma, and Texas. As the brothers married and started families in the late 1950’s, they stopped traveling and H & L Stanley Co. was disbanded as a wholesale jewelry business. To this day, an occasional elderly customer will come in for a ring cleaning and we’ll notice the “HLS” stamp in the shank.

In 1957 <strong>Herman Ginsberg</strong> went on a blind date in Chicago, set up by a friend from Cedar Rapids then living in the Chicago suburbs.  Little did Herman know then that that elementary school teacher named <strong>Phyllis Bermann</strong> would be his wife six months later.  They had three children, Julie b. 1959, Steven b. 1960 and Thomas b. 1961.  It all happened so fast, that Phyllis couldn’t stop crying because she was pregnant for three years straight, and Herman had to quit playing hand-ball with the boys every evening after store closed.

In 1957 Herman Ginsberg went on a blind date in Chicago, set up by a friend from Cedar Rapids then living in the Chicago suburbs. Little did Herman know then that that elementary school teacher named Phyllis Bermann would be his wife six months later. They had three children, Julie b. 1959, Steven b. 1960 and Thomas b. 1961. It all happened so fast, that Phyllis couldn’t stop crying because she was pregnant for three years straight, and Herman had to quit playing hand-ball with the boys every evening after store closed.

During the 1960’s, 70’s, and 80’s, <strong>Herman, Lou & Stanley Ginsberg</strong> not only maintained what Charles started, but they expanded Ginsberg Jewelers into a five-store chain, with two stores in Cedar Rapids, one store in Iowa City’s Sycamore Mall, and two store in Des Moines.  They also replaced the pawn shop fare with fine jewelry, crystal, silver, and Swiss time pieces.

During the 1960’s, 70’s, and 80’s, Herman, Lou & Stanley Ginsberg not only maintained what Charles started, but they expanded Ginsberg Jewelers into a five-store chain, with two stores in Cedar Rapids, one store in Iowa City’s Sycamore Mall, and two store in Des Moines. They also replaced the pawn shop fare with fine jewelry, crystal, silver, and Swiss time pieces.

1971 was an important move for Ginsberg Jewelers, as we shed the pawn shop fare for strictly fine jewelry, china, silver patterns, and Swiss watches.  We also hired a professional designer for the interior and exterior of the store.

1971 was an important move for Ginsberg Jewelers, as we shed the pawn shop fare for strictly fine jewelry, china, silver patterns, and Swiss watches. We also hired a professional designer for the interior and exterior of the store.

In 1984 the five store chain disjoined into three separate entities with the death of Lou Ginsberg. Lou’s oldest son Mark acquired ownership of the Iowa City store, Stanley in Des Moines, and Herman retained the flagship store in downtown Cedar Rapids.

In 1984 the five store chain disjoined into three separate entities with the death of Lou Ginsberg. Lou’s oldest son Mark acquired ownership of the Iowa City store, Stanley in Des Moines, and Herman retained the flagship store in downtown Cedar Rapids.

Herman’s son <strong>Steven Ginsberg</strong> joined the business in 1993, after a career at the Gemological Institute of America (GIA) in New York as a diamond grader and supervisor of client relations at GIA’s Gem Trade Laboratory Inc.  It was there that Steven analyzed some of the world’s top-quality diamonds and worked with some of the most influential and reputable people in the diamond and jewelry industry.  <br/><br/>Steven holds the GIA’s Graduate Gemologist (GG) diploma, as well as an industry distinction from the American Gem Society (AGS) of Certified Gemologist (CG), and AGS Registered Firm.

Herman’s son Steven Ginsberg joined the business in 1993, after a career at the Gemological Institute of America (GIA) in New York as a diamond grader and supervisor of client relations at GIA’s Gem Trade Laboratory Inc. It was there that Steven analyzed some of the world’s top-quality diamonds and worked with some of the most influential and reputable people in the diamond and jewelry industry.

Steven holds the GIA’s Graduate Gemologist (GG) diploma, as well as an industry distinction from the American Gem Society (AGS) of Certified Gemologist (CG), and AGS Registered Firm.

Aside from the jewelry industry, <strong>Steven Ginsberg’s</strong> hobby of choice is theatre, which is what originally took him to New York in 1981.  But it was theatre in Cedar Rapids—not New York—where Steven met <strong>Megan Turner Bartelme</strong>.  They married in 1996 and have three sons, Jackson, Lincoln and Harrison.

Aside from the jewelry industry, Steven Ginsberg’s hobby of choice is theatre, which is what originally took him to New York in 1981. But it was theatre in Cedar Rapids—not New York—where Steven met Megan Turner Bartelme. They married in 1996 and have three sons, Jackson, Lincoln and Harrison.

After the 2008 flood, Ginsberg’s decided not to return to the city’s center where it had been since 1933, but instead to capture a piece of the city’s retail center in this vibrant area surrounding Lindale Mall, near the intersection of 1st Aveune and Collins Road/Highway 100.  In a beautiful free-standing building, Ginsberg Jewelers has a classic residential atmosphere with state of the art industry tools to carry our customers well into the 21st Century and beyond.

After the 2008 flood, Ginsberg’s decided not to return to the city’s center where it had been since 1933, but instead to capture a piece of the city’s retail center in this vibrant area surrounding Lindale Mall, near the intersection of 1st Aveune and Collins Road/Highway 100. In a beautiful free-standing building, Ginsberg Jewelers has a classic residential atmosphere with state of the art industry tools to carry our customers well into the 21st Century and beyond.

<strong>Watershed to Silver Lining to Cause Celébre</strong><br/><br/> After the 2008 flood and the declining retail traffic downtown, Ginsberg’s decided not to return to the city’s center, but instead to capture a piece of the city’s retail center in this vibrant area surrounding Lindale Mall, near the intersection of 1st Ave and Collins Rd/Hwy 100. <br/><br/>After the 2008 flood and the declining retail traffic downtown, Ginsberg’s decided not to return to the city’s center where it had been since 1933, but instead to capture a piece of the city’s retail center in this vibrant area surrounding Lindale Mall, near the intersection of 1st Aveune and Collins Road/Highway 100.  In a beautiful free-standing building, Ginsberg Jewelers has a classic residential atmosphere with state of the art industry tools to carry our customers well into the 21st Century and beyond.<br/><br/>Ginsberg’s floor plan and showcases were designed and fabricated by ARTCO Group Designers of Miami.  Mickey, Ana, Luis, Jesus, and Angel, all masters in their industry, were part of the Artco team for Ginsberg’s.  The interior elements of our store were designed and provided by Phelan’s Interiors of Cedar Rapids.  Paul, Kim & their support team are well respected in their industry, and put us on the right footing to begin a new era.

Watershed to Silver Lining to Cause Celébre

After the 2008 flood and the declining retail traffic downtown, Ginsberg’s decided not to return to the city’s center, but instead to capture a piece of the city’s retail center in this vibrant area surrounding Lindale Mall, near the intersection of 1st Ave and Collins Rd/Hwy 100.

After the 2008 flood and the declining retail traffic downtown, Ginsberg’s decided not to return to the city’s center where it had been since 1933, but instead to capture a piece of the city’s retail center in this vibrant area surrounding Lindale Mall, near the intersection of 1st Aveune and Collins Road/Highway 100. In a beautiful free-standing building, Ginsberg Jewelers has a classic residential atmosphere with state of the art industry tools to carry our customers well into the 21st Century and beyond.

Ginsberg’s floor plan and showcases were designed and fabricated by ARTCO Group Designers of Miami. Mickey, Ana, Luis, Jesus, and Angel, all masters in their industry, were part of the Artco team for Ginsberg’s. The interior elements of our store were designed and provided by Phelan’s Interiors of Cedar Rapids. Paul, Kim & their support team are well respected in their industry, and put us on the right footing to begin a new era.

Herman’s experience and Steven’s credentials and expertise make Ginsberg Jewelers a premiere source of better jewelry for personal enjoyment and heirloom significance.  <br/><br/>Welcome to a proud past and passionate future.   Our home is at the Marketplace on 1st shopping center, on First Avenue in Cedar Rapids, Iowa across from Lindale Mall.  We are a premiere source of better jewelry to wear every day or special events, for personal enjoyment or heirloom significance, with custom design and in-stock engagement and wedding rings, set with diamonds and colored gemstones.  And we carry fine quality right-hand rings, pendants, earrings, bracelets, necklaces, and watches.  Our home is inviting and comfortable.    Come in and have a seat, relax by our fireplace, and take the opportunity to make someone happy with jewelry.  However, it’s quite possible that your home is equally inviting and comfortable.  If that’s so, then stay where you are, remain seated and relaxed at your computer, and take this opportunity to make someone happy with jewelry… by contacting us!

Herman’s experience and Steven’s credentials and expertise make Ginsberg Jewelers a premiere source of better jewelry for personal enjoyment and heirloom significance.

Welcome to a proud past and passionate future. Our home is at the Marketplace on 1st shopping center, on First Avenue in Cedar Rapids, Iowa across from Lindale Mall. We are a premiere source of better jewelry to wear every day or special events, for personal enjoyment or heirloom significance, with custom design and in-stock engagement and wedding rings, set with diamonds and colored gemstones. And we carry fine quality right-hand rings, pendants, earrings, bracelets, necklaces, and watches. Our home is inviting and comfortable. Come in and have a seat, relax by our fireplace, and take the opportunity to make someone happy with jewelry. However, it’s quite possible that your home is equally inviting and comfortable. If that’s so, then stay where you are, remain seated and relaxed at your computer, and take this opportunity to make someone happy with jewelry… by contacting us!

<strong>Herman Ginsberg’s</strong> journey as a person, a business owner and a professional in the jewelry industry is evidenced by his ability to carry on and contribute to his family’s business and to his fellow jewelers in Iowa and the Midwest for the last 68 years. His solid character and longevity compel his induction in the Iowa Jewelers Association’s 2016 Society of Fellows for making a significant impact on the jewelry industry in Iowa.<br/><br/>Herman Ginsberg graduated from the State University of Iowa on a rainy Saturday morning in June 1948. The family store, Ginsberg’s Jewel Box, was left to one employee on this particular day. After the ceremony, Herman, his parents and an aunt drove back the 30 miles to Cedar Rapids and found that the store was locked, all lights on and a note inside, "I Quit." So Herman started working right then in the store, and he has never left.<br/><br/>Born in 1926, the oldest of three sons who would all go into the business as the 3rd generation of jewelers, Herman became the decision maker of the business and architect of its progression into the next half of the 20th Century. Herman’s grandfather Charles Ginsberg, the progenitor of the family firm, advanced from immigrant peddler from Russia to opening a storefront pawn & jewelry business in Leavenworth, KS in the first decade of the century. Charles’ first born Isadore continued the business in Sedalia, MO during its heyday as one of the busiest crossroads of railway activity during the 1920’s. On a recommendation from a traveling salesman, Isadore visited Cedar Rapids, Iowa in 1933 to look over merchandise for sale at Rozen’s Pawnshop. Isadore, or Izzy as he was known, was well prepared and brought with him a letter of credit. Rather than just the merchandise, he bought the entire business, which became Ginsberg’s Jewelry & Loan. Izzy moved his wife and three sons up to Cedar Rapids.<br/><br/>In 1952, Herman and his brother Louis conceived the idea of an addition to the business by starting H & L Stanley Co, a wholesale diamond wedding & engagement ring business using a long associated diamond supplier in New York and various ring manufacturers for the blanks. H & L Stanley Co. (HLS) stood for Herman, Louis and Stanley, the three brothers of the 3rd generation. Stanley was serving in the Korea War at the time. Herman & Lou would sell to jewelry stores in small Iowa towns thinking stores in bigger towns were too sophisticated to buy from this start-up wholesaler. Lou called on jewelry stores in Iowa and north. Herman traveled Missouri, Kansas & south. They alternated weeks on the road and every night would call home collect and ask for “apartment #_”, using a number that indicated the $-dollar amount of sales they did that day. After that number was received, the collect call was refused by saying "no one in that apartment.” Later, Herman and Lou expanded their travels to Nebraska, the Dakotas, Arkansas, Oklahoma, and Texas. As the brothers married and started families in the late 1950’s, they stopped traveling and H & L Stanley Co. was disbanded as a wholesale jewelry business. To this day, an occasional elderly customer will come in for a ring cleaning and we’ll notice the “HLS” stamp in the shank.<br/><br/>In the early 1960’s, Herman negotiated with a Chicago-based real estate developer to lease the jewelry department in a new discount store to come to Cedar Rapids called Spartans. Herman and his two brothers would rotate every week working at Spartans till 9 or 10pm after closing the downtown store for the day’s business. This continued until 1969 when Spartans discontinued the lease. About that same time a new enclosed shopping center was developed in Iowa City, and a lease was negotiated with the Sycamore Mall to expand to a 2nd Ginsberg’s Jewelers. By 1978, this expansion of the business included South Ridge Mall in Des Moines, Valley West Mall in West Des Moines, and Westdale Mall in Cedar Rapids. One of the accomplishments of this five-store chain was to always have a Ginsberg owner present in all of the stores at some point during the business day. To achieve these logistics, Herman learned to fly a single engine propeller plane to lessen the travel time between Cedar Rapids, Iowa City and Des Moines. This lasted several years until Herman’s brother Lou moved to Iowa City and youngest brother Stanley moved to Des Moines, which not only continued to ensure a Ginsberg in each store more consistently and economically, but also ensured a committed involvement of the business in each of those communities.<br/><br/>In 1984 the five store chain disjoined into three separate entities with the death of Lou Ginsberg. Lou’s oldest son Mark acquired ownership of the Iowa City store, Stanley in Des Moines, and Herman retained the flagship store in downtown Cedar Rapids.<br/><br/>The floods of 2008 were probably the single most devastating interruption of the business in the history of Ginsberg Jewelers. Throughout the aftermath, the four months without a storefront, and the years ahead with added debt to rebuild the business, Herman was forward thinking about the store’s future and his role in it. Fast forward to present day, and the year 2016 is proven to be no different than that rainy day in 1948, as Herman’s involvement in the business and engagement with customers carries the same 100-percent level of responsibility, commitment, drive, and passion.

Herman Ginsberg’s journey as a person, a business owner and a professional in the jewelry industry is evidenced by his ability to carry on and contribute to his family’s business and to his fellow jewelers in Iowa and the Midwest for the last 68 years. His solid character and longevity compel his induction in the Iowa Jewelers Association’s 2016 Society of Fellows for making a significant impact on the jewelry industry in Iowa.

Herman Ginsberg graduated from the State University of Iowa on a rainy Saturday morning in June 1948. The family store, Ginsberg’s Jewel Box, was left to one employee on this particular day. After the ceremony, Herman, his parents and an aunt drove back the 30 miles to Cedar Rapids and found that the store was locked, all lights on and a note inside, "I Quit." So Herman started working right then in the store, and he has never left.

Born in 1926, the oldest of three sons who would all go into the business as the 3rd generation of jewelers, Herman became the decision maker of the business and architect of its progression into the next half of the 20th Century. Herman’s grandfather Charles Ginsberg, the progenitor of the family firm, advanced from immigrant peddler from Russia to opening a storefront pawn & jewelry business in Leavenworth, KS in the first decade of the century. Charles’ first born Isadore continued the business in Sedalia, MO during its heyday as one of the busiest crossroads of railway activity during the 1920’s. On a recommendation from a traveling salesman, Isadore visited Cedar Rapids, Iowa in 1933 to look over merchandise for sale at Rozen’s Pawnshop. Isadore, or Izzy as he was known, was well prepared and brought with him a letter of credit. Rather than just the merchandise, he bought the entire business, which became Ginsberg’s Jewelry & Loan. Izzy moved his wife and three sons up to Cedar Rapids.

In 1952, Herman and his brother Louis conceived the idea of an addition to the business by starting H & L Stanley Co, a wholesale diamond wedding & engagement ring business using a long associated diamond supplier in New York and various ring manufacturers for the blanks. H & L Stanley Co. (HLS) stood for Herman, Louis and Stanley, the three brothers of the 3rd generation. Stanley was serving in the Korea War at the time. Herman & Lou would sell to jewelry stores in small Iowa towns thinking stores in bigger towns were too sophisticated to buy from this start-up wholesaler. Lou called on jewelry stores in Iowa and north. Herman traveled Missouri, Kansas & south. They alternated weeks on the road and every night would call home collect and ask for “apartment #_”, using a number that indicated the $-dollar amount of sales they did that day. After that number was received, the collect call was refused by saying "no one in that apartment.” Later, Herman and Lou expanded their travels to Nebraska, the Dakotas, Arkansas, Oklahoma, and Texas. As the brothers married and started families in the late 1950’s, they stopped traveling and H & L Stanley Co. was disbanded as a wholesale jewelry business. To this day, an occasional elderly customer will come in for a ring cleaning and we’ll notice the “HLS” stamp in the shank.

In the early 1960’s, Herman negotiated with a Chicago-based real estate developer to lease the jewelry department in a new discount store to come to Cedar Rapids called Spartans. Herman and his two brothers would rotate every week working at Spartans till 9 or 10pm after closing the downtown store for the day’s business. This continued until 1969 when Spartans discontinued the lease. About that same time a new enclosed shopping center was developed in Iowa City, and a lease was negotiated with the Sycamore Mall to expand to a 2nd Ginsberg’s Jewelers. By 1978, this expansion of the business included South Ridge Mall in Des Moines, Valley West Mall in West Des Moines, and Westdale Mall in Cedar Rapids. One of the accomplishments of this five-store chain was to always have a Ginsberg owner present in all of the stores at some point during the business day. To achieve these logistics, Herman learned to fly a single engine propeller plane to lessen the travel time between Cedar Rapids, Iowa City and Des Moines. This lasted several years until Herman’s brother Lou moved to Iowa City and youngest brother Stanley moved to Des Moines, which not only continued to ensure a Ginsberg in each store more consistently and economically, but also ensured a committed involvement of the business in each of those communities.

In 1984 the five store chain disjoined into three separate entities with the death of Lou Ginsberg. Lou’s oldest son Mark acquired ownership of the Iowa City store, Stanley in Des Moines, and Herman retained the flagship store in downtown Cedar Rapids.

The floods of 2008 were probably the single most devastating interruption of the business in the history of Ginsberg Jewelers. Throughout the aftermath, the four months without a storefront, and the years ahead with added debt to rebuild the business, Herman was forward thinking about the store’s future and his role in it. Fast forward to present day, and the year 2016 is proven to be no different than that rainy day in 1948, as Herman’s involvement in the business and engagement with customers carries the same 100-percent level of responsibility, commitment, drive, and passion.

Herman’s oldest son <strong>Steven Ginsberg</strong> joined the business in 1993, after a career at the Gemological Institute of America (GIA) in New York as a diamond grader and supervisor of client relations at GIA’s Gem Trade Laboratory Inc.  Like his father, Steven grew up in the business, but added a more formal background in gemological training and practice to the business.

Herman’s oldest son Steven Ginsberg joined the business in 1993, after a career at the Gemological Institute of America (GIA) in New York as a diamond grader and supervisor of client relations at GIA’s Gem Trade Laboratory Inc. Like his father, Steven grew up in the business, but added a more formal background in gemological training and practice to the business.