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  • Writer's pictureJessica Feinstein

Family heirlooms: Fannie’s suitcase

Updated: Apr 20, 2023

This suitcase belonged to Ari’s 3x great-grandmother, Fannie. In 1948, when she was 61, she married her third husband, Isaac Epstone, and they sailed to New York on the Queen Mary the following year. She had been back and forth across the Atlantic several times before this, in the 1920s and 1930s with her first husband, Ari’s 3x great-grandfather Meyer Loshak, and in the 1940s to the USA and Canada.

Her first time was when she was just eighteen in 1907, when she sailed to New York on the St Louis to visit her brother Keifman, who lived in Boston. You can see her on the passenger list here, listed as Fannie Nissman (no. 28):

This is her story:

The suitcase is made of wood, covered in a yellowish-brown material, edged with strips of brown leather that look like crocodile skin, and is about 66 x 21 x 40cm. It is lined with brown silky material and has elasticated pockets and silk straps inside.

There are labels for the Cunard Line, cabin class, and one shows that it was used on the Queen Elizabeth sailing from New York to Southampton on 27 Jul 1968. There is also a “inspected baggage” sticker from the US Customs Service.

The handle is covered in a similar leather material, and it has the initials F.I.E. on the top.

I am now using the suitcase to store bedding, but it’s nice to think about where it’s been!

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