Help Finding Listing/Ads/Pictures of Lodz Shoe Store, early 1900s #poland #lodz



My great-grandfather, Icek-Hersz Grynberg, had a shoe shop in Lodz pre-WWII. Attached to the shop was apparently a factory and warehouse where the shoes were assembled, and people worked piecemeal at their homes to prepare the leather. My grandfather had said once that the shop was located "near the main section of the city, near the boulevard where the elegant shops were."

Does anyone know where he might have talked about or where I can find documents about his business? I am curious to learn if there are any ads for or images of the shop/factory/warehouse.

Thank you,
Andrew Cooke

Bernard Flam

Hi from Paris,

Dear Andrew,

Lodz was a large industrial and modern city mostly involved in textile manufacturing to Russian market.

This market was lost after WWI (due to German occupation, 1916, then Bolshevik Revolution, 1917, and last but not the least, by Soviet-Polish war, 1919-121).

In 30', one third of Jewish population was living on welfare.


Due to its size, Lodz' "yellow pages" directories (of course whithout phone) were edited as early as 1900 to help people to find who and where they could contact for business.

Lists are sorted by kind of activity, then names.

You can find some shops & business ads within these directories.

Last directory was 1937-1939.


You can find them at


Enter your parents' name and place of Lodz to focus your search.

You download full scan (all pages) of these books, then look at indexed page with your "names".


Another important data is available in Lodz, as this city hadn't been destroyed during WWII and all archives (including vital records, ..) are available.


During interwar period, each shop, each company had to be registered to get authorization to do business.

So you could get copy of business registration file of your GGF.

To get mine (an Irish pub in main street), I was lucky to be connected to a local genealogist specialized in Jewish genealogy.

She could find these copies ... and all my vital records from 1850 to 1939.


An astonishing conclusion: these companies had not been closed by Shoah and were still registered after WWII.

In early 70's, Polish administration sent official letter to their address: as nobody replied (...), they closed the registration!




Bernard Flam

Archives & history of Medem Center - Arbeter Ring (Bund, Workmen Circle of France)


Miriam Bulwar David-Hay

Hi Andrew,

The main shopping street in Lodz was, and still is, Piotrkowska, right in the heart of the city. You can see what it looks like now with Google Street View, and you can find plenty of historical photos of it and of other streets in Lodz just by Googling. There are also historical photos of Lodz in the Polish State Archives website : . And in other Polish websites too. My favorite is a blog called Refotografie run by a Polish photographer called Stefan Brajter who takes photos of Lodz sites now and merges them with historical photos : . (He's also on Facebook, under Refotografie.) I find that it's usually pretty easy to navigate the Polish sites with Google Translate even if you don't speak the language. 

Genealogy Indexer is a wonderful site in which to search pre-war business directories (as well as yizkor books and other sources) from Lodz, and you can often see advertisements as well as directory entries: .

Best of luck,
Miriam BULWAR David-Hay (a child and grandchild of Lodzers!),
Raanana, Israel.



Your grandfather was probably talking about Piotrokowska Ulica (Piotrkowska Street), the most beautiful boulevard in Lodz.  See
This street leads to Liberty/Indepedence Square, the center of town where there are many stores (and the state archives).

The yellow pages/business directory for Lodz is indexed on, but when I visited Lodz ten years ago, I found the business directory for the 1900-1920s in the Polish State Archives in Lodz. My grandfather had a large ad for his wholesale leather factory in the yellow pages.  It was quite remarkable to see.
Hope this helps.

Debbie Long


Thank you everyone for your help!! All the links were so helpful, the Lodz photographer with Refotographie is stunning, and I was thrilled to find documents on the Geneaology Indexer site as well as the Polish State Archives. 

For those of you that have used Geneology Indexer, do you have recommendations on how to view the files? My computer seems to download them as dju files and I am not sure how to open them.

Thank you again for all your help,
Andrew Cooke

Robert Murowchick

There's an interesting publication (in Polish), with some 1930s photos, "Footwear in the Collections of the Museum of Warsaw" at this link

Robert Murowchick    <robertmurowchick AT>
Needham, MA

Researching these family links:
MUROWCHICK/MURAWCHICK/MURAWCZYK etc (David-Gorodok, Belarus, New Jersey, Chicago)
KUNECK/KONIK/KYONIK (Kozhan-Gorodok, Belarus)
EPSTEIN/EPSTINE (Gavish/Gavieze, Liepaja, Latvia)
SEGAL/SIEGEL (Tilsit, Koenigsburg, Germany; Baltimore; Chicago)