Edward Landis Papers
Edward Landis Papers, 1917-1935
The Edward Landis Papers include documents, photographs, and a scrapbook belonging to Edward Landis, who grew up in Amherst. Edward Landis was born Edward Labrovitz and his family was the only Jewish family in Amherst until after World War I. The collection primarily documents Edward’s time at the Massachusetts Agricultural College and also includes photographs of Amherst High School students and correspondence with Edward Prindle.
Edward B. Landis was born Edward Browdy Labrovitz in Odessa, Russia (now Ukraine) on December 2, 1898 to Isaac and Sarah Browdy Labrovitz. His father immigrated to the United States and settled in Amherst, Massachusetts. A few years later, his mother Sarah, along with Edward, and his sister Rose, joined Isaac in Amherst, where Isaac had opened a tailor shop at 11 Amity Street. The family lived above the store, where several other children soon joined Edward and Rose. (Edward was one of 10 children, though 2 of his siblings died in childhood.) Edward attended Amherst High School, graduating in 1917, and then went on to attend Massachusetts Agricultural College (MAC) where he majored in horticulture, graduating in 1921. During his time at MAC, he was a member of the Mandolin Club, leading it in his senior year, and was the Art Editor of the 1921 Index. While in high school and college, Edward and his brother, Mack (sometimes Max), managed and performed in Jerry’s Jazz Band. In the early 1920s, the entire Labrovitz family changed their last name to Landis in an effort to avoid discrimination during a time of growing anti-Semitism. (Until after World War I, the Labrovitzes were the only Jewish family in Amherst.)
After graduating from Massachusetts Agricultural College, Edward attended Yale Law School, graduating in 1928. He became an attorney in Springfield, Massachusetts, associated with the firm Leary, Cummings, and Leary. On August 23, 1935 in Holyoke, Massachusetts, Edward married Eve Saltman (October 29, 1910-February 9, 2000). Edward died on October 20, 1988 and is buried in Beth El Cemetery in West Springfield, Massachusetts.
For more on Edward’s childhood, see Edward Landis, “An Immigrant’s Boyhood in Amherst, 1904-1928” in Essays on Amherst’s History, Amherst, Mass.: Vista Trust, 1978, pp. 270-280. For more information about the Landis family, see Joan Jacobs Brumberg, “The ‘Me’ of Me: Voices of Jewish Girls in Adolescent Diaries of the 1920s and 1950s” in American Jewish Women’s History: A Reader, Pamela S. Nadell, ed. New York: New York University Press, 2003, pp. 223-237.
This collection primarily consists of materials relating to Edward Landis’s time as a student at Massachusetts Agricultural College. Materials documenting his student activities include a scrapbook, musical event programs, photographs, flyers and other ephemera, and two decorated banjo heads. Other items in the collection include photographs of Amherst High School students, correspondence with Edward J. Prindle of Brimfield, and newsclippings.
||Correspondence with Edward Prindle
||Massachusetts Agricultural College materials
||Massachusetts Agricultural College - Musical Programs
||Newsclippings, programs, and assorted materials
||Photographs - Amherst High School
||Photographs - Edward Landis
||Photographs - Massachusetts Agricultural College
||Photographs - Miscellaneous
||Amherst High School photograph of Edward Landis
||Massachusetts Agricultural College Mandolin Club decorated banjo heads (2)
||Massachusetts Agricultural College scrapbook
||Rolled panoramic photograph (too brittle to unroll)