Collection ID: 1959.001

Collection context


Adler, Mortimer, Adler, Robert M., and Levy Bros. & Adler Rochester, Inc.
3.5 Cubic Feet and 2 boxes, 7 volumes, 1 OS folder
Preferred citation:

Levy Brothers & Adler Records. [box #,folder #]. Local History and Genealogy Division, Central Library of Rochester and Monroe County N.Y


Scope and Content:

This collection consists of the records of Levy Brothers & Adler Rochester Inc., a major manufacturer of ready to wear men's clothing in Rochester, New York. The materials date between 1880 and 1950, with the bulk dating from 1916 to 1934. The materials include correspondence, minute books, stock records and stockholders' meeting records, contracts and other business records.

Biographical / Historical:

The manufacture of ready to wear men's clothing had a long history in Rochester, New York, becoming a major industry through the investments of German Jewish immigrants in the 1870s and 1880s. A leadng figure at that time was Levi Adler, who formed L. Adler Brothers & Co. This was one of several large clothing firms headquartered and operating in the St. Paul Street and Mill Street area of Rochester, with expansive factories employing a large amount of mostly Jewish immigrant labor. These firms found a ready market for their products, but also fought serious labor unrest amoungst their workers.

A generation later than L. Adler Brothers, the Levy Brothers, led by jacob (1869-1926) and also including Barney, Hiram, Moses and David, formed their own company, Levy Brothers Clothing, in 1900. This firm specialized in overcoats, expanding to men's suiting in 1908. The company thrived before and during World War One, but struck hard times (as did most of the industry) in the post-war years. In 1922, L. Adler Brothers and Levy Brothers merged, placing the dynamic Jacob Levy at the head of the new firm. Two smaller firms were merged into the company later in the 1920s. Labor strife continued throughout the decade, and the industry then fell into financial trouble during the Great Depression of the 1930s. Despite these concerns, Levy Brothers & Adler maintained a reputation for quality goods and fair prices, finding a particular success with the "Mt. Rock" line of wool overcoats introduced in 1928. This line was so successful that by the mid-1940s, Levy Brothers & Adler abandoned their suit and sport coat lines to focus on overcoats. AT the same time, another Rochester company, Michaels-Stern, had dropped their overcoat line. Seeing an advantage in mutual support, the two companies entered a pact to promote one another's goods at retailers where they had influence. The companies merged in 1951, retaining the Michaels-Stern Co. name but using the "Adler-Rochester" and "Mt. Rock" labels on their products.

Acquisition information:
Donated by Robert Adler on February 10, 1959.

This collection consists of two boxes, seven volumes and one oversized folder.

Rules or conventions:
Describing Archives: A Content Standard



There are no restrictions regarding access to or use of the collection.


Permission to publish, reproduce, distribute, or use in any current or future manifestations must be obtained in writing from the Rochester Public Library Local History and Genealogy Division.


Levy Brothers & Adler Records. [box #,folder #]. Local History and Genealogy Division, Central Library of Rochester and Monroe County N.Y

Rundel Memorial Building
115 South Avenue
Rochester, NY 14604, United States