TABLE OF CONTENTS
Manuscript Collection No. 849
Funding, in part, for the arrangement and description of this collection was provided by the National Historical Publications and Records Commission.
Benjamin Felson was born in Newport, Kentucky, on October 21, 1913. His family moved to Cincinnati, Ohio where Felson attended public school. He attended the University of Cincinnati, both at its College of Liberal Arts and its Medical School, earning his medical degree in 1935. He completed his residency requirements at the Cincinnati General Hospital. He entered the U.S. Army Medical Corps in 1942 and for two years served as chief of radiology at the 28th General Hospital in Europe. After his discharge with the rank of major in 1945, he accepted a full-time position in radiology at Cincinnati General Hospital and the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine. By 1951, he became the director of radiology. From 1973 until his death, he continued actively as professor emeritus of radiology. Felson died on October 22, 1988.
Benjamin Felson took a major interest in the development of radiology in Israel. He was an active member of several organizations in the United States that gave unstintingly to Israel, both financially and scientifically.
-Adapted from “In Memoriam: Benjamin Felson, MD 1913-1988,” by Harold G. Jacobson (http://radiology.rsna.org/content/170/3/897.full.pdf). Accessed December 8, 2011.
Virginia (Raphaelson) Felson
Virginia Raphaelson Felson was born in 1914 in Newport, Kentucky to Jacob and Ida Raphaelson. She grew up in Cincinnati, Ohio. He parents were members of a conservative synagogue, but Virginia attended the nearest Reform synagogue, Rockdale Temple, so that she could participate in confirmation. Virginia married Benjamin Felson on July 13, 1936. They had five children.
Jacob Raphaelson was born around 1876 in Yanova, a township in Lithuania to an Orthodox Jewish family. He attended Yeshiva in Wilkomer from the age of 11 until 16. He came to the United States in 1892 and settled in Fall River, Massachusetts with his family. After about two years in Fall River, he moved with his parents to Steubenville, Ohio and shortly thereafter to Toledo, Ohio. His family did not stay in one place for any extended period of time, moving all around the Midwest for many years. He grew up in a religious household where his father was a shochet. For several years, Raphaelson travelled around the Midwest selling and fitting eyeglasses. In 1899, he attended Northern Illinois College of Ophthalmology and Otology, where he earned his optical diploma in 1900. Raphaelson traveled around the Midwest (Illinois and Iowa) for several years before settling in the Newport, Kentucky / Cincinnati, Ohio area. He was an early pioneer in research of myopia prevention. In 1920 he received a diploma with the title Doctor of Optometry from the Needles Institute of Optometry. In 1956, he formed a nonprofit corporation called the Research Foundation for the Prevention of Myopia. He published several books and articles on the topic. However, his publications were generally ignored by the profession or met with disdain and ridicule. It was not until very late in his life that others in the profession began independently validating what he had discovered at the turn of the century. He died at the age of 96.
Ida (Berman) Raphaelson
Jacob Raphaelson married Ida Berman of Newport, Kentucky on May 6, 1902. Ida was born in Newport, Kentucky around 1884. She was one of eight children, the eldest of three daughters, raised in a religious household. Her father was a cantor, a shochet, and a mohel in the Jewish community of Newport, in addition to being a successful businessman. Jacob and Ida Raphaelson had three daughters, Nettie, Selma, and Virginia. Nettie died young, at the age of 30.
Selma Raphaelson, was born in 1906 in Newport, Kentucky, to Jacob and Ida Raphaelson, the second daughter and older sister of Virginia. She was one of the first women to graduate from the University of Cincinnati’s College of Law and was an editor of the Cincinnati Law Review. Upon graduation, she was the associate and law partner of Judge Chester R. Shook for twenty-five years. She retired from law practice in 1960 and began travelling across the United States, trying out a variety of jobs as she went. She was married to Albert Loeb, whom she later divorced. Selma Raphaelson died in 1978.
This collection consists primarily of correspondence between various family members of the Felson and Raphaelson families. The bulk of the material centers around Benjamin and Virginia (Raphaelson) Felson and Jacob Raphaelson, with assorted materials pertaining to other family members. These materials primarily focus on their personal lives and daily activities. There is extensive correspondence between Jacob Raphaelson and his two daughters, Selma and Virginia, along with correspondence between the sisters. Of interest is correspondence between Jacob Raphaelson and Ida Berman in the months leading up to their marriage in 1902, along with a partial memoir by Jacob Raphaelson which contains a narrative of his life from 1899 to about 1908, where he encountered many small Jewish communities throughout the Midwest. Also of interest in this collection are letters between Benjamin Felson and Virginia (Raphaelson) Felson while he was stationed in Europe with the Medical Corps during World War II.
This collection is arranged in one (1) series: material arranged alphabetically.
Terms of Access and Use
This collection is open to all users. The original manuscript collection is available in the Barrows-Loebelson Reading Room of the Jacob Rader Marcus Center of the American Jewish Archives.
Property and Literary Rights
Virginia Felson, by the act of donating the Felson Family Papers to the American Jewish Archives, assigned all property rights to the American Jewish Archives. Literary rights are retained by the Felson Family and their heirs. Literary rights may also be retained by specific creators of materials.
Questions concerning rights should be addressed to the Executive Director of the American Jewish Archives. For more information see the American Jewish Archives copyright information webpage.
Footnotes and bibliographic references should refer to the Felson Family Papers and the American Jewish Archives. A suggestion for at least the first citation is as follows:
[Description], [Date], Box #, Folder #. MS-849. Felson Family Papers. American Jewish Archives, Cincinnati, Ohio.
The Felson Family Papers were received from Virginia Felson, Cincinnati, Ohio in various installments from March 1993 to May 2003.
Processed by Michelle Wirth Detroit, December, 2011.
This collection was arranged and described according to minimal-processing standards. Funding, in part, for the arrangement and description of this collection was provided by the National Historical Publications and Records Commission.
No further accruals are expected to this collection.
The following terms have been used to index the description of this collection in the American Jewish Archives's online catalog.
Persons and Families
Felson, Benjamin, 1913-1988
Felson, Virginia (Raphaelson)
Raphaelson, Ida (Berman)
United States. National Historical Publications and Records Commission