[Return to the Table of Contents]

Register of the Papers of



2 ft.

MSS 14


Jacob Solis-Cohen, Jr. was a member of a prominent Sephardic Jewish family whose ancestors date back to 16th century Spain.  He was born in Philadelphia in 1890.

Mr. Solis-Cohen was a real estate appraiser.  He learned the business while covering real estate news for the Philadelphia North American.  After leaving the newspaper in 1912, he began working for the real estate firm of Mastbaum Brothers and Fleisher, and became vicepresident of the company in 1928.  Later he served as the firm's president.  He was greatly interested in lowcost housing and was an early and vocal advocate of government subsidized lowincome housing.

Jacob Solis-Cohen, Jr. was interested in history and collected prints and letters of early Philadelphia, as well as autographed letters of U.S. Presidents.  He was an authority on the real estate activities of the Presidents and published several articles on the subject.  He was honorary president of the Jewish Publication Society and a member of the executive council of the American Jewish Historical Society.

His avocation was genealogy and he enlisted the services of the English historian, Cecil Roth, to assist him in preparing his family history.

Mr. Solis-Cohen was a member of many professional associations.  He also was active in several Jewish charitable and religious organizations.  The Foster Home for Hebrew Orphans was one of his favorite charities; he served on its board of directors and was the guardian of several children in the Home.  He was a member of the board of directors of the Jewish Theological Seminary and on the executive committee of its Philadelphia branch during the 1940s.  From 1951 through 1956 he was president of the Mikveh Israel Congregation.

    Jacob Solis-Cohen, Jr. died in 1968.


Gift of Maxwell Whiteman, 1974.


The collection is composed primarily of correspondence.  Scrapbooks, newspaper clippings, genealogies, and miscellaneous items are also included.  The papers are arranged by subject and follow chronological order within each folder.

Printed material of general interest has been accessioned by the library, while printed items by and about the Solis-Cohens have been kept with the collection and will be found in the appropriate folders.  A photograph of Joseph Duplessis' portrait of Benjamin Franklin, 1783, given to J. Solis-Cohen by a descendant of Franklin is in the photograph collection.

The box list of the register of the papers of Jacob Solis-Cohen, Jr. is two pages long.