Barbara Krasner

Max Krasner

65 Boston Street (home)

540 Market Street (business)

Newark, New Jersey

“Newark’s Milk Station #1 Owner”

“If these stations are the means of saving but a single life during the entire summer, all the labor, time and money they have cost will be repaid a thousand fold.”—Newark Evening Star, August 16, 1915

Objective: To find a wife even Mama approves of.


Kheder, Borisov, Russia

Apprentice joiner, Borisov, Russia (good at math, I can calculate in my head)

Night school to become a US citizen, Central School, Newark, NJ

Acquired first papers, Newark, NJ


1899     SS Rotterdam from Rotterdam, Holland


1915-Present   Opportunist with an altruistic twist

Used the Newark Evening Star photograph to give to the matchmaker. Everyone loves a business owner, I’m told. The photograph shows me in action, ready to take an order, a friend of neighborhood children to keep them out of trouble. I’m good with kids.

1913-Present   Grocer

Skilled in translating customer needs to available consumer goods. Expert understanding of the immigrant experience (especially Jews, Italians, Poles, Portuguese, Spanish), including tight budgets and needy children. Developed noticeable reputation for cleanliness and professionalism, so the newspaper said.

1904-1913         Furniture Salesman, Edwin A. Kirch

Worked my way up to clerk and then salesman. I know a good piece of furniture from dreck. I learned and lived the company’s motto, “Don’t just sell furniture, do it in a friendly way.” I brought in a steady paycheck, which Mama appreciated, but totally happy I wasn’t. I left to own my own business.

1899-1904        Laborer, Newark Tannery

Frankly, I’ve tried to put this out of my mind. But what was a newcomer to do? I took the first job that came my way: dipping shoelaces into leather. It will be something to tell my future children about.


1915     Newark Evening Star choice for the city’s Milk Station #1 because my store is the cleanest in this Ironbound (that means on the other side of the tracks) and I’m a neatnik. In my station, I provide Grade A milk to the poor so the babies and children stop dying from Grade B milk that’s been contaminated on its 300-mile ride to Newark in unrefrigerated train cars. 

Results: The week my milk station opened, 15 babies under the age of one died, the deaths blamed on poisoned milk. An analysis conducted by the Newark Evening Star evaluated milk sold in 15 Ward 5 stores. The study found such a high amount of bacteria, that it’s no wonder babies were dying. Fourteen of the stores, clearly none of them mine, sold milk with illegally high levels of bacteria.


1915     Gave interviews to Newark Evening Star about how I dedicated a room at the back of the store to the milk station. Cleaned, painted, and outfitted it for this function. Under the Board of Health’s supervision, carpeted the room with oilcloth and furnished with tables for instructional materials.






Soon to be matched and engaged, with the help of this piece of paper.

Note: Max Krasner was the author’s grandfather. The photo is of Mr. Krasner in front of his Market Street Grocery store in Newark, NJ. The author found the photo on a matchmaker’s card given to her by a Krasner cousin.

Barbara Krasner holds an MFA from the Vermont College of Fine Arts. Her work has been featured in Michigan Quarterly Review, NimrodPaterson Literary ReviewSouth 85The Smart Setmuseum of americana, and elsewhere. She lives and teaches in New Jersey.