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Guide to the Benjamin M. Levaco Papers, circa 1900-1999
OCH/BML  
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Collection Overview
 
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Description
Benjamin Levaco was a Russian-born Jew who moved to China with his family in 1915 at the age of four. He grew up in Harbin and Tientsin, and after graduating high school began working for a sausage casing company in the 1930s. After World War II, he opened his own casing company with plants in Shanghai, Hangchow, Tientsin and Peking. He fled China with his wife in 1950, immigrating to New York City. He retired in the Los Angeles area, and traveled to China multiple times in the 1990s before his passing in 1998. The collection contains items from Levaco's life in China, as well as items related to his continued interest in the Old China Hands experience during his retirement.
Background
Benjamin (Ben) Levaco was born to Michael and Rachel Levaco in Kainsk, Siberia in 1911. His family moved to Harbin in 1915 to escape the rising Bolshevik forces in Russia, where his father ran a variety of businesses. In 1918, the family moved again to Yokohama, Japan, where Levaco attended Saint Joseph's College. The family lived in Japan until 1923, when the Great Kanto Earthquake hit and destroyed most of the city of Yokohama. The Levaco's were left without a home, business, or liquid assets as all records of their bank accounts were lost to the destruction of the earthquake. The family then moved to Tientsin, China, where Michael Levaco was able to establish a haberdashery. Benjamin attended the British Grammar School in Tientsin, graduated in 1927, and found employment in an American firm dealing in natural sausage casings, the Oppenheimer Casing Company.
Extent
2.95 linear feet
Restrictions
Copyright for unpublished materials authored or otherwise produced by the creator(s) of this collection has not been transferred to California State University, Northridge. Copyright status for other materials is unknown. Transmission or reproduction of materials protected by U.S. Copyright Law (Title 17, U.S.C.) beyond that allowed by fair use requires the written permission of the copyright owners. Works not in the public domain cannot be commercially exploited without permission of the copyright owners. Responsibility for any use rests exclusively with the user.
Availability
The collection is open to research use.