How An Exhibit Is Born

The death card for Abraham Rogarshevsky.
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As someone once said, life is paperwork. Death, as it turns out, is paperwork, too.

When Abraham Rogarshevsky died of tuberculosis in 1918, a doctor named Louis Friedman signed his death certificate. Friedman was an immigrant himself and operated out of 150 Henry Street.

The death certificate also lists Abraham Gutterman, a local undertaker, whose funeral parlor was down the street at 49 Orchard. From a single piece of paper, like a death certificate, museum researchers can open a rich seam of historical data, offering clues as to what life and even death were like in the early 20th century.