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This exhibit is an online continuum of The Jewish Historical Society of the Upper Midwest project to document the stories and history of the scrap and waste industry and the people who built it in the Upper Midwest. 

The story begins as the Jewish immigrants from Eastern Europe and Russia (most living in The Pale of Settlement area) escaped persecution and pursued a better life in America. They headed west and were faced with difficulties in finding work due to descrimination, lack of skills and language. Peddling and collecting scrap and waste materials was lowly work but did not take much capital to start and often with the help of a relative, a route and a horse and wagon was provided. 

This exhibit features stories of the Jews and their companies that grew this industry into the green revolution. We honor those original 'recyclers.'

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