Isaac Diamond and the Jews in the timber trade in the East End, 1880-1910*

My interest in the timber trade developed out of my research into my grand? father’s business as a timber merchant in Bethnal Green from 1880, and that of his father who was a turner in Spitalfields from 1877. This Society’s Transactions do not include references to timber or wood, although there was a reference to Jews in Wood Street (where wood was sold) in the City in the thirteenth century.1

There was in the nineteenth century extensive trade in timber from Lithuania to Germany, England and south Wales among other places; wood for pit props was much in demand in the coal mines in northeast England and south Wales, and some Litvaks emigrated on the timber ships to work there. Professor Schama has told how his great-grandfather in Lithuania, late in the nineteenth century, cut timber from great forests and floated it on rivers to sawmills in Grodno or Kovno,

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