University of Minnesota
Center for Holocaust & Genocide Studies


Early Armenians

Zildjian PerformersZildjian Brass

Armenian PressArmenian Physicians

Aram and Avedis Zildjian set up a cymbal factory in 1929.  The name Zildjian is synonymous with the word cymbal.  In 1623, in Constantinople, Avedis Zildjian discovered a still secret process for treating alloys and used this process to produce cymbals.  Today in Quincy, MA, Avedis Zildjian uses the same process, consulting and crafting with musicians.  Over the years he worked with greates like Gene Krupa, Chick Webb and Buddy Rich to create the sounds of modern musci.  They have continued their intimate involvement with music throught the Wsing, Dixieland, Be-bop, Pop, Funk, Electric, Heavy Metal and Classical eras.

Percentage of Armenians in the Work Force

The figures below indicate that between 1899 and 1910, there were far more skilled workers and professionals among Armenian immigrants than among many other immigrant groups.

Armenians as Shopkeepers and Artisans

As early as 1894 a Bostonian remarked, "Barely 800 strong variety of occupations, the Armenians must be placed first among all races...and they pick up English in no time."

  Professionals Skilled Workers Farm Workers Laborers
Armenian 2.3 39.3 17.8 18.0
Eastern European Jews 1.3 67.1 11.8 28.8
German 3.5 30.0 19.8 5.8
Greek .3 7.7 66.8  
Southern Italian .4 14.6 42.5 7.9
Rumanian .2 2.7 34.4 3.3
Scandinavian 1.2 20.5 36.2 34.5

Seropian Brothers Packing House

Clockwise:  The Seropian Brothers packing house, one of the earliest in the San Joaquin Valley; Silk screen workers in New Jersey; Avedis Ergat's tailor shop in Manhatten, 1914; Drying grapes in sweatboxes.

Armenian Exhibition The Armenian Karabagh sunburst design rug has , on the top border, the name of the weaver and date (March 10, 1889) woven into the pattern.
Garabed Tellalian Garabed Tellalian, a master oriental rug restorer, working at H.  Michaelian in Manhatten, (1938).  In 1928, Garabed was commissioned by the United States Government to restore the uniqe round oriental rug in the Capitol building.  In 1929, Pennslyvania Governor John S. Fisher requested his services to restore the rugs at the mansion in Harrisburg.
Work tools used by Garabed. Work tools used by Garabed and sample yarns used for restoration.

Armenians Introduce Foods to America

Harry TatosianDukeEllis Island Contributors displayMoundsArmenian Cookbooks

Left to Right : Harry Tatosian invented the machine to produce melba toast and founded the Old London Melba Toast Company; The Duke, a long seedless cucumber cultivated by California Armenians; The Ellis Island Contributors display; Colombosian introduced Colombo Yogurt; Peter Halajian introduced Mounds and Almond Joy candies; Alice Antreasian, Walter Kaprielian and George Mardikian are authors of cookbooks.