Adolph A. Son and the Spitz Brothers, Pioneer Jewish Tobacco Merchants of San Francisco.

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Sample of Tobacco Label Art of the Late 19th Century

Sample of Tobacco Label Art of the Late 19th Century

Adolph A. Son

Values Codes: I-E-L


 Adolph A. Son was born in Hildesheim, Hanover, Germany in 1838.


San Francisco

In 1853, at the age of 15, Adolph Son journeyed to San Francisco, California and opened a cigar and pipe store.

In 1863, he vacationed in Europe, purchasing a collection of meerschaum pipes, which he added to his store’s stock.

In 1865, Adolph Son founded the firm of Son & Briggs.


Thirteen years later, in 1878, Briggs retired and Adolph Son brought his brother and another partner, (Jacob. Spitz), into the firm, changing its name to Son Bros & Co.



Adolph Son was a member of Temple Emanu-El.



Adolph Son married Annie Spitz, in 1870.


Adolph A. Son died in 1942.


Abraham Spitz

Values Codes: I-E-L


Abraham Spitz

Abraham Spitz

Abraham Spitz was born, in 1852, in Bangor, Maine.


San Francisco

In 1870, Abraham Spitz travelled west to San Francisco, California.

He joined his brother-in-law, Albert Son in the tobacco mercantile firm of Son Brothers & Co.

In 1906, after 26 years, Abraham Spitz retired from the firm.



Abraham Spitz was a member of Temple Emanu-El.

He also supported the Federation of Jewish Charities.



Abraham Spitz was a member of the Concordia Club.


Abraham Spitz died in 1916.


Jacob Spitz

Values Codes: I-E-P


Jacob Spitz

Jacob Spitz

Jacob Spitz was born in 1858 in Bangor, Maine.


San Francisco

In 1875, Jacob Spitz came to California, where he became a member of the Son Brothers & Co., a tobacco mercantile firm.



Jacob Spitz was a supporter of the Federated Jewish Charities of San Francisco.



Jacob Spitz was a member of the Bay City Lodge, International Order of Odd Fellows.

He also belonged to the Travelers’ Protective Association, and the Concordia Club.

His father, Herman Spitz, who lived to be ninety four years old, was the oldest Mason in San Francisco.


Jacob Spitz died in 1915 in San Francisco, California.


  • The Jews of San Francisco, by Martin A. Meyer, Ph.D., Emanu-El, San Francisco, June 1916.

Samantha Silver is the Curator for this Son & Spitzer Exhibit

Other family information and pictures would be greatly appreciated.


Jews in the News

   About this Time

Oakland California Jewry’s High Holy Days — 1877

There are about a hundred Jewish families residing in Oakland, and during the recent High Holy Days, services were held in a hall neatly fitted up for the purpose.

The attendance on Yom Kippur was large and the worshippers devout. The services were according to the Polish minhag [rite].

—The Jewish Record, Philadelphia, October 5, 1877, WSJH, Vol. 19, #2. First Hebrew Congregation of Oakland, today’s Temple Sinai, was founded in 1875. The above material was sent to the Philadelphia Jewish paper by a resident of Oakland who had recently moved there from San Francisco.


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