Samuel Bloom: Early Jewish Pioneer and Quality Tanner of San Francisco

Samuel Bloom

Samuel Bloom, Tanner, San Francisco

Samuel Bloom, TSan Francisco

Values Codes I – E – L – P


Samuel Bloom was born in Poland in 1833.

He came to the United States at the age of fifteen.

Hearing of the gold discoveries in California, Bloom headed West via Nicaragua.

Samuel Bloom first opened a merchandise store in Georgetown, California in El Dorado County, in the Northern reaches of the Gold Country.


San Francisco

An opportunity came for Samuel Bloom in San Francisco to open a tannery – a trade of both his father and grandfather.

Samuel Bloom & Sons became one of the best known tanneries in the West.

It remained in business well into the 2oth Century.

Tannery in the 1800’s, #WS5678


Samuel Bloom was one of the founders of Congregation Beth Israel in San Francisco – also known as the Geary Street Synagogue – and served as a member of its building committee.



Bloom was a past master of the Ancient Order of United Workmen.

He also served as president of the Montefiore Lodge of B’nai B’rith.



Samuel Bloom married Pauline Alpern of San Francisco.

Together, they had three sons: Joshua, Solomon, and D.C., who continued managing their father’s tanning business.


Samuel Bloom died in 1910.

“Samuel Bloom was a man of education in the broadest sense of the term.  His charities were numerous, while the principal Jewish organizations of San Francisco counted him among their most valued supporters.” 

— Rabbi Martin Meyer, 1916


  • Martin A. Meyer, The Jews of San Francisco (San Francisco: Emanu-El, 1916).

David Epstein is curator of this Samuel Bloom exhibit.