Ginny and Louisa had a lovely long conversation about Max and the history of Fleischer Studios, and Louisa wrote up her article. It wasn’t until her family read the article that Louisa found out she was not only writing about Fleischer Studios, she was related to it! And in some very important and foundational ways.
As it turns out, Louisa is related to Roger Goldman, who’s related to Frank Goldman. Frank Goldman is credited with making a huge difference in the survival of Max and Dave's fledgling animation business back in the 1920s. Here’s an excerpt from Out of the Inkwell, Richard Fleischer’s biography about his father, Max Fleischer:
"To cut a long and depressing story short, Max and Dave found it impossible to work for Weiss and quit the company. Shortly after they resigned, Weiss declared bankruptcy and disappeared.
"Max and Dave were well and truly in deep trouble. They had barely enough money to hire one or two animators but not enough to rent studio space. Things were what can best be described as bleak— until, one night, my father came home looking somehow strange. I suppose I’d never before seen him with an expression of shock on his face. He came into the kitchen and said to my mother: “Essie, sit down. I’ve got something to tell you.” She sat down, looking puzzled and a little scared. My father seemed to be fighting back some inner emotion. Then, quietly, he told her the news. A dear friend of his, Frank Goldman, one of the owners of Carpenter-Goldman, a film- processing laboratory based in Long Island City, had heard of the fix Max was in and had offered him space in his company’s quarters for free— and for as long as he wanted it.
"My mother sat there dumbfounded for a moment, then slowly put her hands to her mouth and started to cry. My father stood there, his lower lip trembling, his eyes blinking as they filled with tears. She got up and embraced him. He was now laughing and crying at the same time, and so was she. It was a tableau that has never faded from my mind. I was thirteen at the time and old enough to recognize that my father’s reaction was not simply one of relief but one of being tremendously touched by the friendship of Frank Goldman."
So, relatively speaking, this was a fabulous connection for both Louisa – and Fleischer Studios!
You can read Louisa’s article, Behind the scenes of Jewish Animation, here.
Richard Fleischer's Out of the Inkwell is available here.