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A glass slide advertisement for Jane Cooper, a women’s clothing store on Cardiff Street, Aberdare. It is likely that advertisements in this medium would have been displayed in cinema theatres before the film started. The advertisement has a striking design; a black background and coloured text, including the company name ‘Jane Cooper’ displayed in red text. There is an illustration of a women in black dress with a matching scarf and gloves. The advert also reads ‘High Class Gowns, coats and suits, 11 – 12 Cardiff Street, Aberdare.’

Glass slides such as this were commonly known as ‘magic lantern’ slides, consisting of hand painted images on glass. This process dates back to the 17th century. The slide commonly consists of two pieces of glass; one pane contains a hand painted image and the second pane is placed over this image for projector. They were then used in a projector, known as a Magic Lantern.

‘Jane Cooper’ was a women’s clothing shop in Aberdare, managed by Jewish businesswoman Ruth Golding (Goldberg). Ruth was born in England in 1898 but raised in Penrhiwceiber. She founded ‘Jane Cooper’ (later ‘Chic Fashions’) after her second marriage to Harry Goldberg in 1939 and the business eventually occupied 10, 11 and 12 Cardiff Street. She also seems to have had another business, ‘Barbara Golds’, at 50 Commercial Street.

At the turn of the 20th century, the Cynon Valley had a small Jewish community, consisting of some fifty families throughout the towns of Abercynon, Penrhiwceiber, Mountain Ash, Aberaman and Aberdare. Most of Jewish families came to Aberdare from Eastern Europe, mainly Russia. The earliest record of Jewish presence and activity in the Cynon Valley dates to 1858-9. The name of Harris Freedman and the partnership of Lyons and Hyman are listed as trading as pawnbrokers and general dealers in Aberdare.

Initially the Jewish community worshipped in individuals' homes or business premises but in 1887 David Hart allowed the use of his premises at 19a Seymour Street, Aberdare, as a permanent Synagogue. The Aberdare Hebrew congregation was at its largest, with around 90 members, from the 1910s to the 1930s. However, the community declined and services had virtually ceased by 1957, when the congregation was down to 35. In 1966 it was reported that services were no longer held there. The building, now a private residence again, received a blue commemorative plaque in 2015.

Depository: Cynon Valley Museum: ACVMS 1998 268 1

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