A mandolin produced by Wilson Bros. Mfg. Co. in Chicago, Illinois. The mandolin is small, light brown and features eight steel strings. The body has minor damages, a worn tarnish and is missing the pick guard. Additionally, the face has a worn signature--"G. Rass"--possibly short for Gus (Constantine) Rassogianis who the mandolin was reportedly used by. He, reportedly, played it while on vacation at the family's vacation home in Michigan while their neighbor blayed the lyra.
Paulina Franks' grandfather, John Rassogianis, came to Chicago in the 1890s. He began his life in the new city by peddling fruits and later, with the help of his sons Alex and George, would open a candy store. In the 1920s Paulina Franks' father Constantine became a part of the family business and the store was able to prosper. When the second business closed Paulina Rassogianis chose to hold as many of the candy store's items as possible and, later, donate them to the National Hellenic Museum.
The Rassogianis family began their candy business in Chicago proper, working out of their own shop named "St. Louis Ice Cream Parlor." Eventually, the shop was closed and the Rassogianis' chose to continue their candy store venture in Berwyn, Illinois. The new shop they chose to open was named Alex's Sweet Shop.
Paulina Franks' father was a key contributor to the success of the Rassogianis candy stores. While Constantine Rassogianis was a noteworthy entrepeneur, he also had many other accomplishments. Among these was his four years of involvment in the Greek national military during World War I wherein he obtained the rank of sergeant. Also, he was a published author and poet, an experienced mandolin player, a church officer and had extensive knowledge of psalti.
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Mandolin, 1890 – 1927, Alex's Candy Shop, National Hellenic Museum, https://collections.nationalhellenicmuseum.org/Detail/objects/8514. Accessed 01/15/21.