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The English-born Jewish humorist and playwright Montague Glass (1877-1934) was much less famous than his characters Abe Potash and Mawrus Perlmutter, two successful Jewish tailors whose adventures were published in the New York Evening Post beginning in 1909. Glass began his working life as a lawyer, but soon left to become a full-time writer, publishing stories and poems in a variety of newspapers in his early career, and several novels and co-written plays as his reputation grew. Though some Jewish readers bridled at Glass's dependence upon popular stereotypes, others saw--and see today--his sympathetic portrayal of Jewish characters as an important contribution to popular culture in an era of widespread anti-semitic and anti-immigrant sentiment. As one writer put it in 1911, his Potash and Perlmutter stories "are at times screamingly funny and yet they give us a real insight into phases of life in the metropolis that have heretofore eluded the eyes of literary men and even of journalists." In a 1914 rave review of the play version in McClure's, Willa Cather called attention to the way the play captures the ascension of Jewish immigrants to the status of taste-makers in New York Culture: "People who are on their way to something are always more conspicuous and more potent than poeple who have got what they want and are where they belong. This city roars and rumbles and hoots and jangles because Potash and Perlmutter are on their way to something."
An undated publicity photograph for the film In Hollywood with Potash and Perlmutter
Potash and Perlmutter were first dramatized for the stage by Glass and Charles Klein in 1913, and met with great success in the United States and England. Glass and various collaborators produced further successful stage adaptations throughout the 1910s. Samuel Goldwyn made three very successful films featuring the characters of Potash and Perlmutter: Potash and Perlmutter (1923), In Hollywood with Potash and Perlmutter (1924), and Partners Again (1926). The second, points out Patricia Erens, is "one of the first [films] to deal with the movement of Jews to the film capital."