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Finding aid for the John Bonomi Papers
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John Bonomi worked for the Brunswig Drug Company and supplied pharmaceutical materials to Japanese Americans in concentration camps. This collection contains correspondences from various Japanese Americans who requested medicine and household materials, discussed payment methods, shared camp life, and friendly inquires. This collection also includes postcards and holiday greeting cards from Japanese Americans.
John Bonomi grew up in Los Angeles, California and worked for Brunswig Drug Company shortly before World War II. Bonomi, a representative for Brunswig, sold wholesale drugs to Pharmacists in Little Tokyo before the war. When his pharmacist clients were taken to camp, Bonomi continued to keep in contact with his clients. They wrote to Bonomi on the letterhead of the concentration camp's hospital and asked for certain medicines to be sent to camp. One of the letters asked Bonomi to send a tube of lipstick for her birthday. The letters not only talked of the supplies needed, but also the conditions of the camp, the health of their families, their personal feelings about the war, and discussed payment methods. It seems that Bonomi set up a credit system for those who could not pay him. Bonomi traveled to Manzanar several times to drop off medicine, and also sent supplies to his old clients in Poston, Gila, etc. Bonomi was relocated to Monterey Park during the War, as there was not much of a market left in Little Tokyo. When the war was over, Bonomi moved to cover the Long Beach area.
.25 linear ft.
All requests for permission to publish, reproduce, or quote from materials in this collection must be submitted to the Hirasaki National Resource Center at the Japanese American National Museum (hnrc@janm.org).
By appointment only. Contact the Hirasaki National Resource Center by e-mail (hnrc@janm.org) or telephone (213.830.5680)