Abnashi Ram Materials

Collection Overview

Date Range: 1923?-1979 (inclusive), 1950-1979 (bulk)
Language(s): English (80), Urdu (5), Uncategorized (283)
Number of Items: 368
Item Types: Correspondence (260), Photograph (37), Newspaper Clipping (3), Cards (2), Advertisement (2), Publication (1), Uncategorized (63)
Collection Creator: Abnashi Ram
Donor(s): Roshan and Raj Sharma

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About the Collection

Collection Description
This collection contains photographs, correspondence, and other materials documenting the experiences of Abnashi Ram, an Indian-American businessman who immigrated to the U.S. in 1920. He passed away in 1979. A small number of letters, photographs, and news clippings relate specifically to Ram's daughter Raj and/or her husband, Roshan Sharma, who together donated these items to SAADA. The materials range from roughly 1923 to 1979, with the bulk consisting of correspondence spaning 1950 to 1979. Also included are photographs, greeting cards, invitations, pamphlets, news clippings, a business card, and Ram's college transcript. The correspondence in particular provides insight into the strict immigration laws that existed for South Asians in the early 20th century, describe Ram’s involvement in the Indian independence movement including the Gadar Party, and his business interests in Hollywood, California.

Biographical History
Abnashi Ram was an Indian-American businessman who immigrated to the U.S. in 1920 from what was then the Indian state of Punjab. He obtained a degree in textile engineering from the Agricultural and Mechanical College of Texas (now Texas A&M University) in 1923, and worked for several years on orchards and farms in California. In 1928, Ram opened an export/import business in Hollywood named the India Products Company, and then later, a gift shop in Beverly Hills named Hollywood Treasures. He became involved in a variety of projects, including the mobilization of Indian immigrants for India’s independence from Great Britain. In 1949, Ram brought his daughter, Raj, to California; but it was only in 1967, after the enactment of the Immigration and Naturalization Act of 1965, that he was able to unite his entire family in the U.S. Ram died in California in 1979.

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Related Materials

Collection Themes: Family (6), Political Engagement (5), Lecture Circuits (3), Visitors & Exchanges (3), Business (2), Citizenship & Voting (1), Arts (1), Labor (1), Early Immigration (1), Travel (1), Uncategorized (344)

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Administrative Information

Access & Use: Items in this SAADA collection are open for research. Items may not be sold or redistributed, copied or distributed as a photograph, electronic file, or any other media without express written consent from the copyright holder and the South Asian American Digital Archive (SAADA). The user is responsible for all issues of copyright.

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