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Finding aid for the John Bonomi Papers
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Collection Details
Table of contents What's This?
  • Descriptive Summary
  • Access
  • Publication Rights
  • Preferred Citation
  • Biography / Administrative History
  • Scope and Content of Collection
  • Indexing Terms

  • Descriptive Summary

    Title: John Bonomi papers
    Dates: 1940-1944
    Collection number: 2006.22.1
    Creator: Bonomi, John, 1910-1972
    Collection Size: .25 linear ft.
    Repository: Japanese American National Museum (Los Angeles, Calif.)
    Los Angeles, California 90012
    Abstract: 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.
    Physical location: Stored at Japanese American National Museum's collections.


    By appointment only. Contact the Hirasaki National Resource Center by e-mail (hnrc@janm.org) or telephone (213.830.5680)

    Publication Rights

    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).

    Preferred Citation

    [Identification of item], John Bonomi papers. 2006.22.1, Japanese American National Museum. Los Angeles, CA.

    Biography / Administrative History

    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.

    Scope and Content of Collection

    The John Bonomi Papers contain correspondences from various senders including envelopes, postcards, and holiday greeting cards.
    Series 1: Correspondences from Frank Kumamoto and M. Nobe, 1942 (9 Correspondences)

    This series contains five correspondences from Frank Kumamoto (aka Match), four correspondences from Nobe, and one Christmas card.
    Series 2: Correspondences from Masuoka Pharmacy, 1942 (5 Correspondences)

    This series contains one Christmas card, one postcard, and five correspondences.
    Series 3: Correspondences from David S. Miyamoto, 1942-1944 (11 correspondences)

    This series contains one New Years greeting card and eleven correspondences from Miyamoto.
    Series 4: Correspondences from Toshiyuki, 1942 (3 correspondences)

    This series contains three correspondences from Toshiyuki.
    Series 5: Correspondences from various senders, 1940-1944 (6 correspondences)

    This series contains one Christmas card, one order sheet document, a postcard, and six correspondences.

    Indexing Terms

    The following terms have been used to index the description of this collection in the library's online public access catalog.
    Bonomi, John
    Archives, Correspondence
    Japanese Americans
    20th century
    World War, 1939-1945
    Concentration camps
    United States
    Evacuation and relocation, 1942-1945
    Pharmaceutical industry
    Little Tokyo (Los Angeles, California)
    Archival resources
    Forced exclusion
    Concentration camp life
    Brunswig Drug Co.