Before Joseph's death, it was not possible for Walter to contemplate the idea of shortening the Rabinowitz name. It would have been as if he was renouncing his family history and values. 

But after Joseph's death in March 1917, Walter began thinking about changing his name. In October, the U.S. was preparing to enter World War I and all men of age were required to register for the draft. 

Walter was in Boston on registration day, on his route as a traveling salesman for International Silver. On the form, he gave his name and signed it as Walter Ruby Rabinowitz.

Family Story: