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Haunting Portraits Of The Soon Americans At Ellis Island (1905-1926)

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“[Photographers are] the Human Document to keep the present and the future in touch with the past” – Lewis Hine (September 26, 1874 – November 3, 1940)

 

talian child finds her first penny, 1926, Ellis Island

talian child finds her first penny, 1926, Ellis Island

A social worker at Ellis Island, 1926

A social worker at Ellis Island, 1926

 

You can learn more about Hine’s work here, the teacher who saw photography as a means to achieve social reform. A teacher of botany and nature studies at the Ethical Culture School in New York, Hine was given a camera by the head of the school. In his hand, the camera became a powerful means of recording the human condition.

The people in these pictures did not pass the border checks and gain employment in fulfilling work. They would be the underclass, the poor who would in the USA at least be allowed to live and try for a better life.

 

A Syrian Arab at Ellis Island, 1926

A Syrian Arab at Ellis Island, 1926

 

Slavic mother and child at Ellis Island, 1905

Slavic mother and child at Ellis Island, 1905

Slavic immigrant at Ellis Island. 1905

Slavic immigrant at Ellis Island. 1905

Jew from Russia at Ellis Island, 1905

Jew from Russia at Ellis Island, 1905

A Finnish stowaway at Ellis Island, 1926

A Finnish stowaway at Ellis Island, 1926

Armenian Jew, Ellis Island, 1926

Armenian Jew, Ellis Island, 1926

A Slovak Immigrant, Ellis Island, 1905

A Slovak Immigrant, Ellis Island, 1905

Immigrants detained at Ellis Island; take time to be happy, 1926.

Immigrants detained at Ellis Island; take time to be happy, 1926.

 

An Albanian woman from Italy at Ellis Island, 1905

An Albanian woman from Italy at Ellis Island, 1905

 

Joys and sorrows at Ellis Island, 1905

Joys and sorrows at Ellis Island, 1905

 

 

Jewish grandmother, Ellis Island, 1926

Jewish grandmother, Ellis Island, 1926

Young Russian Jewess at Ellis Island, 1905

Young Russian Jewess at Ellis Island, 1905

Mother and child, Italian Ellis Island, 1905

Mother and child, Italian Ellis Island, 1905

A Czecho Slovak grandmother at Ellis Island, 1926

A Czecho Slovak grandmother at Ellis Island, 1926

Italian grandmother at Ellis Island, 1926

Italian grandmother at Ellis Island, 1926

A Slovak Immigrant, Ellis Island, 1905

A Slovak Immigrant, Ellis Island, 1905

Mona Lisa visits Ellis Island, 1905

Mona Lisa visits Ellis Island, 1905

A group of German immigrants at Ellis Island, 1926

A group of German immigrants at Ellis Island, 1926

Italian family enroute to Ellis Island

Italian family enroute to Ellis Island

Italian family enroute to Ellis Island

Italian family enroute to Ellis Island

A woman, a boy and a girl at a chain link fence, Ellis Island, New York

A woman, a boy and a girl at a chain link fence, Ellis Island, New York

 

Spotter: NYPL

  • David Wyllie

    Who wrote these captions? Should we see them as reflecting the prejudices of someone in the 1920s or the prejudices of someone in 2015?
    It’s notable that all these migrants are from Italy, Russia (sic) and Czechoslovakia.

  • flashbakcom

    Those are the original captions