Life Aboard The Alden Fishing Boat Out of Gloucester, Massachusetts (June 1943)

In June 1943 Antonio Milietello, the owner and oldest fisherman aboard the fishing vessel Alden, working out of Gloucester, Massachusetts, and his Italian crew welcomed on deck Gordon Parks (November 30, 1912 – March 7, 2006) a celebrated photographer with the Farm Security Administration (FSA) and Office of War Information (OWI).

Parks earned his fellowship with the FSA (later absorbed by the OWI) with a 1941 exhibition of his photojournalism of Chicago’s South Side. Parks was a civil right activists who wanted his camera to be a“weapon against poverty and racism”.

 

The dories pulling in their nets, seen from the mother ship's cabin window

The dories pulling in their nets, seen from the mother ship’s cabin window

 

The nets drop fifteen fathoms deep, but a smart school of mackerel sometimes swim beneath them

The nets drop fifteen fathoms deep, but a smart school of mackerel sometimes swim beneath them

The men pull their nets in and try again

The men pull their nets in and try again

Fishermen cleaning mackerel

Fishermen cleaning mackerel

The crew of the fishing boat Alden sending up baskets of mackerel to dock stevedores

The crew of the fishing boat Alden sending up baskets of mackerel to dock stevedores

Gloucester

Italian spaghetti is served after a hard day's work. The men eat large portions, for it may be another twelve hours before they sit down to another meal

Italian spaghetti is served after a hard day’s work. The men eat large portions, for it may be another twelve hours before they sit down to another meal

Maps of different sea routes in the ceiling of the skipper's cabin

Maps of different sea routes in the ceiling of the skipper’s cabin

Men playing cards as the ship heads home with a hold full of fish

Men playing cards as the ship heads home with a hold full of fish

A young fishermen taking a well-deserved rest after twenty-four straight hours of work

Fishermen pulling in the nets at night. They often work from sunrise to sunset without stopping

Fishermen pulling in the nets at night. They often work from sunrise to sunset without stopping

Fishermen pulling in their seining net fourty-five miles off Gay Head

Fishermen pulling in their seining net fourty-five miles off Gay Head

A dory with men, being towed during a mackerel chase

A dory with men, being towed during a mackerel chase

Fishermen sitting about the deck on the first morning

Fishermen sitting about the deck on the first morning

Fishermen sitting about the deck on the first morning

Fishermen sitting about the deck on the first morning

The large dip net releasing mackerel on the deck

The large dip net releasing mackerel on the deck

Gloucester, Massachusetts

Ship's cook preparing to broil freshly-caught mackerel for supper

Ship’s cook preparing to broil freshly-caught mackerel for supper

Freshly-caught mackerel gasping and flapping on the deck

Freshly-caught mackerel gasping and flapping on the deck

Seining boat being towed by the Alden

Seining boat being towed by the Alden

The bow of a dory being towed by the Alden

The bow of a dory being towed by the Alden

Pasquale Maniscoleo

Engineer Pasquale Maniscoleo

On board the fishing boat Alden out of Gloucester, Massachusetts. Fishermen on the boat

On board the fishing boat Alden out of Gloucester, Massachusetts. Fishermen on the boat

On board the fishing boat Alden, out of Gloucester, Massachusetts. Fishermen chasing a school of mackerel

On board the fishing boat Alden, out of Gloucester, Massachusetts. Fishermen chasing a school of mackerel

On board the fishing boat Alden, out of Gloucester, Massachusetts. Late evening scene at sea

On board the fishing boat Alden, out of Gloucester, Massachusetts. Late evening scene at sea

On board the fishing boat Alden out of Gloucester, Massachusetts. Pasquale Maniscaleo, enginee

On board the fishing boat Alden out of Gloucester, Massachusetts. Pasquale Maniscaleo, enginee

On board the fishing boat Alden out of Gloucester, Massachusetts. Antonio Tiano, Italian fisherman

On board the fishing boat Alden out of Gloucester, Massachusetts. Antonio Tiano, Italian fisherman

On board the fishing boat Alden out of Gloucester, Massachusetts. Antonio Milietello, the oldest fisherman aboard

On board the fishing boat Alden out of Gloucester, Massachusetts. Antonio Milietello, the oldest fisherman aboard

On board the fishing boat Alden out of Gloucester, Massachusetts. Vito Coppola, cook

On board the fishing boat Alden out of Gloucester, Massachusetts. Vito Coppola, cook

On board the fishing boat Alden out of Gloucester, Massachusetts. The tattoed arm of a fisherman

On board the fishing boat Alden out of Gloucester, Massachusetts. The tattoed arm of a fisherman

On board the fishing boat Alden, out of Gloucester, Massachusetts. Dominic Tello, Italian fisherman.

On board the fishing boat Alden, out of Gloucester, Massachusetts. Dominic Tello, Italian fisherman

On board the fishing boat Alden, out of Gloucester, Massachusetts. Putting out to sea. Gloucester, Massachusetts.

On board the fishing boat Alden, out of Gloucester, Massachusetts. Putting out to sea

Large dip net transferring mackerel from nets to the Alden deck. Gloucester, Massachusetts

On board the fishing boat Alden out of Gloucester, Massachusetts. Vito Gioclone. Gloucester, Massachusetts

Large dip net transferring mackerel from nets to the Alden deck. Gloucester, Massachusetts

Large dip net transferring mackerel from nets to the Alden deck. Gloucester, Massachusetts

Frank Mineo, owner and skipper of the New England fishing boat Alden. Gloucester, Massachusetts. July 1943

Frank Mineo, owner and skipper of the New England fishing boat Alden. Gloucester, Massachusetts

Gloucester, Massachusetts. Fisherman taking on mackerel aboard the Alden. Gloucester, Massachusetts On board the fishing boat Alden out of Gloucester, Massachusetts. Pasquale Maniscaleo, engineer Gloucester, Massachusetts

 

Gordon Parks, FSA/OWI photographer. 1943. Prints and Photographs Division.

Gordon Parks, FSA/OWI photographer. 1943. Prints and Photographs Division.