Vintage: Ellis Island immigrants (1900-1910s)

Vintage: Ellis Island immigrants (1900-1910s)


Between 1905 and 1914, an average of one million immigrants per year arrived in the United States. Immigration officials reviewed about 5,000 immigrants per day during peak times at Ellis Island. Two-thirds of those individuals emigrated from eastern, southern and central Europe. The peak year for immigration at Ellis Island was 1907, with 1,004,756 immigrants processed. The all-time daily high occurred on April 17, 1907, when 11,747 immigrants arrived. After the Immigration Act of 1924 was passed, which greatly restricted immigration and allowed processing at overseas embassies, the only immigrants to pass through the station were those who had problems with their immigration paperwork, displaced persons, and war refugees. Today, over 100 million Americans—about one-third to forty percent of the population of the United States—can trace their ancestry to the immigrants who first arrived in America at Ellis Island before dispersing to points all over the country.

Generally, those immigrants who were approved spent from two to five hours at Ellis Island. Arrivals were asked 29 questions including name, occupation, and the amount of money carried. It was important to the American government that the new arrivals could support themselves and have money to get started. The average the government wanted the immigrants to have was between 18 and 25 dollars ($600 in 2015 adjusted for inflation). Those with visible health problems or diseases were sent home or held in the island’s hospital facilities for long periods of time. More than three thousand would-be immigrants died on Ellis Island while being held in the hospital facilities. Some unskilled workers were rejected because they were considered “likely to become a public charge.” About 2 percent were denied admission to the U.S. and sent back to their countries of origin for reasons such as having a chronic contagious disease, criminal background, or insanity.

vintage-ellis-island-immigrants-1900-1910s-01

Norwegian woman. Ellis Island immigrants (1900-1910s). Photos: Augustus Sherman

vintage-ellis-island-immigrants-1900-1910s-02

Three women from Guadeloupe. Ellis Island immigrants (1900-1910s). Photos: Augustus Sherman

vintage-ellis-island-immigrants-1900-1910s-03

Cossack man from the steppes of Russia. Ellis Island immigrants (1900-1910s). Photos: Augustus Sherman

vintage-ellis-island-immigrants-1900-1910s-04

Pipers. Ellis Island immigrants (1900-1910s). Photos: Augustus Sherman

vintage-ellis-island-immigrants-1900-1910s-05

German stowaway. Ellis Island immigrants (1900-1910s). Photos: Augustus Sherman

vintage-ellis-island-immigrants-1900-1910s-06

Romanian women. Ellis Island immigrants (1900-1910s). Photos: Augustus Sherman

vintage-ellis-island-immigrants-1900-1910s-07

Children from Lapland. Ellis Island immigrants (1900-1910s). Photos: Augustus Sherman

vintage-ellis-island-immigrants-1900-1910s-08

Ruthenian woman. Ellis Island immigrants (1900-1910s). Photos: Augustus Sherman

vintage-ellis-island-immigrants-1900-1910s-09

Bavarian man. Ellis Island immigrants (1900-1910s). Photos: Augustus Sherman

vintage-ellis-island-immigrants-1900-1910s-11

Three Dutch women. Ellis Island immigrants (1900-1910s). Photos: Augustus Sherman

vintage-ellis-island-immigrants-1900-1910s-10

Slovakian women. Ellis Island immigrants (1900-1910s). Photos: Augustus Sherman

vintage-ellis-island-immigrants-1900-1910s-12

Guadeloupean woman. Ellis Island immigrants (1900-1910s). Photos: Augustus Sherman

vintage-ellis-island-immigrants-1900-1910s-13

Slovak woman and children. Ellis Island immigrants (1900-1910s). Photos: Augustus Sherman

vintage-ellis-island-immigrants-1900-1910s-14

Romanian shepherd. Ellis Island immigrants (1900-1910s). Photos: Augustus Sherman

vintage-ellis-island-immigrants-1900-1910s-15

Greek soldier. Ellis Island immigrants (1900-1910s). Photos: Augustus Sherman

vintage-ellis-island-immigrants-1900-1910s-16

Danish man. Ellis Island immigrants (1900-1910s). Photos: Augustus Sherman

vintage-ellis-island-immigrants-1900-1910s-17

Albanian soldier. Ellis Island immigrants (1900-1910s). Photos: Augustus Sherman

vintage-ellis-island-immigrants-1900-1910s-18

Italian woman. Ellis Island immigrants (1900-1910s). Photos: Augustus Sherman

vintage-ellis-island-immigrants-1900-1910s-19

Algerian man. Ellis Island immigrants (1900-1910s). Photos: Augustus Sherman

vintage-ellis-island-immigrants-1900-1910s-20

Romanian piper. Ellis Island immigrants (1900-1910s). Photos: Augustus Sherman

vintage-ellis-island-immigrants-1900-1910s-21

Italian woman. Ellis Island immigrants (1900-1910s). Photos: Augustus Sherman

vintage-ellis-island-immigrants-1900-1910s-22

Russian Cossacks. Ellis Island immigrants (1900-1910s). Photos: Augustus Sherman


Comments

comments