Wednesday, November 21, 2018

35 Ellis Island Immigration Photos That Capture American Diversity from Between 1905-1914

Ellis Island, in Upper New York Bay, was the gateway for over 12 million immigrants to the U.S. as the United States' busiest immigrant inspection station for over 60 years from 1892 until 1954. Ellis Island was opened January 1, 1892. The island was greatly expanded with land reclamation between 1892 and 1934. Before that, the much smaller original island was the site of Fort Gibson and later a naval magazine. The island was made part of the Statue of Liberty National Monument in 1965 and has hosted a museum of immigration since 1990.

An Albanian soldier.
Some hopeful immigrants could be held on Ellis Island for days, or even weeks, before being approved or deported.

An Algerian man in traditional apparel. 
Immigrants were given free meals upon arriving — in most cases introducing them to new foods such as bananas and ice cream.

Girl from the Kochersberg region near Strasbourg, Alsace, 1905

Wilhelm Schleich, a miner from Hohenpeissenberg, Bavaria, 1905

Cossack man from the steppes of Russia. 
With the U.S. attitude toward becoming increasingly negative, World War I marked the end of mass immigration to America.

Peter Meyer from Svendberg, Denmark, age 57. April 30, 1909.

Three Dutch protestant women identified as "Mother and her two daughters from Zuid-Beveland, province of Zeeland, The Netherlands" (circa 1905).

Identified as "Dutch siblings from the Island of Marken, holding religious tracts" (circa 1905).

Photo identified as "Protestant woman from Zuid-Beveland, province of Zeeland, The Netherlands."

Three women from Guadeloupe in fancy dress.

A tattooed German stowaway allegedly deported in May 1911.

Rev. Joseph Vasilon, a Greek-Orthodox priest, 1905

A Greek evzone, which is a member of a light infantry unit in the Greek army.

A Greek woman in June 1909.

A Guadeloupean woman, 1911. 
About 700 immigrants passed through on the very first day of Ellis Island’s operation, January 1, 1892.

A Romani family. 

A young Italian woman, 1906. 
Eighty percent of immigrants were processed and approved in just a number of hours.

An Italian woman. 
The highest number of immigrants to arrive on Ellis Island in a single day was 11,747, on April 17, 1907.

Swedish children in Lapland costume.

Originally titled "Swedish woman," the title was changed when it was noticed that the woman's clothing originated from the west coast of Norway.

A young Swedish girl from the Rattvik providence of Dalarna.

A Romanian immigrant poses with his instrument.

Romanian shepherd, 1906. 
As opposed to wealthier arrivals, poor passengers were detained on the island for physical inspections and further legal questioning.

Two Romanian women.

Russian Cossacks, armed and in full dress.

A traditionally dressed Ruthenian woman, who would now be known as Ukrainian.

A Laplander woman from Finland, 1905.

Three young Scottish boys.

Captioned "Hungarian Gypsies all of whom were deported," this photo appeared in The New York Times on February 12, 1905.

Romanian shepherds, one proudly posing with his pipe.

A Slovak woman with her children. 

Three Slovakian women. 
It is estimated that nearly 40 percent of U.S. citizens can trace at least one ancestor back to Ellis Island.

Three Russian Cossacks. 
Many famous people were processed at Ellis Island, including Charlie Chaplin, Carl Jung, Sigmund Freud, Charles Atlas, and Irving Berlin.

"Turkish bank guard John Postantzis, Feb 9, 1912."
The last person to pass through Ellis Island was a Norwegian merchant seaman by the name of Arne Peterssen in 1954.

A print of this image reads, "Thumbu Sammy, aged 17, Hindoo ex SS 'Adriatic', April 14, 1911."

All photos taken by Augustus Sherman (ca. 1905-1914)

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