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[REV 25-NOV-2014]

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The Baker Brothers: 1917

The Baker Brothers: 1917

Feb. 1, 1917. Cambridge, Mass. "Vincenzo Messina, 15 years old and brother Angelo, 11, baking bread for father, 174 Salem Street. Vincenzo is working nights now, from 5 p.m. to 5 a.m. Usually works on day shift. Angelo helps a great deal, tends store and helps bake, too." Photo by Lewis Wickes Hine. View full size.

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Rodents and other pests

I can't find it, but there's got to be a brush somewhere to wet the loaves when they were pulled out, and otherwise to brush off the roaches. According to my mom (my grandpa had been running a small neigbourhood bakery), there had always been roaches, regardless of how diligent you were with cleaning. Blame it on the old inner city locations. However, health was not at risk. No roach and no germ survives 460 plus Fahrenheit. From the look of it, it could be a wood fueled oven.

Throw in Paul Revere here!

This photo is additionally interesting in that exactly opposite from this 174 Salem---right across the street---- is the Paul Revere House.

Basement Bakery?

I recently read a book about the history of bread in the U.S., and the first chapters describe basement bakeries, particularly in New York City. Sanitation concerns were a big part of the push to machine-made loaves, and folks started preferring pre-sliced bread. This photo appears to show such a bakery. Now there are artisan bread makers for us to enjoy.

The book, if it's okay to mention it here, was White Bread: A Social History of the Store-Bought Loaf.

Jeez Vinny

I think these pizzas need to be a little thinner.

Looks like Angelo lived to be 82 and died in Lynn, MA.

A birthdate of 1905 would be about right for the photo.

Another site said he was a barber.


The aroma lingers even after 95 years!

Oh, please no

Someone please tell me that that's not a dead mouse there at the lower left, in the drawer where those loaves obviously just came from. You can see the damp circles where the loaves were just resting, inches from the ... mouse?

[That's not a dead mouse. - Dave]

Are you sure, or are you just saying that because I asked you to?

SHORPY HISTORICAL PHOTO ARCHIVE | History in HD is a vintage photo archive featuring thousands of high-definition images from the 1850s to 1960s. (Available as fine-art prints from the Shorpy Archive.) The site is named after Shorpy Higginbotham, a teenage coal miner who lived 100 years ago.

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