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Most of the photos on this site were extracted from reference images (high-resolution tiffs, 20 to 200 megabytes in size) from the Library of Congress research archive. (To query the database click here.) Many were digitized by LOC contractors using a Sinar studio back. They are adjusted by your webmaster for contrast and color in Photoshop before being downsized and turned into the jpegs you see here.

 
 
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VINTAGRAPH • WPA • WWII • ROSES BY VINCENT VAN GOGH, 1890

Annie: 1912

Annie: 1912

August 1912. Tenement home work (piecework for garment makers). "Annie Fedele, 22 Horace Street, Somerville, Massachusetts. This is one of the places she works on crochet." View full size. Photo and caption by Lewis Wickes Hine.

 

Piecework

What kind of quality work could a young child like this do? Was it only the poorest of the poor whose children had to work? Most people who knew about these times are long gone now.

[These were mostly families that had recently immigrated from Russia, Ireland, Italy and Eastern Europe. - Dave]

22 Horace Street

The online database for Somerville's assessors includes a current photo of 22 Horace Street, as well as other buildings in that city.

The Assessors' database says the 2-family house was built in 1900, so it's probably the same building, although I can't seem to match them up. Take a look yourself by following this link -- http://data.visionappraisal.com/somervillema/search.asp

[That's interesting. Hine's caption is saying Annie lived at 22 Horace Street, not that this is necessarily the house at that address. - Dave]

 
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Shorpy.com | History in HD is a vintage photo blog featuring thousands of high-definition images from the 1850s to 1950s. The site is named after Shorpy Higginbotham, a teenage coal miner who lived 100 years ago.

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