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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 • UNFAIR TO BABIES, 1936

Slice of Life: 1912

Slice of Life: 1912

August 1912. Another picture of little Annie Fedele, 22 Horace Street, Somerville, Massachusetts, doing piecework, which usually entailed putting the finishing touches (buttons, or collar and waistband trim) on a mostly completed article of clothing. The garment manufacturers paid a few cents for each piece that was done. View full size. Photograph by Lewis Wickes Hine.

 

Your Somerville pictures and stories wanted

I had found the Lewis Hine photos of Horace and Ward Streets a few years back and was thrilled to know some of the Fedele Family. As Preservation Planner for the City, finding this photo with comments by the family is invaluable. We need the stories our immigrant ancestors told and the pictures don't need to be by famous photographers to tell them. Please write and scan as much as you can and share them with us all.

[Link? E-mail address? - Dave]

House is still there

The back of 22 Horace Street today: same three-part layout, but the entrance is enclosed.

Clean Kitchen

Annie Fedele was also my grandmother and like Mike, we were fortunate to have one of our relatives tell us about these pictures. All the memories of her came flooding back and to have pictures of her at this age, as a young child, is a found treasure. Best of all, the pictures were printed out for our mother,(her daughter). She is thrilled and can't believe these pictures existed.
She knew immediately everyone in the pictures and all about where our grandmother lived for a short time before moving. (And yes, as Mike stated, our grandmother, her parents and siblings WERE fastidiously clean!)
Thanks Dave!
Nancy

"Ma Fedele Viola"

Thanks, Mike, for sharing the info. about our grandmother, Annie Fedele Viola. When my great-parents emigrated from Italy, they lived @ 22 Horace Street for 2 years, moved to Linden St., Somerville Ave., then in 1918 purchased a large Victorian "family" home that was a temporary, CLEAN haven open to extended family and friends who had also recently emigrated from Italy. In our nuclear family, "Ma and Pa" lived above us on the second floor. My mom,(Annie's daughter)still lives in our family home on Bonner Ave. WHen Annie's grandchildren (I'm he eldest) and her 6 great-grandsons visit "Ma's" house, the memories of our grandmother ares still re-kindled in a way that could not be adequately expressed! So, the "American Dream" was a reality for them and I am proud of those photographs by Lewis Wickes Hine! And...oh.. by the way... if I may reiterate my brother Mike's words... Annie taught me how to crochet in her IMMACULATE, FASTIDIOUSLY, CLEAN kitchen!!!!!

Annie Fedele

Thank you, Mike for sharing the info. about our grandmother, Annie Fedele! Having used Lewis Wickes Hine's photos with my 3rd grade students (Lowell Mill girls, breaker boys, doffers etc.), I can't tell you how over-whelmed I was to see that my grandmother was actually one of Mr. Hine's subjects. I plan on using those photos with my students as a vehicle in making history come alive for them as well as a tribute to the most loving, hard-working and dedicated mother and grandmother one could ever be proud to call "Ma." Yes, she was born @ 22 Horace Street and in 1918, moved to Bonner Ave. in Somerville where her daughter(my Mom)still resides in the Fedele-Viola home!It was "Annie" who taught me how to crochet and my pink/ black afghan is a vivid reminder of sitting in Ma's IMMACULATE kitchen!

Mike's grandmother

Mike I envy you having a picture of your grandmother at this age. :)

Clean Kitchen

Annie Fedele was my grandmother and I was fortunate enough to have had one of my relatives tell me about the existence of this picture. Fabulous! Thanks to Dave for getting these. (and oh by the way, my grandmother, as well as all her brothers and sisters seen in this picture, were fastidiously clean).
Mike

I have seen plenty of

I have seen plenty of pictures of that time and what is the norm then is not the norm now. I have seen whole towns in Ohio where there seem to be no grass, trash everywhere in the city's pictures, but 100 years later, it's lush, green and no trash. I think that this house is the norm. And anyone can tell that is a woman in the window.

Wow, A Real Optical Illusion 2.0

"the head of a giant schnauzer"? You'd better lay off that weed for a while. You're starting to see things.

Wow, A Real Optical Illusion!

I had to stare at this photo for about two minutes before I was finally able to make out the head of a girl looking downwards. With the help of the cracks in the print, you've got to admit that at a cursory glance, there is a resemblance to the head of a giant schnauzer, looking directly into the camera, especially when not blown to its full size. This really gets one thinking about all the different variables that famous picture of the Loch Ness monster might possibly be.

That Doggie In The Window.

If this image had ever been used as the cover of a rock album in the 70s, there would've been endless debate as to the symbolism of the giant schnauzer in the window that appears to be wearing a straitjacket. Is that to prevent it from chasing the cat? The fact that it's the only blurry object in the photo would indicate that it was attempting to jump out of the window or something.

It's a girl leaning out the window. ("Giant schnauzer in a straitjacket"?? Hmm.) - Dave

dirty kitchen?

The caption says she is crocheting underwear in a dirty kitchen.

[True. But that's Lewis Hine. Always trying spin a little propaganda on the situation. - Dave]

Cleanliness

I'm just curious as to why the home is not clean. In a previous picture, it shows her in the kitchen which needed to be cleaned. My grandparents came from Europe, were extremely poor, but did keep their home and children clean. I'm sure water was available to this family. Any thoughts?

[Why do you say the kitchen needs to be cleaned? It is clean. It's a wood plank floor. - Dave]

 
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