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A Young Waitress: 1917

A Young Waitress: 1917

January 31, 1917. "Exchange Luncheon. Delia Kane, 14 years old. 99 C Street, South Boston. A young waitress." View full size. Photo by Lewis Wickes Hine.

On Shorpy:
Today's Top 5


I show a Massachusetts birth of Delia Kane
May 21 1902 in Boston. Parents are Timothy and Mary Canney both of Ireland.
Place of birth 216 Fourth St. Boston.

I have access to some Mass genealogy archives.

Glazed America

is the name of the new book by Paul Mullins, about the history of the doughnut. You can hear or read the interview here.


I'd love to see the manufacturer's name on the iced tea dispenser or whatever that is. So many current manufacturers of restaurant equipment have been around forever, it would be interesting to see if this one is still around.

[The nameplate on the urn, which would be for coffee or hot water, says "Manufactured by W.A. Hiliard Co. for Modern Specialty Co. Springfield, Mass." - Dave]

Donuts & Delia

Washington Irving mentions the Dutch fondness for donuts, balls of yellow dough fried brown and sugar glazed, in "Knickerbocker's History of New York." Items very like them can still be found in old Amsterdam.

And of our heroine:

Delia, oh Delia,
How can it be?
You loved all them rounders,
Never did love me.

Any word on Delia's fate?

I found two girls with this name from Massachusetts, who would have been between 13 and 18 when the picture was taken, on the SSDI. Unfortunately I don't have access to census records anymore so I can't tell if they are her. Anybody know what became of her? She looks a lot better off than most of this photographer's typical subjects.


Yes oranges. If this is a collodion image, that process is not too sensitive to oranges and reds, so they appear darker.


No Krispy Kreme

Those are good old substantial cake doughnuts, or "sinkers." Boy, do I wish I had two of those and a good cup of coffee -- that's living!

Steve Miller
Soon heading to the land of substantial doughnuts from someplace near the crossroads of America

Donuts & avocados

Yes, Virginia, there were donuts then. It wasn't exactly the dark ages. They probably spelled it "dough-nuts" then.

As for avocados, probably not in Boston, where they would probably have been called "alligator pears" then. I think they are plain old oranges, the color made darker by the type of emulsion on the film.

Donuts in 1917

I didn't know that donuts went back that far. Look like Krispy Kremes to me.


Are those avocados on the tray with the bananas and donuts?

[Oranges. - Dave]

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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