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Bottomley's Berry Farm: 1909

Bottomley's Berry Farm: 1909

July 1909. "Mrs. Bissie and family (Polish). Bottomley Farm, Rock Creek. They all work in the berry fields near Baltimore in summer and have worked at Biloxi, Mississippi, for two years." Glass negative by Lewis Wickes Hine. View full size.


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No day at the beach

They knew they had to work hard to survive but retained a certain dignity in their attitude while doing this menial labor. I love Mrs. Bissie's genuine smile and her effort to fix her hair for the photo and also the youngest girl's defiant crossed arms just in case someone is looking for a fight. The closeness of all the family members comes through the picture.

Shorpy for teenagers

I've got to start making my teenagers look at some of these Shorpy photos. Maybe then they won't whine so much when I tell them to empty the dishwasher.

The Rest of the Story

I understand that the Eastern European laborers were frequently paid with brass checks bearing their initials and numbers representing the number of quarts or pecks that had been picked.

This golf course is now located on the site of the old Bottomley farm. I find this much less heartbreaking than seeing old buildings becoming decrepit or being torn down.

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