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Liberty Garter: 1908

Liberty Garter: 1908

        This just in from historian Joe Manning: An update on Yetta Finkelstein and her family.

January 1908. New York. "Mrs. Finkelstein, 127 Monroe Street. Bessie (age 13), Sophie (age 7). Girls attend school. Making garters for Liberty Garter works, 413 Broadway. Mother, a widow, earns 75 cents a day by working all day until 12 at night. Bessie works until 10 p.m., Sophie until 9. They expected to work until 10 p.m. to finish the job, although they did not know when more work would come in. Witness Mrs. Hosford." Glass negative by Lewis Wickes Hine. View full size.


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Not far from the Tenement Museum

Just a few blocks from the Tenement Museum where the stories of families like the Finkelsteins are preserved and retold. Highly recommended for Shorpy denizens next time you're in the Big Apple.

The story of Yetta Finkelstein and family

This is Joe Manning, of the Lewis Hine Project. I finally connected with descendants, and finished my story of this family. The family faced enormous struggles when the children were young, but later managed to achieve a comfortable and relatively prosperous life. See the full story at this link:

Liberty Garter 1908: the Finkelstein family

This is Joe Manning, of the Lewis Hine Project. I have completed a story about this family. Unfortunately, I have been unable to locate any living descendants. Here is the story:

Found them

Found them in the 1919 and 1920 census in New York. Here is the 1910 one.

Yetta 37 Ruso Yiddish
Moses son 15 works in silver plate shop
Bessie daughter 13
Sophie daughter 8
Henry son 6

Some minor changes and the addition of another son, omitted in 1910. Moses who becomes Morris still works in silver while the remaining kids are still producing garments.

Before Henry Ford

Mrs. Finkelstein has devised an assembly line. The daughter on her left puts the hardware in place; Mrs. F lines them up so she can sew a bunch of garters without lifting the presser foot or snipping the threads. Her little girl counts and bundles. Possibly she also cuts the threads joining the garters and knots the threads.

My grand-ma

moja babcia miała taką maszynę. Singer ... Robił ana niej cuda.


and then some Genius invented socks that stay up and they all lost their jobs.....oh the humanity.


Only two blocks of Monroe Street survive today. They're in a neighborhood sometimes called "Two Bridges" but which most everyone considers part of Chinatown. One of the blocks is literally under the Manhattan Bridge, which would have been nearing completion at the time of this photo. The northern few blocks of the street, including the part where 127 would have been located, were obliterated about 50 years ago for construction of the Rutgers Houses project.

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