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The Pecans of Wrath: 1911

The Pecans of Wrath: 1911

December 1911. "3:30 P.M. -- Picking nuts in dirty basement tenement, 143 Hudson Street, New York. The dirtiest imaginable children were pawing over the nuts, eating lunch on the table, etc. Mother had a cold, blew her nose frequently (without washing hands) and the dirty handkerchief reposed comfortably on the table and close to the nuts and nut meats. The father picks now -- 'No work to do at any business.' (Has a cobbler's shop in the room.) They said the children didn't pick near. (Probably a temporary respite.)" The Libertine family, seen earlier here. 5x7 inch glass negative by Lewis Wickes Hine. View full size.


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Niche interest

russiet: The curled-up image in the niche looks like a Madonna with Child painting.


I love how the boy's pants are kept up by being hitched to the third button of his shirt. Aaahhhh ... the art of making do.

Thanks anyway, but no nuts for me

Re the question about pay from russiet: they were paid for this home work, but a mere pittance. See Manufacturing of Foods in the Tenements but be forewarned, squalid doesn't begin to describe the conditions.

One low ceiling

This picture is not only a graphic image of how food-borne disease is spread, even today (sick food workers are the chief source), but also why I don't seriously consider a lot of older houses. The ceilings in the basement, and often above the first floor, are just way too low. I'd guess Dad is only 5'6" or so and he'd still have to duck.

Niche Picture

Does anyone know what the curling picture in the niche is of?

Squalid conditions. Were they picking nuts for pay?

Pecans Forever

A long, long time ago a road running through the Florida State campus was lined with pecan trees. During harvest time there were lots and lots of pecans for hungry students to grab. Had a roommate who filled a large bag to take home at Christmas time.

Pecan pie is still a huge favorite of mine.

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