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The Purse-Makers: 1912

The Purse-Makers: 1912

November 1912. Providence, Rhode Island. "Girls 6, 9 and 11 years old, working on chain-bags in home of Mrs. Antonio Caruso, 132 Knight Street." Imaged from a glass negative taken by Lewis Wickes Hine. View full size.


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Google Maps

In my travels using the wonderful GoogleMap system, I've found that, oftentimes, the house number listed by Google does not always correspond with the picture of the house being shown. The number/house discrepancy can be off by a huge amount, sometimes.

So # 132 might easily be the house to the left of the lot - or even further on down the street.

Turn the camera to look across the street at that brick house. Cool house! I'll bet it was even cooler looking when it was new.

Providence is full of fascinating streets and buildings. Someone once called it "the perfect film-noir city".

Great-Grandma's Handbags

My great grandmother had a couple of those lovely purses, which were eventually mounted in a shadow box for display in my mother's house.

All these years admiring them, it never occurred to me that they may very well have been the product of child labour.

Tiny, tiny rings!

I make chain mail for medieval reenactment. Because of my fondness for all things chain, one of my friends gave me a brass chain purse from the 20's to restore. The wire is so small and the rings so tiny, I needed to buy jeweler's pliers to work with them. Amazing pieces of craftsmanship, and easily made by anyone of any age. I can imagine children had a much better go of it, what with their smaller hands and all.

Thanks for sharing! I need to go play with that chain purse when I get home, now!

They paved "paradise"

... and put up a parking lot.

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