|From Eastern Europe to North America, South America,
Palestine and elsewhere in the world, our ancestors worked at
many different jobs, hoping to earn enough money to support
themselves and their families. Many in nineteenth and early
twentieth century Eastern Europe worked hard so that they
could save enough money to pay for a steamship ticket that
would send one or more family members to a new country, to
start a new life. There, this cycle would continue, in order
that other family members might join them.
In truth, there are a myriad of reasons why our ancestors
worked. No matter what level of education they had, no matter
what their socioeconomic class, life could be very difficult
at times, considering that for many in Eastern Europe
educational and job opportunities were not always fully
accessible to the Jewish population. Unfortunately, this was
not just true in Eastern Europe, but elsewhere as well.
Our family members spent a good deal of their lives working
and sacrificing so they and the other members of their
family could enjoy a good life. Though they did spend so much
time at work, we often lack photographs of them in their workplace.
In the early years, it could certainly be because not as many
people owned cameras or did not think of taking such
photographs. Whatever the case, these photographs are important images,
especially when we discuss our family history, as they snapshots in time that give us an
glimpse into our family member's "other" identity, i.e. other
than a father, mother, husband or wife. Hopefully these
photographs will remind us of the struggle that many of our
had to endure for so many years, so that their families and
descendants could enjoy a better life with greater
opportunities than they had, and we must be very
thankful to them and grateful for their love and strong worth
Below are listings for such photos that exist with the
archives of this virtual museum. Hopefully, more will be added
over time. They are separated by geography, i.e. where the
photographs were taken, and are dated, just so the viewer can
get some sort of historical perspective.
Kopekin, Uhrmacher (c.1886-1904)
Belarus-Lida: The Pottery
Shop (bef 1939)
Water Carriers (bef 1939)
Sarah the Baker
Germany-Berlin: The Men's
Clothing Story and Factory (bef 1933)
Jewish Fire Department (bef 1939)
The Hospital in Lozdzieje
Workshop of I. Baran
Poland-Bocki: Fireman's Identity Card (c. 1920)
Poland-Bocki: The Four Seamstresses (c. 1928)
Poland-Lodz: The Silberstein Beauty and Barber Shop (c.
Shop (c. 1905)
Szejnbaum, Coachman (c. late 1800s)
Hersh-El'ye the Mason (1936)
The Ritual Slaughterers (The
The Apple Orchard
The Tobacconists (bef 1890)
The Licensed Wine and Spirit Store (c. 1912-1915)
Plowing the Fields (c.
Watchmaker & Jeweler (c. 1884-1886)
New York-New York City: Lower East Side Sweatshop (c. 1910)
New York-New York City: Lower East Side Hat Factory (c.
New York-New York City:
The Census Taker (1940)
Woolens Salesman (1930s)
Will They Make Farmers?
Russian Jews Trying a New Occupation in New Jersey (The Sun,
Aug. 17, 1890).
Secret to the Jews'
Success in Trade (New-York Daily Tribune, Dec. 16, 1906).
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