Saturday I was at the Immigration museum at the Ellis Island National Monument. There is a searchable database where millions of passenger manifests have been digitized and indexed. Below is the ship and manifest of my paternal grandparents and aunt at age 4; my father was born here in NYC later on. Other pictures below.
Graph of immigration trends. Immigration was severely limited by the 1924 National Origins Act and combined with the Depression and WW II didn't increase much until immigration law was changed in 1965.
Inspectors at Ellis Island used a buttonhook to inspect under the eyelids for a contagious eye diseaase.
Many immigrants brought foreign currency. Well before Zimbabwe's ZWD devauation, the Weimar Republic in Germany had hyperinflation in the early 1920's, hence the 500,000 Mark note that was probably worth very little.
Patriotic WW I poster to rally recent immigrants that entered the coal industry.
Luggage tags on steamship trunks.
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