Century Old Photos of Ellis Island Immigrants Show What They Left Behind

By Ingrid Longauerová, Epoch Times
April 22, 2016 10:40 am Last Updated: September 23, 2016 3:03 pm
From 1892  to 1954, Ellis Island saw over 12 million immigrants pass through its inspection station. The first person to go through was a 17-year-old Irish girl on Jan. 1, 1892. But many got stuck on the island, waiting for money, an escort, or a transportation ticket. 
 
Personal stories of these American wannabes inspired the amateur photographer Augustus Sherman. As Ellis Island’s office clerk, he had a unique opportunity to capture immigrants in their national dress. Most of the immigrants were Europeans that had left home because of financial deprivation or persecution.
 
 
During years 1906 to 1914, Sherman created unique portraits that were just recently rediscovered.
 
Today almost a 100 million Americans can trace back their ancestry to Ellis Island immigrants. What their stories were is left unanswered.
 
 
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Russian Cossacks, 1906. (NYPL)
 
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Ruthenian (Ukrainian) woman, 1906. (NYPL)
 
albanian soldier
Albanian soldier, circa 1906-1914. (NYPL)
 
German stowaway. (NYPL)
German stowaway, 1911. (NYPL)
 
algerian man
Algerian man, c1910. (NYPL)
 
slovak woman
Slovak women. (NYPL)
 
bavarian man
Bavarian man, circa 1906-1914. (NYPL)
 
danish man
Danish man from Svendberg, 1909. (NYPL)
 
dutch woman
Dutch women, circa 1910. (NYPL)
 
 
Romanian piper, c1906-1914. (NYPL)
Romanian piper, circa 1906-1914. (NYPL)
 
hyndoo boy
17-year-old Hindu boy, 1911. (NYPL)
 
lapland kids from sweden
Lapland children, possibly from Sweden, circa 1910. (NYPL)
 
Three women from Guadeloupe. (NYPL)
Three women from Guadeloupe. (NYPL)
 
laplander woman
Sami woman from Finland, 1905. (NYPL)
 
norwegien woman
Norwegian woman, 1906-1914. (NYPL)
 
romanian
Romanian women. (NYPL)
 
romaninan shepard
Romanian shepherd, 1906. (NYPL)
 
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Greek soldier, 1911. (NYPL)
 
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Italian woman, circa 1906-1914. (NYPL)
 
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Dutch siblings from the Island of Marken, holding religious tracts, 1905. (NYPL)
 
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Cossack man from the steppes of Russia. (NYPL)
 
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Turkish bank guard, 1912. (NYPL)
 
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Romanian shepherds. (NYPL)
 
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Gypsy family, 1905. (NYPL)
 
 
slovakia
Slovak woman and children, circa 1910. (NYPL)