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How might an Italian Laborer have dressed to go through Ellis Island


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in the early 1900s? I am thinking pants, suspenders, and a jacket and tie. DS (11) insists he'd be in a t-shirt and suspenders, no tie or jacket.

 

Ugh... he's meeting with a hs group to reenact Ellis Island on Friday...and he's suppose to bring a common food for his "character" Vito. Ideas for that? -- his suggestion was pizza :lol::lol::lol:.

Edited by 3littlekeets
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Someone going through Ellis Island likely wore their best clothes, trying to make a good impression. Arriving in America was a momentous occasion. Ellis Island was not a formality; immigrants were held there for various reasons, and sometimes sent back home. So even if someone was a manual laborer, he would have dressed up as much as he could. Clothing in general was more formal then, too. Button-down shirt, definitely a jacket, probably a vest as well. A hat, like a fedora.

 

Dh's grandfather immigrated through Ellis Island from Sicily around the turn of the century. He lived in New York City. Here's a photo from another website, showing an Italian immigrant family.

 

USAEjourney.JPG

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Someone going through Ellis Island likely wore their best clothes, trying to make a good impression. Arriving in America was a momentous occasion. Ellis Island was not a formality; immigrants were held there for various reasons, and sometimes sent back home. So even if someone was a manual laborer, he would have dressed up as much as he could. Clothing in general was more formal then, too. Button-down shirt, definitely a jacket, probably a vest as well. A hat, like a fedora.

 

Dh's grandfather immigrated through Ellis Island from Sicily around the turn of the century. He lived in New York City. Here's a photo from another website, showing an Italian immigrant family.

 

USAEjourney.JPG

 

 

Thank you! How wonderful that you can trace your dh's family history through Ellis Island!

 

My DS is convinced by all of your posts and will dress up.

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