Posts Tagged ‘Historic Photos of New York State’

New York City’s little cigarette rollers

September 17, 2009

In turn-of-the-century New York City, even young kids did their share to help the family finances. If a poor immigrant family worked a trade at home, small hands were there to assist. 


Above, photographer Lewis Wicks Hine captures an immigrant widow and her son rolling cigarettes in 1909. I love his brother in the dirty garment, his ears rather Spock-like, staring with suspicion at the camera.

The picture comes from Historic Photos of New York State, a just-published collection with lots of wonderful shots of city life over the years.


Jacob Riis also photographed an immigrant family from Eastern Europe plying their trade, cigar rolling. The undated photo above is part of the Jacob A. Riis Collection at the Museum of the City of New York.

I imagine these families were replaced by machines not long after the photos were taken.