This is one of my favorite historic images of New York City. It’s a picture of foreign-born immigrants and their children on Mulberry Street in Little Italy. If your travels ever take you to NYC (or if you are from here and haven’t visited yet) try to make time for a guided tour at the Lower East Side Tenement Museum at 97 Orchard Street. Between 1863 and 1935, the building was home to 7,000 tenants from over 20 nations! If you get the right guide, history can come to life with up-close and personal glimpses into the lives of immigrant families. In the meantime, click on the image for a closer look at Mulberry Street in 1900.
“This photolithograph from the Detroit Publishing Company documents the busy street life of New York City’s Lower East Side at the start of the 20th century. Between 1870 and 1915, New York’s population more than tripled, from 1.5 million to 5 million. In 1900, when this photo was taken, foreign-born immigrants and their children constituted a staggering 76 percent of the city’s population. Often described as the Main Street of Little Italy, Mulberry Street was dominated from the 1890s by immigrants from Italy. These immigrants jostled for space and economic opportunity with other recent arrivals to the city, including Jewish, Russian, and Austro-Hungarian immigrants, as well as native-born and older immigrant groups such as the Dutch, English, Irish, and Germans.” (World Digital Library)