- Why did I choose this topic?
Hi I am going to talk about the employees at Ellis Island, their conditions, their uniforms and how their work was. I have chosen this topic because I think that them, who know Ellis Island best, must be them, who work there every day. They are the people with the most experience from Ellis Island. I am also going to talk about two specific employees, but they are coming later.
- What were their professions?
Immigrationinspector: Some of them have to write down all the immigrants names, they actually changed the immigrants names and made them more American if they were hard to pronounce and spell. They also examined the immigrants asking them all sorts of questions like “What do you want in America” and “Have you ever been in prison”.
Social service worker: They gave food, water and supplies to the immigrants when they arrived and helped them. They work for all kind of organizations, who help their fellow-countryman. Organizations like “The Italian Welfare League”.
Concessionaires: They worked for the government under contracts and they supplied the food at Ellis Island.
Doctor: They examined the immigrants trying to find out if they had a virus or were sick or something. They wrote different letters on their coats if they had a disease and then they had to be examined in other rooms by another doctor. If you had the letter “X” you were sent back home, it stands for “mental problems”.
Custom officials: They inspected the immigrants’ cases looking for what they brought.
- Helen Barth and Theodore Lubik.
Helen Barth: She was a volunteer and worked as social service worker, she worked for the organization “Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society. She was dressed in long dresses with a little black apron and white blouse. She gave milk and crackers to the children. She was always tearful and was called “the angel of mercy”.
Theodore Lubik: First worked at a boat that came to Ellis Island from New York it was called “Ellis Island Ferry” he helped pulling a hand truck from the ferry it was his job. He also helped to prepare the food and making up boxes the immigrants could eat for lunch on the further journey. He was fired when Americaentered “World War I” as an enemy alien.
And she couldn’t stand the smell from the two who made food for the immigrants. She tells that when it was closing time, they just left the food were it was, didn’t put it back in the ice boxes.
Theodore thinks that the sanitary conditions were kept in pretty good shape. He says that they threw garbage in barrels, they didn’t threw garbage away in the water it was organized.
- Their Uniforms
Everyone wore a black apron and the officers wore a white suit. Theodore Lubik also wore a white cloth so some of immigrants thought he was an officer.
- How was the condition?
Some places the conditions were awful at Ellis Island where all the people ate dinner, and the people who worked didn’t clean up after themselves they just left the food were it was. There was an awful smell close to the kitchens it was unbearable. And some places rats just ran everywhere because the immigrants fed them. But at the boats the conditions were better they threw garbage in barrels and there was no rats, they kept it in pretty good shape.