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October 29, 2015

This Is What America’s Immigrants Looked Like When They Arrived on Ellis Island

Between 1892-1954, Ellis Island served as an immigration inspection station for millions of immigrants arriving into the United States. The first immigrant to pass though the station was 17-year-old Annie Moore from Cork, Ireland, one of the 700 immigrants arriving on the opening day on January 1, 1892.

These images of people wearing their folk costumes were taken by amateur photographer Augustus Sherman who worked as the Chief Registry Clerk on Ellis Island from 1892 until 1925. The people in the photographs were most likely detainees who were waiting for money, travel tickets or someone to come and collect them from the island.

Norwegian woman.

Slovakian women.

Danish man.

Albanian soldier.

Italian woman.

Algerian man.

Romanian piper.

Italian woman.

Russian Cossacks.

Three women from Guadeloupe.

Cossack man from the steppes of Russia.


German stowaway.

Romanian women.

Children from Lapland.

Ruthenian woman.

Children from Lapland.

Dutch children.

Bavarian man.

Guadeloupean woman.

Three Dutch women.

Hindu boy.

Slovak woman and children.

Romanian shepherd.

Greek soldier.

Woman from Lapland.

(Photos: Augustus Sherman, via New York Public Library)

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