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June 11, 2020

Amazing Portrait Photos of Ellis Island Immigrants Taken by Augustus F. Sherman Around 1900s

Ellis Island is an island in the bay of New York that served as an entry point for immigrants to the US 1892–1943 and as a detention center for people awaiting deportation until 1954. It is now part of a national monument and houses an immigration museum.

Ellis Island immigrants taken by Augustus F. Sherman, circa 1900s

Many photographers were drawn to Ellis Island by the general human interest and newsworthiness of the scene in this period. And Augustus Sherman, an amateur photographer, the Ellis Island Chief Registry Clerk who had special access to potential subjects for his camera is one of them.

It is likely that Sherman's elaborately costumed subjects were detainees, new immigrants held at Ellis Island for one reason or another. While waiting for what they needed to leave the island (an escort, or money, or travel tickets), some of these immigrants may have been persuaded to pose for Sherman's camera, donning their best holiday finery or national dress, which they had brought with them from home.

These amazing photos from New York Public Library were taken by Augustus Sherman that show portraits of Ellis Island immigrants from 1906 to 1912.

Albanian soldier, 1906-1914. (Photo by Augustus F. Sherman)

Algerian man, 1906-1914. (Photo by Augustus F. Sherman)

Algerian man, 1906-1914. (Photo by Augustus F. Sherman)

Alsace-Lorraine girl, circa 1906. (Photo by Augustus F. Sherman)

Bavarian man, 1906-1914. (Photo by Augustus F. Sherman)

Bavarian man, 1906-1914. (Photo by Augustus F. Sherman)

Cossack man from the steppes of Russia, 1906-1914. (Photo by Augustus F. Sherman)

Dutch siblings from the Island of Marken, holding religious tracts, circa 1906. (Photo by Augustus F. Sherman

Dutch woman, 1906-1914. (Photo by Augustus F. Sherman)

Girl from Rattvik, province of Dalarna, Sweden, 1906-1914. (Photo by Augustus F. Sherman)

Gypsy family, circa 1906. (Photo by Augustus F. Sherman)

Italian woman, 1906-1914. (Photo by Augustus F. Sherman)

Italian woman, circa 1906. (Photo by Augustus F. Sherman)

Lapland children, possibly from Sweden, 1906-1914. (Photo by Augustus F. Sherman)

Lapland children, possibly from Sweden, 1906-1914. (Photo by Augustus F. Sherman)

Mother and her two daughters from Zuid-Beveland, province of Zeeland, The Netherlands, circa 1906. (Photo by Augustus F. Sherman)

Norwegian woman, 1906-1914. (Photo by Augustus F. Sherman)

Rev. Joseph Vasilon, Greek-Orthodox priest, 1906-1914. (Photo by Augustus F. Sherman)

Romanian piper, 1906-1914. (Photo by Augustus F. Sherman)

Romanian shepherd, circa 1906. (Photo by Augustus F. Sherman)

Romanian shepherds, circa 1906. (Photo by Augustus F. Sherman)

Romanian woman, 1906-1914. (Photo by Augustus F. Sherman)

Romanian women, 1906-1914. (Photo by Augustus F. Sherman)

Russian Cossacks, circa 1906. (Photo by Augustus F. Sherman)

Russian Cossacks, circa 1906. (Photo by Augustus F. Sherman)

Ruthenian woman, circa 1906. (Photo by Augustus F. Sherman)

Sami woman from Finland, 1906-1914. (Photo by Augustus F. Sherman)

Scottish boys, 1906-1914. (Photo by Augustus F. Sherman)

Serbian Gypsies, circa 1906. (Photo by Augustus F. Sherman)

Slovak woman and children, 1906-1914. (Photo by Augustus F. Sherman)

Slovakian women, 1906-1914. (Photo by Augustus F. Sherman)

Three women from Guadeloupe, 1906-1914. (Photo by Augustus F. Sherman)

Danish man, 1909. (Photo by Augustus F. Sherman)

Greek woman, 1909. (Photo by Augustus F. Sherman)

German stowaway, 1911. (Photo by Augustus F. Sherman)

Greek soldier, 1911. (Photo by Augustus F. Sherman)

Guadeloupean woman, 1911. (Photo by Augustus F. Sherman)

Hindoo boy, 1911. (Photo by Augustus F. Sherman)

Turkish bank guard John Postantzis, 1912. (Photo by Augustus F. Sherman)

(Photo © Augustus F. Sherman)




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