New York City: Old Memories At The Tenement Museum Print


Next time you’re in Manhattan, experience how late 19th and early 20th Century immigrants coped with the New World. Typically, a family of eight or more lived in two small walk-up apartment rooms, all portrayed at the Lower East Side museum. In those days, there was no air conditioning, phones, tv, radio, refrigerators nor washing machines. The average family income was $15 a week. To earn that amount, everyone from age five worked 12-hour days. While the father and boys pushed carts around city streets, the mother and girls sewed clothing at home or in sweat shops. Not many immigrant children ever completed high school, and rarely did any go to college, but they were determined that our generation would accomplish those goals. 

To relive those stories you heard from grandmom and grandpop, go to The Tenement Museum, 103 Orchard St. at Delancey St., New York NY 10002, www.tenement.org. The museum is operated by the National Park Service.