April 1937-Flood refugee family in tent at Tent City near Shawneetown, Illinois. "Is that a toy motorcycle on the floor to the mother's right? The youngest has a doll. And mother saved her sewing machine (a major investment and a tool for further savings by making things). Today, after the family members, what would we save? Photo albums? Computer disks with photos?" Photo by Russell Lee
September 16, 1913. Jimmie Chinquanana [?], 11 Hamilton Street, New York. In dark, inner room of his home, in the rear of their store. He is the ninth child, six of whom are dead. Father abused the wife; drinks. Boy below grade; is bad at times. Further data in their files; #894 Nurse Investigator Records, Department of Public Charities. Photo and caption by Lewis Wickes Hine
An unknown photographer captured this New York mother and her two babies in an old-law tenement apartment in 1916. Like most flats in old-law tenements (so named because they predate “new” turn-of-the-century laws mandating better living conditions per apartment), it’s dark, squalid, and unventilated. That window probably looks out onto a narrow courtyard, if not just another room in the same apartment.