Hey, there! Log in / Register

Feeding pigeons by the park

Feeding pigeons

Some things never change - like people feeding pigeons by the Park Street T stop. But they rarely smile these days, like this lady did sometime between 1910 and 1920.

From the Library of Congress's prints and photos collection. More info and larger version.

Neighborhoods: 
Topics: 

Ad:
Like the job UHub is doing? Consider a contribution. Thanks!

Comments

... what you did there!

up
Voting closed 0

I love the fence on the left side of the photo, going up Park St. It looks like the Common was under construction 80 years ago.

Truly nothing changes.

Will the city EVER fix the pathways, curbs and lights, or are we just gonna keep adding new things to the Common and then let them rot with the rest of the stuff already there?
---

up
Voting closed 0

Maybe they played Rounders on the other side of the fence.

People just looked a lot better back then, you can see how they built nice stuff, they wanted everything to look good.

up
Voting closed 0

Hats. The country went to hell in a handbasket when people stopped wearing hats.

up
Voting closed 0

As a daily hat wearer, I know one thing that used to hold me back from wearing proper hats is the lack of shops selling actual, honest-to-God grown-up hats (versus baseball caps or the ugly little straw trilbies popular among the hipsters). I can't think of a single shop in greater Boston that still sells well-made mens hats (the situation for women is marginally better, but seems to lend itself heavily toward Easter bonnets or cloches). What's left is mostly cheap costume tat. Otherwise one has to go to New York or Baltimore to try one's luck.

I'm ranting again, aren't I?

up
Voting closed 0

I read an article in the Weekly Dig about a hat place that opened up on Newbury Street. Goorin Brothers. Googled it and found their web site:

http://www.goorin.com/hat-shops/boston-newbury

up
Voting closed 0

I read an article in the Weekly Dig about a hat place that opened up on Newbury Street. Goorin Brothers. Googled it and found their web site:

http://www.goorin.com/hat-shops/boston-newbury

up
Voting closed 0

I am not a fashion hat guy, but this place is pretty cool. If I were to replace my 1980's era High School knit hat with something classier, I would go there!
John (I have no relation to the store!)

http://www.yelp.com/biz/salmagundi-jamaica-plain

up
Voting closed 0

I'll have to check this place (and Goorin Bros. from the comment above yours) out.

up
Voting closed 0

Boston weather destroys hats just like it destroys umbrellas. The last decent hat I had got blown away by a sudden unexpected gust of wind and dunked in a muddy pool of water.

up
Voting closed 0

I never wear one of my better hats on days when it's pouring and windy for the very reason you name, but my good everyday bowler has lasted me almost 15 years now, and I've only had to get it reblocked periodically to keep it in fine fettle. If it's just raining I have one of these handy hat condoms. Really does the trick.

up
Voting closed 0

... locked in the mills and tenaments, keeping them at work so constantly that they would never have time to stroll through the area. That would make things unpleasant for the rich folk.

up
Voting closed 0

No doubt that's true in some imaginary world. Bring us back a unicorn next time you visit.

up
Voting closed 0

Yes, grimy cheesemakers in rundown tenaments without light or water, making cheese for the wealthy people you see in this picture. Blessed are the cheesemakers.

'tis true!

Meanwhile, I've got a mission for you, anon. Google "bread and roses", "Louis Hine" and "Triangle Shirtwaist".

up
Voting closed 0

Triangle Shirtwaist in Boston?

My grandmother was living in Roxbury at the time, scrubbing floors on her hands and knees for a living. I'll tell you where she was buried so you can go teach her to suck eggs.

up
Voting closed 0

Boston and New York were different you see - nobody in Boston was poor, worked 70 hour weeks in a locked factory, etc. Nosiree!

Bread and Roses was quite nearby - so were many of the children Louis Hine photographed. The money made off the backs of mill workers most certainly piled up in Boston.

Did your grandmother in Roxbury ever get a chance to stroll the common in a pristine hand-tailored sailor dress? Could she afford to offer pigeons a loaf of bread while she was at it? Sucking eggs might have been an improvement in her diet.

up
Voting closed 0

How do you know she's not a worker? Ever been to Italy and see how normal people can dress? There's a reason that stylish people don't make sweatpants and a Patriots jersey their daily outfit.

up
Voting closed 0

Ah! So Italy now is comparable to Boston 100 years ago. GOT IT!

up
Voting closed 0

Something like 60-70 hours?

Doesn't leave much time for ironing linen. Given severe wage erosion coming into that decade, well, unlikely that someone not firmly middle class would spare anything for pigeons.

up
Voting closed 0

It's always amazing to me how people are willing to pretend that bad things didn't happen in the past.

No doubt anon is pining for the days of cheap child labor.

up
Voting closed 0

As "bad" as the mills were, they were a vast improvement, especially for women, over trying to make a living by working on a New England farm; and for that reason mill workers, who weren't stupid, left their farms for a better wages in the mills.

However, you always like to stay on message.

up
Voting closed 0

Not after about 1850-55. By then the mills had switched to immigrant labor and started finding ways for including the children.

The New England Farm women got, well, uppity, and the mill owners turned to Greece, Italy, etc. to fill the void. Then half of French Canada emptied out and moved to New York, Vermont, Maine, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Connecticut, and Rhode Island to work the mills - with their children along side them.

Those "mill girls" from New England Farms? Most were in their late teens and early 20s,with very few younger than 17. They only worked the mills for a few years before moving on with their lives and most were well educated for women of their time. A far cry from the 10-14 year olds who were pulled out of school after 4th or 5th grade - if they ever went at all - who were immortalized by Louis Hine's camera.

I strongly suggest you head to Lowell and take the tours of the mills - and get your timelines and labor sources set.

up
Voting closed 0

The Red Line opened from Harvard to Park St. in 1912, so if it was taken in 1911 or 1910, it could be a fenced off area for construction of the tunnel.

up
Voting closed 0

That fence is about where you'd have to dig up the Common to lay the original Red Line tunnel.

up
Voting closed 0

Bingo - Park Street Under, 1913.

up
Voting closed 0

The original Harvard-to-Park-Street Red Line opened in March of 1912, so it would fit within the window.

up
Voting closed 0

Is probably closer to 1910. I remember looking at a pattern like that from a catalog from around 1908 or 1909 when looking at period costumes in high school for a play.

up
Voting closed 0

Women did wear dresses for more than one year back in the day.

up
Voting closed 0

Especially since this would be a dress that one might wear only a couple months of the year, given the materials (linen and/or cotton). The styles changed fairly often, too, but not very dramatically over a year or two.

All the same, it would be unlikely this photo would be much later than 1915, given the style and hem length and color. Note as well the ensemble worn by the woman in the background - that pushes it back from 1920 as well.

up
Voting closed 0

change?

Isn't that spare change guy's grandfather -- in the back, standing by the station?

up
Voting closed 0

Greatly enjoy the period pics of Boston. And the fascinating string of comments they usually produce.
You've hit a home run today!

up
Voting closed 0