Sunday, September 13, 2015

Rosh Hashanna in New York 100+ Years Ago. The Busiest Men in New York on New Year's Eve

The George Bain Collection in the Library of Congress contains several dozen pictures of New York's Jewish community. Our previous posting showed the community commemorating the Jewish New Year. 

"Celebrating the Jewish New Year on the East Side" (circa 1910, Bain Collection, Library of Congress)
But during a period of about 10 years at the beginning of the 20th century, the Bain photographers focused on a group of very busy men on the eve of Rosh Hashanna -- not the rabbis or the cantors -- but the "boot blacks," the shoe shiners on the street corners.  Note the women customers, perhaps the reason for the Bain photographers' interest.

"Bootblack stand, busy on Jewish New Year, Sept. 1905" (Bain Collection, Library of Congress)

"Jewish New Year - boot blacks" (circa 1910-1915, Bain Collection, Library of Congress)
 
"Jewish New Year - boot blacks" (circa 1910-1915, Bain Collection, Library of Congress)  
 
"Jew[ish] New Year - boot black"  (September 1912, Bain Collection, Library of Congress)  

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