Saturday, December 26, 2009

The Litvak and Galitzianer East Side Tailor: How Both Tried to Better Themselves in the 1890s

It seems that there were two ghettos, or Jewish quarters, on the Lower East Side in the 1890s, at least according to an article published in an 1895 edition of the Sun newspaper of New York City. There was the Russian or Lithuanian (or Litvak) quarter, mostly situated around Hester Street, and a quarter surrounding Pitt Street, where many Galicians, Hungarians and Bohemians lived. Both had their own "Pig Markets," which meant that at that time one could buy almost anything in those markets except pork.

It is pointed out that the Russians far outnumbered the Austrian workers, but that the Austrian worker made up for their lack of numbers by their higher grade of work.

The author of this article compares and contrasts those living in both quarters, and describes how, for instance, the tailors involved in the coat-making industry of both quarters tried to better themselves, e.g. to learn English, and to better educate themselves in order to advance at work, etc.

You can read the interesting article, entitled "New York's Two Ghettos," by clicking here.

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