THE BURNING OF THE 'VOLTURNO' - PAGE 25
ELLIS ISLAND - PAGE 4
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MORE FINE IMAGES
Now before Ellis Island came into existence as an immigration centre, there was Castle Garden, on the tip of Manhattan Island. Maybe in the future I will add some brief words about its history, but for the moment, since this is intended to be an image page, I will provide you with just a small selected portion of a very large print from the Nov. 24, 1855 edition of Illustrated London News. I am puzzled when I see this print because I have seen later postcards which do not show Castle Garden 'off shore' as it is in this image. From those words I think it is clear to a reader which building in fact is Castle Garden! Those later images show Castle Garden on 'terra firma' at a time when the site & building was used as an aquarium. Look at all of those masted ships tied up left & right!
The image above is as you have seen a portion of a print published in 1855 by Illustrated London News ~ an aerial view of New York City and Manhattan - and Castle Garden. It is Castle Garden which interests me for these Ellis Island pages. Samuel Bell Waugh, a noted 19th century Philadelphia portrait painter, (1814-1885), painted the image below which in black & white rather than the original color, is a part only, in fact, of the entire work. The unusual vessel at anchor in the bay to the right of Castle Garden, i.e. the Chinese teakwood junk, was a sensation when it arrived in New York harbour in 1847, 212 days out of Canton. The painting (described as a watercolor & as a tempera & watercolor on canvas) is in the collection of the Museum of the City of New York. And dates from about 1855, when Castle Garden first was used as an immigration center.
Before we leave, for the moment, the subject of Castle Garden, I will present a portion of a fine albumen image that was sold via e-Bay in early May 2006 for U.S. $13.16. 5.8 x 8.6 inches in size. The vendor believes it dates from the late 1870s or very early 1880s. I have modified the image, however, for this page to give it better contrast & make it look contemporary. The photograph must have had a long exposure. See how blurred the people are on the left walkway. Presumably they were moving when the image was taken.
Ellis Island is quite close to Liberty Island, of course. The next image is of the view of the Statue of Liberty from the Ellis Island Immigration Hall taken in 2003 - a subject often photographed but very rarely as well as this. I like all of the images on this site to be entirely visible without scrolling, so what I show next is a portion only of a much larger & quite splendid image which appears on the vast New Hope, Pennsylvania web site, a fine resource for that community indeed (New Hope is on the Delaware river, north & a bit east of Philadelphia). The page on which the image appears is here & the full size image is here. I trust that use of the image on this non-profit & informational site is in order.
The semi-circular window in the Immigration Hall is quite visible in the composite image which follows. There must be a platform or landing there today, beside the window, because in the early images, the window looks to be high in the curtain wall with no means of access.
And a composite image of Ellis and Liberty Islands which I hope you will find to be visually interesting. It comprises portions only of three quite large original images. The two recent images, date from 2002/3, while the older image dates from 1924. Note how close Ellis Island is to the New Jersey shoreline & how that shoreline has dramatically changed in the intervening years. The recent images are by J. Nieminen while the older image appeared on (I think) the web site of Olaf Linck. My links to both sources no longer operate in Aug. 2009 when this site must be moved to a new location.
The next wonderful image depicts New York harbour as it looked in the 1870s. Both Ellis Island & Bedloes Island (now Liberty Island) are identified, Ellis Island with two flags & Bedloes with one only. Both in the right rear of the image. It appears here with the kind permission of e-Bay vendor earth-1 of Pennsylvania who indicated that the print is from a 1968 volume of prints entitled 'The Port of New York'. The original? A Currier and Ives print.
The webmaster does like to credit the sources for all of the imagery that appears on this site, but cannot state the source of the main image below. If anyone can help in that regard, it would be much appreciated. (not the source, obviously, but a small image of the photograph is available on this site) I have paired that image with a very small portion of a large illustration that showed the Statue of Liberty in great quality along with an inset image of Frédéric-Auguste Bartholdi, who constructed it in Paris, France. That image, from its identification in my files, originated at the wonderful Library of Congress site, available right here. Do drop by & see for yourself! There are some truly magnificent images available there for your viewing pleasure.
A poster dating from about 1900, that depicts an idealized view of the deck of an immigrant steamer. Published, I read in Switzerland. And originating from the Compagnie Générale Transatlantique archives, in Paris, France.
The webmaster tends to keep on file any interesting images he comes across, but often does not consider using them for months or years - until perhaps 'inspiration' strikes! And when he does consider using them on site, tracking their origin & content is then most difficult indeed.
Such is the next image, a composite image on the theme of the ferries that transferred immigrants to and from Manhattan or New Jersey. Sources? Most difficult. The smaller images are all, I believe, from e-Bay listings of recent years - the print at top right would surely seem to predate Ellis Island. Hopefully someone can remind me where the main 'James W. Wadsworth' image originates. I rather doubt that it was ex e-Bay.
The collector plate at left & at bottom left below is 'Gateway to America' by Max Ginsberg issued by The Franklin Mint.
No problem with the origin of the following image. It is a portion only of a rather larger image, available as a large TIFF image at the Library of Congress site. They entitle it 'Waiting for Ellis Island Ferry'.
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