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Photo of Rogarshevsky family kitchen, restored to its 1918 appearance


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1850年代至1900年代早期,数以千计的移民涌入美国并定居在纽约市。刚开始的移民来自于爱尔兰及德国,后来的移民则来自于义大利、东欧、中国及世界上的其他国家。因为大部分的移民在刚抵达时都很贫穷,所以他们时常住在曼哈顿下东区(Lower East Side)拥挤的廉价公寓内,这些公寓大楼的租金低廉。

下东区的移民公寓博物馆(Lower East Side Tenement Museum)座落在一栋前身为廉价公寓的大楼内,说明着纽约市内的移民故事。它于1860年代兴建完成,一层可容纳4户家庭,共可容纳20户家庭。每一间公寓只有三间房:客厅或前房、厨房及一间狭小的卧室。通常每间公寓内都住有七个人以上。廉价公寓不单拥挤,大楼直到1905年后才有浴室。而且直到1918年后,住户也有电力可用。

博物馆重新整修公寓,使其看起来像是有家庭居住一般。这张照片展示出1918年时,住在公寓内的Rogarshevksy一家人的厨房样貌。亚伯拉罕 (Abraham Rogarshevsky)、芬妮 (Fannie Rogarshevsky) 及她们的四个小孩于1901年自苏俄来美定居。不久后,又在美国产下另外两个小孩。当他们住在这廉价公寓时,有另一名寄膳宿者(住在他人家中且需支付住宿及食物费用的人)与他们共住,也就是说一间三房公寓内住了九个人!

Almost all of us have relatives who came from someplace other than the United States. People who came to America to live are called immigrants.

From the 1850s through the early 1900s, thousands of immigrants arrived in the United States and lived in New York City. They first came from Ireland and Germany and later from Italy, Eastern Europe, and China, among other places. Because most immigrants were poor when they arrived, they often lived on the Lower East Side of Manhattan, where rents for the crowded apartment buildings, called tenements, were low.

The Lower East Side Tenement Museum is in a building that used to be a tenement and it tells the story of immigrants in the City. It was built in the 1860s and could house 20 families, four on each floor. Each apartment had only three rooms: a living or "front" room, a kitchen, and a tiny bedroom. Often seven or more people lived in each apartment. Not only was the tenement crowded, but also, until 1905, there were no bathrooms inside the building. Residents also did not have electric power until after 1918.

The Museum has re-created the apartments to look like they did when families lived there. This photograph shows what the Rogarshevksy family's kitchen looked like in 1918. Abraham and Fannie Rogarshevsky arrived with their four children from Russia in 1901. Later, they had two more children in the United States. While they lived in this tenement, a boarder (someone who pays for food and lodging in another person's home) lived with the family. That would have made nine people living in a three-room apartment!

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