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Thread: Young oyster shuckers- Port Royal, 1912

  1. #1
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    Default Young oyster shuckers- Port Royal, 1912


  2. #2
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    Dayum. That is why we have child labor laws in this country.

    I do love me some fresh shucked oysters though..
    F**K Cancer

    Just Damn.

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    Those girls have seen some shit.

    From the link: "Josie, six years old, Bertha, six years old, Sophie, ten years old"

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    And I've seen 30 year old men who can't shuck an oyster.

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    Those little girls have a hard look in their eyes. Making a point to show this to my daughter.
    A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.

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    Look at their poor little hands. What a shame
    If it moves, tax it. If it keeps moving, regulate it. And if it stops moving, give it Narcan.

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    Looking at them, you wouldn’t know there was a four year age gap between them. Their hands look pitiful.

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    Gut you like a fish

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bownut View Post
    Gut you like a fish
    Yep.

  10. #10
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    White privilege

  11. #11
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    Thanks for sharing
    Love old photos like this.
    Noticed their hands and shoes/boots
    Meet Dick, Dick is a Climp5in fan.....Don't be a Dick

  12. #12
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    The one on the right is one hard looking child. The middle looks like one of the dead people in Game of Thrones. The ginger is the one that will ruin your day though if I had to guess...

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    google "maggioni canning company" for additional similar pictures.
    The only good thing about my imperfections is the joy they bring my friends.

    Beware the man with one gun...he probably has other faults also.

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    Didn't know color photos existed in 1912?
    "run and gun guide service"

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    They look stocky, and their faces look like they're approaching 40. Americans were hard back then.

  16. #16
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    If you're in Port Royal check out the Maritime Center on Lemon Island.

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    Quote Originally Posted by dox08 View Post
    Didn't know color photos existed in 1912?
    Photo was colorized- I'll grab the original and post it here in a few minutes.

  18. #18
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    Most of the shuckers were seasonal workers who came to the Lowcountry during the winter and left after oyster picking was done. For the most part they were Eastern European immigrants.

    "We give them houses to live in," About 50 persons housed in this miserable row of dilapidated shacks. Located on an old shell-pile and partly surrounded by a tidal marsh. Maggioni Canning Co. Location: Port Royal, South Carolina"
    Oyster shanties.jpg

    Can you image what or where they came from that made living and working like that the preferred choice?
    The only good thing about my imperfections is the joy they bring my friends.

    Beware the man with one gun...he probably has other faults also.

  19. #19
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    black and white.jpg

    More information about the original photographer, Lewis Hine, and his work documenting and photographing child laborers- https://www.archives.gov/education/lessons/hine-photos

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    oysters.jpg

    Lewis Hine caption: A young oyster fisher [?] Others smaller employed in busy season. Apalachicola, Fla. Randsey Summerford says he starts out at 4 A.M. one day, is out all night in the little oyster boat and back next day some time. Gets a share of the proceeds. Said he was 16 years old and been at it 4 years. Lives in Georgia and is here 6 months a year. Location: Apalachicola, Florida, January 1909.

    Some people seem to walk through history under cover of darkness, their footsteps seldom heard, their journey seldom noticed. That appeared to be Ramsey’s fate, since I could find very little about him, despite many months of research. It’s too bad, because his photograph is a curious one. He is the only white person in the crew. All seven of the others are African-Americans. I wonder what their relationship was, and what Ramsey thought about it.

    In one of Hine’s 1913 photos of oyster shuckers in Bluffton, South Carolina, the caption says in part: “Canning factory showing a 7-year old girl who shucks 3 pots of oysters a day. She works regularly, and her 6-year old brother who helps some. Several others here under 12 years, but there were more last month. Mostly negro workers. The boss said, ‘We keep only enough whites so we can control the negroes and keep them agoing!'”

    That doesn’t look like the case in this photo. Young Ramsey hardly appears in charge.

    In The Oyster Industry, a book by Ernest Ingersoll, published by the United States Census Office in 1881, the author describes oyster fishing in Apalachicola, 28 years before Ramsey was photographed while engaged in the same trade.

    “This neighborhood has been highly favored with a large number of beds furnishing oysters of large size and fine flavor, which are easily procured and distributed by means of river steamers from Apalachicola, through a wide area inland. Besides a number of large reefs in Saint George and Saint Vincent sounds and Apalachicola bay, there are scattered all through the deeper waters a great many small beds. The depth of water here averages 7 feet, and it is brackish and full of sediment. The oysters from these beds are of superior flavor; I found none better in any part of the Gulf during my visit in 1881.”

    “The reefs, or beds, are only an hour’s sail from town; therefore the outfits or preparations for a trip need not be very great. When the tide is high the boat anchors over a bed, on which there is from 5 to 10 feet of water, and both men use tongs to bring up the oysters with. As each tongful comes up, the worthless ones are culled out and the good ones are thrown into the hold. The tongs in use here are made of iron, some galvanized and some not, in the same shape as those used on the Chesapeake (Bay). With these tongs, on a spot where the oysters are abundant, and need but little culling, two men can put 50 barrels of good oysters into the hold in one day.”

    “If the tide is very low, as is the case during ‘northers,’ the boat is run aground on an oyster-reef, a gangway-plank is placed over the side, and the oysters are picked up by hand and carried aboard in tubs. Oystering in this manner is said to be harder and slower work than tonging them. When the boat is loaded she goes to town, and if there be a steamboat there, the oysters are turned over to the dealer on board of her; if not, they are not delivered until one does come. The oysters sell for 50 to 75 cents per barrel, all ready for shipment, that is, in barrels and covered with gunny sack at the top; but the oystermen seldom get barrels or sacks, which have to be furnished by the dealer, at the rate of 10 cents for sacks and 20 cents for barrels, leaving the oysterman but 20, 30, or 45 cents per barrel for the oysters. It sometimes happens that barrels cannot be bought for any price in Apalachicola, and immense quantities of oysters must either be thrown away or lie over until barrels can be brought from neighboring towns. There are four steamboats running on this river in the winter, two of which carry the mail; but it frequently happens that the mail is not received here for two or three weeks, and large amounts of oysters and fish have to be thrown away in consequence. A few vessel-loads of oysters are taken to Saint Mark during the winter, but it is a trade of not much consequence. The shipping season lasts from November to April.”

    https://morningsonmaplestreet.com/20...ey-summerford/

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