Dwight Manufacturing Company, Chicopee Mass (5)

Joseph Maslak, employee at Dwight Manufacturing Company in Chicopee, Mass, in November 1911. Image courtesy of the Library of Congress, National Child Labor Committee Collection.

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The scene in 2014:

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Taken at the same spot as Joseph Polchlopek, this photo shows a boy named Joseph Maslak, with the following information provided by photographer Lewis Hine:

Joseph Maslak (alone), 3 Depot St., or 34 Front St., (see 2637). Location: Chicopee, Massachusetts.
Like Polchlopek, he was the son of Polish immigrants, and if the Ancestry.com information is correct, he was born in 1897, making him about 14 when the photo was taken.

Dwight Manufacturing Company, Chicopee Mass (4)

Joseph Polchlopek, employee at Dwight Manufacturing Company in Chicopee, Mass, in November 1911. Image courtesy of the Library of Congress, National Child Labor Committee Collection.

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The scene in 2014:

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Lewis Hine provides the following information about this young man, working at the Dwight Manufacturing Company in Chicopee, Mass:

Joseph Polchlopek (alone), 37 W. Front St. Says, “Been working here two years and a half.” (See #2638). Location: Chicopee, Massachusetts.
Interestingly, I was able to use Ancestry.com to find out more about Joseph Polchlopek; he was born in 1896 to Polish immigrants (if the last name didn’t give it away), making him 15 when the photo was taken, which would mean that he started working there when he was 12.  According to the 1940 census, the highest grade that he completed was 8th grade, which is impressive if he had been working since he was 12.  In 1939, he worked as a laborer, making $1,100 per year.  He died in New Bedford in 1976, shortly before his 80th birthday.

Dwight Manufacturing Company, Chicopee Mass (3)

Employees of the Dwight Manufacturing Company in Chicopee, Mass, in November 1911. Image courtesy of the Library of Congress, National Child Labor Committee Collection.

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In 2014:

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Another photo from Lewis Hine’s documentation of child labor issues in the early 1900s, this one shows a group of young workers at Dwight Manufacturing Company in Chicopee, Mass.  Hine writes this in his caption:

Group of workers in Dwight Mfg. Co. Stanley Twarog (one of the smallest boys), 81 Park St. Works in spinning room. Tony Sccha [i.e., Soccha], (Shortest boy in front, overalls. Very young. 65 Exchange St. A bobbin Boy in Room 7; has been there a year. Location: Chicopee, Massachusetts.
 
Today, all of the boys are (presumably) long-dead, but I’m sure many of their ancestors still live in Chicopee and the surrounding towns, probably unaware of their grandfather or great-grandfather’s role in changing child labor laws in the United States.  The buildings do remain, although the picket fence has been replaced by a far less picturesque chain link fence topped with barbed wire, and the railroad tracks in the foreground aren’t covered in the snow – they are long gone as well.

Dwight Manufacturing Company, Chicopee Mass (2)

Employees of the Dwight Manufacturing Company in Chicopee, Mass, in November 1911. Image courtesy of the Library of Congress, National Child Labor Committee Collection.

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In 2014:

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Taken in the same area as this photo, this photo shows a group of workers at Dwight Manufacturing Company in Chicopee, in November, 1911. Photographing for the National Child Labor Committee, Lewis Hines writes this about the boy in the foreground:

A young boy, unable to speak a word of English. Working here. A boy said his name is John Krakowski. Location: Chicopee, Massachusetts.

Dwight Manufacturing Company, Chicopee Mass (1)

Employees of the Dwight Manufacturing Company in Chicopee, Mass, in November 1911. Image courtesy of the Library of Congress, National Child Labor Committee Collection.

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The same scene in 2014:

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This photo was one of many taken in Chicopee by noted photographer Lewis Hine, during his travels across the United States documenting child labor issues.  Photographing for the National Child Labor Committee, his photographs are now available through the Library of Congress, so I decided to try to re-create some of his Chicopee photos.

This one is probably my favorite, because the scene can be re-created so perfectly; the brick walls, the “1894” on the granite pillar, and even the wrought iron gates are still there.  At the time that the photographs were taken, the factory belonged to the Dwight Manufacturing Company; it was part of a sprawling complex of factories and boarding houses along the Chicopee River, and many of the buildings still exist today, including the main entrance, which is surprisingly unchanged over 100 years later.

Hine identified the young man on the left as Stanislaus Fabara, writing this as the caption of the photo:

Watchman Stanislaus Fabara, 59 Exchange St. Works in cloth room. The day before he gave me his name as Frank Fabara and today said it was wrong. “We give wrong names when we think trouble is coming.” Two other boys here acknowledge giving me wrong names also. Location: Chicopee, Massachusetts.