Brattleboro, Vermont (3)

Looking north from the corner of Main & Canal Streets in Brattleboro, Vermont, around 1917. Image courtesy of the Library of Congress.

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The scene in 2014:

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Taken from across the street from the photos in this post, the 1917 scene shows some of the industrial development along the Whetstone Brook near its confluence with the Connecticut River just to the east (right) of this scene. Many of the buildings still exist, with the oldest one in this scene being the 1850 Van Doorn/Culver Block, in the foreground with the tall gabled roof.

The top photo is part of a panoramic view; the other parts can be viewed here:

Part 1
Part 2
Part 4

Paper Mills, Holyoke Mass

A view of some of the paper mills in Holyoke, Mass, around 1900-1906.  Image courtesy of the Library of Congress, Detroit Publishing Company Collection.

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The same view in 2014:

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It’s a common scene in New England – a once prosperous mill town that fell on hard times once the manufacturing jobs left. Holyoke Massachusetts is a prime example of this; it is located along the Hadley Falls on the Connecticut River, which made it an ideal location for water-powered mills. In 1849, a system of power canals was built parallel to the river, and this section of Holyoke was developed as an industrial center. The city became home to a number of paper mills, giving rise to its nickname as the “Paper City.”  One such paper company, the American Pad & Paper Company, was founded in Holyoke in 1888, and is now one of the world’s largest paper manufacturers, Ampad.

This particular view looks down one of the canals from Gatehouse Road, with several mill buildings visible to the left and center of the photo. The building in the distance in left-center is identified in the first photo as the Valley Paper Company, and although I don’t know what became of the company, their building still exists today, along with many other, now-vacant brick factories in the city.

Smith & Wesson Factory, Springfield, Mass

The Smith & Wesson factory in Springfield, Mass., as it appeared around 1908. Image courtesy of the Library of Congress, Detroit Publishing Company Collection.

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The scene in 2014:

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Originally built in 1860, the Smith & Wesson factory on Stockbridge Street was its corporate headquarters for many years. The company is still headquartered in Springfield, although they have long since moved to their current location on Roosevelt Avenue. In 1972, Dwight Street was extended across much of the land that was once the factory, although I don’t know if the buildings were demolished at that point, or sometime before then.  The building in the background to the right in the 2014 photo was actually around when the first photo was taken; it was at the time the factory for Milton Bradley; it has since, along with several other former industrial buildings in the area, been converted into apartments. At least one of the former Smith & Wesson buildings still exists, just to the right and outside the frame of the 2014 photo, although it wasn’t built until after the 1908 photo was taken. It is also part of the apartment complex.

Dwight Manufacturing Company, Chicopee Mass (6)

Tony Soccha, 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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This young man was identified by photographer Lewis Hine as Tony Soccha, and he gave the following information about him in the caption:

Tony Soccha, 65 Exchange St., a bobbin boy in Room #7. Been there at work one year. Location: Chicopee, Massachusetts.

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.