Friday, September 9, 2011

IMG_0002 copy.jpg

Here's another rare document: a small card that a student was apparently supposed to take with her when sent to her first work assignment by the Manhattan Trade School job placement office. (Manhattan Trade had changed its name to Manhattan Industrial High School around 1930, about four years before this card was filled out.)

The card is blank on the back, and there's indication that it was intended to be mailed. I think the girl -- in this case a sewing machine operator named Marie DeTuro -- was simply supposed to bring it to her first job and present it to the employer, who had presumably been told by the school to expect her arrival.

This is the only card of its type that I have. Nothing like it appears in any of the other students' files, and it's not clear to me why it was retained in Marie's. Did she forget to bring it? Did she return it for some reason?

I love the use of "Introducing" at the top of the card, as if Marie, about to begin low-wage garment job, were a debutante. Which, in a way, I guess she was.


  1. Pardon my ignorance of many things New York, but why was Queens in parentheses, and Jamaica listed as her borough of residence? Was a name change in process?

    It is curious that her physical defects were weak arches and her complexion. I never thought teen acne to be a physical defect.

  2. Unlike the other four boroughs, Queens postal addresses are broken down by neighborhood. Jamaica is a neighborhood in Queens.