Thanksgiving Mummers, 1911

Posted by jdg | 3:30 PM |

From the George Grantham Bain Collection, (Library of Congress).

Before Halloween became the holiday for kids to dress up in autumn, children would wear masks on the final Thursday in November and go door to door where adults would give them fruit or scatter a bunch of pennies on the ground and laugh while the poor urchins scrambled for them. The tradition was known as Thanksgiving Masking. These photos were taken in New York.

Nearly all of these urchins were discovered in the photography archives of the Library of Congress (and available without copyright restrictions online). Otherwise, urchin photos will be credited to the appropriate photographer with a link to its source (unless they come from my own collection of photographs from unknown photographers). If there is ever a copyright concern, do not hesitate to contact me.