Vintage Photographs Show The Mess Hall For Inmates on NYC's Blackwell's Island Circa 1896

Photo: MCNY
Photo: MCNY

Ephemeral New York recently dug up this great vintage photos showing Blackwell's Island "inmates" eating in gender-separated mess halls around 1896.

It could not have been easy to be an inmate—as it was called in the 19th century—on Blackwell’s Island. The thin strip of land in the East River, bought by the city in 1828, was were New York brought its undesirables: criminals biding their time in the Penitentiary, sick people sent to the Hospital for Incurables, Lunatic Asylum, or the Small-Pox Hospital, the homeless and disorderly sentenced to the Workhouse.

Check out the photos at the Museum of The City of New York for more info.

Roosevelt Island
Matt Coneybeare

Matt Coneybeare

Editor in Chief

Matt enjoys exploring the City's with his partner and son. He is an avid marathon runner, and spends most of his time eating, running, and working on cool stuff.

Something wrong with this post? Let us know!

Shop Related Products…

As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

Brought To You By…