Cranberry picker, Burlington County, NJ. October, 1938. Photo by Arthur Rothstein
In May of 2018, Ann Rothstein-Segan presented an illustrated lecture to the Brandeis Woman’s Circle in Allentown, NJ. The talk described the life and times of photographer Arthur Rothstein and featured some of the pictures he took in nearby Burlington County back in the 30s.
Arthur Rothstein documented the lives of cranberry pickers at the historic White’s Bog Farm eighty years ago in October of 1938, His photo essay captured the peak activity of the harvest, including extensive use of child labor. One of Rothstein’s informative captions read, “Three-fourths of these workers are children. Most of the pickers are Italian families from So. Philadelphia. The head of the family is the only one who gets paid.”
After the lecture, Ann visited White’s Bog, now a well-preserved historic village within the Brendan Byrne New Jersey State Park. White’s Bog was home to Elizabeth White (1871-1954) who dedicated her life to development and cultivation of cranberries, as well as the high-bush blueberry varieties that now make up most of the world’s commercial blueberry crop.
Ann’s lecture to the Allentown, NJ Brandeis Women’s Circle.