On Saturday, January 23, 2021, The Trent House Association will present a virtual illustrated talk called, ‘Immigration and Americanization – Eastern European Workers in Trenton’s Roebling Factories.’ The program will begin at 1:00 p.m. via Zoom at https://bit.ly/3nTJ51U.

The Trent House Museum continues to expand its interpretation of Trenton’s history. In this program, records of Roebling Factory employees in the years immediately after World War I are used to explore the question, “Why were some workers who immigrated to the United States from Eastern Europe considered ‘American’ while others were not?” Four boxes of employee records found in the Trentoniana Collection of the Trenton Public Library are a treasure trove of detailed information about nearly 900 men who worked in Building 2, Department 50, of the Roebling Wire Factory in Trenton in the early part of the 20th century.

Historical Record of a Polish worker. Photo courtesy of The Trent House Association

Samuel Stephens, trustee of the Trent House Association, and Matthew Xu, student intern from West Windsor – Plainsboro High School South, present the results of their examination of these records. They focus on factors that affected why some workers’ employment records reported a dual nationality combining their country of origin with “American,” and others did not. They explore factors in the individual workers’ lives as well as in the social and political dynamics of the time and ask us to consider what the experiences of these immigrants might tell us about immigration to the United States today.

The 1719 William Trent House Museum is dedicated to sharing the authentic history of the house, property, and people with our communities, connecting the past with today and tomorrow. The Museum is owned by the City of Trenton, operated by the Trent House Association, and listed in both the State and National Registers of Historic Places. The Association is supported by the generosity of its members and donors; by grants from the New Jersey Council for the Humanities, the New Jersey Cultural Trust, the New Jersey Historic Trust, and the Mercer County Cultural and Heritage Commission with funding from the New Jersey Historical Commission; and by contributions from Canty Landscaping, FVHD Architects-Planners, Glenna Stone Interior Design, Mills & Schnoering Architects, New Pod City, NJM Insurance Group, Orion General Contractors, and StoneTech Fabrication. For more information, visit https://williamtrenthouse.org.

Suggested donations of $10 for the upcoming event can be made at www.williamtrenthouse.org/donation.html.