Ceramic Dish and Milk Can

My objects are a ceramic dish, which I have, and a milk can, which I do not have (the one pictured is not mine.) In 1950, my grandparents and my uncle took a boat from Amberg, Germany, to New York, through Ellis Island. They had lived there for 5 years after the war, saving what money they could from my grandfather's job at a knitting factory. When they finally had enough money, and got the right papers, they brought my uncle, who was 4 years old at the time, on a 6-day sea journey to the United States. They didn't bring much; my grandfather brought the equivalent of $400 in his pocket, and my grandmother brought this ceramic bowl and a German milk can, which she apparently held in her arms the entire ride. The story goes, as soon as she saw the Statue of Liberty, she flung the milk can off the ship and into New York Harbor. No one knows why she did it; maybe she wanted to shed her old life and start anew, maybe she was delirious. Either way, the ceramic bowl that she kept seems less important than the milk can that now sits at the bottom of the ocean.

Year: 1950

– Isadora

Relationship:  Grandchild of im/migrant Grandchild of im/migrant