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Prefabricated Gunnison Houses being put together in 1952 to be occupied by the overflow of workers for the Seabrook firm

Descriptive

TitleInfo
Title
Prefabricated Gunnison Houses being put together in 1952 to be occupied by the overflow of workers for the Seabrook firm
TypeOfResource
StillImage
Genre (authority = AAT)
photographs
OriginInfo
DateCreated (encoding = w3cdtf); (keyDate = yes); (qualifier = exact)
1952
PhysicalDescription
Form (authority = RULIB)
InternetMediaType
application/pdf
InternetMediaType
image/jpeg
Extent
1 image
Abstract (type = description)
In the early 1950s, to accommodate the workforce, which had reached its peak, Seabrook's construction firm began assembling 80 prefabricated Gunnison Houses. These opened for occupancy in 1952. As F. Alan Palmer notes, at that point the Housing Manager employed by Seabrook was responsible for collecting rent from over 1,000 heads of families.
Subject (authority = LCSH)
Topic
Immigrants
Subject (authority = LCSH)
Topic
Housing
Subject (authority = NJCCS)
Temporal
Postwar Years (1945-1970)
Subject
HierarchicalGeographic
Country
UNITED STATES
State
New Jersey
County
Cumberland County
City
Seabrook Farms (Seabrook, N.J.)
RelatedItem (type = host)
TitleInfo
Title
Seabrook Farms
Identifier (type = local)
SBFarms
Identifier (type = hdl)
http://hdl.rutgers.edu/1782.3/SBFarms.Photograph.10428
Identifier (type = doi)
doi:10.7282/T3M32WC5
Location
PhysicalLocation (authority = marcorg); (displayLabel = Seabrook Educational and Cultural Center)
NjSaECC
Extension
DescriptiveEvent
Type
Digital exhibition
AssociatedObject
Type
Exhibition section
Detail
In 1948, Congress passed the Displaced Persons Act. This allowed for 200,000 refugees living in the American, British, and French zones of occupied Germany and Austria to enter the United States in excess of the nationality quotas established by the 1924 Immigration Act. Beginning in April 1949, more than 650 Estonian Displaced Persons would join the labor force and residential community at Seabrook Farms. C.F. Seabrook, the company’s founder and chief executive, was approached by Rudolf Kiviranna, the chairman of the Estonian Relief Committee in New York City and a local Lutheran pastor in Bridgeton, New Jersey, who convinced him to become a sponsor for these refugees. Seabrook would personally travel to Germany to visit the DP camps in 1949, and, in much smaller numbers, also sponsored Poles, East German, and Latvian refugees.

With the Cold War already dominating American foreign policy, the Displaced Persons Act was heralded by U.S. officials for providing refuge to Europeans who, due to Soviet occupation of Eastern Europe, could not return home. In line with existing immigration restrictions, entrants accused of being Communist spies or sympathizers were barred from the United States. The 1948 Act did not, however, include enforcement measures that allowed immigration officials to vet whether or not arriving refugees had been Nazi collaborators. For Seabrook Farms, the Act offered another way to obtain cheap and semi-captive labor. While C.F. Seabrook portrayed himself as a beneficent savior of these refugees, the reality was more complex. The 1948 Displaced Persons Act specifically required that only refugees who “shall not become public charges and will have safe and sanitary housing” were eligible for admission. As a company town that could guarantee immediate employment and housing, Seabrook Farms was uniquely positioned to meet both of these criteria. To reject Seabrook’s living and working conditions meant losing sponsorship, and therefore encountering a fate unknown or possible deportation. Wages began at 52 cents an hour – slightly more than what guestworkers and black migrant laborers were earning in 1944, but less than the union wage.

Estonians arriving at Seabrook noted that their new living and working environment bore a resemblance to the camps in Germany that they had left behind, as did their relative state of confinement, at least during their first years in the country. Some Estonians like Tonu Vanderer preferred the 16’ by 48’ “wooden barracks” of Hoover Village, where they were housed to the camps in Germany. Others like Reet Sikkemae remember fashioning cardboard paper rolls into bed springs and using bathrooms without doors.
Relationship
Forms part of
Name
Displaced Persons
AssociatedObject
Type
Exhibition caption
Relationship
Forms part of
Name
Prefabricated Gunnison Houses being put together in 1952 to be occupied by the overflow of workers for the Seabrook firm.
Detail
In the early 1950s, to accommodate the workforce, which had reached its peak, Seabrook's construction firm began assembling 80 prefabricated Gunnison Houses. These opened for occupancy in 1952. As F. Alan Palmer notes, at that point the Housing Manager employed by Seabrook was responsible for collecting rent from over 1,000 heads of families.

Seabrook Educational and Cultural Center, New Jersey Digital Highway
AssociatedObject
Type
Placement in digital exhibition
Relationship
Forms part of
Name
63
DateTime (encoding = w3cdtf)
2016
Label
Invisible Restraints: Life and Labor at Seabrook Farms
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Rights

Copyright
Status
Copyright protected
Availability
Status
Open
Reason
Permission or license
RightsDeclaration (AUTHORITY = NJDH); (ID = rulibRdec0001)
This resource may be copyright protected. You may make use of this resource, with proper attribution, for educational and other non-commercial uses only. Contact the contributing organization to obtain permission for reproduction, publication, and commercial use.
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Source

LocalBibID (DATE = ); (TYPE = )
Seabrook, John M. 006 - Arch 2
Shelving
Locator (TYPE = Other)
Seabrook, John M. 006 - Arch 2
SourceTechnical (TYPE = Photographic)
Format (TYPE = )
Photoprint (direct positive)
Color
Black and white
Image
Shape
Rectangle
Orientation
Portrait
Condition
Rating
Good (stable, very usable)
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Technical

Format (TYPE = mime); (VERSION = )
application/x-tar
FileSize (UNIT = bytes)
24644096
Checksum (METHOD = SHA1)
560f01b32bfcca5648abcf052e93d0ed83d02de4
ContentModel
Photograph
PreservationLevel
High
DateCreated
2006-06-04
CompressionScheme
Uncompressed
ColorSpace
BlackisZero
CreatingApplication (DATECREATED = 2006-06-04); (VERSION = CS2)
Adobe Photoshop
OperatingSystem (VERSION = 5.1.2600)
Microsoft Windows XP Professional
Orientation
ImageOrientation
Normal
DisplayOrientation
Portrait
Sampling
SamplingSize
600
SamplingUnit
inch
Storage
Medium
Hard Disk
Format (TYPE = mime); (VERSION = NULL)
image/tiff
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