News from 1905 Garlic Ferments on Romanic


Mark Baber

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The New York Times, 4 July 1905

GARLIC MADE TROUBLE FOR 370 IMMIGRANTS
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It Fermented in Romanic's Hold and Delayed Baggage
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PORTUGUESE THE SUFFERERS
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Steamship Company Had to Find Sleeping Places far Them Along the Water
Front Last Night
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Three hundred and seventy Portuguese, who were passengers on the White
Star line steamer Romanic, which arrived yesterday, missed connecting
with the Fall River Line boat last night, and were put through many
hardships, all because of the misbehavior of some garlic.

When the ship left Naples, the baggage of the immigrants was stowed deep
in the hold, and on top of it was piled a large garlic consignment. When
the ship reached port yesterday and the longshoremen started to break
out the baggage, it was found that the garlic had fermented and from it
arose a gas so suffocating that no one could enter the hold.

The immigrants were removed to Ellis Island, but it was 8 o'clock at
night before the baggage reached the island. It had taken all afternoon
to free the ship of the gas.

Meanwhile there was considerable talk between the Commissioner of
Immigration and the steamship people over the Portuguese. The
Commissioner said he would not keep them at Ellis Island, while the
steamship companies are at their wits' end to
care for this large number of persons.

zAll [sic] the 370 were bound for New England cities, the most of them
being destined for Fall River, New Bedford and Taunton. Finally sleeping
places for this small army were obtained, and at 9:45 they were put on
board the ferryboat Ellis Island and sent to the Barge Office, where
they were landed at 10:15

Bewildered and puzzled at being hustled from place to place, and not
knowing where they were to spend the night, these aliens started to camp
out in the baggage room at the Barge Office. Dividing into small family
groups they started to make themselves comfortable for the night.

Hardly had they settled down when they were roused, this time by the
agents of the steamship company, who had found sleeping quarters for
them.

Formed in long lines, they were marched away. About 150 were taken care
of at the Polish Home, white the others, in groups ranging from thirty
to fifty were sent to near-by immigrant lodging houses.

-30-
 

Dave Gittins

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Apr 11, 2001
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White Star could have renamed the ship SS Garlic, in accordance with its tradition.

Good one, Mark!
 

Mark Baber

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Just be aware...the original poster in this thread is of Transylvanian descent.

;-)
 

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