Class, Ethnicity, and Ceramic Consumption in a Boston Tenement

Author(s): Andrew Webster

Year: 2015


In the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, Boston’s North End became home to thousands of European immigrants, mostly from Ireland and Italy. The majority of these immigrant families lived in crowded tenement apartments and earned their wages from low-paying jobs such as manual laborers or store clerks. The Ebenezer Clough House, which was originally built as a single-family colonial home in the early eighteenth century, was repurposed as a tenement in the nineteenth century, becoming home to over 100 families during the forty years between 1875 and 1915. This paper uses new research from recent excavations at the Clough House to examine the consumption patterns of these working class families, concentrating on the ceramic assemblage. It explores to what degree the consumer choices of these Catholic immigrant families reflected the prevailing Victorian ideology of domesticity established by the Protestant upper and middle classes during this time.

Cite this Record

Class, Ethnicity, and Ceramic Consumption in a Boston Tenement. Andrew Webster. Presented at Society for Historical Archaeology, Seattle, Washington. 2015 ( tDAR id: 434005)

This Resource is Part of the Following Collections

Spatial Coverage

min long: -129.199; min lat: 24.495 ; max long: -66.973; max lat: 49.359 ;

Record Identifiers

PaperId(s): 316