From 1903 to 1914, immigrants were checked for trachoma, a contagious eye disease. Doctors used a tool called a buttonhook to lift a person’s eyelid to look for the disease. The buttonhook was a well-known and feared part of the immigration process.
What were doctors looking for as they watched the immigrants climb the stairs?
The immigration process began on the winding stairs that led to the Registry Room. Doctors stood on the second floor and watched each person. They looked for people who had trouble walking or breathing or showed signs of other health problems. Immigrants climb the steps to the Registry Room.
Which examination did immigrants fear the most?
But it was the last examination that was the most feared: the doctor’s inspections of the eyelids and eyes for evidence of trachoma. A chronic infection of the eye, trachoma is now easily treated with a single dose of an antibiotic.
What did immigrants at Ellis Island fear?
The disease most feared was trachoma, a highly contagious eye infection that could lead to blindness and death. Once registered, immigrants were free to enter the New World and start their new lives. But if they were sick, they spent days, weeks, months even, in a warren of rooms.
What was happening to immigrants if they were going down the center aisle of the stairs?
Immigrants who were being detained were often brought down the center aisle. People who were traveling west or south walked down the right side of the staircase. Those going to New York City or to the north walked down the left side. … For the immigrants, the long journey was finally over.
What three tests did immigrants have to pass?
Newly-arrived immigrants were tested for eye infections and tuberculosis. They were also sorted into sick and healthy queues according to their scalp, face, neck, and “gait.” Provided they passed physical inspection, they were given an intelligence test.
What was the mark used for unhealthy eyes?
Exemplifying this notion, PHS regulations encouraged officers to place a chalk mark indicating the suspected disease or defect on the clothing of immigrants as they passed through the line: the letters “EX” on the lapel of a coat indicated that the individual should merely be further examined; the letter “C,” that the …
What was the six second medical exam?
Explain the “six second” medical exam — The “six second” medical exam was a test immigrants had to pass. They had to walk up steps and be examined by people standing at the top to see if they had any trouble reaching it. If the did, they were marked and had to wait in the Great Hall for a full physical.
What two things did immigrants have to prove to pass the legal inspection?
Passing the Inspections
All immigrants had to pass a medical inspection to make sure they weren’t sick. Then they were interviewed by inspectors who would determine if they could support themselves in America. They also had to prove they had some money and, after 1917, that they could read.
What diseases did immigrants face?
Because of the high levels of unmanaged waste, epidemics of infectious diseases were commonplace in New York. The city battled outbreaks of smallpox, typhoid, malaria, yellow fever, cholera, and tuberculosis.
What happened to most immigrants who arrived at Ellis Island?
Despite the island’s reputation as an “Island of Tears”, the vast majority of immigrants were treated courteously and respectfully, and were free to begin their new lives in America after only a few short hours on Ellis Island. Only two percent of the arriving immigrants were excluded from entry.
What happened when immigrants arrived at Ellis Island?
After an arduous sea voyage, immigrants arriving at Ellis Island were tagged with information from their ship’s registry; they then waited on long lines for medical and legal inspections to determine if they were fit for entry into the United States.
Why did getting through Ellis Island take so long?
The duration of inspection was based on the reliability of the immigrant’s papers, in case the documents were not in order, it would take much longer for the individual to be cleared. Inspections were conducted in the Registry Room by doctors who checked for physical ailments and medical conditions.
What was at the bottom of the 3 aisle staircase?
This staircase had three aisles. … At the bottom of the stairs was a post office, a ticketing office for the railways, and social workers to help the immigrants who needed assistance. There was also an office to exchange money from their home country for U.S. dollars.
What was the 3rd stop for immigrants?
It placed restrictions and quotas on who could enter the country. The annual quotas limited immigration from any country to 3 percent of the number of people from that country who were living in the United States in 1890. The effect was to exclude Asians, Jews, blacks, and non-English speakers.
What happened in the Registry Room at Ellis Island?
Nearly every day, for over two decades (1900-1924) the Registry Room was filled with new arrivals waiting to be inspected and registered by Immigration Service officers. … For most immigrants, this great hall epitomized Ellis Island. It was here that immigrants underwent medical and legal examinations.