Ellis Island Immigrationsstation utanför New York (Manhattan)
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Medical examination

After entering the main buildning you left your luggage below and was guided up to the second floor, to the Registry Room.

The immigrants was checked instant

The stairs to the Registry RoomAll ready at the first steps on the stairs up to second floor every immigrant was inspected by the doctors. The doctors viewed them from above to watch after weakness, heavy breathing (indication of hart problems) and other signs of mental disturbances.

When every immigrant passed, the doctor with the help of an interpreter, examined the hair, face, neck and hands of every person. The doctor had a chalk in his hand, when he noticed that some area needed to be checked more thoroughly, he wrote a letter on the immigrants clothes. About 2 of 10 persons got a letter on their clothes. This check became known as "the six second physicals".

What did the letters mean?

X - high up at the frontside of right shoulder - mental defects.
X - further down on the right shoulder - disease or deformity.
X - within a circle - some definite disease.
B - back problems
G - struma
H - heart problems
Pg - pregnancy
Ct - eye disease


Next doctor was the "Eyedoctor"

The Eyedoctor looks for trachoma


They searched for a disease in the eyes called trachoma. This eye disease cause blindness and it can also lead to death. Nearly 50% of those who had to be examined further before registration was due to this eye disease. The immigrant was mark with the letters Ct. If the doctors later on could determine the diagnosis trachoma the immigrant was sent back home again.

If they had other diseases and these were confirmed or if the immigrant was to sick and to weak to manage to work, they were not allowed to enter to the US.

Sick children from 12 years old or older were sent back by them selves to their home harbour. Children under 12 years old that were not allowed to stay in the US were forced to go back with one parent. Many tears were dropped when the parents should decide which parent that should stay and which parent that should bo back with the sick child.

Those who were approved by the doctor went on to Interrogation. »


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