Life in Words
1940 - Osto
Primo Osto was the head of his household in 1940, but it was Pauline/Palmira, my Noni, who answered the questions of the census taker. They lived on Somerset Street in Bridgewater New Jersey and rented their home for $20 per month (about $405 in 2022 dollars). There were four family members; Primo, Pauline, Gloria their daughter and Lawrence (Felio). Primo was 38 years old and Pauline was 24. She reported that both she and Primo had an elementary education. I don't know what kind of education either of them had in Italy, but I know that my Noni never learned to read or write English; I don't know if she could read or write Italian.
Primo was listed as a Dye Operator at a Chemical Factory. In 1939 he earned $1400 a year (about $28,370 in 2022 dollars) and he worked 52 weeks of the previous year. Both Primo and Noni were passionate gardeners and one story I heard about Primo was about the grape arbors he build to grow grapes and make his own wine.
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