Girls can’t be dentists and other lies

Dr. Matilda Fischbein, 1878–1953, Immigrant and Healer

(Written by Miriam Rittenband, 1898–1996)

Tillie was twelve years old when she arrived at Castle Garden in 1890. She was considered too old to start school and, since there were no child labor laws at the time, she was sent, like many of her contemporaries, to work in a factory in Newark, New Jersey where the family had settled. Her youngest brother, Louis, was the only member of the family to attend American schools.