Monday, April 28, 2008

Newspaper Boy

This picture was taken in 1910, and shows a newspaper boy in Wilmington, Delaware. The boy is 12 years old, and makes 20 cents a day. He has a second job on some days, working in a candy shop.


  1. Newspaper boys were frequently orphans who lived on the streets. In the 19th century, they barely made any money, were charged in advance for the papers and if they didn't sell some, were not refunded. A sad comment on American society in the 19th century is that the ASPCA was founded 20 years before the first boys orphanage, and the first boys orphanage was run by a Catholic priest, opened in the 1880s and targeted at newspaper boys. Society was more concerned about dogs and cats than the disposable poor children who lived on the very edge of existence.

  2. My father sold newspapers during the day and in the evenings he would set up bowling pins so he would have some place to sleep at night. He had a 5th grade education and could do complicated math problems in his head faster than most could do on paper. He also wore mens shoes and stuffed them with newspapers so they would fit and keep his feet warm.


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