Thursday, July 23, 2009

Western Union Messenger Boy

This picture was taken in 1913 in Houston Texas. The picture shows J. T. Marshall, who at 11 years old was a messenger boy for Western Union. He delivered telegrams and messages throughout Houston, including the red light district. Child labor was very common in the 1910's across the country. I have to think that being a messenger boy would be a better job than some at the time, like working in a sweat shop or coal mining.


  1. Looks like a great job for a kid, especially since it involves being outside and exercise.

    Of course, it would probably be against the law today.

    And . . . we have more fat kids, also.

  2. It's a lot better job than chopping and picking cotton, or hoeing corn. I should know.

  3. If you have to work at 11, IMO, being the messenger boy would be one of the best jobs. Even in the red light district. There's nothing to really restrict growth, physically or mentally.

  4. I suppose delivering newspapers is still a job opportunity these days. Although for many papers the cost of hand delivery is no longer viable due to declining subscriptions.


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