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CHILD LABOR IN CITY STREETS 



•The^)<^o 



THE MACMILLAN COMPANY 

NEW YORK • BOSTON • CHICAGO 
DALLAS • SAN FRANCISCO 

MACMILLAN & CO., Limited 

LONDON • BOMBAY • CALCtTTTA 
MELBOURNE 

THE MACMILLAN CO. OF CANADA, Ltd. 

TORONTO 



CHILD LABOR ) 
N CITY STREETS 



"'''if J'-nA 

BY, 

EDWARD Nr CLOPPER, Ph.D. 

SECRETARY OF NATIONAL CHILD LABOR COMMITTEE 
FOR MISSISSIPPI VALLEY 




THE MACMILLAN COMPANY 

All rights reif filed 









/■;.', 



^M">\^^ 



Copyright, igia. 
By the MACMILLAN COMPANY. 



Set up and electrotyped. Published September, 1912. Reprinted 
January, 1913. 



Nottoooli ipresJB 

J. 8. Gushing Co. — Berwick & Smith Co. 

Norwood, Mass., U.S. A. 



PREFACE 

This volume is devoted to the discussion of 
a neglected form of child labor. Just why 
the newsboy, bootblack and peddler should 
have been ignored in the general movement for 
child welfare is hard to understand. Perhaps 
it is due to "the illusion of the near." Street 
workers have always been far more conspicuous 
than any other child laborers, and it seems that 
this very proximity has been their misfortune. 
If we could have focused our attention upon 
them as we did upon children in factories, they 
would have been banished from the streets 
long ago. But they were too close to us. We 
could not get a comprehensive view and saw 
only what we happened to want at the moment 
— their paltry little stock in trade. Now that 
we are getting a broader sense of social respon- 
sibility, we are beginning to realize how blind 
and inconsiderate we have been in our treat- 
ment of them. 

V 



VI PREFACE 

The first five chapters of the book review 
present conditions and discuss causes, the next 
two deal with effects, and the final ones are 
concerned with the remedy. The scope has 
been made as broad as possible. All forms of 
street work that engage any considerable number 
of children have been described at length, and 
opinions and findings of others have been freely 
quoted. I have attempted to show the bad 
results of the policy of laissez-faire as applied 
to this problem. Simply because these little 
boys and girls have been ministering to its 
wants, the public has given them scarcely 
a passing thought. It has been so convenient 
to have a newspaper or a shoe brush thrust at 
one, it has not occurred to us that, for the sake 
of the children, such work would better be done 
by other means. Although good examples have 
been set by European cities, we have not intro- 
duced any innovations to clear the streets of 
working children. 

The free rein at present given to child labor 
in our city streets is productive of nothing but 
harmful results, and it is high time that a deter- 
mined stand was taken for the rights of children 
so exposed. A few feeble efforts at regulation 



PREFACE VU 

have been made in some parts of this country, 
but this is an evil that requires prohibition 
rather than regulation. There is no valid 
reason why just as efficient service in streets 
could not be rendered by adults. Certainly it 
would be far more suitable and humane to 
reserve such work for old men and women who 
need outdoor life and are physically unable 
to earn their living in other ways. We could 
buy our newspaper from a crippled adult at a 
stand just as easily as we get it now from an 
urchin who shivers on the street corner. It is 
only a question of habit, and we ought to be 
glad of the change for the good of all concerned. 

E. N. C. 
Cincinnati, 191 2. 



CONTENTS 

CHAPTER PACK 

I. The Problem of the Street-working 
Child — Public Apathy — Relation to 

Other Problems i 

II. Extent to which Children engage in 
Street Activities in America and 
Europe 24 

III. Newspaper Sellers 52 

IV. Bootblacks, Peddlers and Market 

Children 83 

V. Messengers, Errand and Delivery Chil- 

dren lOI 

VI. Effects of Street Work upon Chil- 

dren 128 

VII. Relation of Street Work to Delin- 
quency 159 

VIII. The Struggle for Regulation in the 

United States 189 

IX. Development of Street Trades Regu- 
lation in Europe 214 

Conclusion 243 

Bibliography 245 

Appendices 255 

Index . . .277 



ix 



CHILD LABOR IN CITY 
STREETS 

CHAPTER I 

THE PROBLEM OF THE STREET-WORKENG CHILD 
— PUBLIC APATHY — RELATION TO OTHER 
PROBLEMS 

The efforts which have so far been made in 
the United States to solve the child labor 
problem have been directed almost exclusively 
toward improvement of conditions in mines 
and manufacturing and mercantile estabhsh- 
ments. This singling out of one phase of the 
problem for correction was due to the un- 
educated state of public opinion which made 
necessary a long and determined campaign along 
one line, vividly portraying the wrongs of children 
in this one form of exploitation, before general 
interest could be aroused. Within very recent 
years this campaign has met with signal success, 
and many states have granted a goodly measure 



2 CHILD LABOR IN CITY STREETS 

of protection to the children of their working 
classes as far as the factory, the store and the 
mine are concerned. The time has now come 
for attention to be directed toward the premature 
employment of children in work other than that 
connected with mining and manufacturing, for 
there are other phases of this problem which in- 
volve large numbers of children and which, up to 
the present, have received but little thought from 
students of labor conditions. The three most 
important of these other phases are the employ- 
ment of children in agricultural work, in home 
industries and in street occupations. This 
volume will deal with the last-named phase — 
with the economic activities of children in the 
streets and public places of our cities, their 
effects and the remedies they demand. 

The street occupations in which children 
commonly engage are: newspaper selling, ped- 
dling, bootblacking, messenger service, delivery 
service, rimning errands and the tending of 
market stands. The first three are known as 
street "trades," owing to the popular fallacy 
that the children who follow them are little 
"merchants," and are therefore entitled to the 
dignity of separate classification. Careful usage 



THE STREET-WORKING CHILD 3 

would confine this term to newsboys, peddlers 
and bootblacks who work independently of any 
employer. Many children are employed by 
other persons to sell newspapers, peddle goods 
and polish shoes, and such children technically 
are street traders no more than those who run 
errands, carry messages or deliver parcels. 
Consequently the term "street trades" is Umited 
in its appHcation, and by no means embraces 
all the economic activities of children in our 
streets and public places. 

Wisconsin has written into her laws a defini- 
tion of street trading, declaring that it is ''any 
business or occupation in which any street, 
alley, court, square or other public place is used 
for the sale, display or offering for sale of any 
articles, goods or merchandise."^ This covers 
neither bootblacking nor the delivery of news- 
papers. 

In Great Britain the expression "street 
trading" has been officially defined as including : 
"the hawking of newspapers, matches, flowers, 
and other articles ; playing, singing, or perform- 
ing for profit ; plying for hire in carrying luggage 
or messages; shoe blacking, or any other like 
* Wisconsin Statutes, Section 1728 p., Laws of 1911. 



4 CHILD LABOR IN CITY STREETS 

occupations carried on in streets or public 
places." ^ 

Street traders and street employees may be 
classified by occupation as follows : — 

Street Traders Street Employees 

(Working for Them- (Working for Others) 
selves) 
Newspaper sellers Newspapersellers (on salary) 

Peddlers (on salary) 
Peddlers Bootblacks (in stands) 

Market stand tenders 
Bootblacks (on street) Messengers 

Errand children 

Delivery children 

This classification is based upon the well- 
known economic distinction between profits 
and wages. It is unfortunate that this dis- 
tinction has been applied to juvenile street 
workers, for it has operated to the great disad- 
vantage of the "traders." This class has been 
practically ignored in the general movement for 
child welfare, on the ground that these little 
laborers were in business for themselves, and 
therefore should not be disturbed. Recently 

1 Report of Interdepartmental Committee on the Employ- 
ment of Children during School Age in Ireland, 1902, Minutes 
of Evidence, Q. 71. Cf. also Great Britain — Employment 
of Children Act, 1903, Section 13. 



THE STREET-WORKING CHILD 5 

the conviction has been dawning upon observant 
people that, in the case of young children at 
least, the effects of work on an independent 
basis, particularly in city streets, are just as bad 
and perhaps even worse than work under the 
direction of employers. The mute appeal of 
the street-working child for protection has at 
last reached the heart of the welfare movement, 
and the first feeble efforts in his behalf are now 
being put forth, regardless of whether he toils 
for profits or for wages. 

This alleged distinction between street trading 
and street employment should be clearly imder- 
stood, as any movement designed to remedy 
present conditions must be sufficiently compre- 
hensive to avoid the great mistake of protecting 
one class and ignoring the other. On the one 
hand there is said to be an army of little in- 
dependent "merchants'^ conducting business 
affairs of their own, while on the other there is 
an array of juvenile employees performing the 
tasks set them by their masters. For purposes 
of regulation this distinction is hairsplitting, 
narrow-minded and unjust, as it has been made 
to defeat in part the beneficent aim of the great 
campaign for child welfare, but nevertheless it 



6 CHILD LABOR IN CITY STREETS 

must be reckoned with. Children under four- 
teen years of age at work in factories and mines 
are often properly called "slaves," and their 
plight is regarded with pity coupled with a 
clarion cry for their emancipation. But tiny 
workers in the streets are referred to approvingly 
as "little merchants" and are freely patronized 
even by the avowed friends of children, who 
thereby contribute their moral support toward 
continuing these conditions and maintaining 
this absurd fiction of our merchant babyhood. 
As an instance of this remarkable attitude, 
there was proudly printed in the Pittsburgh 
Gazette-Times of April ii, 1910, the picture of 
a four-year-old child who had been a newsboy 
in an Ohio town since the age of thirty months, 
and this was described as a most worthy achieve- 
ment ! 

That the term "child labor," whose meaning 
has so long been popularly restricted to the 
employment of children in factories, mills, 
mines and stores, is properly applicable to the 
activities of children in all kinds of work for 
profit, is now virtually recognized by a few 
states which prohibit employment of children 
under fourteen years of age "in any gainful 



THE STREET-WORKING CHILD 7 

occupation." But unfortunately the courts 
have rigidly construed the word ** employ" 
to mean the purchasing of the services of one 
person by another, hence newsboys, peddlers, 
bootblacks and others who work on their own 
account, do not enjoy the protection of such 
a statute because they are not "employed." 
Under this interpretation a fatal loophole is 
afforded through which thousands of boys and 
girls escape the spirit of the law which seeks 
to prevent their labor rather than their mere 
emplo3rment. It is for this reason that, in 
states having otherwise excellent provisions 
for the conservation of childhood, we see little 
children freely exploiting themselves on city 
streets. This situation has been calmly accepted 
without protest by the general public, for, 
while the people condemn child labor in factories, 
they tolerate and even approve of it on the street. 
They labor under the delusion that merely 
because a few of our successful business men 
were newsboys in the past, these little "mer- 
chants" of the street are receiving valuable 
training in business methods and will later 
develop into leaders in the affairs of men. A 
glaring example of this attitude was given by 



8 CHILD LABOR EST CITY STREETS 

a monthly magazine ^ which fondly referred 
to newsboys as "the enterprising young mer- 
chants from whose ranks will be recruited the 
coming statesmen, soldiers, financiers, mer- 
chants and manufacturers of our land." 

It is extremely unfortunate that this narrow 
conception has prevailed, as it raises the tre- 
mendous obstacle of popular prejudice which 
must be broken down before these child street 
workers can receive their share of justice at 
the hands of the law. The only fair and 
logical method of approach toward a solution 
of the child labor problem in all its phases is 
to take high ground and view the subject broadly 
in the hght of what is for the best interests of 
children in general. 

The state recognizes the need of an intelligent 
citizenship and accordingly provides a system of 
pubHc schools, requiring the attendance of all 
children up to the age of fourteen years. In 
order that nothing shall interfere with the 
operation of this plan for general education, 
the state forbids the emplo5nnent of children 
of school age. In respect of both these man- 
dates, the state has really assumed the guardian- 
* The Newsboy, Pittsburgh, April, 1909. 



THE STREET-WORKING CHILD 9 

ship of the child ; it has accepted the principle 
that the child is the ward of the state and has 
based its action on this principle. A guardian 
should be ever mindful of the welfare of his 
wards, and so, to be consistent, the state should 
carefully shield its children from all forms of 
exploitation as well as from other abuses. 

However, in the matter of the regulation of 
child labor, a curious anomaly has arisen — 
no one may employ a child under fourteen years 
in a factory for even one hour a day without 
being liable to prosecution for disobeying the 
law of the state, because such work might inter- 
fere with the child's growth and education; 
all of which is right and indorsed by public 
opinion, but — merely because a child is working 
independently of any employer, he is allowed 
to sell newspapers, peddle chewing gum and 
black boots for any number of hours, providing 
he attends school during school hours ! Could 
anything be more inconsistent ? To this extent 
the state, as a guardian, has neglected the wel- 
fare of its ward. 

This lack of consideration for street workers 
was emphasized in a British government report 
a number of years ago. Referring to the stat- 



lO CHILD LABOR IN CITY STREETS 

utory provisions for preventing overwork by 
children in factories, workshops and mines, the 
report declared: ''But the labour of children 
for wages outside these cases is totally un- 
regulated, although many of them work longer 
than the factory hours allowed for children of 
the same age, and are at the same time under- 
going compulsory educational training, which 
makes a considerable demand on their energies. 
We think this is inconsistent. In the interests 
of their health and education, it seems only 
reasonable that remedies which have proved so 
valuable in the case of factory children should 
in some form be extended to cover the whole 
field of child labour." i 

To insure a good yield, a field requires cultiva- 
tion as well as planting; to effect a cure, a 
patient requires nursing as well as prescription. 
So with the aim of the state — to insure a 
strong, intelligent citizenship, its children must 
be cared for, as well as provided with schools. 
If a patient is not nursed while the physician 
is absent, his treatment is of little avail; if 
children are not protected out of school hours, 

* Great Britain — Report of Interdepartmental Committee 
on Employment of School Children, 1901, pp. 18, 19. 



THE STREET- WORKING CHILD II 

the purpose of the school is defeated. No 
manufacturer would allow his machinery to run, 
imwatched, outside regular work hours, for 
he knows how disastrous would be the conse- 
quences; yet this is precisely what the state 
is doing by ignoring the activities of children 
in our city streets — the delicate machinery of 
their minds and bodies is allowed to run wild 
out of schools hours, and the state seems to 
think nothing will happen ! These thoughts 
impel us to the conclusion that the state must 
watch over the child at least until he has reached 
the age limit for school attendance, and in the 
matter of labor regulation its care must not 
be confined to the prevention of one form of 
exploitation while other forms, equally injurious, 
are permitted to flourish unchecked. 

Legislation regulating street trading by chil- 
dren in this coimtry is now in the stage corre- 
sponding to that of the EngUsh factory acts in 
the early part of the nineteenth tentury, — the 
first meager restrictions are being tried. Several 
of the street occupations, viz. messenger service, 
delivery service and errand nmning, are ordi- 
narily included among those prohibited to children 
imder fourteen years by state child labor laws, 



12 CHILD LABOR IN CITY STREETS 

because to engage in such work children have to 
be employed by other persons. These occupa- 
tions are covered by the provision common to 
such laws which forbids employment of such 
children "in the distribution or transmission 
of merchandise or messages." The street 
"trades" of newspaper selling, peddHng and 
bootblacking are, as yet, almost untouched by 
legislation in the United States, for there exist 
only a very few state laws and city ordinances 
relative to this matter, and these of the most 
primitive kind. The public does not yet realize 
the injustice of permitting young children to 
engage, uncontrolled, in the various street- 
trading activities. It was slow to appreciate the 
dangers involved in the unrestricted employment 
of children in factories, mills and mines, but 
when the awakening finally came, the demand 
for reform was insistent. This gradual develop- 
ment of a sentiment favoring regulation charac- 
terizes also the'problem of street employment; the 
present stage is that of calm indifference, ruffled 
only by occasional misgivings. Even this is an 
encouraging sign, inasmuch as the factory agita- 
tion passed through the same experience, and 
emerged triumphant, crystallized in statute form. 



THE STREET- WORKING CHILD 1 3 

It is hard to understand how the public 
conscience can reconcile itself to the chasm 
between the age limit of fourteen years for mes- 
senger service and freedom from all restraint 
in newspaper selling — both essentially street 
occupations. Child labor laws are framed in 
accordance with public sentiment, hence the 
people by legislative omission practically indorse 
street trading by Httle children while condemn- 
ing their employment in other kinds of work. 
Thus the state virtually assumes the untenable 
position that it is right to allow a child of 
tender years to labor in the streets as a newsboy 
without any oversight or care whatever, and 
that it is wrong for him to work in the same field 
as a messenger, or an errand boy, or a delivery 
boy, although such occupations are subject to 
some degree of supervision by older persons. 
In other words, it is held that Httle children are 
capable of self-control in some street occupations, 
but not able to withstand the dangers of other 
similar street work, even under the control of 
adults ! After having described the conditions 
prevailing in Philadelphia among newsboys, 
Mr. Scott Nearing says : "There are many 
causes leading up to this condition. Beneath 



14 CHILD LABOR IN CITY STREETS 

all others Kes the fundamental one — the lack 
of public sentiment in favor of protecting these 
children. Closely allied to this is another almost 
equally strong — the lack of public knowledge 
of the true state of affairs."^ 

The Chicago Child Welfare Exhibit pointed 
out the fact that street trades are quite un- 
touched by child labor legislation in the city 
and also in the state, declaring that in Illinois 
a boy or girl too young to be permitted to do 
any other work may haunt the newspaper 
offices, the five-cent shows, the theaters and 
saloons, selling chewing gum and newspapers 
at all hours of the night.^ 

Among the arguments advanced in support 
of the imsuccessful effort to secure legislation 
on street trading in Illinois in 191 1 was the 
following: "Each boy or girl street trader is a 
merchant in his or her own right, and therefore 
before the law is not considered a wage earner, 
although there is merely a fine-spun distinction 
between the child who secures wages as the result 
of his work and one who obtains his reward in 

* Scott Nearing, "The Newsboy at Night in Philadelphia," 
Charities and The Commons, February 2, 1906. 

2 "The Child in the City," Handbook of Chicago Child 
Welfare Exhibit, 191 1, p. 25. 



THE STREET- WORKING CHILD 1 5 

the form of profits. The effect on the child 
of work performed under unsuitable conditions, 
at unsuitable hours and demanding the exer- 
cise of his faculties in unchildish ways, is in no 
wise determined by the form in which his earn- 
ings are calculated. That the results of street 
trading are wholly bad in the case of both boys 
and girls is universally recognized." ^ Miss 
Jane Addams has deplored this situation in a 
public statement: "A newsboy is a merchant 
and does not come within the child labor regu- 
lations of Illinois. The city of Chicago is a 
little careless, if not recreant, toward the children 
who are not reached by the operation of the state 
law." 2 

Even in the few localities where regulation 
of street trading has been attempted, the delu- 
sion that there is some essential difference be- 
tween child labor in factories and child labor 
in streets persists in the legislation itself. The 
latter form of exploitation is assumed to merit 
a wider latitude for its activity, hence it is 
hedged about by much less stringent rules. 

1 "A Plea to Take the Small Boy and Girl from the City 
Streets," a folder issued by Chicago Board of Education and 
a committee representing local organizations, 191 1. 

2 Pamphlet 114 of National Child Labor Committee, p. 8. 



l6 CHILD LABOR IN CITY STREETS 

Attention is invited to' this inconsistency by 
the report of a recent investigation in New York 
City: "We have in New York 4148 children 
between 14 and 16 years employed in factories 
with their daily hours of labor limited from 
8 A.M. to 5 P.M., while in mercantile establish- 
ments there are 1645 more of similar age hmit, 
none of whom can work before 8 in the morning 
or after 7 in the evening. But on the streets 
of New York City we have approximately 
4500 boys licensed (to say nothing of the little 
fellows too young to be licensed) to sell news- 
papers. That means 4500 legalized to work 
at this particular trade from 6 o'clock in the 
morning until 10 o'clock in the evening (save 
during the school year, when they are supposed 
to attend school from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.) any day 
and every day, seven days to the week if they 
so desire to do." ^ 

Broader Aspects of the Problem 

Let us consider the matter from another 
point of view and discuss the opportunities for 
constructive work rather than confine our atten- 

1 Elizabeth C. Watson, "New York Newsboys and their 
Work," 191 1. 



THE STREET- WORKING CHILD 1 7 

tion to the need of the merely negative remedy 
of restrictive legislation. 

The street is painted as a black monster by 
some social workers, who can discern nothing 
but evil in it. Nevertheless the street is closely 
woven into the life of every city dweller, for his 
contact with it is daily and continuous. K it 
is all evil, it ought to be abolished ; as this is 
impossible, we must study it to see what it 
really is and what needs to be done with it. 
It is the medium by which people are brought 
into closer touch with one another, where they 
meet and converse, where they pass in transit, 
where they rub elbows with all the elements 
making up their Httle world, where they absorb 
the principles of democracy, — for the street is 
a great leveler. 

Dr. Delos F. Wilcox, in speaking to the subject 
"What is Philadelphia Doing to Protect Her 
Citizens in the Street?" recently said : "The 
street is the symbol of democracy, of equal oppor- 
tunity, the channel of the common life, the thing 
that makes the city. ... I fancy that the 
civic renaissance which must surely come, . . . 
will never get very far until we have awakened 
to a realization of the dignity of the street — 



1 8 CHILD LABOR IN CITY STREETS 

the common street where the city's children 
play, through which the milk wagon drives, 
where the young men are educated, along which 
the currents of the city's Hfe flow unceasingly."^ 
An English writer has expressed a similar 
thought: "We have spoken of the street as a 
dangerous environment from which we would 
gladly rescue the children if we could, and so 
it undoubtedly is in so far as it supplants the 
influence of the home, tends to nullify that of 
the school and lets the boys and girls run wild 
just when they most need to be tamed. . . . 
It is, in fact, so strange a mixture of good and 
evil, so complex an influence in the growth of 
boy and girl, of youth and man, among our 
great city population, that it is necessary to 
attempt to analyze it a little more exactly. 
It is for the majority the medium in which the 
social conscience is formed, and through which 
it makes its power felt. In it the all-powerful 
agents of progress, example, imitation, the spread 
of ideas and the discussion of good and evil are 
incessantly at work."^ 

* The Survey, April 22, 191 1, p. 138. 

2 "Studies of Boy Life in Our Cities (England)," edited by 
E. J. Urwick, 1904, p. 296. 



THE STREET- WORKING CHILD 19 

It is only natural that such a general agency 
for communication should have been abused. 
Its popularity alone would inevitably lead to 
such a result, with no restrictions imposed upon 
street intercourse. The very popularity of the 
games of bilHards, pool and cards and of dancing 
led to their abuse and consequent disrepute 
in the eyes of many persons who were blinded 
to their intrinsic worth as diversions, by the 
abuses to which they were subjected. The 
marked success attending the proper use of 
all these amusements in social settlements and 
parish houses stimulates the imagination as to 
what might be accomplished with the street if 
its abuses also were eliminated. 

It is of course absurd to pass judgment sum- 
marily upon the street, for the street can exert 
no influence of itself; the evil issues from its 
abuse by those who frequent it, and it is this 
abuse that should be suppressed. This imme- 
diately raises the question as to what constitutes 
this abuse. We must bear in mind that the real 
purpose of the street is to serve as a means of 
communication, a passageway for the transit 
of passengers and commerce. It was never 
intended for a playground, nor a field for child 



20 CHILD LABOR IN, CITY STREETS 

labor, nor a resort for idlers, nor a depository 
for garbage, nor a place for beggars to mulct 
the public. These fungous growths from civic 
neglect ought to be cut away. ''A place for 
everything and everything in its place" would 
be an efficacious even if old-fashioned remedy : 
playgrounds for the children, workshops for the 
idlers, reduction plants for the garbage and 
asylums for the beggars. With these reforms 
effected and carefully maintained, the street 
would soon become much more wholesome and 
attractive. 

These considerations have been advanced 
to indicate the intimate relation which exists 
between the problem of the child street worker 
and many other problems with which social 
workers are now struggling. Child labor in 
city streets must be abolished, but at the same 
time cooperation with other movements is 
necessary before a satisfactory solution of the 
problem can be assured. 

For example, it would be a short-sighted 
policy to prohibit young children from selling 
goods in home market stands without reporting 
to the housing authorities cases in which large 
famihes Hve in one or Uvo filthy rooms, display- 



THE STREET- WORKING CHILD 21 

ing and selling their wares in the doorway and 
from the window. Our Italian citizens are not 
committing race suicide, but in spite of their 
numerous progeny they crowd together in ex- 
tremely Kmited space, combining their home Hfe 
with the customary business of selHng fruit. 
Their yoimg children assist in tending the stands 
on market days and nights or sit on the side- 
walk selling baskets to passers-by; at closing 
time their goods are often stored in the same 
room that serves for sleeping quarters, cots 
being brought out from some dark hiding place. 
In such circumstances the mere prevention of 
child labor is not sufficient — the housing con- 
ditions also should be remedied so as to give 
the children a more suitable place in which to 
play, study and sleep, a better home in which 
to use their leisure. 

Again, a movement to prohibit street work 
by children should give impetus to that which 
seeks to make the public school a social center, 
and especially to that for public vacation schools. 
Many of the homes of city children very 
largely lack the element of attractiveness which 
is so essential in holding children imder the 
influence of their parents, and this want must 



22 CHILD LABOR IN CITY STREETS 

be filled as far as possible by making the school 
an instrument not merely for instruction, but 
also for the entertainment and socializing of 
the entire neighborhood. 

Again, the regulating of street trading should 
be imdertaken jointly with the movement to 
supply adequate playground facilities. Play- 
grounds are not a municipal luxury, but a neces- 
sary. Children must have some suitable place 
for recreation. It is not a function of the street 
to furnish the space for play, and as children 
cannot and should not be kept at home all the 
time, it follows that ground must be set apart 
for the purpose. On these points a British 
report says : "We have no doubt that insanitary 
homes and immoral surroundings, with the want 
of any open spaces where the children could 
enjoy healthy exercise and recreation, are strong 
factors in determining towards evil courses in 
the cases of the children of the poor."^ The 
need for more playgrounds in Chicago was 
partially suppKed by having one block in a con- 
gested district closed to trafiic during August, 
191 1, so that children could play there without 

* Report of Interdepartmental Committee on the Employ- 
ment of Children during School Age in Ireland, 1902, p. vii. 



THE STREET-WORKING CHILD 23 

risking their lives, from eight in the morning 
to eight in the evening. In providing this 
emergency playgroimd, Chicago has set an 
example that will undoubtedly be imitated by 
other cities. 

In this way the abolition of child labor in 
city streets would result in benefit not only to 
the children, but to the entire community as 
well. It would promote a general civic awaken- 
ing that would make each town and city a better 
place to live in, a better home for our citizens 
of the future. 



CHAPTER II 

EXTENT TO WHICH CHILDREN ENGAGE IN STREET 
ACTIVITIES IN AMERICA AND EUROPE 

There are no reliable figures either official 
or unofficial showing the niunber of children 
engaged in street activities in any city of the 
United States or in the coimtry at large. The 
figures given by the United States Census of 
1900 are so inadequate that they can hardly 
mislead any one endowed with ordinary powers 
of observation. It solemnly declares that in 
that year there was a grand total of 6904 news- 
paper carriers and newsboys, both adults and 
children, in the entire United States, of whom 
69 were females.^ In all probabiHty there was a 
greater number at that time in some of our larger 
cities alone. In the group called ''other persons 
in trade and transportation" only 3557 children 
ten to fifteen years of age are reported, although 
this group embraces nine specified occupations, 

1 Twelfth Census of United States, 'Vol. II, Population, 
Part II, p. 506. 

24 



CHILDREN ENGAGED IN STREET ACTIVITIES 25 

of which that of the newsboy is only one. 
Besides these, many other occupations (in 
which 63 per cent of the total number of 
persons reported are engaged) are not specified.^ 
Consequently the number of newsboys ten to 
fifteen years old reported by the enumerators for 
the entire country must have been ridiculously 
small. 

Again, the total number of bootblacks ten 
years of age and upwards in the country was 
reported as 8230, they being included in the 
group called "other domestic and personal serv- 
ice." Only 2953 children ten to fifteen years 
of age were reported in this group, which in- 
cludes five specified occupations, of which that 
of the bootblacks is only one, and many others 
(in which 67 per cent of the total number of 
persons reported are engaged) which are not 
specified.^ 

The inadequacy of these figures to convey any 
idea whatsoever as to the extent of child labor 
in street occupations in this country is pain- 
fully apparent ; they are quoted here merely to 

1 Twelfth Census of United States, Special Reports, 
Occupations, 1904, pp. xxiv, cxxxiii, 

2 Idem, pp. xxiii, cxxxiii. 



26 CHILD LABOR EST CITY STREETS 

show the poverty of statistics on this subject. 
Their inaccuracy is practically conceded by the 
report itself in the following words : ''The limi- 
tations connected with the taking of a great 
national census preclude proper care upon the 
question of child employment. There is great 
uncertainty as to the accuracy of a mass of 
information of this character taken by enumera- 
tors and special agents, who either do not 
appreciate the importance of the investigation 
or find it impracticable to devote the time to 
the inquiry necessary to secure good results." ^ 

There is reason to hope for more reliable data 
from the 1910 census; but unfortunately the 
figures will probably not be available until 1913. 
The enumerators employed by the Federal 
government for the Census of 19 10, were in- 
structed to make an entry in the occupation 
colimin of the population schedule for every 
person enumerated, giving the exact occupa- 
tion if employed, writing the word "none" if 
imemployed, or the words "own income" if 
living upon an independent income. It was 
stated positively that the occupation followed 
by a child of any age was just as important 

1 Twelfth Census of United States, 1900, Vol. VII, p. cxxv. 



CHILDREN ENGAGED IN STREET ACTIVITIES 2^ 

for census purposes as the occupation followed 
by a man, and that it should never be taken for 
granted without inquiry that a child had no 
occupation.^ 

However, upon inquiry by enumerators at 
the time of the census taking as to the occupa- 
tion of children, many parents undoubtedly 
replied in the negative, even though their chil- 
dren may have been devoting several hours 
daily outside of school to street work, under the 
impression that this was not an occupation. 
Consequently it is safe to assiune that the 
figures for street- working children in the United 
States according to the Census of 1910 when 
pubHshed will be under the true number. 
Nevertheless, they can hardly fail to reflect con- 
ditions far better than did the figures for 1900. 

Chicago 

It is only from the reports of occasional and 
very limited local investigations that material 
as to the actual state of affairs can be obtained. 
Social workers of Chicago had a bill introduced 
into the Illinois legislature at its session of 

1 Instructions to Enumerators, Thirteenth Census ol 
the United States, pp. 32-34. 



28 CHILD LABOR IN CITY STREETS 

191 1, providing that boys under ten years and 
girls under sixteen years should be prohibited 
from selling anything in city streets, and some 
material was gathered to be used in support 
of this measure. In connection with what has 
already been said in Chapter I, it is interesting 
to note that although the provisions of this bill 
were very mild, and strong efforts were put 
forth by social workers to secure its passage; it 
was not allowed to become a law largely because 
of the absence of public opinion and partly 
because of the opposition by newspaper pub- 
lishers and others who were afraid that their 
interests might suffer through the granting of 
protection to such Kttle children. 

In one of the schools of Chicago, pupils were 
found to be trading in the streets in addition to 
attending school in the following percentages : — 

65 per cent of 5th grade children 
35 P^r cent of 4th grade children 
15 per cent of 2d grade children 
12 per cent of ist grade children 
(Figures for 3d grade were not given. ) 

All of these children were attending school 
twenty-five hours a week, and many cases of 
excessive work out of school hours were foimd. 



CHILDREN ENGAGED IN STREET ACTIVITIES 29 

Some allowance should be made for possible 
exaggeration on the part of these children, but 
nevertheless it is certain that many of them 
were working to an injurious extent. The hours 
given were as follows : — 

I boy over 50 hours 

4 boys over 40 hours 

5 boys over 35 hours 
7 boys over 30 hours 

18 boys over 20 hours 

Their average earnings per week were found 
to be as follows : ^ — 

5th grade children $1.18 

4th grade children 85 

3d grade children 60 

2d grade children 43 

ist grade children 36 

In referring to the weekly income of the 

children from this source, the Handbook of the 

Chicago Child Welfare Exhibit declared that 

it was "a pitiable simi to compensate for the 

physical weariness and moral risk attending 

street trades in a large city. School reports 

show that street trades, when carried on by 

^ These tables were copied from charts displayed at the 
Chicago Child Welfare Exhibit, May, 191 1. 



30 CHILD LABOR IN CITY STREETS 

young children, lead to truancy, low vitality, 
dullness and the breaking down of parental 
control. Since the children are on the streets 
at all hours, careless habits are developed which 
often lead to moral ruin to both boys and girls." ^ 

An instance was related wherein the teacher 
of a fifth grade in a Chicago school asked those 
of her pupils who worked for money to raise 
their hands. In the class of 38 pupils, 26 
acknowledged that they were little bread- 
winners 1 One boy said he worked ten hours a 
day besides attending school; others had less 
striking records, spending from twenty to forty 
hours a week selling chewing gum. and news- 
papers, blacking boots and pursuing the various 
other street occupations which the Illinois law 
leaves open to children of all ages.^ 

Referring to the economic and home condi- 
tions surrounding yoimg children in Chicago 
and the many phases of danger to their moral 
well-being, the Vice Commission of that city 
reported that its agents had found small boys 
selling newspapers in segregated districts and 

1 "The Child in the City," Handbook of the Child Welfare 
Exhibit, Chicago, May 11-25, 191 1, p. 25. 

2 Idenif p. 25. 



CHILDREN ENGAGED IN STREET ACTIVITIES 3 1 

that one night an investigator had counted 
twenty newsboys from eleven years upwards so 
engaged at midnight and after. Besides these 
newsboys, many little boys and girls were found 
peddling chewing gum near disorderly saloons 
where prostitutes were soliciting. Numerous 
examples of employment in vicious environment 
are cited, principally of the peddling of news- 
papers and chewing gimi by young children at 
all hours of the night in the "red light" dis- 
tricts, about saloons and museums of anatomy. 
Even in the rear rooms of saloons, boys were 
seen offering their wares and heard to join in 
obscene conversation with the patrons of these 
resorts.^ 

A folder published in Chicago by the advo- 
cates of street-trade regulation calls attention 
to these conditions, and states, with regard to 
little newsgirls who sell papers in the vice 
regions: "It is not surprising if some of them, 
becoming so familiar with the practices of the 
district, take up the profession of the neigh- 
borhood. The Juvenile Protective Association 
reports one Httle girl who entered the life of a 

* "The Social Evil in Chicago," by the Vice Commission 
of Chicago, igii, pp. 241-242. 



32 CHILD LABOR IN CITY STREETS 

professional prostitute at the age of fourteen, 
after having sold newspapers for years in the 
district." ^ 

Another element of this problem, seldom 
considered, is described also in this folder — 
the vagrants, who constitute a large and grow- 
ing class deserving the attention of both city 
and citizen. "Three classes of persons, who 
add little to the general circulation, while de- 
tracting much from the tone of the business 
and working a real injury to themselves, are 
engaged in selling newspapers; these are the 
small boy, the semi-vagrant boy, and the young 
girl. The business of selling newspapers in 
Chicago is so systematized that the 'vagrant' 
cannot prosper, and yet the 'vagrant' is in 
our midst. He can be found on State Street 
at II o'clock on a Saturday night with one 
newspaper under his arm — not attempting to 
sell it, but using it as a bait to beg from the 
passers-by. He can be found in the American 
news alley, sometimes fifty, sometimes a hun- 
dred strong, sleeping on bags, under boxes, or 

1 "A Plea to take the Small Boy and the Girl from the City 
Streets," by the Chicago Board of Education and a committee 
representing local, organizations, 191 1. 



CHILDREN ENGAGED IN STREET ACTIVITIES 33 

on the floor of the newspaper restaurant. 
With this boy, and with all those who are obvi- 
ously too young to be permitted to engage in 
street trading, it is our duty to deal if we are 
to preserve the attitude the American city 
takes toward the dependent child." 

Nationalities of Boston Child Street Traders 



Place of Birth 



f Boston 1,556 

America ] Elsewhere in Mass. 171 

I Other states 133 

Russia 

Italy 

Other foreign countries . . . 
Not given 



Num- 
ber 



i860 



2664 



Per- 
cent- 
age 



70. 



473 


17.5 


161 


6. 


162 


6. 


8 


.5 



Boston 

In Boston, during the year 1910, there were 
issued to newsboys, peddlers and bootblacks 
from eleven to thirteen years of age inclusive, 
2664 licenses. Of these nearly all (2525) were 
issued to newsboys, while 114 were issued to 
bootblacks and 25 to peddlers. Of these license 



34 CHILD LABOR IN CITY STREETS 

holders 904 were eleven years old, 900 were 
twelve years old, and 860 were thirteen years 
old. It is interesting to note that nearly three 
fourths of these children were born in the 
United States ; the table on page 33 shows their 
distribution among nationalities. 

New York City 

The actual number of children engaged in 
street activities at any given time is less than 
the number of licenses issued during the year, 
inasmuch as not all such children persist in 
pursuing this work, many of them working only 
a few weeks, while a few never enter upon the 
tasks which they have been licensed to perform. 
This is borne out by the experience of investi- 
gators in New York City ; the report of a study 
made there recently says: ''We are told by 
the department of education issuing newsboy 
badges that 4500 boys have these badges, yet 
when we secured the addresses of some of these 
from their application cards ... we found that 
not 30 per cent of the 100 cases investigated 
lived at Ksted addresses. Many such were 
bogus numbers, open lots, factories, wharves, 
and in some cases the middle of East River 



CHILDREN ENGAGED IN STREET ACTIVITIES 35 

would wash over the house number given. 
When we did find a correct address, the children 
so located in six cases out of ten were not follow- 
ing the trade. In some instances they never 
sold papers, obtaining badges simply because 
other boys were applying for them, and after 
receiving a badge tucked it away in a drawer 
or maybe sold it or gave it away." ^ 

Cincinnati 

In Cincinnati from June to December, 1909, 
1 95 1 boys from ten to thirteen years of age 
were licensed to sell newspapers, this number 
being about 15 per cent of the total number of 
boys of these ages in the city. Their distribu- 
tion according to age was as follows : — 

10 years 424 

11 years 466 

12 years 539 

13 years 522 

Total 195? 

The Cincinnati figures do not include boot- 
blacks, peddlers or market children, as no 
licenses were issued for such occupations, al- 

1 Elizabeth C. Watson, "New York Newsboys and their 
Work," 1911. 



36 CHILD LABOR IN CITY STREETS 

though they are specifically covered by the mu- 
nicipal ordinance regulating street trades. 

The above data were available only because 
there has been some attempt in Boston, New 
York and Cincinnati to restrict the employment 
of children in street occupations ; as in the great 
majority of cities and states there is absolutely 
no regulation of this kind, there are of course 
no figures to indicate conditions. 

The Padrone System 

In almost every city of the United States 
having a population of more than 10,000, there 
is to be found the padrone system, which is 
operated principally in the interests of the boot- 
blacking business which the Greeks control. 
The peddhng of flowers, fruit and vegetables 
in Chicago and New York is partly subject to 
the same methods. The labor supply furnished 
by this system for peddling and bootblacking 
consists generally of children from twelve to 
seventeen years of age.^ 

The Immigration Commission states in its 
report that there are several thousand shoe- 

1 Abstract of Immigration Commission's Report on the 
Greek Padrone System in the United States, 1911, p. 9. 



CHILDREN ENGAGED IN STREET ACTIVITIES 37 

shining establishments in the United States 
operated by Greeks who employ boys as boot- 
blacks, and that with few exceptions they are 
under the padrone system.^ A few boys under 
sixteen years of age are employed under the 
Greek padrone system as flower vendors, and 
these are found chiefly in New York City. 
They are hired by florists to sell flowers in the 
streets and public places — largely old stock 
that cannot be handled in the shops. These 
boys usually Hve in good quarters, are well fed 
and receive their board and from $50 to $100 
a year in wages. When not engaged in peddHng, 
they dehver flowers ordered at the shops. The 
boys employed by the padrones to peddle 
candy, fruit and vegetables usually live in 
basements or in filthy rooms; here they are 
crowded two, three and sometimes four in one 
bed, with windows shut tight so as to avoid 
catching cold. The fruit and vegetables still 
on hand are stored for the night in these bed- 
rooms and in the kitchen. In each peddling 
company there are usually three or four wagons 
and from four to eight boys.^ 

* A more detailed presentation of this matter will be foimd 
in Chapter IV. 2 Jnmiigration Commission's Report, p. 9. 



38 CHILD LABOR IN CITY STREETS 

Minor Street Occupations 

There are a few so-called street trades in 
which a relatively small number of children are 
engaged which so far have not been mentioned 
in this volume. These are the leading of blind 
persons and the accompanying of beggars in 
general, little children being found valuable 
for such work because they help to excite the 
S5anpathy of passers-by. A few children also 
are employed as lamplighters to go about 
towns lighting street lamps in the evening and 
extinguishing them in the early morning. A 
class of street boys who have as yet received 
no name in this country, but in England are 
called "touts," haunt the neighborhood of rail- 
road depots and lie in wait for passengers with 
hand baggage, offering to carry it to the train 
for a small fee. 

Some children are used as singers or per- 
formers upon musical instruments, but this is 
in reahty only another form of begging. The 
writer found one instance of a young boy who 
was employed by the public Hbrary of one of 
our large cities to gather up overdue books 
about the city and to collect the fines imposed 



CHILDREN ENGAGED IN STREET ACTIVITIES 39 

for failure to return the same. Very frequently 
in the course of his work this boy had to enter 
houses of prostitution, as the inmates are steady 
patrons of the public Hbrary, reading light lit- 
erature, and are quite negligent in the matter 
of returning the books within the prescribed 
time. Immediately upon the librarian's learn- 
ing of the situation, he was relieved of this duty, 
and a man was detailed to perform the task. 
Such special occupations as these do not con- 
stitute a real factor in the problem because of 
the small number of children involved, and 
hence they are omitted from consideration. 

Conditions in Great Britain 

Turning to Europe we find much more in- 
formation on this subject. In Great Britain 
the House of Commons in 1898 ordered an 
inquiry to be made into the extent of child 
labor among public school pupils, and the edu- 
cation department sent schedules to the 20,022 
public elementary schools in England and Wales 
for the purpose of determining the facts. A lit- 
tle more than half of the schools returned the 
schedules blank, stating that no children were 
employed; this introduced a large element of 



40 CHILD LABOR IN CITY STREETS 

error into the return, as many of the school- 
masters misunderstood the meaning of the 
schedules, and consequently quite a number of 
children who should have been included were 
omitted from the total. The 9433 schedules 
which were filled and returned showed that 
144,026 children (about three fourths boys and 
one fourth girls) were in attendance full time 
at the public elementary schools of England and 
Wales and known to be employed for profit 
outside of school hours. 

The ages of these children reported as em- 
ployed were as follows : ^ — 

Under 7 years 131 

7 years 1,120 

8 years 4,211 

9 years 11,027 

10 years 22,131 

11 years 3^,775 

12 years 47j47i 

13 years i8,SS6 

14 and over ij787 

Not given . • 817 

Total 144,026 

1 Elementary Schools (Children working for Wages), House 
of Commons Papers, 1899, No. 205, p. 17. 



CHILDREN ENGAGED IN STREET ACTIVITIES 41 

The standards or school grades in which these 
working children were enrolled and the total 
enrollment for the year ended August 31, 1898, 
were as follows : ^ — 



Working Children 



No standard 329 

ist standard 3,890 

2d standard 11,686 

3d standard 24,624 

4th standard 36,907 

5th standard 37,3^5 

6th standard 21,975 

7th standard 6,382 

Ex-7 standard 382 

Not stated 536 

Total 144,026 



Total 
Enrollment 



2,875,088 
723,582 
679,096 
590,850 
421,728 
212,546 
66,442 
7,534 

5,576,866 



The occupations followed by these children 
were divided into three main groups, and each 
of these groups was further divided into three 
classes. These divisions and the number of 
children in each were as follows : ^ — 



* Idem J p. 21. 



' Idetftf p. 17. 



/ 



42 



CHILD LABOR IN CITY STREETS 



Piecework, chiefly 
Boys 



Selling news- 
papers . 15,182 

Hawking goods 2,435 

Sports, tak- 
ing dinners, 
knocking-up, 
etc. . . 8,627 



Time-work, chiefly 
Boys 



In shops or run- 
ning errands 
for shop- 

keepers . . 76,173 

Agricultural oc- 
cupations . 6,115 

Boot and knife 
cleaning, etc. 
(house boys) 10,636 



Domestic Employment, 
girls only, with One 
OR Two Exceptions 



Minding babies 11,585 
Other housework, 
including laun- 
dry work, etc. 9,254 
Needlework and 
like occupa- 
tions . . . 4,019 



The return revealed a surprising variety of 
occupations followed by these children — about 
200 different kinds in all. 
Hours per Week Number of Children 

Under 10 39,355 

10-20 60,268 

21-30 27,008 

31-40 9,778 

41-50 2,390 

51-60 576 

61-70 142 

71-80 59 

Over 81 16 

Not stated 4,434 

Total 144,026 

The number of hours per week devoted by 
these children to the various employments will 
be foimd in the above table; it should be 



CHILDREN ENGAGED IN STREET ACTVIITIES 43 

remembered that these hours were given to work 
in addition to the time spent at school.^ 

It was recognized that the figures given by 
this parKamentary return did not represent the 
real situation, but nevertheless its revelations 
were sufficiently startling to show th.e need of 
further investigation. Accordingly in 1901 there 
was appointed an interdepartmental committee 
which after careful study reported that the 
figures in the parliamentary return were well 
within the actual nimibers, but that the facts 
it contained were substantially correct. ^ This 
committee estimated the total mmiber of chil- 
dren who were both in attendance at school 
and in paid employments^in England and Wales 
at 300,000;^ it declared that cases of excessive 
employment were "sufficiently numerous to 
leave no doubt that a substantial number of chil- 
dren are being worked to an injurious extent."* 

Referring to the amount of time devoted by 
the children to gainful employment outside of 
school, the committee reported, "On a review 

* Elementary Schools (Children working for Wages), House 
of Commons Papers, 1899, No. 205, p. 25. 

2 Great Britain, Report of Interdepartmental Conmiittee 
on EmplojHTient of School Children, 1901, p. 8. 

' Idem, p. 9. * Idem, p. 10. 



44 CHILD LABOR IN CITY STREETS 

of the evidence we consider it is proved that in 
England and Wales a substantial number of 
children, amounting probably to 50,000, are 
being worked more than twenty hours a week 
in addition to twenty-seven and one-half hours 
at school;, that a considerable proportion of 
this nimaber are being worked to thirty or forty 
and some even to fifty hours a week, and that 
the effect of this work is in many cases detri- 
mental to their health, their morals and their 
education, besides being often so unremitting 
as to deprive them of all reasonable opportimity 
for recreation. For an evil so serious, existing 
on so large a scale, we think that some remedy 
ought to be found. "^ The committee estimated 
the total number of children selKng newspapers 
and in street hawking at 25,000.^ 

With reference to conditions in Edinburgh, 
an Enghsh writer says, *'0f the 1406 children 
employed out of school hours in Edinburgh, 
307 are ten years of age or under. Four of them 
are six years old, and eleven are seven years 
of age. We hear of boys working 'seventeen 
hours (from 7 a.m. to 12 p.m.) on Saturday. 

* Great Britain, Report of Interdepartmental Committee on 
Employment of School Children, 1901, p. 18. ^ Jdepi^ p. i6„ 



CHILDREN ENGAGED IN STREET ACTIVITIES 45 

For children to work twelve, thirteen and four- 
teen hours on Saturday is quite common. The 
average wage seems to be three farthings an hour, 
. but one hears of children who are paid one shil- 
ling and sixpence for thirty-eight hours of toil." ^ 
In New South Wales boys are permitted to 
trade on the streets at the age of ten years, and 
up to fourteen years may engage in such work 
between the hours of 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. except 
while the schools are in session; after they are 
fourteen years old they may trade between 
6 A.M. and 10 p.m. Such children are Hcensed, 
and during the six months ending March 31, 
19 10, 714 Hcenses were issued, 72 per cent of 
them being to children imder fourteen years of 
age; 92 per cent of these children were engaged 
in hawking newspapers, the others being scat- 
tered through such occupations as peddling 
flowers, fruit and vegetables, fish, fancy goods, 
matches, bottles, pies and milk. ^ 

Conditions in Germany 

In December, 1897, the German Imperial 
Chancellor, referring to the incomplete census 

1 Robert H. Sherard, " Child Slaves of Britain," 1905, p. 178. 
^ Report of President of State Children Relief Board of 
New South Wales for year ending April 5, 1910, pp. 39-40. 



46 CHILD LABOR IN CITY STREETS 

returns as to child labor, requested the govern- 
ments to furnish him with information as to 
the total number of children under fourteen 
employed in labor other than factory labor, 
agricultural employment and domestic service, 
and the kinds of work done. In this circular 
he said: "But, above all, where the kind of 
occupation is unsuitable for children, where 
the work continues too long, where it takes 
place at unseasonable times and in unsuitable 
places, child labor gives rise to serious consid- 
eration; in such cases it is not only dangerous 
to the health and morality of the children, but 
school discipline is impaired and compulsory 
education becomes illusory. For children can- 
not possibly give the necessary attention to 
their lessons when they are tired out and 
when they have been working hard in un- 
healthful rooms until late at night. I need 
only instance employment in skittle alleys 
late in the evening, in the dehvery of news- 
papers in the early morning and the employ- 
ment of children in many branches of home 
industry. The most recent researches under- 
taken in different localities show that the 
employment of children in labor demands 



CHILDREN ENGAGED IN STREET ACTIVITIES 47 

earnest attention in the interests of the rising 
generation. " ^ 

Inquiries extending over almost the whole 
German Empire were accordingly made by the 
different states from January to April, 1898. 
It was found that 544,283 children under four- 
teen years were employed in labor other than 

factory labor, agricultural employment and 

* 

domestic service. This was 6.53 per cent of 
the total number of children of school age 
(8,334,919). 

With regard to the effects of such work, this 
German report says: "As the children who carry 
aroimd small wares, sell flowers, etc., go from 
one inn to another, they are exposed to evil 
influences, and are liable to contract at an early 
age, bad habits of smoking, lying, drinking. . . . 
The delivery of newspapers is a particularly 
great strain on the children, as it occupies them 
both before and after school hours." 

Seven divisions of these children were made 

according to occupation, four of them relating 

to street work. Under the heading Handel 

* Vierteljahrshefte des Kaiserlichen Statistischen Amts. 
1900, Heft III, p. 97. See also Great Britain, Report of 
Interdepartmental Committee on Employment of School 
Children, 1901, App. 3, p. 294. 



48 



CHILD LABOR IN CITY STREETS 



were included children in many kinds of work, 
among them hawking fruit, milk, bread, brooms, 
flowers, newspapers, etc. ; imder Austrage- 
dienste were included only the deHvery and 
carrying around of bread, milk, vegetables, 
beer, papers, books, advertisements, circulars, 
bills, coals, wood, boots and shoes, washing, 
clothes, etc. ; under Gewohnliche Lauf dienste 
were included only errand boys and messengers ; 
under Sonstige gewerbliche Thatigkeit were in- 
cluded, among other occupations, blacking 
boots, leading the blind, street singers and 
players, etc. 



BOTtS 



Girls 



Sex not 

STATED 



Total 



Percen- 
tage 



Handel (retaU trade) . . 

Austrage-dienste (delivery 
service) '" 

Gewohnliche Laufdienste 
(general messenger 
service) 

Sonstige gewerbliche 
Thatigkeit (other forms 
of labor) 



7,507 
67,188 

23,321 



6,281 



4,540 
36,966 

2,134 
2,387 



5,576 
31,676 

10,454 

3,119 



17,623 
135,830 

35,909 

11,787 



3.31 
25.52 

6.75 



Conditions in Austria 
The Austrian Ministry of Commerce began an 
investigation of actual conditions in Austria 



CHILDREN ENGAGED IN STREET ACTIVITIES 49 

late in 1907 in response to the agitation for a 
new law that would regulate child labor not 
only in factories, but also in home industries, 
in commerce, and even in agriculture. In his 
Report on Child Labor Legislation in Europe, 
Mr. C. W. A. Veditz refers to the findings of 
this investigation in a niunber of the provinces. 
In Bohemia, of 676 children in trade and trans- 
portation, but still attending school, 169 were 
engaged in peddling and huckstering ; in deliver- 
ing goods and going errands 1554 children were 
employed, being generally hired to deliver 
bread, milk, meats, groceries, newspapers, books, 
telegrams, circulars — in fact, all manner of 
goods.^ In the province of Upper Austria 
children are paid from two to seven crowns 
(40.6 cents to $1.42) a month for delivering 
newspapers daily, while in the duchy of Salz- 
burg the pay varies from twenty to fifty hellers 
(4 to 10 cents) a day for delivering bread or 
newspapers. 

In the province of Lower Austria, "referring 

now to the other main occupations in which 

school children are employed outside of industry 

proper, the report [of the investigation] shows 

1 Bulletin 89 of United States Bureau of Labor, 1910, p. 84. 

E 



50 CHILD LABOR IN CITY STREETS 

that . . . those working in trade and trans- 
portation usually help wait on customers in 
their parents' stores; a number, however, sell 
flowers, shoe laces, etc., or huckster bread, 
butter and eggs, or carry passengers' baggage 
to and from railway stations. Most of those 
put down as delivering goods are engaged in de- 
livering bread, milk, newspapers and washing," ^ 
Children who sell flowers, bread or cigars in 
Vienna earn one to two crowns (20.3 to 40.6 cents) 
a day during the week, and on Sundays as much 
as three crowns (60.9) cents. "The children 
employed [in Lower Austria] to deHver goods 
and run errands are also usually employed by 
non-relatives and receive wages in money. 
Those who deliver milk, and who work one half 
to one hour a day, generally receive twenty 
hellers to one crown (4 to 20.3 cents) weekly; 
in exceptional cases two crowns (40.6 cents), 
and in some instances only food and old clothes. 
For delivering bread and pastry, wages are 
reported as thirty hellers (6 cents) a week and 
some meals, or fifty hellers to two crowns 
(10 to 40.6 cents) a week without meals; in 
exceptional cases, 10 per cent of the receipts. 
* Bulletin 89 of United States Bureau of Labor, 1910, p. 56. 



CHILDREN ENGAGED IN STREET ACTIVITIES 5 1 

For deKvering papers, which requires one to 
two hours a day, children receive two to ten 
crowns (40.6 cents to $2.03) a month. For 
delivering of washing, thirty hellers (6 cents) 
for a two-hours' trip, or sixty hellers to two 
crowns (12 to 40.6 cents) a week. Children 
who carry dinner to mill laborers, requiring 
one half to one hour daily, get eighty hellers 
to five crowns (16 cents to $1.02) a month. 
Messengers for stores, hotels, etc., get a tip of 
two to ten hellers (.4 to 2 cents) per errand, or, 
if employed regularly, twenty hellers to one 
crown (4 to 20.3 cents) a week."^ 

"The delivery of milk, pastry, newspapers, 
etc., in which many children are employed in 
Vienna and. other large cities, does not cause 
frequent absences, but is responsible for tardy 
arrival at school in the morning and for the 
fatigue that reduces attention and prevents 
mental alertness. "^ 

* Idem, p. 63. * Ideniy p. 65. 



CHAPTER III 

NEWSPAPER SELLERS 

By far the majority of the children in street 
occupations are engaged in the sale or deHvery 
of newspapers. The newsboy predominates to 
such an extent that he is taken as a matter 
of course. As Mrs. Florence Kelley says, "For 
more than one generation, it has been almost 
invariably assumed that there must be little 
newsboys." Ever since he became an institu- 
tion of our city life, the public has been pleased 
to regard him admiringly as an energetic sales- 
man of penetrating mind and keen sense of 
humor. There seems to be a tacit indorsement 
of the newsboy as such. 

Ordinarily there are five classes of newsboys 
to be found in all large cities — (i) the corner 
boys, (2) those who sell for corner boys on 
salary, (3) others who sell for them on commis- 
sion, (4) those who sell for themselves, and 
(5) those with deHvery routes. The bulk of 
the business is handled by the first three of these 

52 



NEWSPAPER SELLERS 53 

classes, which are always associated together 
and found on the busy corners of the downtown 
sections of all our cities. The choice localities 
for the sale of newspapers, namely, the corners 
in the downtown sections where thousands of 
pedestrians are daily passing, come under the 
control of individuals by virtue of long tenure 
or by purchase, and their title to these corners 
is not disputed largely on account of the support 
they receive from the circulation managers of 
the newspapers. In' former years the proprie- 
torship of the corner was settled by a fight, but 
now it imdergoes change of ownership by the 
formal transfer of location, fixtures and goodwill 
in accordance with the most approved legal 
practice. 

In Chicago a system of routes has been 
established by the newspapers which send wagons 
out with the different editions published each 
day to supply the men who control the delivery 
and sale of newspapers in the various districts. 
These route men employ boys to deliver for 
them to regular customers and also to sell on 
street corners on a commission basis. In Boston, 
ex-newsboys known as "Canada Points" are 
employed by the publishers at a fixed salary 



54 CHILD LABOR IN CITY STREETS 

to distribute the editions by wholesale among 
the twenty odd places in the city from which 
the street sellers are supplied. 

Ages, Earnings and Character of the Work 

The following individual cases will serve 
to illustrate the various forms this business 
takes. One nineteen-year-old boy paid $65 
for his corner in Cincinnati about five years 
ago; he now earns from $4 to $5 a day clear 
and would not sell the location for many times 
its cost. He works there from 11 a.m. to 
6.30 P.M. on week days, starting an hour earlier 
on Saturdays, while on Sundays he delivers the 
morning newspapers over a route to' regular 
customers. Two boys of about twelve years of 
age work for him, to one of_ whom he pays 
25 cents a day and to the other 30 cents a day; 
their duties are to hawk the different editions 
and to dispose of as many copies as possible by 
hopping the street cars and offering the papers 
to pedestrians from 3.45 to 6.30 p.m. daily on 
week days. If they do not hustle and make a 
large nmnber of sales, they lose their job. 

A corner in another part of the city is ''owned '* 
by a thirteen-year-old boy who earns about 



NEWSPAPER SELLERS 55 

80 cents a day clear for himself in eight hours, 
and on Saturdays in nine hours. He has two 
boys working for him on commission, to whom 
he pays one cent for every four papers sold; 
they average about 15 cents a day apiece for 
three hours' work. When questioned, these 
commission boys admitted that they could 
make more money if working for themselves, 
but in that case would have to work until all 
the copies they had bought were sold, while on 
the commission plan they did not have to shoul- 
der so much responsibility. 

Regulations made by the circulation managers 
of newspapers concerning the return of unsold 
copies greatly affect the newsboys' business. 
Naturally these regulations are made with an 
eye to extending the circulation. Corner boys 
are allowed to return only one copy out of 
every ten bought, being reimbursed by the 
office for its cost. Consequently they urge their 
newsboy employees and commission workers 
to put forth every effort to dispose of the supply 
purchased. The independent sellers are never 
permitted to return any unsold copies, except 
in the case of certain energetic boys who can 
be relied upon to work hard in any event. These 



56 CHILD LABOR IN CITY STREETS 

are known as "hustlers," and owing to their 
having won the confidence of the circulation 
manager they are granted the special privilege 
of returning at cost all copies they have been 
unable to sell. 

In Boston, beginners are often on a commission 
basis; "in this way they secure the advice and 
protection of the more experienced while serving 
their apprenticeship. These strikers, as they 
are called, keep one cent for every, four collected ; 
few of them earn more than 25 cents a day, while 
many of them earn less than 10."^ 

An eleven-year-old Jewish boy who has been 
a newsboy for several years now controls a 
comparatively quiet corner in Cincinnati, where 
he nets from 40 to 50 cents a day, working about 
three hours. This boy's father and mother 
are both living. 

Submission to older persons is natural among 
children, and an interesting instance of tyranny 
over small boys by adults was foimd in the case 
of a newspaper employee who works inside the 
plant and employs several young boys to sell 
newspapers on the streets for him. These boys 

* The Hustler, organ of Boston Newsboys' Club, Febru- 
ary, 1911. 



NEWSPAPER SELLERS 57 

together earn about $1.30 when working about 
seven hours, but only half of this amount goes 
into their pockets, the other half being paid 
to their "employer." In New York City cer- 
tain busy sections having points of strategic 
value are irnder the control of men who employ 
small boys to do the real work for a mere pit- 
tance,usually the price of admission to a moving- 
picture show. However, under certain circum- 
stances, these little fellows often display a sturdy 
spirit of independence. An amusing instance 
is innocently recorded by an old wartime report 
of a newsboys' home: "It had been decided 
to give the boys a free dinner on Simdays, on 
condition that they attend the Sunday School; 
but last Sunday they desired the Matron to say 
that they were able and willing to pay for the 
dinner." ^ 

Independent newsboys must not stand in 
the territory controlled by another ; they must 
select some uncontrolled spot, or else run about 
hither and yon, selling where they can. Under 
the unwritten law of this business a boy who 
chances to sell in another's territory must give 

* Report of the Newsboys' Home Association of Wash- 
ington, D.C., 1863-1864, p. 7. 



58 CHILD LABOR IN CITY STREETS 

the corner boy the money and receive a news- 
paper in exchange; this results the same as if 
the corner boy himself had made the sale. The 
earnings of these independent boys range from 
15 to 65 cents daily out of school hours, while 
on Saturdays they make from $1 to $1.50 
working from 11 a.m. to 6.30 p.m. 

An eleven-year-old lad who has been a news- 
boy for three years, selling on his own account, 
disposes of most of his copies in saloons located 
in the middle of a busy square, earning from 
50 cents to $1.25 a day even when attending 
school. His mother and father are both living. 
Another example of this class is a sixteen-year- 
old boy who devotes all his time to the trade, 
his net income averaging about $7.50 per week. 
His attitude toward regular work is both inter- 
esting and significant ; he hopes to get a better 
job, but says that although he has hunted for 
one, so Httle is offered for what he can do 
($2 to $3 per week) that it would hardly suffice 
for spending money. Discussing this difference 
between factory wages and street- trading profits, 
an English report says: *' Working from 11 a.m. 
to 7 or 8 P.M., with intervals for gambling, 
newsboys over 14 years old can make from 



NEWSPAPER SELLERS 59 

los. to 14s. a week if they have an ordinary 
share of alertness. In a factory or foundry, 
working from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m., a boy earns about 
13s. a week. The comparison needs no comment. 
The excitement of their career tends to make 
them more and more reluctant to work steadily. 
. . . Many newsboys protest that they want 
more permanent work, but they rarely keep it 
when it is found for them." ^ The life of the 
streets lacks the discipline involved in steady 
work and fixed earnings. 

As an example of the route boy there is a 
fourteen-year-old lad in Cincinnati who has a 
list of fifty customers to whom he delivers 
newspapers regularly, earning in this way 25 
cents daily, deKvering after school hours. He 
declares that he finds it much easier to work 
on a route than to sell on the corners or at 
random. 

The morning papers employ a man as circu- 
lation manager for the residence districts who 
controls all the corners in those sections. When 

* "The Education, Earnings and Social Condition of Boys 
Engaged in Street Trading in Manchester," by E. T. Cam- 
pagnac and C. E. B. Russell; Great Britain, Report of 
Interdepartmental Committee on Employment of School 
Children, 1901, App. 45, pp. 456-457. 



6o CHILD LABOR EST CITY STREETS 

a corner becomes vacant, he assigns a youth to 
it. These older boys are not to sell their corners 
nor to dispose of them in any way, nor are they 
allowed to have any one working for them; 
they must "hop" all the street cars passing their 
corners and are expected to put forth every 
effort to accomplish a great number of sales. 
They get their supply of copies at the branch 
office at 5 a.m., hurrying then to their corners, 
where they remain until nearly noon, averaging 
in this time from $2 to $3 per day clear. Nearly 
all of the afternoon papers sold in the residence 
districts are dehvered by route boys; after 
having gone over their routes, some of these 
boys go to the busier localities and sell the 
sporting extra during the baseball season imtil 
about seven o'clock. 

Environment 

Strong emphasis was laid upon the evils of 
street trading by the New York Child Welfare 
Exhibit of 191 1, the Committee on Work and 
Wages declaring that "The ordinary newsboy 
is surrounded by influences that are extremely 
bad, because (i) of the desultory nature of his 
work; (2) of the character of street hfe; and 



NEWSPAPER SELLERS 6 1 

(3) of the lack of discipline or restraint in this 
work. The occupation is characterized by 
'rush hours/ during which the boy will work 
himself into exhaustion trying to keep pace with 
his trade, and long hours in which there is 
little or nothing to do, during which the boy 
has unlimited opportunities to make such use 
of the street freedom as he sees fit. During 
these light hours newsboys congregate in the 
streets and commit many acts of vandalism. 
They learn all forms of petty theft and usually 
are accomplished in most of the vices of the 
street. In building up their routes, the boys 
often include places of the most degrading and 
detrimental character. On the economic side, 
the loss is due to failure of the occupation to 
furnish any training for industrial careers."^ 

The irregidarity of newsboys' meals and the 
questionable character of their food form one 
of the worst features of street work and are a 
real menace to health. Many newsboys are in 
the habit of eating hurriedly at lunch coimters 
at intervals during the day and night, while 
some snatch free limches in saloons. In New 

* Handbook of New York Child Welfare Exhibit, 191 1, 
P-33- 



62 CHILD LABOR IN CITY STREETS 

York City their diet has been found to consist 
chiefly of **such hostile ingredients as frank- 
furters, mince pies, doughnuts, ham sandwiches, 
cakes and 'sinkers'.''^ The use of stimulants 
is common, and the demand for them is to be 
expected because of the nervous strain of the 
work. Liquor is not consumed to any appre- 
ciable extent by street- trading children, but 
coffee is a favorite beverage. In the largest 
cities, where "night gangs'^ are found, from 
four to six bowls of coffee are usually taken 
every evening. Tobacco is used in great 
quantities and in all its forms ; many boys even 
appease their hunger for the time by smoking 
cigarettes, and the smallest *' newsies" are 
addicted to the habit. Evidence that this is 
not a recent development among street workers 
is found in a report made nearly a quarter of a 
century ago, which, with reference to newsboys, 
says "many of them soon spend their gains in 
pool rooms, low places of amusement and for 
the poisonous cigarette." ^ 
An EngHsh report on the street traders of 

1 "Child Labor on the Street," The Newsboy, leaflet of New 
York Child Labor Committee, 1907. 

2 Report of Newsboys' and Children's Aid Society of Wash- 
ington, D.C., 1889, p. 10. 



NEWSPAPER SELLERS 63 

Manchester says : "Drunkenness is rare among 
these boys . . . they are in many ways attrac- 
tive; but the closer our acquaintance grows 
with them the more overwhehning does this 
propensity to gambling appear. Indeed, it 
may reasonably be said that the whole career 
of the street trader is one long game of chance. 
. . . They tend to become more and more 
unwilling to work hard ; they are the creatures 
of accident and lose the power of foresight; 
they never form habits of thrift ; and their word 
can be taken only by those who have learnt how 
to interpret it/' ^ 

There are tricks in newspaper selling as well 
as in other trades, and children are not slow to 
learn them. A careful observer cannot fail 
to note that certain newsboys seem always to 
be without change. Their patrons are generally 
in a hurry and willingly sacrifice the change 
from a nickel, even priding themselves on their 
imselfishness in thus helping to relieve the sup- 
posed poverty of the newsboys. As a matter 
of fact, such an act does real harm, for it arouses 

* "The Education, Earnings and Social Condition of Boys 
Engaged in Street Trading in Manchester," by Campagnac 
and Russell, 1901. 



64 CHILD LABOR IN CITY STREETS 

the cupidity of boys and leads them to believe 
that honesty is not the best policy. The temp- 
tation for newsboys to develop into ^' short 
change artists" is an ever present one, for the 
bustle of the street creates a most favorable 
condition for the practice of such frauds. Yet 
in spite of the many temptations which assail 
them, numbers of newsboys are scrupulously 
exact in the matter of making change, even un- 
der the most trying circumstances. Another 
common form of deceit, used to play upon the 
sympathy of passers-by, is practiced after night- 
fall by boys of all ages in offering a solitary news- 
paper for sale and crying in plaintive tone, 
"Please, mister, buy my last paper?" A kind- 
hearted person readily falls a victim to this ruse, 
and as soon as he has passed by, the newsboy 
draws another copy from his hidden supply and 
repeats his importuning.* Commenting on these 
features of street trading, Dr. Charles P. Neill, 
United States Commissioner of Labor, has said: 
"Unless the child is cast in the mold of heroic 
virtue, the newsboy trade is a training in either 
knavery or mendicancy. Nowhere else are the 
wits so sharpened to look for the unfair advan- 
tage, nowhere else is the unfortunate lesson so 



NEWSPAPER SELLERS 65 

early learned that dishonesty and trickery are 
more profitable than honesty, and that sympathy 
coins more pennies than does industry." ^ 

Hours 

Work at unseasonable hours is most disastrous 
in its effects upon growing children, and the 
newspaper trade is one that engages the labor 
of boys in our larger cities at all hoiu-s of the 
night. This fact is not generally known. A 
prominent social worker recently said: "I 
was astounded to find the other day that my 
newspaper comes to me in Chicago every morn- 
ing because two little boys, one twelve and the 
other thirteen, get it at half-past two at night. 
These little boys, who go to school, carry papers 
around so that we get them in the morning at 
four o'clock all the year around. They are 
working for a man with whom we contract for 
our newspapers. I was quite shocked in St. 
Louis twice this fall (1908) to find a girl five or 
six years of age selling newspapers near the 
railroad station in the worst part of town after 

1 Child Labor at the National Capital, an address delivered 
in Washington, December, 1905, Pamphlet 23 of National 
Child Labor Committee. 



66 CHILD LABOR IN CITY STREETS 

dark. We hear a great deal of sentimental 
talk about newsboys' societies doing so much 
for newsboys, but they do not seem to care 
anything for work of this kind." ^ In passing 
it may be remarked that in the city of Toledo 
there is an active association organized for the 
benefit of newsboys, which openly encourages 
street work by boys of from eight to seventeen 
years. The manager insists that such work 
affords the means of alleviating the poverty in 
the families of these boys, but upon inquiry 
it was found that he had never heard of the 
provision for the financial relief of such cases 
of child labor, which is made by the Ohio law, 
and which had been, at the time, most success- 
fully administered for three years by the Board 
of Education of his own city. 

The Chicago newspapers have their Sunday 
editions distributed on Saturday night, conse- 
quently the newsboys are up all night so as to 
assure prompt service to patrons. In the absence 
of public opinion in the matter, this abuse flour- 
ishes unrestricted, and the children's health is 
sacrificed to meet the demand for news. Agents 

* Mary E. McDowell, Pamphlet 114 of National Child Labor 
Committee, pp. 6-7. 



NEWSPAPER SELLERS 67 

of the Chicago Vice Commission reported having 
seen boys from ten to fifteen years of age selling 
morning papers at midnight Saturday in the 
evil districts of the city.^ 

The early rising of newsboys to deliver the 
morning week-day editions also contributes to 
the breaking down of their health. The old 
adage is a mockery in their case. There is 
abundant testimony relative to the evil effects 
of such untimely work. "Children who go to 
school and sell papers get up so early in the 
morning that they are so stupid during the day 
they cannot do anything. That was clearly 
demonstrated to me during my experience in 
teaching school."^ 

Another teacher said: "I have had instances 
in school where children have gone to sleep 
over their tasks because they got up at two or 
three o'clock in the morning to put out city 
lights and to sell papers. In those instances 
we wanted the parents to take the children away 
from their work. Where they would not do it, 



* "The Social Evil in Chicago" by the Vice Commission of 
Chicago, 191 1, p. 242. 

2 Miss Todd, Pamphlet 114 of National Child Labor Com- 
mittee, p. 12. 



68 CHILD LABOR IN CITY STREETS 

we prosecuted them for contributing to the 
delinquency of their children.'^ ^ 

The delivery of newspapers by young boys in 
the strictly residence sections of cities appears 
to be unobjectionable, yet even this simple 
work should be under restriction as to hours, 
because otherwise the boys would continue 
to rise at unseemly hours of the night in order 
to reach the branch offices in time to get the 
newspapers fresh from the press. In fact, 
every phase of street work should be under 
control. Dr. Harold E. Jones, medical inspector 
of schools to the Essex County Council, has 
testified that among the most injurious forms 
of labor performed by boys is the early morn- 
ing delivery of newspapers and milk.^ In his 
Report on Child Labor Legislation in Europe, Mr. 
C. W. A. Veditz states, "Delivering milk before 
school in the morning must be condemned, be- 
cause it fatigues the children so that they become, 
to say the least, intellectually less receptive." ^ 

In his article on "The Newsboy at Night in 

1 National Child Labor Committee, Pamphlet 114, p. 12. 

2 Great Britain, Minutes of Evidence Taken Before 
Departmental Committee on Employment of Children Act, 
1903, 1910, Q. 9724. 

' Bulletin 89 of United States Bureau of Labor, 1910, p. 46. 



NEWSPAPER SELLERS 69 

Philadelphia,"^ Mr. Scott Nearing gives a 
graphic account of conditions in the City of 
Brotherly Love. Although this description was 
written some years ago, local social workers 
find that the same conditions still obtain, as 
there is neither law nor ordinance to bring 
about a change. In this city the closing of 
the theaters at eleven o'clock marks the be- 
ginning of Saturday night's work. The last 
editions of the evening newspapers are offered 
at this time, often as a cloak for begging. After 
the theater, the restaurant patrons are available 
as customers until midnight. Then the morning 
papers begin to come from the press, and the 
newsboys abandon their begging and gambling 
and rush to the offices for their supplies. A 
load of forty pounds is often carried by the 
smallest newsboys, hurrying along the streets 
in the early morning hours. The cream of the 
business is done at this time, for most of the 
purchasers are more or less intoxicated and 
therefore inclined to be generous with tips and 
indifferent as to change ; sometimes a newsboy 
takes in as much money on Saturday night and 
Simday morning as during the entire remainder 
^ Charities and The Commons ^ February 2, 1906. 



yo CHILD LABOR IN CITY STREETS 

of the week. In relating his experiences, Mr. 
Nearing says, *'0n one night we saw fifteen boys 
in a group just as the policeman was chasing 
them out of Chinatown at half-past three 
Sunday morning ; the yoimgest boy was clearly 
not over ten and the oldest was barely sixteen." 
At this hour the officers of the law interfere 
and quell the revels of the district. The open 
gratings in sidewalks through which warm air 
comes from basements, are then sought, and here 
the boys pass the time dozing until dawn, when 
they go abroad again to cry the Simday papers. 

Home Conditions — Poverty 
One of the reasons why the pubHc is so indul- 
gent toward the street worker is that it takes 
for granted that the child is making a manly 
effort to support a widowed mother and several 
starving Httle brothers and sisters. Mrs. Flor- 
ence Kelley calls this "perverted reasoning" 
and scores the pubhc which "unhesitatingly 
places the burden of the decrepit adult's main- 
tenance upon the slender shoulders of the 
child." ^ Poverty has been made an excuse for 
child labor from time immemorial by those 
who profit by the system. Newspapers are not 
' "Some Ethical Gains through Legislation," 1905, p. 12. 



NEWSPAPER SELLERS 7 1 

an exception to the rule; the newsboys extend 
their circulation and incidentally give them free 
advertising in the streets — hence they see 
nothing but good in the newsboys' work and 
fight lustily to defend what they claim to be the 
mainstay of the widows. That this popular 
impression and appealing argument are false 
and without Justification has been shown by 
students of the problem everywhere. The 
following table gives the family condition of 
Cincinnati newsboys : — 

Both parents dead 12 

Father dead 239 

Mother dead 69 

Both parents living ,. 1432 

Total 1752 

Through a special inquiry it was foimd that 
in only 363 cases out of this total were the 
earnings of the children really needed. These 
1752 children, ten to thirteen years of age, were 
licensed from July to December, 1909; their 
distribution as to age was as follows: — 

10 years 303 

11 years 348 

12 years 564 

13 years 537 

Total 1752 



72 CHILD LABOR IN CITY STREETS 

Upon investigation of the home conditions of 
several hundred newsboys in New York City it 
was declared that *'in the majority of cases par- 
ents are not dependent on the boys' earnings. 
The poverty plea — that boys must sell papers to 
help widowed mothers or disabled fathers — is, 
for the most part, gross exaggeration." ^ 

Concerning a study of Chicago newsboys, 
Myron E. Adams says, "A careful investigation 
of the records of the Charity Organization 
Society shows that of the looo newsboys investi- 
gated, the names of but sixteen famiUes are 
found, and of these . . . only four received 
direct help, such as coal, clothing or food." ^ 

Mr. Scott Nearing says: *'In many cases the 
boys want to go on the streets in order to have 
the pocket money which this Hfe affords, and 
the ignorant or indifferent parents make no 
objections, but take the street Hfe as a matter 
of course. Sometimes, though not nearly as 
often as is generally supposed, there is real need 
for the selling."^ 

1 "Child Labor on the Street," The Newsboy, leaflet of 
New York Child Labor Committee, 1907. 

2 "Children in American Street Trades," 1905, Pamphlet 14 
of National Child Labor Committee. 

' Charities and The Commons, February 2, 1906. 



NEWSPAPER SELLERS 73 

The British interdepartmental committee 
appointed in 1901 to inquire into the employ- 
ment of school children, denounced the tolerance 
of street trading on the ground of necessity: 
"We think that in framing regulations with re- 
gard to child labour and school attendance 
. . . the poverty of the child or its parents 
ought not to be made a test of the right to 
labour. . . . We do not think it is needed; 
we think that all children should have Hberty 
to work as much and in such ways as is good 
for them and no more."^ 

Another argument in favor of street trading 
advanced by those who are interested in main- 
taining present conditions, is that it affords a 
splendid training for a business career because 
of the competition that rages among the boys. 
This is doubtless true, as far as it goes, but the 
great difficulty is that street trading leads 
nowhere. It is a bHnd alley that sooner or 
later leaves its followers helpless against the 
solid wall of skilled labor's competition. An 
occupation that fits a boy for nothing and is 
devoid of prospects^ is a curse rather than a 

1 Great Britain, Report of Interdepartmental Committee 
on Employment of School Children, 1901, p. 23. 



74 CHILD LABOR IN CITY STREETS 

blessing in this day of specialization. In spitt 
of the division of labor so elaborately realized 
to-day, a boy or girl who enters any of the 
regular industries has at least a fighting chance 
for acquiring a trade. If the child is honest, 
capable and diligent he will be promoted to a 
better position in time if misfortune does not 
overtake him. The trapper boy in a coal mine 
is in a fair way to become a miner. The lad who 
works in a machine shop has the opportunity 
to make a machinist of himself. The girl who 
begins as a wrapper in a dry goods shop may 
become a saleswoman, and then possibly a 
buyer for her department. Yet in most states 
children may not enter upon such work until 
they have reached the age of fourteen years, 
while some states prohibit boys under sixteen 
years from being employed in mines or in connec- 
tion with dangerous machinery either in machine 
shops or elsewhere. Bitter experience has taught 
us that these restrictions are right and just, 
and we now have no hesitancy in barring young 
children from such employment, regardless of 
the training it affords. Why, then, do we exempt 
many forms of street work from the operation 
of the law ? Why do we allow little children to 



l^WSPAPER SELLERS 75 

work at any age, both night and day, as news- 
boys, bootblacks and peddlers in the essentially 
dangerous environment of the street? Such 
employment offers but a gloomy future — the 
useless life of the casual worker. There is no 
better position to which it leads, no chance for the 
discovery and development of ability, no reward 
for good service. It seems incredible that we 
have been so engrossed with throwing safeguards 
about the children in regular industries that we 
have altogether neglected the streetworker, for the 
arguments against child labor in factories, mills, 
mines and retail shops apply with even greater 
force to the work of children in our city streets. 

Better Substitutes 
There is no reason why newsboys should not 
be replaced as the medium for the sale and 
delivery of newspapers by old men, cripples, 
the tuberculous and those otherwise incapaci- 
tated for regular work. In London, the West- 
minster Gazette, the Pall Mall Gazette, the Even- 
ing Standard and the Globe (all penny papers) 
are sold in the streets by old men; the West- 
minster Gazette pays them a wage of is. for sell- 
ing eighteen copies and after having disposed 



76 CHILD LABOR IN CITY STREETS 

of this number they are given a commission of 
Sd. a quire of twenty-six copies, a few men 
selling from six to eight quires a day. This 
newspaper has followed this method for many 
years, and its general manager declares that it 
is the most satisfactory system that they have 
been able to evolve. Boys have no sense of 
responsibility, while old men cling to their 
posts very faithfully. He admitted that the 
Westminster Gazette employed some boys as 
carriers and that the whole subject lay somewhat 
heavily on his conscience because, "practically 
speaking, these boys have no future ... a 
few of them may become cyclists carrying the 
newspapers ... in a few years their useful- 
ness as cyclists has gone . . . then they 
simply drift away, we don't know where, but 
we do know that they drift to places like Salva- 
tion Army Shelters, etc. How they earn their 
living is always one of the mysteries of London. 
. . . But they have learned nothing from us, 
nothing that gives them any usefulness for any 
other occupation. . . . The great majority 
become casual labourers dependent entirely 
on casual work. ... It is a life in which very 
little is gained, although one would suppose 



NEWSPAPER SELLERS 77 

that the open air would be of great benefit. 
But one must remember the insuflSLcient food 
that these street traders have, and the bad 
conditions of living and the irregular hours. 
Many of these boys, of course, are up all hours 
of the night. ... It is quite as bad for a boy 
in the long nm to be engaged as a carrier dis- 
tributor as for him to sell newspapers in the 
street. There is no possible argument for the 
system except that one's competitors do it, and 
that so long as they do it we must do the same. 
. . . We get practically all our men from 
Salvation Army and Church Army Shelters. 
There is an abundant supply. . . . The ordi- 
nary man whom we employ is over fifty years of 
age and runs up to about seventy years. . . . 
I think if the poKce would give us every facility 
for introducing kiosks it would be a great improve- 
ment upon the present system. If boys were 
prohibited from selling newspapers altogether 
on the streets, it would automatically send the 
public to the kiosk ; . . . the public get into the 
habit of getting the newspapers from the boys." ^ 

^ Great Britain, Minutes of Evidence Taken before De- 
partmental Committee on Employment of Children Act, 
1903, 1910, Q. 1S37 et seq. 



78 CHILD LABOR IN CITY STREETS 

It should be remembered in connection with 
the above statements that the Westminster 
Gazette is a penny paper, and its manager was 
of opinion that the half-penny papers could not 
afford to employ men because they depended 
largely for their circulation upon the persistence 
of newsboys in thrusting copies upon the atten- 
tion of people in the streets ; he beHeved that the 
use of old men would curtail their circulation 
because men are not so active as boys. On the 
other hand, news agents protested against the 
competition of street traders and maintained 
that they alone were fully able to meet the 
demands of the public. The departmental 
committee of 1910 reported: ''There can, we 
think, be Httle doubt that an active child is an 
effective agent in promoting the circulation of 
half-penny papers, and that if the employment 
of children were forbidden, newspapers would 
have to rely upon faciUties of a more staid and 
less mobile character. But we see no reason 
to think that purchasers of newspapers need be 
put to any inconvenience, since the news agents 
would be in a position considerably to extend 
their business, and it might reasonably be 
expected that the system of employing old 



NEWSPAPER SELLERS 79 

men as salesmen would also be developed. It 
appears to us economically imjustifiable to use 
children to their own detriment for work which 
can be done by other means." ^ 

Referring to the great possibilities for good 
involved in confining the sale and delivery of 
newspapers to adults who need outdoor work 
and are unable to provide for themselves in 
other ways, the Secretary of the New York 
Child Labor Committee says : '^ Where such 
cities as Paris and Berlin do entirely without 
newsboys — corner stands taking their places 
— it would seem that the least that can be done 
in American cities is to adopt some adequate 
system of regulation. In this connection, the 
opportunity presented in newspaper selling to 
give work to the aged and handicapped — who 
otherwise would have to be supported by private 
charity — should not be overlooked." ^ 

The Newsboys^ Court 
In an effort to control to some extent the ten- 
dency of newsboys to become dehnquent and to 

^ Great Britain, Report of Departmental Conunittee on 
Employment of Children Act, 1903, submitted in 1910, p. 13. 

2 George A. Hall, "The Newsboy," in Proceedings of 
Seventh Annual Meeting of National Child Labor Committee, 
1911, p. 102. 



8o CHILD LABOR IN CITY STREETS 

imbue them with a sense of personal responsibility, 
an interesting experiment in juvenile suffrage and 
jurisprudence has been undertaken in Boston. 

During the year 1909, about three hundred 
newsboys were taken before the juvenile court 
of that city charged with violation of the local 
license rules. As the docket of this court was 
crowded, these newsboy cases were necessarily 
delayed, and as a result of this situation the boys 
conceived the idea of establishing a newsboys' 
court which should have jurisdiction in all cases 
of failure to observe the rules governing their 
trade. The following year a petition was pre- 
sented to the Boston School Committee which 
was favorably acted upon by that body, and 
accordingly on the regular election day of that 
year the newsboys cast their ballots to select 
three juvenile judges of the court. These 
three boys, together with two adults ap- 
pointed by the School Committee, compose 
the court. Election of these boy judges is 
held annually, and all licensed newsboys who 
attend the pubUc schools are quaUfied electors. 
The court is empowered to investigate and 
report its findings with recommendations to 
the School Committee in all cases of infraction 



NEWSPAPER SELLERS 8l 

of the newsboy rules. Under the Massachu- 
setts law the School Committee is authorized 
to regulate street trading by children under 
fourteen years of age, hence the newsboys are 
subject to purely local supervision. The super- 
visor of licensed minors, also an appointee of 
the School Committee, can, in his discretion, 
take complaints in his department before the 
newsboys* court instead of the juvenile court. 
The newsboy judges are paid fifty cents for 
their attendance at each official session of the 
court. The charges made before the Trial 
Board, as the Boston newsboys' court is called, 
range from selling without a badge or after 
eight o'clock in the evening or on street cars, 
to bad conduct, irregular school attendance, 
gambling or smoking. The disposition of these 
cases varies from reprimands and warnings to 
probation or suspension of license for a definite 
period, or complete revocation of license.^ 

Summary 

Although the work of selling newspapers has 
been, to some extent, subdivided and systema- 

* School Document, No. 14, 1910, Boston Public Schools, 
pp. 42-44. 
o 



82 CHILD LABOR IN CITY STREETS 

tized by circulation managers, it has so many 
features highly objectionable for children that 
a radical departure from present methods of 
handling this business should be taken. We 
know that the work of the newsboy lacks the 
oversight and discipline of adults, that it 
exposes the children to the varied physical 
dangers lurking in the streets, that the early 
and late hours cause fatigue, that the oppor- 
tunities for bad companionship are frequent, that 
irregularity of meals and use of stimulants tend 
to weaken their constitutions, that it offers no 
chance for promotion and leads nowhere. We 
know further that the presence of the newsboy 
in our streets cannot be justil&ed on the ground 
of poverty. It has been demonstrated in other 
countries that children are not essential to the 
sale and delivery of newspapers ; in fact, it has 
been shown that selling at stands and the use 
of men instead of children in the streets are 
both feasible and satisfactory. Why cannot 
such practices be introduced into the United 
States? There can be but little doubt as to 
the advisability of this step, but the innovation 
will certainly not be made voluntarily by the 
newspapers. The law must force the issue by 
prohibiting street work by children. 



CHAPTER rV 

BOOTBLACKS, PEDDLERS AND MARKET CHILDREN 

Bootblacks 

The itinerant bootblack is gradually dis- 
appearing from our cities, but he is still found 
in Boston, Buffalo, New York City and a few 
other places. He is being supplanted by the 
worker at stands, which are conducted almost 
invariably by Greeks. As a result of this 
change the bootblacking business will soon cease 
to be a street occupation; it is discussed here 
because of the abuses it involves and because 
it is unregulated in many states, owing to its 
omission from the list of employments covered 
by child labor laws. 

The Padrone System 

The New York-New Jersey Committee of 
the North American Civic League for Immi- 
grants reports that : "The condition of Greek boys 
and young men in such occupations as push- 
cart peddling, shoe-shining parlors and the 
83 



84 CHILD LABOR IN CITY STREETS 

flower trade is one of servitude and peonage. 
It has been found that many boys apparently 
from fourteen to eighteen years of age arrive 
here alone, stating that they are eighteen years 
old, but in reality less than this, and that they 
are going to relatives. They have been found 
working in the shoe-shining parlors seven days 
a week from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. and living with the 
'boss' in groups varying from five to twenty- 
five under imsanitary conditions, overcrowding 
and irregularity of meals wholly undesirable 
for young boys. They are isolated from learn- 
ing English or from American contact, and receive 
for their work from $7 to $15 a month and 
board and lodging. The majority of the flower 
peddlers have been unable to obtain permits, 
with the result that the boys who work for 
them are arrested for violating the law. Boys 
who have been in the country from three 
months to a year state they have been arrested 
several times — their first experience in this 
country — and are already hardened so that they 
think nothing of paying fines." ^ 

* Report of New York-New Jersey Committee of the 
North American Civic League for Immigrants, December, 
1909-March, 191 1, pp. 33-34. 



BOOTBLACKS, PEDDLERS, MARKET CHILDREN 85 

The bootblack business is the chief industry 
to which the Greek padrone system is applied. 
The United States Immigration Commission 
found ^ that boys employed as bootblacks live 
in extremely unwholesome quarters. Wher- 
ever the room is large enough, several beds are 
gathered together with three and sometimes four 
boys sleeping in each bed. In some places the 
boys merely roll themselves up in blankets and 
sleep on the floor. The bootblacking stands are 
opened for business about 6 o'clock in the morning, 
consequently the boys are obHged to rise about an 
hour earUer, and wherever their sleeping quar- 
ters are located at considerable distance from the 
stands, they have to get up as early as 4.30. 
Arrived at the stands, they remain working until 
9.30 or 10 at night in cities, and on Saturday and 
Sunday nights the closing hour is usually later. 
The boys eat their lunch in the rear of the estab- 
Hshment, this meal consisting generally of bread 
and olives or cheese. Supper is eaten after 
the boys reach "home," and after having eaten 
it they retire without removing their clothes. 
Even after their excessively long work day, two 

1 Abstract of Immigration Commission's Report on the 
Greek Padrone System in United States, 191 1, p. 10. 



86 CHILD LABOR IN CITY STREETS 

of the boys are required to wash the dirty rags 
used for polishing the shoes daily so they can 
be used the next day. 

These boys are compelled to work every day 
in the year without vacation. The Immigration 
Commission found that they are under constant 
espionage, as at every stand the padrone places 
relatives who both work for him and act as 
spies on the other boys. * Their employer 
instructs them to make false statements to 
questions asked by outsiders relative to their 
ages or conditions of work ; many padrones also 
censor the letters written by the boys to their 
parents or others and examine all incoming 
mail, so as to forestall any efforts made by 
outsiders to induce the boys to leave for other 
places. 

The majority of them cannot read or write 
their own language, and are unable to secure 
any education in this country because of their 
long" work hours. According 'to the Immigration 
Commission their mental development is per- 
ceptibly arrested by the physical fatigue they 
suffer as a result of their long-sustained work 
without recreation. They receive no good 
advice, nor do they hear anything that would 



BOOTBLACKS, PEDDLERS, MARKET CHILDREN 87 

tend to elevate them morally. The Commis- 
sion does not hesitate to brand these conditions 
as deplorable; it declares that the ravages on 
the constitutions of these boys laboring in 
shoe-shining establishments imder this system 
are appalling. It attributes these effects to 
the following causes : long hours, close confine- 
ment to their work in poorly ventilated places, 
unsanitary Hving conditions, unhealthful manner 
of sleeping, excessive stooping required by their 
work, inadequate nourishment due to the 
'^economy" of the padrones who furnish the 
food, the microbe-laden dust from shoes, the 
inhaling of injurious chemicals from the polish 
they use, the filthy condition of their bodies 
resulting from their failure to bathe and the 
lack of proper clothing for the winter season. 

The Greek Consid General at Chicago, him- 
self a physician, in a letter to the Immigration 
Inspector of that city imder date of November i6, 
1 9 10, declared that as a result of his experience 
in examining and treating boy bootblacks he 
was convinced that all boys imder eighteen years 
of age who labor for a few years in shoe-shining 
establishments, develop serious chronic stom- 
achic and hepatic troubles which predispose 



88 CHILD LABOR IN CITY STREETS 

them to pulmonary disease ; he further declared 
that because of the conditions imder which they 
work the majority of them ultimately contract 
tuberculosis, and that in his opinion it would 
be more hmnane and infinitely better foi* young 
Greeks to be denied admission into the United 
States than to be permitted to land if they are 
intended for such employment. Similar state- 
ments are made by other Greek physicians of 
Chicago. 

The importation of Greek boys for use as 
bootblacks in the United States started about 
1895, when the Greeks began to secure their 
monopoly of the industry by taking it away 
from the Italians and the Negroes, confining it, 
however, to stands or booths. Most of the 
early padrones have become financially inde- 
pendent. Their success attracted other Greeks 
to this industry, and in a short time almost every 
American city with a population of more than 
10,000 had bootblack stands operated by them. 
Thus the trafiic in Greek boys began to flourish. 

The Bureau of Immigration helped to have 
a nmnber of padrones indicted and convicted 
for offenses against the conspiracy statute and 
the Immigration Act, and these prosecutions 



BOOTBLACKS, PEDDLERS, MARKET CHILDREN 89 

made the importers very careful as to their 
mamier of procedure. They now bring the 
boys here through the instrumentality of rela- 
tives in Greece in such a way that the padrones 
are almost beyond the reach of our criminal 
statutes. 

In some cases it has been foimd that on leaving 
Greece for this country the boys are told to 
report to a saloon keeper in Chicago or in some 
other western city, hence they do not know their 
final destination. The saloon keeper has his 
instructions from the padrones and acts as their 
distributing agent. Padrones who operate in 
places distant from ports of entry easily avoid 
detection in this way. 

In most cases these padrones derive an income 
from each boy of from $ioo to as high as $500 
a year. The Commission explains this as fol- 
lows : The wages paid by the padrones now to 
Greek boys in shoe-shining establishments range 
from $80 to $250 per year, the average wages 
being from $120 to $180 per year. The boys 
are bound by agreement to turn their tips over 
to their padrones : in most cases as soon as the 
tipping patron has departed the boy deposits 
his tip in the register, while in other places tips 



90 CHILD LABOR IN CITY STREETS 

are put into a separate box to which the padrone 
holds the key. In smaller cities and even in the 
poorest locations each boy's tips may exceed 
the sum of 50 cents per day, while in large 
cities they average higher. The Greek padrone, 
therefore, receives in return from tips alone 
nearly double the amount of wages paid. By 
deducting the wages and the annual boarding 
expenses for each boy — an expenditure seldom 
exceeding the sum of $40 per year — there is 
still a sum left to the padrone to pay him for 
the privilege of allowing the boy to work in 
his place. In other words, from the total 
amount of tips — money that belongs to the 
boy by right — the padrone is enabled to pay the 
boy's annual wages and still have a respectable 
sum left, all this independently of the legitimate 
profits of his business. 

Relatives of the padrones in Greece often pay 
the steamship passage of boys with the under- 
standing that they are to go to the United States 
and serve the padrone for one year to reimburse 
him for the passage money advanced. A mort- 
gage is placed on the property of the boys' 
father as security, purporting that the father 
is to receive in cash an amount equal to the 



BOOTBLACKS, PEDDLERS, MARKET CHILDREN 9I 

wages commonly paid to Greek bootblacks for 
one year in the United States, but as a matter of 
fact a steamship ticket and $12 or $15 in money 
are all that is given. The cash is to serve as 
"show money" to help secure admission to 
this country past the immigration officers at 
the ports of entry. Advertising is systematically 
carried on throughout all the provinces of Greece 
with a view to exciting the interest of the parents 
so that they will send their boys to the United 
States, and no efforts are spared in letting it 
become known that there is a great demand here 
for Boy labor at the bootblack stands. The 
padrones themselves even go to Greece every 
two or three years, and while there manage to 
become godfathers to the children of many 
families; this relationship gives them great 
influence, and through it they are able to secure 
many boys for their service. 

Concerning the prevention of these abuses, 
the report says: "In the investigations con- 
ducted by the Bureau of Immigration many 
conferences were held with United States 
attorneys in various jurisdictions with the view 
of instituting proceedings against padrones, 
if possible, under the peonage statutes. The 



92 CHILD LABOR IN CITY STREETS ^ 

attorneys generally agreed that under the evi- 
dence submitted to them those laboring in shoe- 
shining estabHshments are peons, but as the 
elements of indebtedness and physical compul- 
sion to work out the indebtedness are missing, 
peonage laws cannot apply. 

"Our immigration laws as now on the statute 
books provide specifically for the exclusion of 
boys under sixteen years of age only when not 
accompanied by one or both of their parents. 
This provision cannot apply to those boys that 
come in company with their parents, nor to 
those who have their parents in the United 
States, nor to such as successfully deceive 
immigration officers by posing as the sons of 
immigrants in whose charge they come. If 
held for special inspection at the ports of entry, 
these aliens can only be excluded if it appears 
that they are destined to an occupation unsuited 
to their tender years. In the absence of any 
such evidence, the boards of inquiry generally 
admit. Once landed, it becomes a hard 
matter to trace them and almost impossible 
to secure evidence in the majority of cases, for 
the boys understand that they will be punished 
by deportation. This knowledge makes them 



BOOTBLACKS, PEDDLERS, MARKET CHILDREN 93 

persistent in withholding any information as 
to the manner of their entry into the United 
States."/ 

Quite recently a young Greek bootblack who 
was working at a stand in an IndianapoHs 
office building confessed to a truant officer that 
he was twelve years old, whereupon the chief 
truant officer of the city went to the place, but 
on his arrival the boy had changed his mind 
and declared that he was fourteen years old, and 
every one connected with the stand supported 
the statement. Nevertheless the chief truant 
officer proceeded with the case and found that 
the boy had been in this country only about 
six months, his parents being still in Greece. 
An older brother had a position as a railroad 
porter but did not stay with the little fellow 
even on the few occasions he was in the city. 
The boy lived at the home of the proprietor 
of the stand, whose relationship to him was a 
combination of employer and guardian. This 
man operated four stands in the city, and his 
dozen or more other employees all lived at the 
same place. The chief truant officer charged 

* Abstract of Report on Greek Padrone System in United 
States, by Immigration Commission, 191 1, p. 22. 



94 CHILD LABOR IN CITY STREETS 

the man with having worked the boy from 7 a.m. 
to 9 P.M. seven days in the week, which was 
admitted before the Juvenile Court by the 
defendant, who also volunteered the information 
that the boy worked until 11 p.m. on holidays 
and on Saturdays. Of course the boy was 
being kept out of school. 

In its issue of August 12, 191 1, the Survey 
published a letter from a correspondent concern- 
ing a case of peonage among bootblacks in the 
city of Rochester, N.Y. This particular case 
was of a pale, thin, under-sized Greek lad who 
worked at a large stand in a local office building. 
He explained that he worked every day in the 
week from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m., including Sundays, 
and that on Saturdays the hours were length- 
ened to II P.M., adding that he had not 
been absent from his stand one day in four years 
except at one time when he was sick in the 
hospital. 

A letter which was written by a Greek in 
Syracuse, N.Y., on May 4, 19 11, to the editor 
of the Syracuse Post-Standard was printed in 
the same magazine.^ This letter recites the 
wrongs of the bootblacks and is reproduced 
1 Survey, Vol. XXVI, p. 591. 



BOOTBLACKS, PEDDLERS, MARKET CHILDREN 95 

below because of its value as one of the rare 
protests which come from the victims of the 
system : — 

"Before I came to this country from Greece, 
I heard that this country is free, but I don't 
think so. It is free for the Americans, not for 
the shoe shiners. In this city are too many 
shoe shiners' stands, and the boys which work 
there — they work fifteen hours a day, and 
Sunday, and almost eighteen on Saturdays. 
They make only from $12 to $18 a month and 
board, but we don't have any good board neither, 
but our patrons give us bread, tea and a piece 
of cheese for dinner, supper, but no breakfast. 
We don't have any time to go to the church, 
not in school, and without them we wont be 
good citizens. They won't let us read news- 
papers, because they are afraid if we learn 
something we will quit, but we can't quit 
because we can't speak English, and we can't 
find another job. Now I don't mean the boys 
working in the barber shops. They make 
$10 to $18 a week, and they don't work as hard 
as we do. We wish to work as they do. We 
want the public and Mr. Mayor to cut the 
hours from fifteen to ten, not Sundays, because 



g6 CHILD LABOR IN CITY STREETS 

we want time for school, and weekly work, not 
monthly. I think I wrote enough." 

Peddlers and Market Children 

The licensed peddlers of Boston are under 
orders not to engage little children to sell for 
them with or without compensation. ^' These 
peddlers have hitherto crowded the markets of 
this city by inviting children to help them in 
*the business, frequently for no other compensa- 
tion than the offal of their pushcarts or stands." ^ 

The peddHng of chewing gum is a common 
form of street occupation for children. In 
reality it is merely begging in disguise. The 
Chicago Vice Commission reports that its 
agents found boys under fourteen years of age 
selling gum late at night in the segregated 
districts of the city. At intervals of from two 
to three hours their investigators returned to 
the same neighborhood and found these Httle 
children still engaged in this very questionable 
form of work. One agent reported having 
seen two Httle girls of about eleven years in the 
company of a small boy of about eight years 

^ School Document, No. lo, igio, Boston Public Schools, 
P- 133- 



BOOTBLACKS, PEDDLERS, MARKET CHILDREN 97 

selling chewing gum in front of a saloon in the 
vice district between nine and ten o'clock at 
night.^ 

The following table gives the sex, age, nation- 
ality, standing in school, orphanage and occu- 
pation of seventeen children found by one 
person in a single trip through the markets of 
Cincinnati : — 



n 





< 





I 




9 


2d 


I 




10 


4th 


I 




10 


3d 


I 




10 


2d 




I 


10 


4th 




I 


10 


3d 


I 




II 


4th 


I 




II 


3d 




I 


II 


6th 


I 




12 


4th 


I 




12 


3d 


I 




12 


4th 


I 




12 


6th 


z 




13 


5th 


I 




14 


3d 


I 




14 


8th 




1 


14 


4th 



Nationality 



Italian 

American 

German 

Italian 

Italian 

Italian 

Italian 

Italian 

German 

American 

American 

American 

Italian 

Italian 

American 

American 

Italian 



Father 
Living 


Mother 
Living 


Yes 


No 


Yes 


No 

I 
I 


I 

I 

I 

I 
I 
I 
I 
I 
I 
I 


I 
I 

I 
I 

I 





Sft.t.ing 



baskets 

fruit 

vegetables 

fruit 

fruit 

baskets 

fruit 

baskets 

vegetables 

vegetables 

baskets 



fruit 

baskets 

sassafras 

vegetables 

fruit 



* "The Social Evil in Chicago," by the Vice Commission of 
Chicago, 1911, p. 242. 



98 CHILD LABOR IN CITY STREETS 

Of these seventeen children nine were Italians, 
six were Americans, two were Germans. Five 
of the children, all of whom except one were 
Italian, were engaged in selHng baskets to the 
passers-by in markets. Six of the children, 
all of whom except one were Italian, were 
selling fruit. Six of the children were selling 
vegetables and herbs, all of them being Ameri- 
cans and Germans. The occupational charac- 
teristics of these different peoples are shown 
by their children, the Itahans predominating 
in the sale of fruit, the Germans in the sale 
of the products of their market gardens, the 
Americans, all of whom were boys, in the sale 
of the herbs they had gathered or the vegetables 
cultivated on their home farms. 

Of these seventeen children nine were in their 
normal grades at school, while eight were back- 
ward and none ahead of their proper grades. 
This large percentage of retardation is due prin- 
cipally to the lack of time for preparation of 
school lessons on the part of these children, as 
much of their afternoons and evenings is taken 
up either with the work of selling in the markets 
or with the work of assisting with the garden 
duties at home. Of the eight backward chil- 



BOOTBLACKS, PEDDLERS, MARKET CHILDREN 99 

dren, four were Italians and four were Americans. 
One of the backward Italian girls was fourteen 
years of age and had left school three weeks 
prior to the inquiry; she was the oldest of six 
children ; her father was dead, and she was work- 
ing for her mother in their fruit store selling 
the fruit from early morning until midnight 
every day in the week except Sunday. As she 
was the oldest child in the family, it is of course 
easily seen that her retardation in school was 
largely due to her having been kept at work in 
the shop during the afternoons and evenings 
while she was still attending school. An Ameri- 
can boy, who, although twelve years of age, was 
only in the third grade at school, was employed 
by his parents to sell baskets in the market, in 
spite of the fact that his father had a store and 
was fully able to support the child properly. 
This boy was found, as were many other such 
children, selling baskets in the market at eleven 
o^clock at night after having been there since 
early in the morning. A thirteen-year-old 
Italian boy was only in the fifth grade ; he was 
selling baskets in one market in the morning 
and in another market during the afternoon and 
evening ; both of his parents were living, and 



lOO CHILD LABOR IN CITY STREETS 

his father had a "city job." There were six 
children in the family, two of whom were older 
and employed. The entire family of eight per- 
sons occupied two rooms. 

It is noteworthy that the fathers of twelve 
of the children were living, only five being dead ; 
while the mothers of fifteen were living, only two 
being dead. Not a single child was a full orphan. 
In the great majority of cases it was not neces- 
sary for these children to work so prematurely. 



CHAPTER V 



Accustomed to seeing messenger boys engaged 
during the day in the unobjectionable task of 
dehvering telegrams to residences and business 
offices, one is likely to regard this service as an 
occupation quite suitable for children and to 
give it no further thought. However, the 
character of the work done by the messenger 
boy changes radically after nine or ten o'clock 
at night. At that hour most legitimate business 
has ceased, and the evil phases of city life begin 
to manifest themselves. From that time on 
imtil nearly dawn the messenger's work is largely 
in connection with the vicious features of city 
life. The ignorance of the general pubKc as to 
the evil influences surrounding the night messen- 
ger service is strikingly illustrated by what 
one Indiana boy told an investigator; he de- 
clared that if his father knew what kind of 
work he was doing, a strap would be laid across 
his back and he would be compelled to abandon 
zoz 



102 CHILD LABOR IN CITY STREETS 

it. But the father did not know; he thought 
his boy was simply delivering telegrams. 

The delivery of telegrams forms but a small 
part of the boy's work at night, because few 
messages are dispatched after business hours. 
Instead, calls are sent to the office for messengers 
to go on errands. The boys wait upon the 
characters of the underworld and perform a 
surprising variety of simple tasks ; they carry- 
notes to and from the inmates of houses of pros- 
titution and their patrons, take lunches, chop 
suey and chile con carne to bawdyhouse women, 
procure liquor after the closing hour, purchase 
opiimi, cocaine and other drugs, go to drug 
stores for prostitutes to get medicines and articles 
used in their trade, and perform other tasks 
that oblige them to cultivate their acquaintance 
with the worst side of human nature. One 
instance was found in which the boy was re- 
quired to clean up the room of a prostitute and 
to make her bed. The imiform or cap of the 
messenger boy is a badge of secrecy and enables 
him to get liquor at illegal hours or to procure 
opiimi and other drugs where plain citizens would 
be refused ; hence these boys are thrown into 
associations of the lowest kind, night after 



MESSENGERS AND DELIVERY CHILDREN 103 

night, and come to regard these evil conditions 
as normal phases of life. Usually the brightest 
boys on the night force become the favorites 
of the prostitutes ; the women take a fancy to 
particular boys because of their personal attrac- 
tiveness and show them many favors, so that 
the most promising boys in this work are the 
ones most Uable to suffer complete moral 
degradation. 

Messenger service not only gives boys the 
opportunity to learn what life is at night in 
"tenderloin" districts, but the character of the 
work actually forces them into contact with the 
vilest conditions and subjects them to the fear- 
ful influences always exerted by such associa- 
tions. Some beheve that this evil could be 
prevented by forbidding the ojfice to allow 
messenger boys to go on such errands, but this 
is not practicable for two reasons : first, because 
an essential feature of the messenger service is 
secrecy — the office does not inquire into the 
nature of the errand to be performed, and even 
if it did so, a false statement could easily be 
made by the patron over the telephone; and 
second, it would be necessary to send a detective 
along with the boy on each trip to see that he 



104 CHILD LABOR IN CITY STREETS 

observed the rules. Boys are eager to run 
errands for prostitutes for various reasons, one 
being the extra income assured, as these women 
give tips with Hberal hand. 

Like other street occupations, the messenger 
service is a blind alley; it leads nowhere. A 
very few boys are promoted to the position of 
check boy in the telegraph office, and fewer 
still have an opportunity to learn telegraphy. 
Some of the boys become cab drivers because 
they have familiarized themselves with the city 
streets; others become saloon keepers because 
they have become well acquainted with this 
method of making a livelihood; some are 
attracted by the life of "ease" which opens 
before them and enter into agreement with 
prostitutes, upon whose earnings they subsist; 
others have the courage to get away from these 
influences and secure work as ofhce boys or in 
some other line entirely different from the mes- 
senger service. 

A considerable number of the inmates of state 
reform schools were formerly messenger boys, 
indicating that this service is one of the roads 
to delinquency. As the immoral influences 
surrounding this work are especially active 



MESSENGERS AND DELIVERY CHILDREN IO5 

among youths, the age limit for such employment 
at night should be made high enough to prevent 
their being so exposed. New York State was 
first to declare that if this work is to be done at 
night it must be done by men, and has fixed 
the age limit at twenty-one years. The late 
Judge Stubbs, of the Indianapolis Juvenile 
Court, speaking before the Conference of 
Juvenile Court Officers held in that city in No- 
vember, 1 9 10, said that messenger boys, and 
newsboys who sell papers in the downtown 
streets, were the boys most frequently charged 
with delinquency before his court, and declared 
that twenty-one years was low enough as an 
age limit for night messenger service. 

Other temptations assail the messenger boy 
in his work, and are frequently yielded to. The 
old practice of raising the amount of charges 
on the envelope of a telegram is notorious and 
is still an ever present problem to the companies. 
When a boy has been detected in this petty 
crime and is questioned about it, he too often 
adds to the one misdeed the other equally griev- 
ous one of lying, whereupon his dismissal 
usually follows. 

Under the direction of the writer an investi- 



I06 CHILD LABOR IN CITY STREETS 

gation of the night messenger service was made 
in 1 910 in Ohio, Kentucky and Indiana, the 
following cases being typical of the conditions 
found in all cities. In one of the larger towns 
of Indiana, a fourteen-year-old messenger boy 
was interviewed one night by an agent of the 
National Child Labor Committee who had 
called up the telegraph office by telephone 
requesting that a messenger be sent to him. 
Early in the course of conversation, of his own 
vohtion, the boy referred to houses of prostitu- 
tion. Upon being asked what he knew about 
such places, he replied: "Too much — I am 
there half the night. You see they call for 
messengers to rim errands for them. Sometimes 
I get them drinks, opium, medicines from drug 
stores or anything they want. No matter 
what they ask us to do — it's our business 
to go ahead and do it." The boy led the agent 
to a disreputable negro district and described 
his activities in this region. "No night passes 
without my making a dollar down here," said 
he. "The niggers are great smokers of opium, 
and I get it for them ; they give me a little jar, 
and I have it filled up for them. It costs them 
$1.50, and I usually get the change from $2." 



MESSENGERS AND DELIVERY CHILDREN 107 

The agent feigned doubt so as to elicit more 
information, whereupon the boy offered to get 
some opium if he were given a tip. The agent 
gave the boy one dollar and told him he might 
keep the change; in ten minutes he returned 
with a card of opium which was subsequently 
analyzed in a laboratory and found to be the 
kind ordinarily prepared for smoking purposes. 
This experience was repeated again and again 
by agents of the National Child Labor Com- 
mittee in different cities and proved beyond the 
shadow of a doubt that these young boys are 
forced into famiHarity with the most degrading 
conditions. 

Another fourteen-year-old messenger boy in 
the same town told the agent that there were 
but few business calls at night, and that nearly 
all of their work was in connection with houses 
of prostitution. This boy spoke of the money 
he received in tips from inmates and patrons 
of these houses, of his receiving liquor and 
cigarettes from them, and remarked, *'I do 
not have to do this work, but I like it; this job 
is too good to give up; I'm learning a lot of 
things." This little fellow described some ex- 
tremely revolting scenes of which he had been 



Io8 CHILD LABOR IN CITY STREETS 

witness in these houses, and upon being asked 
whether his manager was aware of the kind of 
places he was called to, he replied, ''Sure he 
does, for he gets the message over the telephone, 
then he calls one of the boys and sends him to 
the house.'' 

Another messenger in the same city, who was 
seventeen years old and had been in this serv- 
ice for four years, working daily until half past 
two in the morning, said, in talking about the 
use of drugs by prostitutes, ''When they are 
so full of dope that they don't know what to 
do, they call up for a messenger, and sometimes 
I have had them send me out to a drug store 
for paris green; they want to kill themselves, 
they are crazy with opium; of course I take 
their money and never show up again." This 
boy also bought a small package of opium for 
the agent. He declared that he knew every 
house of prostitution in the city and was well 
acquainted with their proprietresses. To prove 
this, he wrote out a list of fourteen such places, 
putting down the streets and numbers at once 
from memory. These were subsequently re- 
ferred to persons familiar with the city and 
verified. 



MESSENGERS AND DELIVERY CHILDREN lOQ 

It is very distressing to read the testimony 
of a fourteen-year-old messenger boy of another 
city who had been thrown by his work so much 
in contact with evil conditions that he had 
come to regard these as normal. Although 
only fourteen years of age, he had lost aU faith 
in womankind. In walking through the segre- 
gated district with the agent, this boy called 
out in advance the number of each house of 
prostitution, thus showing his familiarity with 
the whole region. In his childish, schoolboy 
hand, he wrote on a slip of paper a list of the 
bawdyhouses, putting down very promptly 
from memory the names of the proprietresses, 
the names of the streets and numbers of the 
houses. 

Another fourteen-year-old messenger boy in 
this city related many disgusting details of his 
experiences in the service at night — of prosti- 
tutes smoking, cursing and sprawHng on the 
floor dead drunk. He stated that he had never 
smoked before he became a messenger, but that 
when he saw the women using tobacco in all 
the houses, he thought there could be no harm in 
it. ''If ladies do it, why shouldn't I? So I 
began, and now I smoke a pack of cigarettes 



no CHILD LABOR EST CITY STREETS 

a day. I get twenty for a nickel and smoke 
all night. If I didn't, I suppose I'd fall asleep. 
I once lit a cigarette from an opium pipe in 
one of the houses — but no more opium for 
me." When asked whether his manager knew 
that he was sent to these houses, he repKed: 
"Sure he does, he's the one that sends us; 
if we don't go, we get fired. He knows all the 
women, too, because he jokes with them over the 
telephone when they call up for a boy." 

A fifteen-year-old night messenger, when 
asked what he did with the money he received 
as tips, replied: "Last week I lost a dollar in a 
crap game, and I go to moving-picture shows 
during the day and buy different things; I 
suppose if my people knew the kind of work I 
was doing, I would get a thick leather strap over 
my back. They have an idea that the messenger 
business is just taking telegrams to reputable 
people. There are very few business calls at 
night at our office; almost all of them come from 
houses of prostitution. This is going to be a 
very busy week with us because a convention 
starts to-morrow, and the delegates will want 
us to take them to the houses." 

Another Hoosier messenger was only sixteen 



MESSENGERS AND DELIVERY CHILDREN III 

years of age, although he had been in the service 
of one company for four years and had pre- 
viously been discharged from another company 
for having defrauded a patron. This lad was a 
typical boy of the street; his features were 
drawn, black lines were below his eyes, and his 
walk could be described best as a drag. "I 
know every single house of prostitution in this 
city," said he. "I have been in every one. 
I get drinks in most of them, and many a time 
I was drunk for a whole day in some woman's 
room." This boy, having been in the service 
several years, spoke of the ravages dissipation 
had wrought on the women of the underworld. 
He had known many of them when they were 
just starting in their Hfe of shame, and remarked 
their rapid decline. Voluntarily he spoke of 
the venereal diseases from which he had suffered. 
He said that he had been discharged from his 
first job as a messenger for having defrauded 
patrons. To illustrate how the scheme worked, 
he said: "A woman wanted me to carry a 
package to some place and asked me what it 
would cost; I said one dollar, and she said she 
wouldn't pay it because it was too much. I 
told her to speak to the manager and gave her 



112 CHILD LABOR EST CITY STREETS 

the telephone number where my pal was waiting 
for the call. She asked him whether he was 
the manager, and he said, *Yes'; then she 
asked how much the charge was, and he answered 
one dollar. Then I went on the errand, and we 
split the difference. Somehow the manager got 
wise, and out we went.'' This boy's conversa- 
tion was a continuous flow of vulgarity. When 
the agent mentioned gambling, the boy drew 
from his pocket two sets of dice and said they 
were "ready at any time to do business. When 
the first of the month comes around, I am 
generally short or ahead $5. I lost $8 once. 
When I have no ready cash, I play on account 
of my salary." 

An eighteen-year-old messenger said: "I have 
been in this business here for five years, and a 
night never passes that I don't go to a house of 
prostitution ; that's our main business at night. 
They could not afford to have a messenger 
service in this town at night if it were not for 
the red light district. We have to do all their 
work, because they trust us." This boy spoke 
of the venereal diseases other boys in the serv- 
ice had, and admitted that he had contracted 
them twice himself. 



MESSENGERS AND DELIVERY CHILDREN II3 

Another eighteen-year-old messenger boy, 
who has been in the service four years and is 
afficted with an exceptionally bad venereal 
infection, said among other things, ''There are 
lots of messengers who are kept by women. 
The boys work only for appearances. I knew 
two messengers who worked with me who were 
kept by two prostitutes for a year, then they 
gave up the job at the same time and took the 
prostitutes to Chicago, where the women worked 
for them. One of these boys is only about 
nineteen years old now. You don't learn 
anything in the messenger business except to 
knock down (overcharge a patron) and to go 
around with prostitutes and gamblers. It kills 
a fellow. I know, because I went down the line, 
and I'm coming out the wrong end." When 
asked why he didn't quit the job, he replied: 
''You don't suppose I want to work for $3 or 
$4 a week? I'm used to making pretty good 
money and having a good time." He said that 
he made from $40 to $75 a month according to 
the tips he received, and spent it as fast as he 
got it. Most of it went in gambling. 

A fourteen-year-old messenger boy in another 
city who works from 6 p.m. to 7 a.m., in speaking 



114 CHILD LABOR IN CITY STREETS 

of the use of whisky in houses of prostitution, 
said: ^' We get it for them ; the saloons know the 
messengers, and we stand in with them ; the 
more a house sends for whisky the better they 
stand in with the saloon keeper. If the pro- 
prietress gets locked up, she will always be bailed 
out by the saloon keeper, but if she don't buy 
enough stuff from him, he will refuse to do it. 
When a proprietress is put in jail, the cops ring 
up for a messenger from the station house, and 
they send me to the cell where the woman is, 
and she always gives me a note to take to the 
saloon keeper and he goes down and gets her 
out." This boy said his manager knew the kind 
of places he visited, but was not in the office all 
night. During the late hours of the night the 
telegraph operator and the clerk were left in 
charge, and the boy remarked that they had 
told him to try to get a woman into the office 
if he found one on the street, and related in- 
stances in which this had been done. He was 
paid a salary of $22 a month. 

Another fourteen-year-old messenger in this 
town is paid $17 a month salary and makes 
$10 or $12 a month in tips. 

A thirteen-year-old messenger in another city, 



MESSENGERS AND DELIVERY CHILDREN II5 

after having related some of his experiences in 
the segregated district, said: "I tell you, it's 
mighty dirty work for a boy to be in, but I 
suppose a fellow has to learn these things some- 
how, and I may as well learn them in the mes- 
senger service as in any other way. I smoke 
perique so I can sleep in the daytime." 

A fourteen-year-old messenger in the same 
city, employed from noon to midnight, had 
been in the service only one week when inter- 
viewed by the agent; among other things he 
said: "All the last week I have been doing nothing 
but go to the red light district. I didn't know 
what this messenger business was until I got 
into it, and I am going to quit just as soon as I 
see a Httle more of that kind of thing." 

In a certain Indiana city there was found a 
"kid line" messenger service, so called because 
the proprietor was a mere boy who was formerly 
in the service of another messenger company. 
He had two day boys, but at night answered the 
calls himself. He was fourteen years old and 
told the agent that he had lived in the "red 
light" district more than at his home on account 
of the number of calls he had to answer there, 
but of course this was exaggeration intended to 



Il6 CHILD LABOR IN CITY STREETS 

convey the fact that most of his business was 
with that region. When he entered into busi- 
ness for himself, he went to all the prostitutes 
in the "red light" district and told them that 
he was commencing on his own account and 
that he wanted them to be his customers. "I 
get a good deal of their business. I get it because 
I know how to treat them. I can get them beer 
on Sunday and can sneak it into their houses. 
I know all the women and can introduce you 
to any of them, and can get you any amount 
of beer or whisky that you want. When I 

was working for the messenger company 

there was another boy on the force who tried 
to take all the good calls; he divided his tips 
with the manager, so he was sent to all the 
houses where good tips were given. There was 
one prostitute who liked me pretty well and 
gave me ten or fifteen cents for myself every time I 
went to her house. I started to answer a call there 
one night, and the other boy ran after me. We 
got to the place at the same time and had a 
fight in the hall; the men and women in the 
place gathered around us and ojffered to give us 
two dollars each if we would scrap for them, 
so we started right in, and before I was through 



MESSENGERS AND DELIVERY CHILDREN II 7 

with him he had two black eyes and his face 
was bleeding, then he pulled out a knife, but 
they took it away from him, and the next day 
I was fired. There is a young girl in one of the 
houses who is a chambermaid and wants me 
to live with her, and maybe I will but I'm 
afraid my mother will get wise.'' 

The fifteen-year-old messenger of another 
office showed the agent the list of about one 
hundred calls sent in the previous night, nearly 
every one of which came from the *'red light" 
district. 

After weighing such evidence we can readily 
comprehend the justice of the opinion rendered 
by Dr. Charles P. Neill in the following words : 
"The newsboys' service is demoralizing, but 
the messenger service is debauching. . . . And, 
saddest of all, this service appeals strongly to 
the children . The prurient curiosity of the devel- 
oping boy would itself incline him to like these 
calls to houses of prostitution, but they quickly 
learn also that women who live in these sections 
are more generous with their earnings in the 
way of tips than are the people in the more 
respectable sections of the city. ... It can 
be said that all the boys who go into the messen- 



Il8 CHILD LABOR IN CITY STREETS 

ger service do not go to the bad, but it can be 
said with equal truth that it ruins children by 
the dozens, and that if any boy comes out of 
this service without having suffered moral ship- 
wreck he can thank the mercy of God for it, 
and not the protecting arm of the com.munity 
that stands idly by and makes no attempt to 
save him from temptation."^ 

In 1908 Congress passed a child labor law 
for the District of Columbia which provided, 
among other restrictions, that no messenger 
boy under sixteen years should be employed 
between 7 p.m. and 6 a.m., — sixteen years, the 
beginning of the period of adolescence, when 
boys have the greatest need of protection from 
the vices running riot in cities ! 

The Chicago Vice Commission devotes several 
pages of its report to a recital of the experiences 
of messenger boys in connection with their 
work in the segregated districts. One of the 
telegraph companies maintains a branch office 
close to one of these districts, where eight boys 
from fifteen to eighteen years of age are employed 

^ " Child Labor at the National Capital," an address de- 
livered in Washington, December, 1905, Pamphlet 23 of 
National Child Labor Committee. 



. MESSENGERS AND DELIVERY CHILDREN II9 

as messengers. These boys are called upon to 
work at all hours of the day and night, their 
tasks being the same as those of the messengers 
in other cities. A number of specific instances 
of the wretched environment into which these 
boys are thrown, are given. One of them who 
works from midnight until lo a.m. was sent by a 
prostitute to a drug store for a package of cocaine 
hydrochloride, for which he paid $5.78, receiving 
$1 from the prostitute as a tip for the service. 
Another messenger was sent out on a similar 
errand by another prostitute two weeks later 
and purchased for her a h5^odermic needle 
for a syringe ; he was charged $2 for this needle, 
the cost to the druggist being 19 cents. A 
few days later a boy was called by another pros- 
titute who confided to him that she had dis- 
continued the use of messenger boys for purchas- 
ing "dope" because she found that they talked 
too much and could not be trusted, adding that 
she now had a newsboy, who sold papers at a 
near-by corner, buy the cocaine for her. A 
woman who lives in an apartment house and is 
the owner and proprietor of houses of prosti- 
tution in the restricted district, is in the habit 
of sending in an order for cocaine to a druggist, 



I20 CHILD LABOR IN CITY STREETS 

who calls a messenger boy to deliver it to her 
residence. This messenger opened one of the 
packages and, suspecting that it was cocaine, 
sniffed a little of it himself. He confessed that 
he had done this quite often since, and it ap- 
peared that he had derived a good deal of pleas- 
ure from it. The same messenger is sent about 
three times monthly by a certain man to a China- 
man, from whom he buys a package of opium 
for $4. On returning from one of these trips 
he watched the man open the package, take a 
quantity of the stuff, roll it and heat it, but at 
this point the messenger was told to leave the 
room. Another messenger boy has been em- 
ployed at this particular branch office for more 
than three years, although he is now only 
seventeen years old; his earnings average 
about $10 per week, including tips. He is 
of small stature, not mentally bright and at 
present is afflicted with syphilis of three 
months' duration. Another messenger is a 
boy of foreign parentage, only fifteen years of 
age, who said he had recently been called quite 
often to a certain house of prostitution where an 
inmate gave him a box with a note to a druggist ; 
the contents cost $1.75, but upon returning to 



MESSENGERS AND DELIVERY CHILDREN 121 

the woman he would declare that he had paid 
$2.50, thus obtaining 75 cents on false pretenses, 
and in addition a tip of half a dollar. On one 
of his trips for this prostitute he had opened 
the note and found that it was a requisition for 
cocaine; on returning he placed some of the 
contents upon his tongue, but did not like the 
sensation and never repeated it. He is in the 
habit of picking up discarded cigarettes and 
smoking them. In spite of his age, he knows 
the name of nearly every prostitute in this dis- 
trict and can recognize these women at sight; 
he stated that whenever he entered a house of 
prostitution they would nearly always kiss him, 
and at different times he had had sores on his 
lips. 

Another boy who was attending high school 
was employed as a messenger in the downtown 
district during Christmas week of 19 10. He 
was sent to deliver a message in a house of 
prostitution, and the girl who received it offered 
to cohabit with him free of charge as a Christmas 
present, stating that it was customary to do this 
for messenger boys on Christmas Day.^ 

1 "The Social Evil in Chicago," by the Vice Comm: 
of Chicago, 191 1, p. 244. 



122 CHILD LABOR EST CITY STREETS 

A number of other messengers told of similar 
experiences, stating that they were often called 
to houses of prostitution to perform small 
personal services for the inmates. As to regu- 
lation of the service, a police order was issued 
in Chicago in April, 1910, to the effect that no 
messenger or delivery boy under eighteen years 
was to be allowed in the segregated districts at 
any time. 

In arguing against the further restriction 
of the night messenger service, the telegraph 
companies and other interested organizations 
insist that the majority of these boys are working 
to support their widowed mothers or incapaci- 
tated fathers ; a recent government report says, 
in referring to the table of families in which 
there are messengers and errand and office 
boys ten to fourteen years of age, classified by 
percentage of older breadwinners, for Boston, 
Chicago, New York and Washington, "These 
statistics point to the conclusion that the greater 
part of the families now furnishing children 
from ten to thirteen years of age and fourteen 
years for the occupation of messengers and errand 
and office boys are by no means either entirely 
or largely dependent upon the earnings of such 



MESSENGERS AND DELIVERY CHILDREN 1 23 

children for the family support." ^ The restric- 
tion advocated does not contemplate the pro- 
hibition of this work to boys of fourteen years 
and upwards in the daytime; its object is to 
shield the youths from the vile associations 
necessarily connected with this work at night. 

Night Service by Men — Not by Boys 

Mr. Owen R. Lovejoy of the National Child 
Labor Committee, in speaking of the study of 
the night messenger service undertaken by this 
organization, says: *'The evidence collected 
justified the committee in cooperating with its 
affiliated organizations to secure legislation, and, 
counting on the moral interest of the public 
to promote the effort, we made the question 
one for practical and immediate decision. 
Results apparently justify the policy chosen. 
A bill was imanimously passed by the legislature 
of New York State [in 19 10], excluding any 
person under twenty-one years of age from this 
occupation between ten o'clock at night and 
five o'clock in the morning." 

Massachusetts in 19 11 forbade the employment 

* Bulletin 69 of Bureau of Census, " Child Labor in the 
United States," 1907, p. 170. 



124 CHILD LABOR IN CITY STREETS 

of messengers under twenty-one years of age 
between the hours of lo p.m. and 5 a.m., except 
by newspaper offices. Utah fixed the same age 
limit for this work in cities of first and second 
classes between 9 p.m. and 5 a.m. New Jersey 
did likewise as to cities of the first class, fixing 
the age limit at eighteen years for smaller 
places, the prohibited hours being from 10 p.m. 
to 5 A.M. 

Wisconsin also passed a law in 191 1, prohibit- 
ing the employment of any one under twenty- 
one years of age as a messenger between 8 p.m. 
and 6 a.m. in cities of the first, second and third 
classes. Ohio, in 19 10, fixed the age Kmit for 
messenger service between 9 p.m. and 6 a.m. at 
eighteen years. 

Michigan now prohibits the employment of 
messengers under eighteen years between 10 p.m. 
and 5 A.M., as do also New Hampshire, Oregon, 
Tennessee and CaKfornia. 

Other states having the advanced type of 
child labor law prohibit the employment of 
children imder fourteen years in the messenger 
ser\dce during the day and under sixteen years 
at night. The states of Alabama, Arkansas, 
Florida, Mississippi, Nevada, New Mexico, 



MESSENGERS AND DELIVERY CHILDREN 1 25 

North Carolina, Rhode Island, South Carolina, 
Texas, Virginia and Wyoming do not yet pro- 
vide any age limit for this work. 

The evil effects of the messenger service have 
also been noted in Great Britain. A school- 
master of Edinburgh says, "Insolence, coarse 
intonation, swearing, lying, pilfering and lewd- 
ness are the chief products of message going 
by boys." ^ 

A London health officer has testified as follows : 
" There is a very large employment of . boy 
labour now, boys employed as messengers and 
errand boys, which teaches them nothing useful 
for their future life; and when they have out- 
grown the age at which they can be employed 
in this way, the risk of drifting into the ranks 
of the unskilled labourer is a very large one.'* ^ 

"The government post office telegraph mes- 
sengers are not employed unless they have 
passed the seventh standard at school and each 
candidate has to provide a satisfactory certifi- 
cate of health from his own medical attendant. 
A boy of fourteen must also be over four feet 

» Robert H. Sherard, "Child Slaves of Britain," p. 179. 
2 Great Britain, Report of Interdepartmental Committee 
on Physical Deterioration, 1904, Vol. II, Q. 10,440. 



126 CHILD LABOR IN CITY STREETS 

eight inches in height. The minimum starting 
wage in London is seven shillings a week, rising 
by a shilling a week annually to eleven shillings. 
On reaching the age of sixteen the boy has to 
pass a further examination in order to quaHfy 
for retention. The various private telegraph 
companies offer much the same terms, though in 
some cases they are able to get boys slightly 
cheaper, as the qualifying standard is not such 
a high one. It is only during the rare periods 
when the supply of boy labour is more plentiful 
than usual that the private telegraph companies 
will refuse a boy on accoimt of his size. The 
varied nature of the work they are called upon 
to perform is an undoubted attraction in the 
eyes of many. . . . That it is bad for them mor- 
ally is less open to doubt. Even when they are 
more actively employed the most that they can 
hope to learn is a very small amount of discipline. 
A more serious point is the future of the boys 
when they cease to be messengers." ^ 

"It is well to point out that the commonest 
of these occupations, that of errand boy or 

1 J. G. Cloete, "The Boy and his Work" in " Studies of Boy 
Life in Our Cities," edited by E. J. Urwick (England), 1904, 
p. 121. 



MESSENGERS AND DELIVERY CHILDREN 1 27 

messenger boy, is seldom a desirable one, quite 
apart from the fact that it generally leads no- y 
where. It lacks almost necessarily what the 
boy most needs — the compulsory training of 
the habit of disciplined effort." ^ 

As Mrs. Florence Kelley says, "The test of 
the work, however, should be not whether boys 
can do it, but what it does to boys." ^ 

IE. J. Urwick, "Studies of Boy Life in Our Cities" (Eng- 
land), 1904, p. 305. 
*"Some Ethical Gains through Legislation," 1905, p. 15. 



CHAPTER VI 

EFFECTS OF STREET WORK UPON CHILDREN 

All the evil effects of street work upon chil- 
dren observed by students of the problem have 
been here divided into three groups, under the 
headings of physical, moral, and material deterio- 
ration. It must be understood that this is 
a summary of such effects and that while the 
influences of the street are unquestionably bad, 
any one child exposed to them is not likely to 
suffer to the full extent suggested below. How- 
ever, deterioration in one form or another is 
invariably noted in children who have been 
engaged in street work for any length of time, 
and this is sufficient proof of the undesirability 
of such employment for our boys and girls. 

Effects of Street Work on Children 

I Form distaste for regular employment. 
. . •( Small chance of acquiring a trade. 

I Drift into large class of casual workers. 
128 



EFFECTS OF STREET WORK UPON CHILDREN 1 29 



Physical 
Deterioration 



' Night work. 
Excessive fatigue. 
Exposure to bad weather. 
Irregularity of sleep and meals. 
Use of stimulants — cigarettes, coffee, 

liquor. 
Disease through contact with vices. 



Moral 
Deterioration 



Encouragement to truancy. 
Independence and defiance of parental 

control. 
Weakness cultivated by formation of bad 

habits. 
Form liking for petty excitements of street. 
Opportunities to become deUnquent. 
Large percentage of recruits to criminal 

population. 



These are the insidious influences permeating 
street work and rampant in all our cities. They 
are minimized and even denied by certain igno- 
rant or interested parties who base their asser- 
tions upon the fact that prominent men of to-day 
were once newsboys or bootblacks, and there- 
fore jump to the conclusion that their success is 
due to the training received in this way when 
young. The truth is more likely to be that such 
individuals have succeeded, not because of this 
early training, but in spite of it. Boys of 
exceptionally strong character will force them- 



130 CHILD LABOR IN CITY STREETS 

selves out of such an environment unscathed, 
but the great majority of children have not 
sufficient mental and moral stamina to with- 
stand these influences. The minority will take 
care of itself under any circumstances, — it is 
with the weaker majority that we must deal. 
The problem is an urgent one, but generally 
ignored, for, as Myron E. Adams says, the public 
sees the street worker at his best and neglects 
him at his worst. 

The charge that in street work a child has 
small chance of acquiring a suitable trade is 
one of the worst counts in the .indictment. 
Street work leads to nothing else; the various 
occupations are so many industrial pitfalls, and 
the children who get into them must sooner or 
later struggle out and begin over again at some 
other line of work, if they would succeed. 

"These children (street traders) furnish a 
very large proportion of recruits to the criminal 
population. Those who do not graduate into 
crime form a liking for the petty excitements of 
the street and a distaste for regular employment. 
They lack skill and perseverance, shun the 
monotony of a permanent job, and as they 
grow older either follow itinerant and question- 



EFFECTS OF STREET WORK UPON CHILDREN 131 

able trades or become ill-paid and inefficient 
casual laborers. Therefore these young people 
are a source of waste to society rather than of 
profit." 1 

The large percentage of former newsboys 
among the inmates of boys' reformatories 
recently induced an active social worker to send 
an inquiry to the superintendents of such 
institutions and to juvenile court judges in 
different parts of the coimtry relative to the 
effect of newspaper selHng on schoolboys. 
The statements received in reply are set forth 
in a leaflet which was published in igio.^ 

These officials are practically imanimous in 
condemning street trading by boys, declaring 
that newsboys are generally stupid and almost 
always morally defiled; that the pittance they 
earn is bought at great sacrifice; that the 
spending of their earnings without supervision 
is the worst thing that can befall them ; that the 
Hfe leads to gambhng, dishonesty and spend- 

1 Victor S. Clark, "Women and Child Wage Earners in 
Great Britain," Bulletin 80, United States Bureau of Labor, 
p. 28. 

2 "Newsboy Life, — What Superintendents of Reformatories 
and Others think about its Effects," Leaflet No. 32 of Na- 
tional Child Labor Committee, 1910. 



132 CHILD LABOR IN CITY STREETS 

thrift habits ; that it is a dead-end occupation 
leading to nothing; that it abounds in evil 
temptations; that the boys are comparatively- 
idle and see and hear the worst that is to be seen 
and heard on the street ; that the work subjects 
boys to bad influences before they are strong 
enough to resist them ; that delinquency results 
from their enforced association with all classes 
of boys; and concluding that every possible 
protection should be thrown about the yoimg 
boy. Some of these ofiicers gave due considera- 
tion to the advantages of street trading, and one 
made the naive statement that newspaper selKng 
was not a bad business for a boy who could 
withstand its temptations. 

Although the law of New York State provides 
a modicimi of regulation for street trading, 
nevertheless it has not been effective because 
of extremely indifferent enforcement. Like 
almost all other street- trading laws in the United 
States, it places the age limit at the ridiculous 
age of ten years. A movement was started 
recently in Buffalo to remedy the situation, and 
the following statement was published: — 

"During the past year we have sought to 
discover, not by theorizing, but by uncovering 



EFFECTS OF STREET WORK UPON CHILDREN 133 

the facts, what is the effect of street work on the 
boy. School records of 230 Buffalo newsboys 
were secured. Eighteen per cent were reported 
as truants ; 23 per cent stood poor or very poor 
in attendance and deportment. Twenty-eight 
per cent stood poor or very poor in scholarship, 
while only 15 per cent of the other children in 
the same schools failed in their work. An 
investigation at the truant school showed that 
46.6 per cent of the boys there had been engaged 
in the street trades. On the basis of these facts 
and studies made in connection with the schools, 
juvenile courts and reformatories elsewhere, 
we hope to secure legislation raising the age 
below which boys may not engage in the street 
trades to twelve years, and making it illegal 
for boys under fourteen to sell after 8 p.m. 
We are also striving to secure better en- 
forcement of this law in Buffalo and other 
cities." 1 

This folder also states that circular letters 
were sent to all Buffalo school principals asking 
about the effect on scholarship of the early 
morning delivery of newspapers by their pupils, 

1 "Buffalo Child Labor Problems," folder issued by New 
York Child Labor Committee, 191 1, p. 3. 



134 CHILD LABOR IN CITY STREETS 

and also to physicians inquiring about the effect 
of such work on physical development. The 
hours for such newspaper delivery were from 
4.30 A.M. to 7 A.M. Eight principals and six 
physicians denounced such work to every one 
who favored it. Referring to the occupational 
history of reformatory inmates, a recent report 
for New York City says: ^'The parental school 
(school for truants) statistics show that 80 out 
of its 230 inmates were newsboys, while 60 per 
cent of the entire number have been street 
traders. The Catholic Protectorate, full of 
Italians (noted as street traders), gives us a 
record of 469 or 80 per cent out of their 590 
boys interviewed, who have followed the street 
profession, and 295 or 50 per cent had been 
newsboys selling over three months. The New 
York Juvenile Asylum gives us 31 per cent of 
its inmates as newsboys and 60 per cent as 
street traders. The House of Refuge repeats 
the same story: 63 per cent of those committed 
to that institution had been street traders, of 
whom 32 per cent were newsboys. If 63 per cent 
of the House of Refuge inmates have been street 
traders, and if the majority of such have begun 
their so-called criminal careers, which end 



EFFECTS OF STREET WORK UPON CHILDREN 135 

invariably in the state penitentiary, why do we 
permit children to trade on our streets?''^ 

Another American writer says: "Whatever 
the cause, the effect on the newsboy is always the 
same. He lives on the streets at night in an 
atmosphere of crime and criminals, and he takes 
in vice and evil with the air he breathes. If he 
grows into manhood and escapes the tuber- 
culosis which seizes so many of these boys of 
the street, the things that he has learned as a 
professional newsboy lead in one direction, — 
toward crime and things criminal. The pro- 
fessional newsboy is the embryo criminal."^ 

The dangers to the morals of children are 
particidarly emphasized by those who have given 
this subject any attention. Mr. John Spargo 
says: "Nor is it only in factories that these 
grosser forms of immorality flourish. They are 
even more prevalent among the children of the 
street trades, — newsboys, bootblacks, messengers 
and the like. The proportion of newsboys who 
suffer from venereal diseases is alarmingly great. 



* Elizabeth C. Watson, "New York Newsboys and their 
Work," 191 1. 

2 Scott Nearing, "The Newsboy at Night in Philadelphia," 
Charities and The Commons, February 2, 1906. 



136 CHILD LABOR EST CITY STREETS 

The superintendent of the John Worthy School 
of Chicago, Mr. Sloan, asserts that 'one third 
of all the newsboys who come to the John 
Worthy School have venereal diseases and that 
10 per cent of the remaining newsboys at present 
in the Bridewell are, according to the physician's 
diagnosis, suffering from similar diseases.' The 
newsboys who come to the school are, according 
to Mr. Sloan, on an average of one third below 
the ordinary standard of physical development, 
a condition which will be readily understood by 
those who know the ways of the newsboys of 
our great cities — their irregular habits, scant 
feeding, sexual excesses, secret vices, sleeping 
in hallways, basements, stables and quiet 
corners. With such a low physical standard 
the ravages of venereal diseases are tremen- 
dously increased." ^ 

The economic aspect of this work is magnified 
by most people beyond its true proportion; 
the earnings of street-working children are not 
needed by their families in most cases, and even 
in those instances where their poverty demands 
such reHef it is wrong to purchase it at the price 
paid in evil training and bad effects of every 

^ John Spargo, "Bitter Cry of the Children," 1906, p. 184. 



EFFECTS OF STREET WORK UPON CHILDREN 137 

kind. Commenting on this point the chief 
truant officer for Indianapolis says: "A large 
number of truants are recruited from that large 
unrestricted class whose members are to be 
found competing with one another on our street 
corners from early until late. The pennies 
which many of them earn are a material aid 
in replenishing the depleted resources of some 
of our homes. Yet, it is a question whether 
such child laborers will not in the future be- 
queath to society an abundant reward of human 
wreckage which may be traced to such traffic 
and its many temptations." ^ 

As to the bad judgment of parents in seeking 
the premature earnings of their children, a 
Chicago physician says : "The average newsboy, 
if he works 365 days a year, does not earn over 
a hundred dollars; if he becomes delinquent 
it costs the state at least two hundred dollars 
a year to care for him. When we remember 
that twelve out of every one hundred boys 
between ten and sixteen become delinquent, 
and that over 60 per cent of these boys come 
from street trades, it does not take long for a 

^ James L. Fieser, " Causes of Truancy," Indiana Bulletin 
of Charities and Correction, June, 1910, p. 227. 



138 CHILD LABOR IN CITY STREETS 

business man to figure out that it is rather poor 
economy to let a ten-year-old boy go into at 
least this field of labor. . . . From an eco- 
nomic standpoint the family that sends out 
a ten-year-old boy to sell papers loses a great 
deal more in actual money from the boy's lack 
of future earning capacity than the boy can 
possibly earn by his youthful efforts. In other 
words, this sort of labor from an economic 
standpoint is an absurdity."^ 

In its splendid report on street trading, the 
British departmental committee of 1910 stated: 
^*We learnt that much of this money, so readily 
made, is spent with equal dispatch. The 
children spend it on sweets and cigarettes, and 
in attending music halls, and in very many cases 
only a portion, if any, of the daily earnings is 
taken home. . . . In many towns the traders are 
drawn from the poorest of homes, but numerous 
witnesses have emphatically stated that their 
experience leads them to think that cases where 
real benefits accrue to the home are rare." ^ 

* James A. Britton, M.D., "Child Labor and the Juvenile 
Court," Pamphlet 95 of National Child Labor Committee, 1909. 

2 Great Britain, Report of Departmental Committee on 
Employment of Children Act, 1903, submitted in 19 10, 
p. 12. 



EFFECTS OF STREET WORK UPON CHILDREN 139 

The lack of proper training during childhood 
almost invariably brings about a tragedy in 
the lives of working people. The premature 
employment of children at any kind of labor 
which interferes with their education and their 
training in work for which they are fitted is 
most disastrous in its effects and far outweighs 
in future misery the little income thus secured 
in childhood. A careful student of the working 
class declares: "Many bright and capable men 
and women in this neighborhood [Greenwich 
Village, New York City] would undoubtedly 
have been able to occupy high positions in the 
industrial world if they had not been forced 
into unskilled work when young J' ^ 

With reference to the effects of street trad- 
ing an English writer says: "It is difficult to 
imagine a life which could be worse for a yoimg 
boy. Apart from the moral dangers, it is a 
means of earning a livelihood which perhaps 
more than any other is subject to the most 
violent fluctuations. But the imcertainty of 
the income is a trifling evil by comparison with 
the certainty of the bad moral effects of street 

* Mrs. Louise B. More, "Wage-Earners* Budgets," 1907, 
p. 148. 



140 CHILD LABOR IN CITY STREETS 

trading on boys and youths. The life of the 
street trader is a continual gamble, unredeemed 
by any steady work; it is undisciplined and 
casual, and exposed to all the temptations of 
the street at its worst. The great majority of 
the boys who sell papers drift away into crime 
or idleness or some form of living by their wits."^ 
The same writer also declares: "Few things 
could have a worse effect than this street trading 
on those engaged in it. It initiates them into 
the mysteries of the beggar's whine and breeds 
in them the craving for an irregular, undis- 
ciplined method of life."^ And the editor of 
these English studies adds: "It is part of the 
street-bred child's precocity that he acquires 
a too early acquaintance with matters which as 
a child he ought not to know at all. His lan- 
guage and conversation often reveal a familiarity 
with vice which would be terrible were it not 
so superficial."^ 

Speaking of immorality in the narrow sense 

1 J. G. Cloete, "The Boy and his Work" in "Studies of Boy 
Life in Our Cities (England)," edited by E. J. Urwick, 1904, 
p. 131. 

2 Idem, p. 135. 

3 E. J. Urwick, "Studies of Boy Life in Our Cities," 1904, 
P- 307. 



EFFECTS OF STREET WORK UPON CHILDREN I4I 

of the word, the same writer says : "We do not 
believe that immorality of this kind is universal 
among the boys and girls of the labouring classes, 
nor do we beheve that the town youth is any 
worse than his brother and sister of the country. 
Coarseness and impurity are not the distinguish- 
ing mark of any one class or any one place. We 
question whether comparison of sins and self- 
indulgence would work out at all to the disad- 
vantage of the town labouring class as a whole. 
It must be remembered that one commonplace 
factor, the glaring publicity of the street, is all 
on the side of the town youth's virtue. The 
street has its safeguards as well as its dangers."^ 
With reference to the blind alley character 
of street work, another English writer avers: 
"As in London, the labours of the school chil- 
dren [in Manchester] are in no wise apprentice- 
ship or preparation for their future lives. The 
grocer's Kttle errand boy will be discharged 
when he grows bigger and needs higher wages; 
the chemist's runner is not in training to become 
a chemist. The three farthings an hour on the 
one hand, and the physical, moral and intel- 
lectual degeneration on the other, are all that 
1 Idem, p. 309. 



142 CHILD LABOR IN CITY STREETS 

the little ones here, as elsewhere, get out of toil 
from which many a grown man would shrink." ^ 

Another English student of labor conditions 
declares: "Teachers — together with magis- 
trates, police authorities, ministers of religion 
and social workers — are practically unanimous 
in condemning street trading as an employment 
of children of school age. In this occupation 
children deteriorate rapidly from the physical, 
mental and moral point of view."^ 

Still another writer says: "One great evil 
which results from this Kfe of street trading in 
childhood is the fact that it is fatal to industrial 
efficiency in after Hfe." ^ 

The testimony of Sir Lauder Brunton, M.D., 
given in 1904, on the occasion of the inquiry 
into physical deterioration in Great Britain, is to 
the point, in spite of the fact that the committee 
directing the inquiry stated that "The impres- 
sions gathered from the great majority of the 
witnesses examined do not support the belief 

» Robert H. Sherard, "Child Slaves of Britain," 1905, pp. 
179-180. 

2 Constance Smith, Report on the Employment of Chil- 
dren in the United Kingdom, 1909, p. 11. 

' Margaret Alden, M.D., "Child Life and Labour," 1908, 
p. 118. 



EFFECTS OF STREET WORK UPON CHILDREN 1 43 

that there is any general progressive deteriora- 
tion."^ Sir Lauder Brunton's testimony was 
as follows: ^'The causes of deficient physique 
are very numerous ... it is very likely that 
in order to eke out the scanty earnings of the 
father and mother the child is sent, out of school 
hours, to earn a penny or two, and so it comes 
to school wearied out in body by having had to 
work early in the morning, exhausted by not 
having had food, and then is sent to learn. 
Well, it cannot learn." ^ Later the same witness 
testified, "One of the very worst causes [of 
physical deterioration] is that children in actual 
attendance at school, work before and after 
school time." ^ 

In a special inquiry into the physical effects 
of work upon 600 boys of school age made in 
1905 by Dr. Charles J. Thomas, assistant health 
officer to the London County CoimciFs educa- 
tion department, it was found that many of the 
children suffered from nervous strain, heart 
disease and deformities as a result of prolonged 
labor. Of the 600 boys, 134 were shop boys, 

1 Great Britain, Report of Interdepartmental Committee 
on Physical Deterioration, 1904, Vol. I, paragraph 68. 

2 Idem, Vol. II, Q. 2453. » Idem, Vol. II, Q. 2479. 



144 CHILD LABOR IN CITY STREETS 

63 were milk boys, 87 were newsboys and the 
others were scattered among various employ- 
ments. It was found that work during the 
dinner hour and also the long work-day on 
Saturday were particularly harmful. As to 
fatigue among the newsboys, of those working 
20 hours or less, 60 per cent were affected; 
of those working between 20 and 30 hours, 
70 per cent; while of those working more than 
30 hours per week, 91 per cent showed fatigue. 
As to anaemia, among the newsboys, of those 
working 20 hours or less it appeared among 
only 19 per cent; but of those working 20 to 
30 hours, 30 per cent showed it ; while of those 
working over 30 hours per week, 73 per cent were 
afHicted in this way. As to nerve strain, of 
those working 20 hours or less 16 per cent were 
suffering from it; of those working 20 to 30 
hours, 35 per cent; while of those working over 
30 hours, 37 per cent showed nerve strain. As 
to deformities, none were noted among boys 
working less than 20 hours a week, but 10 per 
cent of those working 20 to 30 hours or more 
were found to be afSicted. All elementary 
schoolboys showed deformities to the extent of 
8 per cent, but of those engaged in different kinds 



EFFECTS OF STREET WORK UPON CHILDREN 1 45 

of work from 20 to 30 hours a week, 21 per cent 
showed deformities. Flatfoot was found to be 
the chief deformity produced by newspaper 
selling, this being caused by the boys' having 
to be on their feet too much.^ 

One of the most decisive blows delivered 
against street work by children in Great Britain 
was the statement of Thomas Burke of the 
Liverpool City Council, a son of working 
people, who had lived in a crowded city street 
for twenty years, had attended a public elemen- 
tary school until fourteen years of age, where the 
number of child street traders was very large, 
and had become convinced that "work after 
school hours was decidedly injurious to health and 
character." Referring to the material condition 
of his street- trading acquaintances, he said : 
"Almost all the boys sent out to work after school 
hours from the school referred to have failed in 
the battle of hfe. Not one is a member of any 
of the regular trades, while all who were sent to 
trade in the streets have gone down to the depths 
of social misery if not degradation ... a great 

* Great Britain, Minutes of Evidence taken before De- 
partmental Committee on Employment of Children Act, 
1903, 1910, Q. 9503 et seq. 
L 



146 CHILD LABOR IN CITY STREETS 

proportion of those who did not work after school 
hours, or frequent the streets as newspaper sellers, 
occupy respectable positions in the city."^ 

Miss Ina Tyler of the St. Louis School of 
Social Economy in a study of St. Louis news- 
boys made in 19 10, found that of 50 newsboys 
under 11 years of age, 43 gambled, 42 went to 
cheap shows and 23 used tobacco; while of 
100 newsboys 11 to 16 years of age, 86 gambled, 
92 went to cheap shows and 76 used tobacco.^ 

Among the conclusions of the British inter- 
departmental committee of 190 1 is the following : 
"Street hawking is not injurious to the health if 
the hours are not long, and the work is not done 
late at night ; but its moral effects are far worse 
than the physical, and this employment in the 
center of many large towns makes the streets 
hotbeds for the corruption of children who learn 
to drink, to gamble and to use vile language, 
while girls are exposed to even worse things."^ 

The British departmental committee of 1910 

* Great Britain, Report of Interdepartmental Committee 
on Employment of School Children, 1901, App. 39, p. 418. 

2 Copied from Charts in Child Labor Exhibit at National 
Conference of Charities and Correction, St. Louis, May, 1910. 

^ Great Britain, Report of Interdepartmental Committee 
on Employment of School Children, 1901, p. 11. 



EFFECTS OF STREET WORK UPON CHILDREN 147 

declared: "In the case of both boys and girls 
the effect of this occupation on future prospects 
cannot be anything but thoroughly bad, except, 
possibly, in casual and exceptional cases. We 
learn that many boys who sell while at school 
manage to obtain other work upon becoming 
fourteen, but for those who remain in the street 
the tendency is to develop into loafers and 
^corner boys.' The period between fourteen 
and sixteen is a critical time in a boy's Hfe. 
Street trading provides him with no training; 
he gets no discipline, he is not occupied the 
whole of his time; for a few years he makes more 
money and makes it more easily than in an 
ofi&ce or a workshop, and he is exposed to a 
variety of actively evil influences."^ 

An important division of the study of street- 
working children concerns their standing in 
the schools. In New York City a few figures 
are available through a study recently made 
there. The distribution of 200 newsboys under 
fourteen years of age among the school grades 
is shown in the following table: ^ — 

1 Great Britain, Report of Departmental Committee on 
Employment of Children Act, 1903, 1910, p. 12. 

2 Elizabeth C.Watson, "New York Newsboys and their 
Work," 191 1. 



148 



CHILD LABOR IN CITY STREETS 



Ages 


Grades 


Spectal 


Totals 


I 


2 


3 


4 


5 


6 


7 


8 


7 
8 
9 

lO 

II 

12 

13 


2 


3 

I 

5 

I 


2 

6 
6 
7 

I 


I 

3 
lO 

19 

IS 


3 

7 

21 

10 


4 
9 

23 


I 

7 

17 


I 
7 


2 
3 
3 


2 
S 
8 
12 
36 
62 
75 


Totals 


2 


lO 


22 


48 


41 


36 


25 


8 


8 


200 



Applying the rule that in order to be normal 
a child must enter the first grade at the age of 
either six or seven years and progress with 
enough regularity to enable him to attend the 
eighth grade at the age of either thirteen or 
fourteen, it is found that of the 177 newsboys 
ten to thirteen years of age inclusive, 118 are 
backward, 57 are normal and 2 are beyond their 
grades. This is shown in the following table : — 



Ages 


Backward 


Normal 


Ahead 


Total 


10 


6 


6 





12 


II 


22 


II 


I 


34 


12 


42 • 


16 


I 


59 


13 


48 


24 





72 


Totals 


118 


57 


2 


177 


Percentages 


67% 


32% 


1% 


100% 



EFFECTS OF STREET WORK UPON CHILDREN I49 

This table shows that of the 177 newsboys ten 
to thirteen years of age, 67 per cent are backward 
and 32 per cent are normal, while only i per 
cent are ahead of their grades. Boys of these 
ages are subject to the restrictions prescribed 
by the state law as to hours, and it is probable 
that the percentage of retardation would have 
been even greater if work at night had not 
been to some extent prevented. 

A report of New York City conditions 
made in 1907, before the newsboy law was 
enforced, says: "The shrewd, bright-eyed, 
sharp-witted lad is stupid and sleepy in the 
schoolroom; 295 newsboys compared with 
non-working boys in the same class were found 
to fall below the average in proficiency. They 
were also usually older than their classmates, 
that is, backward in their grades."^ 

Referring to Manchester newsboys above 
the age of fourteen years, an Enghsh report^ 
says: "They are not stupid, or even markedly 
backward, judged by school standards. ... As 

1 "Child Labor on the Street," leaflet of New York Child 
Labor Committee, The Newsboy, 1907. 

2 "The Education, Earnings and Social Condition of Boys 
Engaged in Street Trading in Manchester," by Campagnac 
and Russell, 1901. 



I50 CHILD LABOR IN CITY STREETS 

they grow older they sink to a lower level, 
both morally and economically — in fact, 
little better than loafers, without aspiration, 
and content with the squalor of the com- 
mon lodging-houses in which they live, if only 
they have enough money for their drink 
and their gambling." Concerning the younger 
newsboys the same report continues: "Those 
who are the children of extremely poor, and 
often worthless parents, are often upon the 
streets selHng their papers during school 
hours, and their attendance at the schools, 
in spite of prosecution of their parents, is 
so irregular that they make very little prog- 
ress. These boys take to the streets per- 
manently for their HveHhood ; a few of them 
continue, after the age of fourteen, to earn 
their living by selling newspapers, but most 
of them sink into less satisfactory kinds of 
occupation." In connection with these state- 
ments it should be remembered that they por- 
tray conditions existing prior to the adop- 
tion in 1902 of local rules on street trading. 
With reference to the alleged cleverness of 
street Arabs, a British observer draws this 
distinction: " Street- trading children are more 



EFFECTS OF STREET WORK UPON CHILDREN 151 

cunning than other children, but not more in- 
telKgent." ^ 

In St. Louis there was no regulation until the 
Missouri law of 191 1 was passed; and in 19 10 
Miss Ina Tyler, in a study of 106 newsboys of 
that city, found the following conditions: — 

Number below Nor- 
Years mal School Grade 

10 10 out of 16 62% 

II 12 out of 16 75% 

12 16 out of 28 57% 

13 25 out of 33 75% 

14 11^ out o f 13 84% 

74 106 70% 

These figures were copied by the writer from 
charts displayed at the child labor exhibit of 
the National Conference of Charities and Correc- 
tion in St. Louis in 19 10, but efforts to ascertain 
the method of determining these percentages 
were unavailing. Therefore they cannot be 
compared with the figures in the preceding 
tables, because it is by no means certain that 
the standard ages for normal school standing 
were adopted in the compilation of this table. 

In Toledo, Ohio, there is no regulation govern- 

^ Report of Interdepartmental Committee on Employment 
of Children during School Age in Ireland, 1902, Q. 3862. 



152 



CHILD LABOR IN CITY STREETS 



ing street work by children, although a local 
association makes an effort to look after the 
welfare of newsboys. In October, 191 1, the 
writer visited the four pubhc common school 
buildings nearest the business district of this 
city and found 287 children in attendance who 
were regularly engaged in some form of street 
work out of school hours. The great majority 
of them were newsboys. The distribution of 
these children according to age and grade is 
given below: — 

Ages 



Grade 


5 


' 


7 


8 


' 


10 


II 


12 


13 


14 


IS 


16 


Totals 


z 


I 


8 


5 


4 


4 


I 














23 


2 






7 


12 


8 


2 


3 




2 








34 


3 






I 


S 


8 


22 


4 


7 


3 


I 






SI 


4 








3 


7 


17 


9 


II 


6 


2 


I 


2 


S8 


S 












8 


10 


10 


7 


5 


4 




44 


6 














7 


7 


16 


3 


4 




37 


7 














I 


S 


6 


9 


3 


I 


2S 


8 


















5 


7 


3 




IS 


Totals 


I 


8 


13 


24 


27 


SO 


34 


40 


45 


27 


IS 


3 


287 



Adopting the same method for determining 
retardation as in the case of the New York 



EFFECTS OF STREET WORK- UPON CHILDREN 1 53 

figures, we find that of these 287 street- working 
school children of Toledo, 55 per cent are 
backward, 43 per cent are normal and 2 per cent 
are ahead of their grades. Or, selecting the 
children ten to thirteen years of age, as was 
done with the New York figures, we have the 
following results : — 



Ages 


Backward 


Normal 


Ahead 


Total 


10 


25 


25 




50 


II 


16 


17 


I 


34 


12 


28 


12 




40 


13 


34 


II 




45 


Totals . . 


103 


65 


I 


169 


Percentages 


61% 


38% 


1% 


100% 



These percentages show that conditions in 
Toledo are only slightly better than in New 
York City. This is surprising because of the 
great difference in the working conditions of 
the two cities, the metropolitan street children 
being subjected to far greater nervous strain 
because of the more congested population and 
heavier street traffic. 

A comparison between the table given in the 
report of the Toledo Board of Education for 



154 



CHILD LABOR IN CITY STREETS 



O 






I— 


3^1 


lO lO lO « 

rO 00 w vd 
«0 « H 


1 


VO O M 0« 00 O ^ 
to t^ t^ CO « ^ fo 

<«o H vd vo" 

H 


1 




0» « t» >0 fO HI ^ 

8 *^ " %S.^ 


1 


g<2 




w5 


i«3 


t^ Tf o* o> o» ^ M 

O f* M HI \0 lO • 

V> CO M 0> 00 21, 


t 

(Z 


^«3 

S o 1 

|<2 


M 00 M O fO O ,^ 

»0 CO W M (N <N JO 

H <N "O 


(2 


3 W O 


CO VO CS M N Q CO 

CO rt »0 CO M O • 

Tf CO H H M ^ VO 

M CI ^ 


i 


g<00 




cJd 


iit 


^^vo 


1 




lO M CO VO lO ■* Ov 
N On CO M VO H • 






• • • • -i ' 

0) 2 4) 
* M M O • ^'S 

^ 11 s| i-g 

HI N CO -^ |- -y rt 

o 0) <u (u o d 0) 
rt pi| rt rt H W Oh 



EFFECTS OF STREET WORK UPON CHILDREN I55 



I 



I 



hA it in 

a « J5 
< <o 



52; 



22 



o< 2 



S u o 

o< o> 



r' 



-It 



r' 



vo r* w i/> 






M 0» «0 



13 S § a 
S g 2 " 



M « CO -ij- 



V V 1> 0) V 

-- 73 73 73 • 

H >-■ ii 

CO CQ Cd C4 

4) tJ « « o 5 a> 

Pi p:^ p^ pii H M Pk 



1 



V V V B T= 



156 CHILD LABOR IN CITY STREETS 

191 1 showing the total number of retarded chil- 
dren in the elementary schools, and a similar 
table compiled from the figures for the street- 
trading children in four Toledo schools given 
on pages 154 and 155, is most significant. The 
retardation among the total number of pupils 
enrolled is to be found on page 154.^ 

The corresponding figures for the 287 street- 
trading children in the four schools are to be 
found on page 155. 

It is especially noteworthy that the percent- 
age of retardation among the street workers is 
very much greater than among the total number 
of pupils, in every grade except the eighth, 
while for all the grades it is 17.8 per cent greater. 
This becomes all the more significant when it is 
remembered that the figures for the total en- 
rollment include the street workers; hence the 
excess of retardation among the latter makes 
the showing of the former worse than if they 
were excluded, and consequently the compari- 
son on page 155 does not appear to be as un- 
favorable to the street workers as it is in reality. 

On consideration of the figures in the tables 

* Report of the Board of Education of the Toledo City 
School District, 1910-1911, p. 141. 



EFFECTS OF STREET WORK UPON CHILDREN 1 57 

on pages 154 and 155, the conclusion is inevi- 
table that street work greatly promotes the 
retardation of school children. There are, of 
course, other factors which contribute to bring 
about this condition of backwardness, such as 
poverty, malnutrition and mental deficiency, but 
there can be no doubt that the evil effects of 
street work are in large measure responsible for 
the poor showing made in the schools by the 
children who follow such occupations. 

The many quotations in this chapter from 
authoritative sources with reference to the harm- 
ful effects of street work upon children constitute 
a most severe indictment. Students of labor 
conditions, speciaHsts and official committees 
bitterly denoimce the practice of permitting 
children to trade in city streets, and cite the 
consequences of such neglect. Material, physical 
and moral deterioration are strikingly apparent 
in most children who have followed street careers 
and been exposed to their bad environment for 
any length of time. We have provided splendid 
facilities for the correction of our delinquent 
children through the medium of juvenile courts, 
state reformatories and the probation system, 
but surely it would be wise to provide at the 



158 CHILD LABOR IN CITY STREETS 

same time an ounce of prevention in addition 
to this pound of cure. Social workers have 
returned a true bill against street work by 
children. What will the verdict of the people 
be? 



CHAPTER VII 

RELATION OF STREET WORK TO DELINQUENCY 

The most convincing proof so far adduced to 
show that delinquency is a common result of 
street work is set forth in the volmne on "Juvenile 
Delinquency and its Relation to Employment," ^ 
being part of the Report on the Condition of 
Woman and Child Wage Earners in the United 
States, prepared under the direction of Dr. 
Charles P. Neill, United States Commissioner 
of Labor, in response to an act of Congress in 
1907 authorizing the study. The object of 
this official inquiry into the subject of juvenile 
delinquency was to discover what connection 
exists between dehnquency and occupation or 
non-occupation, giving due consideration to 
other factors such as the character of the child's 
family, its home and environment. This study 
is based upon the records of the juvenile courts 

* "Juvenile Delinquency and its Relation to Employment," 
Vol. VIII of Report on Condition of Woman and Child Wage 
Earners in the United States, Senate Document No. 645, 
6ist Congress, 2d Session. 

159 



l6o CHILD LABOR IN CITY STREETS 

of Indianapolis, Baltimore, New York, Boston, 
Newark, Philadelphia and Pittsburgh, showing 
cases of delinquency of children sixteen years of 
ago or younger coming before these courts dur- 
ing the year 1907- 1908. The total number 
of delinquents included in the study is 4839, of 
whom 2767 had at some time been employed 
and 2072 had never been employed. The entire 
number of offenses recorded for all the delin- 
quents was 8797, the working children being 
responsible for 5471 offenses, or 62.2 per cent, 
while the non-working children were respon- 
sible for 3326 offenses, or 37.8 per cent. 
This shows that most juvenile offenses are com- 
mitted by working children. The ages of the 
children committing the offenses recorded, 
ranged from six to sixteen years, and the report 
adds, "When it is remembered that a majority, 
and presmnably a large majority, of all the chil- 
dren between these ages are not working, this 
preponderance of offenses among the workers 
assumes impressive proportions." ^ 



1 " Juvenile Delinquency and its Relation to Employment," 
Vol. VIII of Report on Condition of Woman and Child Wage 
Earners in the United States, Senate Docmnent No. 645, 
6ist Congress, 2d Session, p. 39. 



STREET WORK AND DELINQUENCY l6l 

With reference to the character of the offenses 
it was found that the working children inclined 
to the more serious kinds. Recidivists were 
found to be far more numerous among the 
workers than among the non- workers. Sum- 
ming up the residts of the discussion to this 
point the report says: ''It is found that the 
working children contribute to the ranks of 
delinquency a slightly larger mmiber and a 
much larger proportion than do the non-workers, 
that this excess appears in offenses of every 
kind, whether trivial or serious, and among 
recidivists even more markedly than among 
first offenders." ^ 

With reference to the connection between 
recidivism and street work the report says: 
"The proportion of recidivism is also large among 
those who are working while attending school, 
and the numbers here are very much larger 
than one would wish to see. Some part of the 
recidivism here is undoubtedly due to the kind 
of occupations which a child can carry on while 
attending school. Selling newspapers and black- 
ing shoes, acting as errand or delivery boy, 
peddUng and working about amusement resorts 
* Idem, p. 42. 



l62 CHILD LABOR IN CITY STREETS 

account for over two-thirds of these boys (478 
of the 664 are in one or another of these pur- 
suits). These are all occupations in which the 
chances of going wrong are numerous, involving 
as they usually do night work, irregular hours, 
dubious or actively harmful associations and 
frequent temptations to dishonesty. In addi- 
tion, something may perhaps be attributed to 
the overstrain due to the attempt to combine 
school and work. When a child of 13, a boot- 
black, is * often on the street to 12 p.m.,' or when 
a boy one year older works six hours daily 
outside of school time, * often at night,' as a 
telegraph messenger, it is evident that his school 
work is not the only thing which is likely to suffer 
from the excessive strain upon the immature 
strength, and from the character of his occu- 
pation." ^ 

While reflecting on the excess of working 
children among the delinquents, one may be 
inclined to attribute this to bad home influences ; 
but the report shows that only one-fifth of the 
workers as opposed to nearly one-third of the 

^ " Juvenile Delinquency and its Relation to Employment," 
Vol. VIII of Report on Condition of Woman and Child Wage 
Earners in the United States, Senate Document No. 645, 
6ist Congress, 2d Session, p. 44. 



STREET WORK AND DELINQUENCY 1 63 

non-workers come from distinctly bad homes, 
while from fair and good homes the proportion 
is approximately 76 per cent to 65 per cent. 
Consequently, the working child goes wrong more 
frequently than the non-working child in spite 
of his more favorable home surroundings.^ 

Of the total number of delinquent boys, both 
working and non-working, under twelve years 
of age, 22.4 per cent were workers, while of 
those twelve to thirteen years old, 42.4 per cent 
were workers, and of those fourteen to sixteen 
years old, 80.8 per- cent were workers. As 
comparatively few children under twelve years 
are at work, the fact that more than one-fifth 
of the delinquent boys in this age group are 
working children *' becomes exceedingly sig- 
nificant." Of all children twelve to thirteen 
years of age, the great majority are not employed 
because of the fourteen-year age limit prevailing 
in all the states studied except Maryland; 
hence the larger proportion of working offenders 
cannot be explained by the influences of age. 
The increase of working delinquents above 
fourteen years is to be expected, because so many 
children go to work on reaching that age. 
1 Idem, p. 59. 



164 CHILD LABOR IN CITY STREETS 

Remembering that the proportionate excess 
of workers varies from two to nine times the 
ratio of non-workers, it is evident that this 
excess cannot be explained by a corresponding 
excess of orphanage, foreign parentage, bad 
home conditions or unfavorable age. As the 
report says, ^'It seems rather difficult to escape 
the conclusion that being at work has something 
to do with their going wrong." ^ 

The strongest argument against street work 
by children is to be found in the following table ^ 
of occupations pursued by the largest number 
of delinquents and giving the percentage of 
total delinquents engaged in each. 

As the report says, the following classification 
shows that the largest number of delinquent 
boys were found in those occupations in which 
the nature of the emplo)anent does not permit 
of supervision ^ namely, newspaper selling, 
errand running, delivery service and messenger 
service. Boys engaged in these occupations, 
together with bootblacks and peddlers, all work 

* " Juvenile Delinquency and its Relation to Employment," 
Vol. VIII of Report on Condition of Woman and Child Wage 
Earners in the United States, Senate Document No. 645, 
6 1 St Congress, 2d Session, p. 62. ^ Idem, p. 69. 



STREET WORK AND DELINQUENCY 1 65 

under conditions "which bring them into 
continual temptations to dishonesty and to 
other offenses."^ 



Boys 
Industry or Occupation 


Per 

Centj 

or 
Total 
Delin- 
quent 

Boys 


Girls 
Industry or Occupation 


Per 
Cent 

or 
Total 
Delin- 
quent 
Girls 


Newsboys . . . 


21.83 


Domestic service : 




Errand boys . . 


17.80 


Servant in private 




Drivers and helpers, 




house .... 


32.18 


wagon .... 


7-30 


In hotel, restaurant 




Stores and markets 


4.23 


or boarding house 


S.44 


Messengers, tele- 




Home workers . . 


16.33 


graph .... 


2.59 
1.84 


Total in domestic 
service . . . 




Iron and steel . . 


53.95 


Textiles, hosiery and 








knit goods . . 


1.84 


Textiles, hosiery and 




Bootblacks . . . 


1.77 


knit goods . . . 


12.36 


Peddlers .... 


I.71 


Stores and markets 


5-44 


Building trades . . 


1.64 


Clothing makers 


4.95 


Theater .... 


1-57 


Candy and confec- 




Office boys . . . 


143 


tionery .... 


4.45 


Glass . . . . : 


1.30 


Laundry .... 


1.98 



The offenses with which the boys were charged 

are divided in the report into sixteen classes. 

The messenger service furnishes the largest 

proportionate number of offenders charged 

* Idetftf p. 71. 



1 66 CHILD LABOR IN CITY STREETS 

with "assault and battery" and "immoral 
conduct"; the delivery service those charged 
with "burglary"; bootblacking those charged 
with "craps and gambling," "incorrigibility 
and truancy"; peddhng those with "larceny 
and runaway," and "vagrancy or runaway." 
The report calls attention to the greater tendency 
of messengers to immorality, and remarks that 
it is easy to see a connection between boot- 
blacking and the offenses in which bootblacks 
lead. The report continues: "It is worthy 
to note that neither the newsboys nor errand 
boys, both following pursuits looked upon with 
disfavor, are found as contributing a leading 
proportion of any one offense. They seem to 
maintain what might be called a high general 
level of delinquency rather than to lead in any 
particular direction, errand boys being found 
in fourteen and newsboys in fifteen of the six- 
teen separate offense groups." ^ 

For the purpose of clearly defining the connec- 
tion between occupation and delinquency, and 
determining whether the dehnquency inheres 

* " Juvenile Delinquency and its Relation to Employment," 
Vol, VIII of Report on Condition of Woman and Child Wage 
Earners in the United States, Senate Document No. 645, 
6ist Congress, 2d Session, p. 73. 



STREET WORK AND DELINQUENCY 1 67 

in the occupation or in the conditions under 
which it is carried on, there were selected six 
kinds of employments which are generally- 
looked upon by social workers as morally unsafe 
for children, and a comparison was made of 
conditions as to the parentage, home surround- 
ings, etc., prevailing among the workers in 
these occupations, the working deUnquents 
generally, and the whole body of delinquents, 
both working and non-working. Of the delin- 
quent boys under twelve years engaged in these 
six groups of employments (delivery and errand 
boys, newsboys and bootblacks, office boys, 
street vendors, telegraph messengers and in 
amusement resorts), nearly three-fourths were 
foimd to be newsboys and bootblacks. As 
four-fifths of the working delinquents imder 
twelve years of age in all occupations are found 
in these six groups, it is evident that this class 
is largely responsible for the employment of 
young boys, and "comparing these figures with 
those for the working delinquents in all occupa- 
tions we find that 58.6 per cent, or nearly three- 
fifths of all the working delinquents up to twelve, 
come from among the newsboys." ^ 
* Idemy p. 84, 



1 68 CHILD LABOR IN CITY STREETS 

It was found that 54.6 per cent of all the 
working delinquents had both parents living, 
while newsboys and bootblacks, street vendors 
and telegraph messengers were found to be 
more fortunate in this respect than the great 
mass of working delinquents, even surpassing 
the whole body of delinquents, working and 
non- working. As the report says, "One so 
frequently hears of the newsboy who has no 
one but himself to look to that it is rather a 
surprise to find that the orphaned or deserted 
child appears among them only about half as 
often relatively as among the whole group of 
workers."^ 

Of the delinquent delivery and errand boys, 
78.9 per cent were found to have fair or good 
homes, of the newsboys and bootblacks 75.8 
per cent, of the street vendors 65 per cent, and 
of the telegraph messengers 78.9 per cent, and 
in this connection the report declares, " Certainly 
the predominance of these selected occupations 
among the employments of delinquents cannot 

1 " Juvenile Delinquency and its Relation to Employment," 
Vol. VIII of Report on Condition of Woman and Child Wage 
Earners in the United States, Senate Document No. 645, 
6ist Congress, 2d Sesssion, p. 86. 



STREET WORK AND DELINQUENCY 1 69 

be explained by the home conditions of the 
children entering them."^ 

The findings with respect to the messenger 
service fully corroborate the charges brought 
against it by the National Child Labor Com- 
mittee. The report says: "Turning to the 
messengers, it is seen that they are in every re- 
spect above the average of favorable conditions. 
Moreover, it is well known that boys taking 
up this work must be bright and quick; there 
is no room in it for the dull and mentally weak. 
Plainly, then, in this case the occupation, not 
the kind of children who enter it, must be 
held responsible for its position among the 
pursuits from which delinquents come .... 
the chief charges brought against it are that 
the irregular work and night employment tend 
to break down health, that the opportunities 
for overcharge and for appropriating packages 
or parts of their contents lead to dishonesty, 
and that the places to which the boy is sent 
familiarize him with all forms of vice and tend 
to lead him into immorality.^' ^ Referring again 
to the messenger service, the report says: 
"The unfortunate effects of the inherent condi- 
* Idem, p. 87. ' Idem, p. 90, 



lyo CHILD LABOR IN CITY STREETS 

tions of the work are, however, manifest. Its 
irregularity, the lack of any supervision during 
a considerable part of the time, the associations 
of the street and of the places to which mes- 
sengers are sent, and the frequency of night work 
with all its demorahzing features, afford an 
explanation of the impatience of restraint, the 
reckless yielding to impulse shown in the 
large percentage of incorrigibihty and disorderly 
conduct. A glance at the main table shows 
that the two offenses next in order are assault 
and battery and malicious mischief, both of 
which indicate the same traits. On the whole, 
there seems abundant reason for considering 
that the messenger service deserves its bad 
name."^ 

With reference to errand and dehvery boys, 
the report finds that as the level of favorable 
conditions keeps so near to the average, it seems 
necessary to attribute the number of delin- 
quents furnished by this class more to the condi- 
tions of the work than to the kind of children 
taking it up. 

^ "Juvenile Delinquency and its Relation to Employment," 
Vol. VIII of Report on Condition of Woman and Child Wage 
Earners in the United States, Senate Document No. 645, 
6ist Congress, 2d Session, p. 91. 



STREET WORK AND DELINQUENCY 171 

The occupational influences of amusement 
resorts, street vending and newspaper selling 
"are notoriously bad, but a partial explanation 
of the number of delinquents they furnish is 
unquestionably in the kind of children who enter 
them. It is a case of action and reaction. 
These occupations are easily taken up by im- 
mature children, with little or no education and 
no preliminary training. Such children are 
least likely to resist evil influences, most likely 
to yield to all that is bad in their environment."^ 

Having shown that a connection can be traced 
between certain occupations and the number 
and kind of offenses committed by the children 
working in them, the report next determines 
to what extent a direct connection can be traced 
between occupation and offense. If a working 
child commits an offense, first, during working 
hours, second, in some place to which his work 
calls him, and third, against some person with 
whom his work brings him in contact, a connec- 
tion may be said to exist between the misde- 
meanor and the employment. The report 
insists that either all three of the connection 
elements must be present, or else the offense 
* Idem, p. 92. 



172 CHILD LABOR IN CITY STREETS 

must be very clearly the outcome of conditions 
related to the work, before a connection can be 
asserted; and it reminds the reader that the 
number of connection cases shown represents 
an understatement, probably to a considerable 
degree, of the real situation. The number of 
boy delinquents in occupations which show more 
than five cases of deHnquency chargeable to 
occupation was found to be 308 ; of these, 100 
were errand or delivery boys, 129 were newsboys, 
16 were drivers or helpers, 13 were street vendors 
and 10 were messengers. 

The munber of boy delinquents working 
at time of last offense and the mmiber whose 
offenses show a connection with the occupation 
are compared, by occupation, in the following 
table,^ p. 173. 

"Among the errand and delivery boys the 
percentage (of connection cases) is large and the 
connection close. Larceny accounts for over 
nine- tenths of these cases, the larceny usually 
being from the employer when the boy was sent 



* " Juvenile Delinquency and its Relation to Employment," 
Vol. VIII of Report on Condition of Woman and Child Wage 
Earners in the United States, Senate Document No. 645, 
6ist Congress, 2d Session, p. 105. 



STREET WORK AND DELINQUENCY 1 73 









Boy 
Delin- 
quents 

work- 
ing AT 

Time 

OF 

Last 
Of- 
fense 


Boy Delin- 
quents WHOSE 

Offenses 
SHOW A Con- 
nection with 
Occupation 


Occupation or Industry 


Num- 
ber 


Per 

Cent of 
Boy 
DeUn- 
quents 
inoc- 
cupa- 
tion 
Work- 
ing 


In amusement resorts . . 
Domestic service . . . 
Driver or helper .... 






40^ 

50^ 
107 
261 

27 

38 
346 « 

25 
62 


7 

14 

16 

100 

7 

10 
129 

13 
12 


17.5 
28.0 

14.9 
38.3 
25-9 
26.3 
37.2 

S2.0 

19-3 


Errand or delivery boys . 
Iron and steel workers 
Messengers 






Newsboys and bootblacks 
Street vendors .... 






Stores and markets . . 







1 Includes 17 in bowling alleys and pool rooms and 23 in 
theaters and other places of amusement. 

2 Includes 2 in boarding houses, 26 home workers (precise 
character of work not specified), 10 in restaurants, and 12 in 
private families. 

'Includes 26 bootblacks and 320 newsboys. 



174 CHILD LABOR IN CITY STREETS 

out with goods, though in some cases it was 
from the house to which the boy was sent. It 
will be remembered that in respect to parental 
and home condition, age, etc., the delinquent 
errand boys came very close to the average, and 
their antecedents gave no reason to expect they 
would go wrong so numerously. That fact, 
together with the large proportion of connection 
cases, seems to indicate that the occupation is 
distinctly a dangerous one morally."^ 

As the various forms of immorality are prac- 
ticed in secret, the report truly says that the 
evils which are most associated with a messen- 
ger's Hfe could hardly appear in these studies. 
"A trace of them is found in the case of one boy 
sentenced for larceny. After his arrest it was 
found that he was a confirmed user of cocaine, 
having acquired the habit in the disreputable 
houses to which his work took him. Perhaps 
something of the same kind is indicated by the 
fact that one of the few cases of drunkenness 
occurring among working delinquents came, as 

1 " Juvenile Delinquency and its Relation to Employment," 
Vol. VIII of Report on Condition of Woman and Child Wage 
Earners in the United States, Senate Document No. 645, 
6ist Congress, 2d Session, p. 106. 



STREET WORK AND DELINQUENCY 1 75 

a connection case, from this small group of 
messengers. For the most part, however, the 
connection offenses (by messengers) were some 
form of dishonesty, usually appropriating parcels 
sent out for delivery, though in some cases 
collecting charges on prepaid packages was 
added to this."^ 

The newsboys almost equal the errand boys 
in their percentage of connection cases, though 
their offenses have a much wider range; in fact, 
the connection cases for newsboys include a 
greater variety of offenses than any other 
occupation studied. Beggary appears for the 
first time, there being two cases, in both of 
which the selHng of papers was a mere pretext, 
enabling the boys to approach passers-by. 
Street vendors were found to show the highest 
percentage of connection cases, larceny being 
the leading offense. 

The report concludes: *'It is a striking fact 
that in spite of the incompleteness of the data, 
a direct connection between the occupation and 
the offense has been found to exist in the cases 
of practically one-fourth of the boys employed 
at the time of their latest offense. It is also 
* Ideniy pp. 106-107. 



176 CHILD LABOR IN CITY STREETS 

a striking fact that while the delinquent boys 
working at the time of their latest offense 
were scattered through more than fifty occu- 
pations, over six-sevenths of the connection 
cases are found among those working in street 
occupations, and that more than three-fifths 
come from two groups of workers — the errand 
or dehvery boys, and the newsboys and boot- 
blacks. It is also significant that the connec- 
tion cases form so large a percentage of the total 
cases among the street traders, the messengers, 
and the errand or dehvery boys, their propor- 
tion ranging from over one-fourth to over 
one-half, according to the occupation."^ 

In considering the effect of night work upon 
the morals of children, the report says, "The 
messengers and newsboys show both large num- 
bers and large percentages of night work, thus 
giving additional ground for the general opinion 
as to the undesirable character of their work''; 
and again, "In the following occupations the 
cases of night work are more mmierous than they 

1" Juvenile Delinquency and its Relation to Employment," 
Vol. VIII of Report on Condition of Woman and Child Wage 
Earners in the United States, Senate Document No. 645, 
6ist Congress, 2d Session, p. io8. 



STREET WORK AND DELINQUENCY 1 77 

should be in proportion to the number ever 
employed in these pursuits : bootblacks, bowling 
alley and pool room, glass, hotel, messengers, 
newsboys and theaters and other amusement 
resorts.'^ ^ 

More than one-fourth of the working boy 
dehnquents were foimd to be attending day 
school. More than half of these pupils were 
newsboys and bootblacks. It was found that 
the more youthful the worker, the stronger is 
his tendency toward irregular attendance at 
school. 

Eighty-three boy delinquents were devoting 
eleven or more hours per day to work, and of 
these, 31 were errand or delivery boys, 7 were 
hucksters or peddlers, 6 were messengers and 
2 were newsboys or bootblacks. 

"For both sexes, the workers show a greater 
tendency than the non-workers to go wrong, 
even where home and neighborhood surroundings 
appear favorable, but this tendency is not so 
marked among the girls as among the boys."^ 

This report of the government investigation 
furnishes most conclusive evidence as to the 
evil character of street trading in general. It 
1 Idem, pp. 116-117. 2 Idem, p. 134. 

N 



1 78 CHILD LABOR IN CITY STREETS 

bears out the description so aptly made by a 
recent writer: ''The streets are the proverbial 
schools of vice and crime. If the factory is the 
Scylla, the street is the Charybdis."^ 

Another American writer has lately declared: 
"A prolific cause of juvenile delinquency is the 
influence of the street trades on the working 
boy. No other form of work has such demor- 
alizing consequences. . . . These boys are 
brought into the juvenile court, and their mis- 
demeanors are often so great that reformatory 
treatment is necessary for them. Accordingly 
they represent a large proportion of the boys in 
the different institutions. The demoralization 
produced by the street trades affects others 
than those engaged in such trades, but the latter 
are the chief sufferers ; therefore the importance 
of legislation which will shut off this source of 
infection. "2 

A Chicago physician took occasion to look 
into the records of the juvenile court of that 
city in 1909, and found that the first 100 boys 
and 25 girls examined that year were representa- 

* Davis Wasgatt Clark, "American Child and Moloch of 
To-day," 1907, p. 40, 

2 George B. Mangold, "Child Problems," 1910, p. 232. 



STREET WORK AND DELINQUENCY 1 79 

tive of the 2500 delinquents brought into the 
court during the preceding year. Not less 
than 57 of these boys had been engaged in street 
work — 43 as newsboys, 12 as errand boys and 
messengers and 2 as peddlers. Only 13 out 
of the entire number had never been employed. 
Sixty of them were physically subnormal; the 
general physical condition of the girls was 
found to be much better than that of the boys 
of the same age, although 40 per cent of the 
girls were suffering from acquired venereal 
disease.^ 

In the autumn of 1910 there were 647 boys 
confined in the Indiana state reformatory, 
which is known as the Indiana Boys' School, 
at Plainfield. Of this number 219, or 33.8 per 
cent, had formerly been engaged in street work. 
To determine the relative delinquency of street 
workers and boys who have never pursued such 
occupations, it would be necessary to compare 
these 219 delinquents with the total number of 
street workers in Indiana and also to compare 
the total number of inmates who had never 

^ James A. Britton, M.D., "Child Labor and the Juvenile 
Court," Pamphlet 95 of National Child Labor Committee, 
1909. 



l8o CHILD LABOR IN CITY STREETS 

followed street occupations with the total 
number of boys within the same age limits in 
Indiana. A comparison of the two percentages 
would be illuminating, but is impossible because 
it is not known how many street workers there 
are in the state. However, it is safe to assume 
that the number of street-working boys in 
Indiana is much' less than one third of the total 
number of boys. If we accept this as true, then 
the figures indicate that street work promotes 
delinquency, because one third of all the deUn- 
quents in the state reformatory had been so 
engaged. The frequent assertion that, merely 
because a large percentage of the inmates of 
correctional institutions were at some time 
engaged in street work, such emplo)nnent is 
therefore responsible for their dehnquency, can- 
not be accepted alone as proof of the injurious 
character of this class of occupations, as it is 
not known how long each offender was engaged 
in such work, nor are the other causes contrib- 
uting to the delinquency of each boy properly 
considered or even known. This defect is 
avoided in the government's Report on Juvenile 
Delinquency and its Relation to Employment, 
which, with reference to the common practice 



STREET WORK AND DELINQUENCY l8l 

of jumping at conclusions in this way, says, 
"This appears to show that selUng newspapers 
is a morally dangerous occupation, but the 
danger cannot be measured, since it is not known 
what proportion of the working children are 
newsboys, or what proportion of the newsboys 
never come to grief." ^ The following tables 
are of interest as showing in detail the facts as 
to Indiana's delinquent boy street workers, who 
are confined in the state reformatory : — , 



Street Workers in Indiana Boys' School, 1910 
Table A. Distribution among Street Occupations 



Committed for 



Mes- 
sengers 






Total 



Larceny .... 
Incorrigibility . . 
Truancy .... 
Assault and battery 
Burglary . . . 
Forgery .... 
Manslaughter . . 
Other charges . . 

Totals . . . 



36 



IS6 



I2S 

40 

32 

8 

3 

2 

X 

8 



219 



1 Vol. Vm of Report on Condition of Woman and Child 
Wage Earners in the United States, 1911, p. 22. 



l82 



CHILD LABOR IN CITY STREETS 



Table B. Ages when at Work at these Occupations 





Un- 
der 

lO 


10 


II 


12 


13 


14 


IS 


16 


Totals 


Day messengers 
Night messenge 
Newsboys . 
Bootblacks , 
Peddlers . . 
Delivery boys 
Cab drivers . 


rs 






I 

29 

3 

I 


2 
29 

4 
2 


.8 

I 


I 

5 
36 

2 

I 


I 
12 
19 

I 
3 

I 
I 


2 
II 
14 

I 


3 

I 


I 
I 


4 

36 

156 

5 

12 

5 

I 


Totals 


34 


37 


31 


45 


38 


28 


4 


2 


219 



Table C. Ages at Time of Commitment 



Committed for 


Un- 
der 
9 


9 


10 


II 


12 


13 


14 


IS 


16 


17 


Total 


Larceny . . . 
Incorrigibility . 
Truancy . . . 
Assault and bat- 
tery . . . 
Burglary . . . 
Forgery . . . 
Manslaughter . 
Other charges . 


I 


2 

I 
2 


8 
4 
3 


16 
4 
6 


16 
2 
4 

I 
3 


24 
7 

I 

I 


28 
7 
6 

S 
2 

I 
I 
2 


19 

7 
3 

I 

I 

2 


10 

8 

I 


I 
I 


I2S 

40 
32 

8 
3 
2 

I 
8 


Totals . . 


I 


S 


IS 


26 


26 


40 


S2 


33 


19 


2 


219 



STREET WORK AND DELINQUENCY 1 83 
Table D. Nationality and Orphanage of Street Workers 





< 















1 




Father 


Mother 


OCCUPA- 


^ 


2 


1 


1 


1 


A 


Living 


LrviNO 




Yes 


No 


Yes 


No 


Day mes- 




















sengers 


3 








I 










4 




3 


I 


Night mes- 




























sengers 


25 


5 


3 


I 


I 




I 






30 


6 


30 


6 


Newsboys 


69 


59 


13 


8 


3 


2 




I 


I 


107 


49 


119 


37 


Bootblacks 


4 


I 
















5 




5 




Peddlers . 


6 


2 


I 


I 


1 


I 








7 


5 


II 


I 


DeHvery 




























boys 


2 


3 
















4 


I 


5 




Cab driver 


I 














I 


I 


157 


I 
62 


1 
174 




Totals . 


no 


70 


17 


10 


6 


3 


I 


45 



Table E. Hours and Earnings of Street Workers 
(In only 91 cases were the hours given, and earnings in only 116 cases.) 





Hours 








1 


Daily Earnings 




Day 


Night 






to 
.S 


i 




A 


.1 


•^ 




10 „ 


§8 


^a 


^ 




^ 


s 


< 


^ 


eq a 


k-B 


^ 


^B. 


IC* 


«»«» 


H 


Day messen- 


























gers . . . 


3 












3 


I 


I 


I 




3 


Night messen- 


























gers . . . 








6 


2 


I 


9 




8 


4 


I 


13 


Newsboys . . 


29 


10 


II 


I 


4 


I 


S6 


47 


23 


s 


3 


78 


Bootblacks . 


5 












5 


I 


3 






4 


Peddlers . . 


II 








I 




12 


6 


3 


3 




12 


Delivery boys 


5 












5 




3 


3 




5 


Cab driver . 










I 




I 






I 




I 


Totals . . 


53 


10 


II 


7 


8 


2 


91 


55 


41 


16 


4 


116 



i84 



CHILD LABOR IN CITY STREETS 



Co 



:i 



Co 



3 u 



NViavoKaH 



nvnvii 



NVODCJH 



HOKsraj 



HsiaaMS 



HSIMaf 



HsnoNa 



Hsnoj 



HSI^ 



tiwnaz^ 



oaoa^i 



KVoraaKV 



t^ CO lO WW 



O O t^ H w »o 



& • 



3 



STREET WORK AND DELINQUENCY 



l8S 



Table G. Non-Street Workers in Indiana Boys' School^ 
igio 





Ages at Commitmenx 




COIOOTTED FOR 


Un- 
der 






















lo- 






















Over 


TALS 


^ 


9 


^ 


lO 


II 


12 


13 


14 


IS 


i6 


17 


17 




Larceny . . 


9 


7 


lO 


20 


25 


33 


46 


47 


28 


9 




234 


Truancy . . 


7 


lO 


lO 


lO 


17 


14 


lO 


S 


3 






86 


Incorrigibility 


I 


7 


4 


9 


8 


lO 


14 


8 


12 


2 




75 


Burglary . . 






I 


2 




2 


I 


I 






I 


8 


Assault and 


























battery . . 












I 


I 


2 


I 




I 


6 


Other charges 


2 


3 


2 


3 


I 


I 


I 


3 




3 




19 


Totals . . 


19 


27 


27 


44 


SI 


6i 


73 


66 


44 


14 


2 


428 



Table H. Behavior in Institution 





Street Workers 


Non-Street Workers 


Good 

Average .... 
Bad 


39 or 18% 

175 or 80% 

5 or 2% 


95 or 22% 

321 or 75% 

12 or 3% 


Totals .... 


219 


428 



By far the largest number of street-working 
delinquents had been newsboys, these being 
followed by messengers, peddlers, bootblacks 
and delivery boys in the order given. From 
a hasty glance at these tables one might conclude 



1 86 CHILD LABOR IN CITY STREETS 

that street workers are not so liable to become 
deKnquent as those who never follow street 
occupations, because of the smaller number of 
the former; but it should be remembered that 
the ratio of street-working inmates to the entire 
number of street-working boys in Indiana is 
much greater than the ratio of the other inmates 
to the whole body of non-street- working children 
in the state. 

In comparing Tables C and G it is seen that 
the street workers and the non-street workers 
were committed for practically the same oiffenses, 
and that their distribution according to offense 
does not vary widely. It is significant that a 
much smaller proportion of the street workers 
were committed to the institution under the 
age of ten years, than of the non-street workers, 
indicating that street occupations (which are 
not usually entered upon before the age of ten 
years), if followed for a year or two, contribute 
largely to the promotion of delinquency. 

From a comparison of Tables D and F it will 
be observed that the prevalence of delinquency 
among the street workers cannot be explained 
on the ground of orphanage, as only 28 per cent 
were fatherless and 21 per cent motherless, 



STEEET WORK AND DELINQUENCY 1 87 

while of the non-street workers 30 per cent 
were fatherless and 25 per cent were motherless. 
This indicates (i) that street work in the great 
majority of cases is not made necessary by orphan- 
age, and (2) that street work causes delinquency 
in spite of good home conditions so far as the 
presence of both parents contributes to the 
making of a good home. Furthermore, it will 
be noted in Table E that nearly half of the chil- 
dren for whom figures on income could be ob- 
tained earned less than fifty cents per day — 
a small return on the heavy investment in the 
risk of health and character. 

The difference in behavior at the institution 
between the street workers and the others is 
shown in Table H to be almost negligible, the 
latter making a slightly better showing. 

An English writer says: "There is no difficulty 
in understanding how street trading and news- 
paper selling lead to gambling. We are told 
by those who are best able to judge, that of 
the young thieves and prostitutes in the city 
of Manchester, 47 per cent had begun as street 
hawkers. For the younger boys and girls 
such an occupation, especially at night, turns 
the streets into nurseries of crime. The news- 



1 88 CHILD LABOR IN CITY STREETS 

paper sellers are not exposed to quite the same 
dangers, but they are nearly all gamblers. 
They gamble on anything and everything, from 
the horse races reported hour by hour in the 
papers they sell, to the numbers on the passing 
cabs, and they end by gambling with their 
Hves."i 

1 E. J. Urwick, "Studies of Boy Life in Our Cities (Eng- 
land)," 1904, p. 304. 



CHAPTER VIII 

THE STRUGGLE FOR REGULATION IN THE UNITED 
STATES 

The economic activities of children in city- 
streets, commonly called street trades, are not 
specifically covered by the provisions of child 
labor laws except in the District of Columbia 
and the states of Massachusetts, Missouri, 
New York, Oklahoma, Colorado, Utah, Nevada, 
New Hampshire and Wisconsin. The laws of 
many other states as well as of those mentioned, 
however, prohibit children under fourteen years 
of age from being employed or permitted to 
work in the distribution or transmission of 
merchandise or messages. If newspapers are 
merchandise, then children under fourteen years 
would not be allowed to deliver newspapers imder 
the provision just stated. This raises a nice 
question as to what is included in the term 
"merchandise." That there is any distinction 
between newspapers and merchandise is prac- 
189 



IQO CHILD LABOR IN CITY STREETS 

tically denied by the street-trades laws of Utah 
and New Hampshire which provide that children 
under certain ages shall not sell '' newspapers, 
magazines, periodicals or other merchandise 
in any street or public place"; the question of 
delivery, however, is left open by these laws. 
The Court of Appeals of the District of Co- 
lumbia, in the case of District of Columbia 
vs. Reider, sustained the juvenile court of the 
District in its decision that newspapers are not 
merchandise and consequently that children 
under fourteen years of age engaged in dehver- 
ing newspapers are not affected by the law.^ 
The judge of the trial court stated in his opinion, 
"No one will seriously contend that the nature 
of the employment in the case at bar is at all 
harmful to the child." The case at bar was 
the prosecution of a route agent for a morning 
newspaper on account of having employed a 
minor imder fourteen years of age to deHver 
newspapers. This opinion is typical of the 
misplaced sympathy so commonly bestowed 
upon these young "merchants" of the street. 
In the case cited, the court permitted itself to 
be drawn aside into an interpretation of the 
* Bulletin 8i, United States Bureau of Labor, p. 416. 



STRUGGLE FOR REGULATION 191 

letter of the law instead of viewing the matter 
in the light of its spirit. The purpose of such 
a law is to prevent the labor of children, not to 
distinguish between closely related forms of 
labor. Its object is to afford protection, not 
to provoke discussion of purely technical points. 
The labor of deUvering merchandise does not 
differ in any respect from the labor of delivering 
newspapers (the possibly greater weight of 
merchandise does not alter the case, inasmuch as 
it is usually carried about in wagons) ; and as 
the child labor law of the District of Columbia 
forbids the delivery of merchandise by children 
imder fourteen years at any time, it follows that 
the delivery of newspapers by such children 
should not be allowed, because the intent of 
the law is to protect them from the probable 
consequences of such work. Moreover, the 
District of Columbia law prohibits children 
under sixteen years from delivering merchandise 
before six o'clock in the morning; yet, imder 
the interpretation given by the juvenile court, 
it is perfectly proper for a child even under the 
age of fourteen years to perform the labor of 
delivery before that hour, provided he handles 
newspapers instead of packages. The incon- 



192 CHILD LABOR IN CITY STREETS 

sistency of this is only too apparent. The spirit 
of the law is lost sight of in the close interpreta- 
tion of its wording. This is one of the obstacles 
always encountered in the movement for child 
labor reform after prohibitory legislation has 
been enacted. 

American legislation on street trading still 
cKngs persistently and pathetically to the theory 
that uncontrolled labor is much better for 
children than labor under the supervision of 
adults, and consequently authorizes very young 
children to do certain kinds of work in the 
streets on their own responsibility, while for- 
bidding them to work at other street occupations 
even under the control of older and more 
experienced persons. This official incongruity 
must ultimately be rescinded and replaced by 
more rational and comprehensive legislation. 
The fallacy of permitting such a distinction on 
the ground that the child is an independent 
"merchant" in the one case and an employee 
in the other, must also be abandoned in favor 
of a more enlightened policy. 

Present Laws and Ordinances 
The following table shows all the laws and 



STRUGGLE FOR REGULATION 193 

ordinances governing street trading by children 
in existence in the United States in 191 1. 

The city council of Detroit passed an ordi- 
nance in 1877 which forbids newsboys and 
bootblacks to ply their trades in the streets 
without a permit from the mayor. No age 
limit is fixed, no distinction is made between 
the sexes and no hours are specified. Appli- 
cants for the permit are customarily referred 
to the chief truant officer for approval, and as 
a rule permits are not issued to boys under ten 
years of age or to girls. An annual license fee 
of ten cents is charged, and the license holder 
is supplied with a mmibered badge which must 
be worn conspicuously. Owing to its manifest 
weakness, this ordinance is of little avail. 

It will be observed from the following table 
that the common age limit for boys in street 
trading is ten years. When we pause to reflect 
on the import of this, it is hard to realize that 
intelligent American communities actually toler- 
ate such an absurdly meager restriction; yet 
the movement for reform has progressed even 
this far in only a very small part of the coimtry 
— in most places there is no restriction what- 
ever ! Some day, and that not in the very 
o 



CHILD LABOR IN CITY STREETS 



1 






.i-2 

n 

O (U 


1 

:2 


or imprison- 
days, for em- 
arents 




t^ 


^ 2 en 52 


*-*3 


8 ° 


*^ 


a 






«3 >, S 


1 


ts 


^ 


^?1 






<M O P. S 


2§ 


111 




8:e 
^ g ^ 

i, a a 




g 


1 


1 


1 




i s 




1 


,d 


.a 


.a 




.3 1 




§ 


b 


^ 


b 




III 




i 


Is 


1 o 


O <n 






H 


eiJ *j 


,eJ 4J 


rt +j 










PEH 


fe 


P^ 




P4 *" "^ 




1 




5; 














to 










i 




s 














M 










o 




oT 










»3 




1 










1 


2.1 


111 


o .a 






2 bo 


8 
< 


^""o 

••:? ^ 


m" - bo >» 




1 ° ^ 


b ^ .2 a 


si 




o 


pq 


pq 




pq 






M 


r<^ O 


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M 


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o> 


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^1 




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1 






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STRUGGLE FOR REGULATION 



195 



f? 



Is 






i § 



U O 

S a 






h-^;2^ 






a o Jj 

8 - K 
J? a S 






o -§ 
fi o 

4) ■- 



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e rt 



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° s ^ 



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a 2 



'tn O 



a° 









a h a 



p. ^ p. Is 



•a=s 



>> 'O .2 

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o 



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^ o pq 



en ••> d J2 

^^ .2 ^ 






^ rt in 00 

S i ^ " 

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H 00 , 






o g 
CO S 





M 



II 

XI (u 

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U en 



e ^ •- •" 

iir 

a - "" 



.a 



a ^ 






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O 

.5 3 



S S s 
- 8 ^ 



•s a -i 
•I 2 o 

.£3 «4-i 4-> 



=:? 



a 



si 
;§ ca -0 



« S « 2 5 

§ ^ I - i 



S5 -o 

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i a a S. 

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196 



CHILD LABOR IN CITY STREETS 



m 
§1 



S 






gU S 



13 CI) 

i| 

8 W 



^1 



3 a a ri o 



O e3 O 



{fl 



1^ 

P-t 



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a I 
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STRUGGLE FOR REGULATION 197 

remote future, we shall look back upon the 
authorized exploitation of the present period 
with the same degree of incredulity with which 
we now regard the horrors of child labor in 
England during the early part of the nineteenth 
century. 

In an attempt to minimize the bad effects of 
street trading most of the communities which 
have enacted laws or ordinances on the subject 
provide for the issuance of licenses to boys, and 
in some cases also to girls, in the belief that in 
this way the work of the children can best be 
brought imder some degree of control. How- 
ever, this is merely temporizing, although it 
affords an opportunity to gather facts and 
undoubtedly marks a step toward a better 
solution of the problem. This is brought out 
clearly by a recent British report on street 
trading: ^'Our general impression, gathered in 
towns in which by-laws had been made, was 
that, though in exceptional cases much good 
had resulted from their adoption, on the whole 
this method of dealing with what we have 
come to consider an unquestionable evil, has 
not proved adequate or satisfactory. In many 
instances it has been pointed out to us that a 



1 98 CHILD LABOR IN CITY STREETS 

system of licensing and badging is but a method 
of legalizing what is indisputably an evil, and 
that a set of by-laws, however rigorously en- 
forced, can at best only modify the difficulties 
of the position."^ 

The social workers of Chicago, keenly alive 
to the menace of the situation, bewail the lack 
of protection for street workers in the following 
words: "The child labor law and the compul- 
sory school law and the juvenile court law form 
the body of protective legislation which has 
been developing in behalf of the children of 
Illinois during the past twenty years. By none 
of the three, however, except in so far as street 
trading by a child under ten is counted an ele- 
ment in dependency, is the street-trading child 
safeguarded against parental neglect or greed, 
the vicious sights and sounds of the city street 
and the demoralizing habit of irregular employ- 
ment."2 

1 Great Britain, Report of Departmental Committee on 
the Employment of Children Act, 1903, submitted in 1910, 
p. 9. 

2 "A Plea to take the Small Boy and the Girl from the City 
Streets," by the Chicago Board of Education and a committee 
representing local organizations, 191 1. 



STRUGGLE FOR REGULATION 1 99 

Opposition to Regulation 

The opposition to bringing the street trades 
imder some degree of restriction has come, as 
might be expected, from very interested sources. 
In Illinois the newspaper publishers figured 
prominently in the movement to prevent the 
passage of the street-trades measure introduced 
in the legislature of that state at its session of 
191 1. This has not always been the case, how- 
ever, as the circulation managers of the five 
leading daily newspapers of St. Louis wrote 
letters to the legislature of Missouri favoring 
the passage of that section of the child labor 
bill of 191 1, which provided that boys under 
ten years and girls under sixteen years should 
not sell anything in any street or pubhc place 
within the state. This provision was enacted 
into law, but it is safe to say that if the rational 
age limit of sixteen years for boys had been 
advocated instead of ten years, the newspapers 
would have been most active in opposing this 
section. In Cincinnati the circulation managers 
of the newspapers most affected by the street- 
trades ordinance passed by the City Coimcil 
in 1909 agreed to its provisions before the 



200 CHILD LABOR IN CITY STREETS 

measure was submitted to the Council, and 
consequently it passed without opposition. 

In New Haven and Hartford repeated 
attempts have been made to secure regulation 
of street trading by means of city ordinances, 
and at two sessions of the state legislature bills 
have been introduced which provided for such 
restriction, but all these efforts have been per- 
sistently fought by a leading newspaper of 
Hartford in which city it has always been cus- 
tomary to have girls as well as boys selling 
newspapers on the street. In 1910, a city 
ordinance was passed in Hartford providing 
that boys and girls under ten years should be 
prohibited from trading in the streets and that 
between the ages of ten and fourteen years 
they should be licensed and not allowed to sell 
after 8 p.m. The newsgirls were not banished 
from the street because it was held that they 
were "a pretty good sort of girl after all," and 
that so long as it could not be proved that they 
were demoralized by the work, they should be 
permitted to go on with it. In other words, 
the city clings to the fine old American policy 
of delaying action until some calamity makes 
it necessary. 



I 



STRUGGLE FOR REGULATION 20I 

The objections offered by interested parties 
to the by-laws drafted by the London County 
Council at a hearing held in 1906, show that the 
law of self preservation operates in England as 
in other quarters of the Earth. News agents, 
employing Httle boys to deliver newspapers, 
declared that conditions were not bad ; that the 
work was healthful ; that the wages were a great 
help to poor parents; that they could not 
afford to employ older boys; that the lads 
should be allowed to begin at 6 a.m. and work 
not more than ten hours a day outside of school 
with a maximum weekly limit of twenty-five 
hours; that to prohibit the delivery of news- 
papers before 7 a.m. and after 7 p.m. would be 
a great injustice to the trade; that boys wouldn't 
stay in bed even if 7 a.m. were fixed as the hour 
for beginning work ; that such work does not 
interfere with schooling ; that the boys are well 
looked after ; in short, that the by-laws would 
ruin them and bring starvation to the children. 
One news agent in declaiming against the hours 
fixed for the delivery of newspapers, insisted 
that the restriction would throw boys out of 
employment and send them to trade in the streets 
with their imdesirable associations, apparently 



202 CHILD LABOR IN CITY STREETS 

unmindful of the fact that delivery boys them- 
selves worked in that environment. The dairy- 
men were horrified at the limit placed on hours, 
urging that the little boys in their employ 
should begin to deliver milk at 5 a.m., as early 
work was beneficial and the wages useful to 
poor parents. Shopkeepers denounced the by- 
laws as too drastic, because they would prevent 
such light work as errand running at noon and 
casual emplo)rment in the evening after 7, 
resulting in hardship to both parents and chil- 
dren; one acknowledged that if he were pre- 
vented from employing cheap labor his business 
would suffer; another said that he employed 
a boy at noon and also from 5.30 to 9 p.m., 
the work being light and the parents satisfied, 
and that the training was good for boys. A 
fruiterer actually declared that the limit of 
eight hours on Saturday would make a boy 
valueless to him; another said he employed a 
boy for one hour in the morning, from 6 to 9 
in the evening, and also on Saturday morning 
and evening, in running errands, and that the 
work was not heavy; another employed boys 
after school from 6 to 9.30 p.m., insisting that 
the work was good for them, as it kept them from 



I 



STRUGGLE FOR REGULATION 203 

the street and gave them an insight into business 
habits.^ It should be remembered that all 
this work was performed by the children in 
addition to attending school both morning and 
afternoon. 

The testimony given before the British Inter- 
departmental Committee of 1901 by the secre- 
tary of an association representing many thou- 
sand retail shopkeepers, would be amusing if 
it were not so sinister. He presented the sub- 
ject of child labor in a most favorable aspect, 
declaring that the wages were needed on account 
of poverty in the famiHes; that the work was 
light and had a very beneficial effect on health 
because it was done in the open air; that 
good meals were given in addition to cash wages 
and were very beneficial; that the effect on the 
boys' character was very beneficial^ as the work 
cultivated businesslike habits and kept the 
boys from running the streets, frequently 
affording promotion to the higher grades of 
shopkeeping.2 Another British Committee, in- 

^ Report on Bylaws made by London County Council 
under Employment of Children Act, 1903, by Chester Jones, 
1906, pp. 24-27. 

2 Great Britain, Report of Interdepartmental Committee 
on Employment of School Children, 1901, App. 33, p. 403. 



204 CHILD LABOR IN CITY STREETS 

vestigating conditions in Ireland, reported, 
''We found but one witness (a newspaper 
manager of Belfast) to testify that the present 
conditions of selling papers in the street were 
satisfactory and cannot be improved ; and that 
instead of tending to demorahze, they have the 
opposite effect."^ 

Ways and Means of Regulating Street Work 

As to the control of street trading by children 
there are two methods by which the desired 
end may be approached. First, a mutual agree- 
ment as to self-imposed restrictions among the 
managers of all the business interests in connec- 
tion with which children work on the streets. 
This method, however, can be dismissed from 
consideration at once on account of its imprac- 
ticability. Street work embraces many different 
kinds of commercial activity, and as one manager 
is the competitor of all others in the same line 
of business and is free to adopt such lawful 
means of placing his wares on the market as 
he sees fit, it would be clearly impossible to 
force any one into such an agreement against 

* Report of Interdepartmental Committee on the Employ- 
ment of Children during School Age in Ireland," 1902, p. vii. 



STRUGGLE FOR REGULATION 20$ 

his will. Moreover, new competitors may enter 
the field at any time who would not be bound 
by the agreement of the others, and consequently 
this would soon be broken by the force of compe- 
tition following the intrusion of these new 
parties. 

Second, regulation by constituted legislative 
authority. This is the more feasible method, 
and such regulation may be obtained from either 
of two sources — the municipality or the state. 
There is a question as to which of the two is 
the better for the purpose. Regulation by the 
state has the advantage of making the provi- 
sions apply uniformly to all cities within its 
borders and is obtained by no more effort than 
is required to get an ordinance through the 
Council of a single municipaHty. On the other 
hand, the municipal ordinance has the advantage 
of being secured by residents of the community 
who are intelligently concerned in the local 
problem and who will therefore take an active 
interest in having its provisions enforced. 
However, the good features of both these 
methods are united in the English plan, a modi- 
fication of which has been adopted by Massa- 
chusetts. According to this plan the state 



2o6 CHILD LABOR IN CITY STREETS 

fixes a minimum amount of restriction and 
authorizes local authorities, including boards of 
education, to increase the scope of restriction, 
and provides penalties for violation of the same. 
As to the degree of regulation, an ultra- 
conservative measure would prohibit boys under 
ten and girls under sixteen years from selling 
anything at any time in the streets or public 
places of cities, while the age limit for boys is 
raised to fourteen years for night work. The 
issuance of Hcenses to boys ten to fourteen 
years of age who wish to engage in street trading 
is the usual accompaniment of such restriction, 
and while ordinarily of little avail, it could be 
made of some assistance to truant and proba- 
tion ofiicers in their efforts to enforce the com- 
pulsory education and deHnquency laws. The 
age limit for boys has been advanced to eleven 
years by the School Committee of Boston, and 
to twelve years for newsboys and fourteen years 
for other street workers by the state of Wisconsin. 
But all efforts to secure such regulation should 
be based upon the principle that street trading 
is an undesirable form of labor for children, and 
consequently should be subject to at least the 
same restrictions as other forms of child labor. 



STRUGGLE FOR REGULATION 207 

Probable Course of Regulation in Future 

American child labor laws usually contain 
a provision to the effect that no child under 
sixteen years shall engage in any employment 
that may be considered dangerous to its life 
or limb or where its health may be injured or 
morals depraved. This is sonorous, but in- 
effective, — the particular kinds of improper 
work should be specified. In this list of unde- 
sirable forms of labor, street work should be 
included. Great Britain has had far more 
experience in the matter of regulating the 
work of children than any state of this country, 
and, in the light of all this experience, her de- 
partmental committee of 1910 has emphatically 
declared that street trading by boys under 
seventeen and girls under eighteen years should 
be absolutely prohibited. This should be our 
ideal in America. Commenting on the banish- 
ment of young girls from the streets of New 
York City, Mrs. Florence Kelley says, "If the 
law against street selling and peddling by girls 
to the age of sixteen years can be thus effectively 
enforced in a city in which the depths of poverty 
among the immigrants are so frightful as they 



2o8 CHILD LABOR IN CITY STREETS 

are in New York, there is no reason for assuming 
that it is impossible to prohibit efficiently street 
selling by boys."^ Girls under eighteen years 
should never be allowed to go out in the streets 
for commercial purposes, no matter how innocent 
these purposes may be in themselves. One of 
the most important features of the movement 
in America should be the absolute prohibition 
of such work by minors under eighteen years 
at night ; this is urged because it is in harmony 
with the provisions of our most advanced child 
labor laws and is fully justified because of the 
evil character of the influences rampant in 
cities after dark, and because such night work 
affords children a constant opportunity to cul- 
tivate their acquaintance with, if not to know 
for the first time, conditions from which every 
effort should be made to isolate them. For 
night messenger service the age Umit should 
be twenty-one years. 

The enforcement of such regulation as is 
now provided by the few states and cities which 
have given this subject any attention, is variously 
intrusted to factory inspectors, poHce, truant 
and probation officers, but in Boston the school 

* "Street Trades," in Proceedings of Seventh Annual Meet- 
ing of National Child Labor Committee, 1911, p. 108. 



STRUGGLE FOR REGULATION 209 

committee has delivered this task into the hands 
of one man who is known as the supervisor of 
Hcensed minors. The Boston plan for enforce- 
ment seems to have given better results than 
the common system of intrusting the enforce- 
ment to officers already overburdened with 
other duties, but it is clearly impossible for one 
officer to handle the situation unaided in a large 
city — the plan would be considerably improved 
by the appointment of several assistants. 

"The licensing by the Boston School Com- 
mittee of minors of school age to trade in the 
streets of Boston came about through an act 
of legislature in 1902. The need of supervision 
of minors Hcensed under this act became very 
apparent, as their numbers increased and their 
street influences reacting on their school life 
became better understood. To meet this need 
a supervisor of licensed minors was appointed 
whose duties are to secure the strict enforcement 
of the law, regulations governing the various 
forms of street work of children of school age, 
also to have general supervision of the details 
of the licensing department."^ 

* School Document No. 15, 1909, Boston Public Schools, 
pp. 34-35. 
P 



210 CHILD LABOR IN CITY STREETS 

Human nature in children is not in the least 
unlike human nature in adults. Just as we 
need an interstate commerce commission backed 
by the federal government to supervise the 
large business affairs of men, so do we need a 
supervisor of children's commercial activities 
in city streets, clothed with authority by the 
municipal government. 

The Boston plan is now being advocated for 
New York City : "In the street trades the Com- 
mittee recommends that the principle of super- 
vision of Hcensed minors, as practised for a 
number of years in Boston, be adopted, and that 
an office be created in the Department of Edu- 
cation that shall have supervisory control of all 
minors engaged in street trades. It recommends 
furthermore that the minimum age limit for 
licensing boys be raised from ten to fourteen 
years, and that the legal limit for selling at 
night be reduced from lo to 8, to correspond 
more nearly with the provisions of labor legis- 
lation dealing with children in factories."^ 

The first attempt to control the situation in 
New York City was intrusted to the police, 

^ Committee on Work and Wages, Handbook of New 
York Child Welfare Exhibit, 191 1, p. :^^, 



STRUGGLE FOR REGULATION 211 

but the results were not satisfactory, as they 
looked upon the matter with indifference. 
Subsequently the truant ofl&cers also were 
charged with this duty, and in 1908 four men 
were assigned to give their entire attention to 
this work between 3 p.m. and 11 p.m., and at 
present eight men are so engaged, but no very 
marked improvement is noticeable. In Roch- 
ester the enforcement of the state law was 
brought about through the efforts of the women 
of that city ; both business women and shoppers 
were asked to consider themselves members 
of a vigilance committee and to notify the 
board of education and the police department 
by telephone whenever any violations of the 
law were observed upon the streets. Within 
five days so many complaints had been received 
that both the superintendent of schools and the 
president of the board of education arranged 
a meeting at which their attention was invited 
to the widespread disregard of the law. As 
a result, steps were taken at once to insure 
enforcement, and finally the board of education 
appointed one truant officer, and the commis- 
sioner of police detailed a pohceman especially 
for the work of reporting violations. 



212 CHILD LABOR IN CITY STREETS 

In addition to providing an improved method 
of enforcement, efforts have been made in 
Boston to deal more effectively with the difficult 
problem of keeping street traders out of saloons, 
the Kcensing board having issued an order to 
all holders of liquor Kcenses to prohibit minors 
from loitering upon the licensed premises, more 
especially newsboys and messenger boys. 

The efforts of the school committee to regu- 
late street trading in Boston have been further 
supplemented by organizing a Newsboys' 
Republic, which is described as follows: "Per- 
haps the most important result of supervision 
so far has been the gradual introduction of a 
plan for self government among the licensed 
newsboys through the so-called Boston School 
Newsboys* Association. This association is 
pledged to the enforcement of the license rules 
and the suppression of smoking, gambhng and 
other street vices, more or less common among 
the street boys of certain neighborhoods. The 
association is run by the boys themselves, 
through officers of their own choosing, consist- 
ing of one newsboy captain and two heutenants 
for each school district; also a chief captain 
and general secretary and an executive board 



STRUGGLE FOR REGULATION 213 

of seven elected from the ranks of the captains. 
The general duties of the captains and heu- 
tenants are, first, to see that all licensed news- 
boys of their respective school districts Hve up 
to their Hcense rules, and the principles of the 
association. Secondly, to see that all boys not 
licensed shall not interfere with or in any way 
hurt the business of the Ucensed newsboys. 
These duties are performed through weekly 
inspections on the street, supplemented by 
monthly inspection at schools, at which time 
branch meetings of all the boys in each district 
are frequently held."^ 

1 School Document No. 15, 1909, Boston Public Schools, 
p. 36. 



CHAPTER IX 

DEVELOPMENT OF STREET TRADES REGULATION 
IN EUROPE 

Great Britain 

Attention was called to the problem of 
street trading by children in England for the 
first time, in a comprehensive way, in 1897. 
A few close observers of social conditions noticed 
that the situation was so grave as to demand 
an immediate remedy, and accordingly, upon 
their initiative, an organization was effected 
for the purpose of studying the subject. This 
organization took the form of a private associa- 
tion known as the Committee on Wage-Earning 
Children. The committee conferred with the 
officers of the board of education and succeeded 
in arousing their interest to the extent of secur- 
ing a promise for the collection of a return from 
the elementary schools of England and Wales 
concerning the labor of public school pupils, 
their ages, and other relevant information. 
214 



REGULATION IN EUROPE 215 

In 1898, the House of Commons ordered this 
inquiry to be made, and in June of that year 
copies of a schedule were sent by the educational 
department to all the public elementary schools 
in England and Wales. Many schoolmasters 
misunderstood the meaning of this schedule 
and failed to report the children of their schools 
who were actually engaged in various forms 
of work outside of school hours. Only about 
half of the schedules were filled and returned, 
but these showed that 144,026 children were 
following some kind of gainful occupation in 
addition to attending school. Many school- 
masters reported pitiable cases of child exploi- 
tation, as, for example, the following: ^'Boys 
helping milkmen are up at 5 o'clock in the 
morning, whilst those selling papers are about 
the streets to a very late hour at night. During 
lessons many fall off to sleep, and if not asleep 
the effort to keep awake is truly painful both 
to boy and teacher. The educational time, as 
a consequence, is materially wasted."^ ''These 
are sad cases, viz. one boy (aged eleven, in 
Standard III) works daily, as a grocer's errand 

1 Elementary Schools (Children Working for Wages), House 
of Commons Paper, 1899, No. 205, p. 14. 



21 6 CHILD LABOR IN CITY STREETS 

boy, for is. 6d. a week, from 8 to 9 a.m., from 
12 to 1.30 P.M., and from 4.30 to 7.30 p.m. 
On Saturday from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. Another 
boy, aged ten in Standard III, works also as a 
grocer's errand boy for is. 6d. per week, from 
8.30 to 9 A.M., from 12 to 1.30 and from 5 to 
8 P.M., and on Saturday from 8.30 a.m. to ii p.m.'' 
And all this in addition to twenty-seven and 
one half hours of school every week ! A boy 
who works for 56I hours a week, selling papers, 
is employed as follows: "Monday to Friday, 
from 7 A.M. to 8.45 A.M., from 12 to i p.m., and 
from 4 to 10 P.M., and on Saturday from 7 a.m., to 
10 A.M., from 12 to 2 P.M. and from 3 to 11 p.m." 
"This is a very bad case: called at 2 and 
3 o'clock A.M., the boy (aged eight) is so tired 
that he is obliged to go to bed again, and is 
often absent from school, and made to work 
in the evening as well." ^ Many schoolmasters 
also testified to the need of a remedy; one of 
these wrote on the schedule: "May I be allowed 
to express my gratitude to the education depart- 
ment for making this inquiry, and express the 
hope that the department will be able to frame 

^ Elementary Schools (Children Working for Wages), House 
of Commons Paper, 1899, No. 205, pp. 26-27. 



REGULATION IN EUROPE 217 

some regulation to meet and relieve the oner- 
ous conditions under which many of the yoimg 
have to gain education. Without exaggeration 
I can truthfully assert that there are to-day 
in our national and board schools thousands of 
little white slaves." ^ 

Nothing more came of the movement until 
January, 1901, when the Secretary of State for 
the Home Department appointed an inter- 
departmental committee ''to inquire into the 
question of the employment of children during 
school age, and to report what alterations are 
desirable in the laws relating to child labour and 
school attendance and in the administration of 
these laws." After making careful investiga- 
tion this committee declared: ''In the case of 
street-trading children very strong powers of 
regulation are required. These children are 
exposed to the worst influences; they enter 
public houses to ply their trade, they are kept 
up late at night and exposed to inclement 
weather, and the precarious nature of their 
trade disincHnes them to steady work, and 
encourages them to dissipate their earnings in 
gambling . . . there should be power to pro- 
* Idem, p. 16. 



2l8 CHILD LABOR IN CITY STREETS 

hibit street trading by children ; to make regu- 
lations as to the age and sex of street traders, 
and the days and hours on which they may ply 
their trade; to grant licenses to those per- 
mitted to trade and to require the wearing of 
badges or uniforms; to forbid street traders to 
enter public houses or to importune or obstruct 
passengers; and generally to control their 
conduct and to cope with the evil in every 
reasonable way."^ The committee further re- 
ported: ''Our main recommendation is that the 
overworking of children in those occupations 
which are still unregulated by law should be 
prevented by giving to the county and borough 
councils a power to make labour by-laws ; . . . 
further we suggest that the gaps that may be 
left by local by-laws should be filled up by a 
general prohibition of night labour by children 
and of labour manifestly injurious to health." ^ 
This committee reported that the number of 
children in England and Wales attending school 
and also in paid employment was far greater 
than as reported by the parhamentary return, 

1 Great Britain, Report of Interdepartmental Committee 
on Emplo3anent of School Children, 1901, pp. 20-21. 

2 Idem, p. 24, 



REGULATION IN EUROPE 219 

estimating that the total number was no less 
than 3oo,ocx> in 1898.^ 

One of the witnesses before this committee 
was a London truant officer of eighteen years^ 
experience, who testified that every month he 
met with hundreds of cases of milk boys who 
"go to work at 5 a.m. and knock off at 8.30 and 
get to school at 9.45. At twelve they return to 
work, and after school at 4.30 they go again 
and wash up. The latest hour they work is 
about 8 P.M. I have frequently seen these 
children fast asleep in school. It is a common 
thing to see children of tender age outside the 
different theatres trying to sell newspapers at 
II o'clock at night. The percentage of cases 
in which this work is necessary is very small; 
it simply means that a Httle more money is 
spent in the public houses."^ The report of 
this committee contains a great mass of testi- 
mony from persons in many walks of life, nearly 
all of whom declared that street trading by 
children is bad and should be regulated. They 
differentiated between the hawking of articles 
in the streets and their delivery for employers, 
and one of the witnesses from Liverpool testi- 
* Idem, p. 9. * Idem, Q. 11 23. 



220 CHILD LABOR IN CITY STREETS 

fied that the local regulation of street trading 
by children in that city did not apply to boot- 
blacks nor to boys who carried parcels because 
they were not selling anything.^ 

In 1902, an interdepartmental conmiittee was 
appointed to study the subject in Ireland, and in 
its report stated: "The principal dangers to 
which they [street traders] are exposed are those 
arising from late hours in the streets, truancy, 
insufficient clothing, entering licensed premises 
to find sale for their goods, obstructing, annoying 
or importuning passengers, begging, fighting 
with other children, playing football or other 
games in the streets, using bad language, play- 
ing pitch and toss (a gambling game), smoking 
— all of which are matters of common obser- 
vation, and have been testified to by many 
of the witnesses. In our opinion these evils 
can be lessened, if not entirely removed, by the 
simple system of regulation, licenses and badges/' ^ 

The direct result of the reports of these 
committees was the passage by Parliament of 

1 Great Britain, Report of Interdepartmental Committee 
on Employment of School Children, 1901, Q. 7203. 

2 Great Britain, Report of Interdepartmental Committee 
on the Employment of Children during School Age in Ireland, 
1902, p, 6. 



REGULATION IN EUROPE 221 

the Employment of Children Act, 1903. Section 
3 of this act provides, first, that no child under 
eleven years shall engage in street trading; 
second, no child under fourteen years shall be 
employed between 9 p.m. and 6 a.m.; third, 
no factory or workshop half-timer shall be 
employed in any other occupation; fourth, 
no child under fourteen years shall handle heavy 
weights likely to result in injury; fifth, no 
child under fourteen years shall engage in any 
injurious employment. Sections i and 2 of 
this act give to local authorities power to make 
by-laws regulating the emplojnnent of children. 
The provisions of Section 2 concerning street 
trading are in substance as follows: any local 
authority may make by-laws with respect to 
street trading by persons under the age of six- 
teen years and may prohibit such street trading 
subject to age, sex or the holding of a license; 
may regulate the conditions on which such 
licenses may be granted and revoked; may 
determine the days and hours during which 
and the places at which such street trading 
may be carried on; may require such street 
traders to wear badges and may regulate gener- 
ally the conduct of such street traders; pro- 



222 CHILD LABOR IN CITY STREETS 

vided that the right to trade shall not be made 
subject to any conditions having reference to the 
poverty or general bad character of the person 
applying for this right, and provided also that 
the local authority shall have special regard to 
the desirability of preventing the employment 
of girls under sixteen years in streets and public 
places. 

Section 2 b of the Prevention of Cruelty to 
Children Act, 1904, imposes a penalty upon 
adults who cause, procure or allow boys under 
fourteen or girls under sixteen to trade in the 
streets between 9 p.m. and 6 a.m. 

An official report made in 1907 gives the 
names of all counties, boroughs and urban 
districts in Great Britain which had up to that 
time made by-laws to regulate street trading 
by children. In England and Wales, 2 counties, 
60 cities and boroughs and 4 urban districts 
had done so; in Scotland, 3 burghs and the 
school board districts of 11 burghs and 12 
parishes; and in Ireland, 4 cities and boroughs 
and I urban district had made such by-laws.^ 

1 Great Britain, Return of Local Authorities which have 
made By-laws under the Employment of Children Act, 
1903, 1907. 



1 



REGULATION IN EUROPE 223 

By 1 9 10, out of 74 county boroughs in Eng- 
land and Wales, not less than 50 had made street- 
trading by-laws, and these included most of the 
larger places; but out of 191 smaller boroughs 
and smaller urban districts only 41 had done so ; 
while among 62 administrative coimties only 3 
had made by-laws. In addition to these, 4 
county boroughs and 2 of the smaller boroughs 
had made street-trading by-laws under local 
acts. 

In Scotland, of the 33 coimty councils em- 
powered to make by-laws, not one had done so 
by 1910 ; while of 56 burghs only 3 had passed 
by-laws; of 979 school boards only 27 had made 
such regulations. Edinburgh passed by-laws 
under a private act. 

In Ireland, out of 33 county councils not one 
had made by-laws ; of the 43 councils of urban 
districts with a population of over 5000, only 5 
had passed regulations. 

In 1909 the Secretary of State for the Home 
Department appointed a departmental com- 
mittee to inquire into the operation of the 
Employment of Children Act, 1903, and to 
consider whether any and what further legis- 
lative regulation or restriction was required in 



224 CHILD LABOR IN CITY STREETS 

respect of street trading and other employments 
dealt with in that act. This committee con- 
fined its report, which was submitted in 1910, 
to the subject of street trading; and its great 
contribution to the cause of child welfare is 
its recommendation that street trading should 
be prohibited rather than regulated. The stat- 
ute of 1903 prohibits all work by children un- 
der the age of eleven years, and its restrictions 
on street employment by children above that 
limit, out of school hours, are prohibitions of 
night work after nine o'clock, consequently a 
child above the age of eleven years who engages 
in street trading is restrained, during the day, 
only by such by-laws as may have been adopted 
by the local authority. The committee found 
that even in communities where by-laws had 
been adopted they were not always observed, 
and also that where no by-laws had been passed 
the minimum statutory restrictions were fre- 
quently ignored. The report declared that: 
*'A considerable amount of street trading is 
still done by children under eleven. Special 
censuses taken in Edinburgh revealed the fact 
that children as young as seven were trading in 
the streets. The great bulk of the evidence 



REGULATION IN EUROPE 225 

received in and from Scotland points to the 
conclusion that the Act [of 1903] has been almost 
a dead-letter in that coimtry. . . . Infringe- 
ments of the Act in Ireland are no less common. 
In Waterford newspapers are sold by children 
of nine years old up to 11 p.m. and later." ^ 
The issuance of licenses and badges was de- 
nounced as giving the stamp of official approval 
to what is recognized as an evil, the adoption 
of by-laws resulting merely in a partial improve- 
ment of conditions even when rigorously en- 
forced. 

After having devoted several months to the 
inquiry, during which evidence was gathered 
in London, Manchester, Edinburgh, Glasgow, 
DubHn, Belfast, Birmingham and Liverpool 
in addition to receiving the testimony of wit- 
nesses from Sheffield, Nottingham, Bolton 
and other centers, the committee made this 
very noteworthy and significant declaration: 
"We have come to the conclusion . . . that 
the effect of street trading upon the character 
of those who engage in it is only too frequently 
disastrous. The youthful street trader is ex- 

^ Great Britain, Report of Departmental Committee on 
Employment of Children Act, 1903, submitted in 1910, p. 7. 

Q 



226 CHILD LABOR IN CITY STREETS 

posed to many of the worst of moral risks; 
he associates with, and acquires the habits of, 
the frequenters of the kerbstone and the gutter. 
If a match seller, he is Hkely to become a beggar 
— if a newspaper seller, a gambler ; the evidence 
before us was extraordinarily strong as to the 
extent to which begging prevails among the boy 
vendors of evening papers. There was an 
almost equally strong body of testimony to 
the effect that, at any rate in crowded centres 
of population, street trading tends to produce 
a dislike or disability for more regular employ- 
ment ; the child finds that for a few years money 
is easily earned without discipline or special 
skill ; and the occupation is one which sharpens 
the wits without developing the intelligence. 
It leads to nothing practically, and in no way 
helps him to a future career. There can be no 
doubt that large numbers of those who were 
once street traders drift into vagrancy and crime. 
. . . Much evidence was given to the effect 
that the practice of street trading, even though 
only carried on in the intervals of school attend- 
ance, tends to produce a restless disposition, 
and a dislike of restraint which makes children 
unwilling to settle down to any regular employ- 



REGULATION IN EUROPE 227 

ment. So far as girls are concerned, there 
must be added to the above evils an unques- 
tionable danger to morals in the narrower sense. 
The evidence presented to us on this point 
was imanimous and most emphatic. Again and 
again persons specially qualified to speak, assured 
us that, when a girl took up street trading, she 
almost invariably was taking a first step toward 
a Hfe of immoraUty. The statement that the 
temptations are great, and the children practi- 
cally defenseless, needs no amplification. An 
occupation entailing such perils is indisputably 
imfit for girls." ^ 

The need for prohibition of street trading was 
realized by this committee, the change being 
urged in the following epoch-making statement: 
"After carefully considering the operation of 
the by-laws adopted since 1903, and comparing 
the present state of affairs with that existing 
before the passing of the act, we have come 
to the conclusion that the difficulties of the 
situation cannot be said to have been met, or 
any substantial contribution to a solution of 
the problem made, by the existing law and the 

* Great Britain, Report of Departmental Committee on 
Employment of Children Act, 1903, submitted in 1910, p. 11. 



228 CHILD LABOR IN CITY STREETS 

machinery set up for its enforcement. Regu- 
lation, however well organized and complete, 
will not turn a wasteful and uneconomic use 
of the energies of children into a system which 
is beneficial to the community. Consequently 
we feel that we have no choice but to recommend 
the complete statutory prohibition of street trad- 
ing either by boys or by girls up to a specific 
age. In the case of boys we feel that it would 
be wise to name an age which would render it 
Hkely that they would have had full oppor- 
tunities of taking to regular work before they 
could legally trade in the streets. We think 
the most suitable age would be seventeen, which 
gives an interval of three or four years after 
the ordinary time of leaving an elementary 
school. ... So far as girls are concerned, we 
feel that the arguments in favor of prohibiting 
trading increase rather than diminish in force 
as the age of the traders advances. The entire 
body of testimony laid before us has forced upon 
us the conclusion that street trading by girls is 
entirely indefensible, and that no system of 
regulation is sufficient to rid the employment 
of its risks and objections. On the other hand, 
we have not been able to discover any trace of 



REGULATION IN EUROPE 229 

hardship having resulted in any of those towns 
in which by-laws have prohibited trading by 
girls, or have restricted the ages during which 
trading is permitted. We think that the age of 
prohibition should be higher for girls than for 
boys, and, while we feel that it should, in any 
event, not be less than eighteen, we should be 
willing to see it fixed as high as twenty-one."^ 

As to the administration of the law, the com- 
mittee declared that this should be deUvered 
into the hands of the education authorities 
who could charge the regular truant officers with 
the work of enforcement or employ special 
officers for the purpose. The placing of respon- 
sibility upon the parents of child offenders was 
indorsed, but the committee criticised adminis- 
trators because of the small penalties imposed 
as fines, the amounts -being easily covered by 
the earnings of the traders, and hence an in- 
crease of the maximum fine was recommended. 

A minority report was submitted by four 
members of this committee who declined to 
support the recommendation of the majority 
that street trading should be immediately and 

^ Great Britain, Report of Departmental Committee on 
Employment of Children Act, 1903, submitted in 1910, p. 13. 



230 CHILD LABOR IN CITY STREETS 

universally prohibited in the case of boys up 
to the age of seventeen. These members held 
that the cause of street trading should first 
be removed by organizing employment bureaus 
for children, by giving the children the benefit 
of vocational direction, and by promoting 
industrial education for boys both while attend- 
ing the elementary schools and after. 

Liverpool 

As to local efforts to regulate the street- 
trading evil, the first steps were taken in Liver- 
pool. In this city the condition of child street 
traders was particularly bad ; half of them were 
girls, and the stock in trade was usually news- 
papers and matches — the children were dirty, 
ragged and running the streets at all hours of 
the night, the apparent trade in newspapers 
and other articles being frequently used to 
cover up much worse things; in fact, many of 
the girls were practically prostitutes. Quite 
a number of these children were nothing more 
or less than beggars, and deKberately appeared 
in ragged clothing for the purpose of exciting 
sympathy. A local association undertook to 
supply them with clothing, but many refused 



REGULATION IN EUROPE 23 1 

this aid "because it would interfere with their 
trade." Commenting on similar practices 
among the street traders of Dublin, Sir Lambert 
H. Ormsby, M.D., said in 1904: "They sell 
other things besides . . . matches principally. 
Of course the selling of matches^ is merely a 
means of evading being taken up by the police 
for begging. The matches are only humbug; 
they do not want to sell them . . . they do it 
for begging purposes." ^ In 1897 the Liverpool 
Watch Committee appointed a subcommittee 
to consider the question of children trading in 
streets, and this subcommittee reported that: 
"The practice is attended, first, with injury 
to the health of the children; second, with 
interference with the education of such as are 
of school age ; third, with danger to the moral 
welfare of the children inasmuch as the practice 
frequently leads to street gambling, begging, 
sleeping out and other undesirable practices, 
and in some cases to crime." They were of 
opinion — in which the inspector of reformatories 
concurred — that much of the money earned 
by the children went to indulge the vicious 

1 Great Britain, Report of Interdepartmental Committee 
on Physical Deterioration, 1904, Vol. II, Q. 12757-12759. 



232 CHILD LABOR IN CITY STREETS 

and intemperate propensities of parents and 
guardians. 

By the Liverpool Corporation Act, 1898, 
Parliament gave the city power to regulate 
street trading by children, and accordingly 
the following provisions were made by the city 
coimcil : (i) no licenses to any child under eleven; 
(2) boys eleven to thirteen and girls eleven 
to fifteen inclusive, to be licensed if not men- 
tally or physically deficient, with consent of 
parent or guardian ; (3) licenses good one year ; 
(4) badges also to be issued ; (5) no charge for 
license or badge; (6) licenses may be revoked 
by Watch Committee for cause ; (7) no licensed 
child to trade after 9 p.m., nor unless decently 
clothed, nor without badge, nor in streets 
during school hours unless exempted from school 
attendance, and no licensed child may alter 
or dispose of badge, or enter public houses to 
trade, or importune passengers. These regu- 
lations took effect May 31, 1899, and marked the 
formal beginning of the movement against 
street trading by children. 

In 1 901 the Liverpool subcommittee reported 
that it was "of opinion that the application of 
the powers conferred by the Act has had the 



REGULATION IN EUROPE 233 

effect of greatly reducing the number of children 
trading in the streets, especially during school 
hours and late in the evenings, and of improv- 
ing the condition, appearance, and behaviour of 
those children who still engage in street trading." 
This subcommittee recommended raising the 
boys' age hmit for licenses from fourteen to 
sixteen years, and was inclined to advise the total 
prohibition of street trading by girls.^ 

London 

Under the powers conferred on local author- 
ities by the Employment of Children Act 
1903, the London County Coimcil framed in 
February, 1905, a set of by-laws, the provisions 
of which seemed quite innocuous. Neverthe- 
less a considerable outcry was raised by persons 
whom they would affect, and thereupon the 
Secretary of State withheld his confirmation 
and authorized Mr. Chester Jones to hold an 
inquiry at which complaints could be heard as 
well as arguments in favor of the by-laws. This 
inquiry was held in June and July of 1905, 

* Great Britain, Report of Interdepartmental Committee 
on Emplo3Tnent of School Children, 1901, App. 37, pp. 415- 
416. 



234 CHILD LABOR IN CITY STREETS 

and schoolmasters, attendance officers, police 
inspectors, news agents and others testified. 
Mr. Jones held that it was his duty " to endeavour 
to discover where the line should be drawn, and 
that it was not open to argument either that 
child labour should entirely be prohibited or 
that it should be imregulated." ^ 

In his report Mr. Jones took up each by-law 
separately and discussed it, recommending that 
it be either confirmed or rejected in accordance 
with his findings. He also drafted a set of 
by-laws and submitted them with the recom- 
mendation that they be adopted instead of the 
ones originally passed by the London County 
Council. Referring to these, he says: ^'An 
important respect in which my suggested by-laws 
differ from the County Council by-laws is in 
differentiating between emplo3anent in connec- 
tion with street stalls and other forms of street 
trading. It seemed to be the general opinion 
[of witnesses] that the former emplo3nnent, 
being under the supervision of some adult 
person, probably the parent, is not so harmful 

1 Report on the By-laws made by the London County 
Council under the Employment of Children Act, 1903, by 
Chester Jones, 1906, p. 5. 



REGULATION IN EUROPE 235 

in its effects on the morals of the child as the 
latter, and it must be remembered that the 
main objection to street trading was on the 
ground rather of its affecting the morality than 
the health and education of the children." ^ 
The regulations drafted by Mr. Jones were not 
even so drastic as those proposed by the London 
County Council, and in recommending milder 
restrictions Mr. Jones says : "A set of by-laws 
should not err upon the side of overstringency, 
nor should they be in advance of public opinion ; 
the first, because taking a step more or less in 
the dark might cause hardships impossible to 
avoid, and the second, because any by-laws of 
this sort, being most difficult of enforcement, 
will certainly be evaded unless backed up by 
the weight of public opinion." ^ 

The County Council, however, did not follow 
Mr. Jones's recommendations in their entirety, 
but adopted a more stringent set of by-laws 
which were put in force in October, 1906. 
In December, 1909, the County Council again 
amended the by-laws, and an inquiry relative to 
these changes was held by Mr. Stanley Owen 
Buckmaster in October, 1910. Mr. Buckmaster 

* Idem, p. 16. ' Idem, p. 15. 



236 CHILD LABOR IN CITY STREETS 

recommended a number of changes of minor 
importance which were adopted by the Council, 
and accordingly the new by-laws were adopted 
and took effect on June 3, 1911. This set of 
by-laws will be found in the Appendix, page 264. 
The most significant feature which they present 
is the raising of the age hmit for boys to fourteen 
years and for girls to sixteen years without 
exemption. The old by-laws prohibited street 
trading by children under sixteen years between 
the hours of 9 p.m. and 6 a.m., and this provision 
was retained in the new by-laws, applying, how- 
ever, only to boys, inasmuch as girls under that 
age are prohibited from trading in the streets 
at any time. These London by-laws on street 
trading are identical with the provisions of the 
most advanced American child labor laws on 
factory employment, and consequently they 
blaze the way for the application of these pro- 
visions in the United States to street trading as 
well as to employment in factories, mills and 

mines. 

Manchester 

Although the British departmental committee 
of 1 9 10 was not favorably impressed by the 
results of regulation as a cure for the evils of 



REGULATION IN EUROPE 237 

street trading, nevertheless it gave due credit 
to the city of Manchester for what had been 
accomplished there under the Hcense system. 
Referring to this city, the report says: "In 
Manchester such good results as can be arrived 
at by the method of regulation were, perhaps, 
more apparent than anywhere else. In that 
city the entire evidence testified to the fact that 
the regulation of street trading is very highly 
organized; a special staff of selected, plain- 
clothes officers, giving their whole time to the 
work, knowing the traders personally, visiting 
the homes, advising the parents, clothing the 
children and apparently exerting a most bene- 
ficial influence. All that can be done through 
the instnmient of regulation seems to be done 
there, the various authorities working together 
to that end." ^ 

An English writer says that regulation in 
Manchester "has greatly improved the conditions 
of the newspaper boys and others who earned 
their living by hawking goods in the streets. 
It is something to the good at any rate that a 
boy should be compelled to be decently dressed 

1 Great Britain, Report of Departmental Committee on 
Employment of Children Act, 1903, submitted in 1910, p. 9. 



238 CHILD LABOR IN CITY STREETS 

and so avoid the obvious temptation of appeal- 
ing to the sympathies of the public by the 
picturesque raggedness of his clothing. At the 
same time one cannot help feeling that halfway 
legislation of this sort is only playing with the 
problem and that the only really satisfactory 
law would be one which prohibited street trad- 
ing by children altogether." ^ 

New South Wales 

The British Colony of New South Wales has 
adopted some mild restrictions under the Em- 
ployment of Children Act, 1903, and the presi- 
dent of the State Children Relief Board for New 
South Wales states in his report for the year 
ending April 5, 1910, that "the Board is not 
favorably impressed with the principle of street 
trading by juveniles, realizing that even imder 
the most careful administration children, when 
once licensed to engage in street trading, are 
exposed to great temptations." 

Canada 

The province of Manitoba, Canada, forbids 

children imder twelve years from trading in the 

1 J. G. Cloete, "The Boy and his Work" in " Studies of 
Boy Life in our Cities," 1904, p. 131. 



REGULATION IN EUROPE 239 

streets at any time ; licenses are issued to boys 
twelve to sixteen years old, who are not allowed 
to sell after 9 p.m. Some boys have been denied 
licenses because of their poor school record, 
others because of lack of proof as to age, others 
on accoimt of not being physically qualified, 
and still others because there was no need 
for their earning money in this way. The 
licensed boys are kept under supervision; their 
attendance at school is watched; and if they 
persist in selling after 9 p.m. or disobey instruc- 
tions, their licenses are revoked.^ 

Germany 

The Industrial Code of Germany prohibits 
children under fourteen years from offering 
goods for sale on public roads, streets or places, 
and peddling them from house to house. In 
localities in which such sale or peddling is 
customary, the local police authorities may 
permit it for certain periods of time not exceed- 
ing a total of four weeks in any calendar year. 
*' Under this provision there was considerable 

* " Citizens in the Making," Annual Report of Superin- 
tendent of Neglected Children for Province of Manitoba, 
Canada, 1910, pp. 31-34. 



240 CHILD LABOR IN CITY STREETS 

street trading, especially in the larger cities. 
In Berlin, for instance, during the weeks preced- 
ing Christmas, numerous children under four- 
teen were thus employed. Protests against the 
practice were made by the Consumers' League 
and similar organizations, and resulted in the 
passage of a police regulation, for its restriction ; 
and in 1909 a further step was taken by provid- 
ing that no exceptions of this sort be thereafter 
permitted, so that now the employment of 
children under fourteen years of age in street 
trading is absolutely forbidden in Berlin."^ 
The Industrial Code forbids children under 
twelve years to deliver goods or perform other 
errands except for their own parents. Children 
over twelve years may so engage for not more 
than three hours daily between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m., 
but not before morning school nor during the 
noon recess nor until one hour after school has 
closed in the afternoon; on Sundays and holi- 
days such children may do this work only for 
two hours between 8 a.m. and i p.m., but not 
during the principal church service or the 
half hour preceding it. Such children must 

1 C. W. A. Veditz, "Child Labor Legislation in Europe," in 
Bulletin 89 of United States Bureau of Labor, 1910, p. 242. 



REGULATION IN EUROPE 241 

first obtain the Arheitskarte from the local police 
authority, which is issued upon request of the 
child's legal representative. Employers must 
notify the police authority in advance of the 
employment of such children. 

France 

The labor of children in France is regulated 
by the law of November 2, 1892, as amended 
by the act of March 30, 1900. This law 
applies to factories, workshops, mines and 
quarries, exempting home industries, agricultu- 
ral work and purely mercantile establishments.^ 
The work of children in city streets is not 
even mentioned. New legislation has recently 
been proposed to regulate the employment of 
minors imder 18 years of age and of women in 
the sale of merchandise from stands and tables 
on sidewalks outside of bazaars and large stores. 
According to its provisions, the work of such 
persons would be prohibited for more than two 
hours at a time and for more than six hours a 
day, while seats and heating facilities would 

* Henry Ferrette, "Manuel de Legislation Industrielle," 
1909, p. 149. 

s 



242 CHILD LABOR IN CITY STREETS 

have to be suppKed the same as for employees 
inside the large establishments.^ 

In Paris, newspapers are sold almost exclu- 
sively at kiosks on street corners, presided over 
by middle-aged women. 

1 Daily Consular and Trade Reports, i4tli Year, No. 
io6, p. 566. 



CONCLUSION 

Many years ago Macaulay declared, " Intense 
labor, beginning too early in life, continued too 
long every day, stunting the growth of the mind, 
leaving no time for healthful exercise, no time 
for intellectual culture, must impair all those 
high qualities that have made our coimtry great. 
Your overworked boys will become a feeble and 
ignoble race of men, the parents of a more feeble 
progeny ; nor will it be long before the deterior- 
ation of the laborer will injuriously affect those 
very interests to which his physical and moral 
interests have been sacrificed. If ever we are 
forced to )deld the foremost place among com- 
mercial nations, we shall yield it to some people 
preeminently vigorous in body and in mind." 
To-day these words seem to us a veritable proph- 
ecy — but we must not forget that they apply 
to America no less than to England. If our 
civilization is to continue and to improve with 
time, every child must have a proper opportunity 
to grow under conditions as nearly normal as 
243 



244 CONCLUSION 

possible ; we must secure to the children their 
birthright — the right to play and to dream, the 
right to healthful sleep, the right to educa- 
tion and training, the right to grow into man- 
hood and into womanhood with cleanness and 
strength both of body and of mind, the right of 
a chance to become useful citizens of the future. 
Eternal vigilance is the price of protection for 
childhood, and while ^' Women and children first" 
is a rigid law of the sea, ^' Children first " is 
the fimdamental law both of Nature and civili- 
zation. 



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24s 



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Committee on Wage-earning Children — Third 
Annual Report, Economic Review, 1904, Vol. 
XIV, pp. 208-211. 

Convalescent Men for Newsboys, The Survey, 1910, 
Vol. XXV, p. 809. 

Enforcing the Newsboy Law in New York and 
Newark, by J. K. Paulding, Charities and Com- 
mons, 1905, Vol. XIV, pp. 836-837. 

Ethics of the Newsboy, by A. Saxby, Western, 
Vol. CLVIII, pp. 575-578. 

The Greek Bootblack, by Leola Benedict Terhune, 
The Survey, 1911, Vol. XXVI, pp. 852-854. 

The Greek Boy Who Shines Shoes, The Survey, 191 1, 
Vol. XXVI, p. 591. 

Hartford Regulates Child Street Trades, The Survey, 
1910, Vol. XXV, p. 5". 



252 BIBLIOGRAPHY 

Industrial Democracy: A Newsboys' Labor Union 
and What It Thinks of a College Education, 
by R. W. Bruere, Outlook, 1906, Vol. LXXXIV, 
pp. 878-883. 

John E. Gunckel of Toledo : the Newsboys' Evange- 
list, by A. E. Winship, World To-day, 1908, 
Vol. XV, pp. 1169-1173. 

De Kid Wot Works at Night, by WiUiam Hard, 
Everybody s^ 1908, Vol. XVIII, pp. 25-37. 

Milwaukee Regulates Its Street Trades — Other 
Wisconsin Child Labor Advances, Survey, 1909, 
Vol. XXII, p. 589. 

New Jersey Children in Street Trades by E. B. 
Butler, Charities and Commons, 1907, Vol. XVII, 
pp. 1062-1064. 

New Rules for Street Trades in Boston, with a 
Comparison of Regulations in Liverpool, Chari- 
ties and Commons, 1909, Vol. XXI, pp. 953-954. 

New York's Newsboy Lodging House, Charities and 
Commons, 1908, Vol. XXI, pp. 147-148. 

New York's Newsboys Licensed, Charities and Com- 
mons, 1903, Vol. XI, pp. 188-189. 

The Newsboy at Night in Philadelphia, by Scott 
Nearing, Charities and Commons, 1907, Vol. 
XVII, pp. 778-784. 

The Newsboy Breadwinner Story, Charities and 
Commons, 1903, Vol. XI, pp. 482, 568. 

Newsboy Wanderers are Tramps in the Making, by 
Ernest Poole, Charities and Commons, 1903, 
Vol. X, pp. 160-162. 



BIBLIOGRAPHY 253 

Newsboys Elect Their Own Judge, Survey ^ 1910, Vol. 

XXV, p. 312. 

Night Messenger Service, by Owen R. Lovejoy, 
Survey, Vol. XXV, p. 504. 

The Press and its Newsboys, by John Ihlder, 
World To-day, 1907, Vol. XIII, pp. 737-739. 

Sale of Goods on Sidewalks (in France), Daily Consu- 
lar and Trade Reports, 14th Year, No. 106, p. 566. 

School Children as Wage Earners, by E. F. Hogg, 
Nineteenth Century, 1897, Vol. XLII, pp. 235- 
244. 

School Children as Wage Earners — Street Trading 
in Liverpool, by J. E. Gorst, Nineteenth Cen- 
tury, 1899, Vol. XLVI, p. 16. 

Street Children, by Benjamin Waugh, Contemporary 
Review, 1888, Vol. LIII, pp. 825-835. 

Street Labor and Juvenile Delinquency, by Josephine 
C. Goldmark, Political Science Quarterly, 1904, 
Vol. XIX, pp. 417-438. 

Street Trades and Delinquency, Survey, 191 1, Vol. 

XXVI, p. 285. 

The Street-trading Children of Liverpool, by 

Thomas Burke, Contemporary Review, 1900, Vol. 

LXXVIII, pp. 720-726. 
Street Trading by Children (Bradford, England), 

Daily Consular and Trade Reports, 14th Year, 

No. 89, p. 246. 
Two O'clock Sunday Morning, by Scott Nearing, 

The Independent, 191 2, Vol. LXXII, No. 3297, 

pp. 288-289. 



254 BIBLIOGRAPHY 

A Western Newspaper and its Newsboys, by W. B. 
Forbush, Charities and Commons^ 1907, Vol. 
XIX, pp. 798-802. 

Waifs of the Street, by Ernest Poole, McClure^Sy 
Vol. XXI, pp. 40-48. 

What Boston Has Done in Regulating the Street 
Trades for Children, by Pauline Goldmark, 
Charities and Commons ^ 1903, Vol. X, pp. 159- 
160. 

What of the Newsboy of the Second Cities ? Inves- 
tigations carried on in Buffalo, Charities and 
Commons, 1903, Vol. X, pp. 368-371. 



APPENDICES 



APPENDIX A 

LAWS 

The law of Wisconsin relative to street trading, 
as amended in 191 1, is given below in its entirety, 
because it is the most advanced law of its kind in 
the United States. 

Wisconsin 

Section 1728 p. The term ''street trade," as 
used in this act, shall mean any business or occu- 
pation in which any street, alley, court, square or 
other public place is used for the sale, display or 
offering for sale of any articles, goods or merchan- 
dise. No boy under the age of twelve years, and 
no girl under the age of eighteen years, shall in any 
city of the first class distribute, sell or expose or 
offer for sale newspapers, magazines or periodicals 
in any street or public place. 

Section 1728 q. No boy under fourteen years of 
age, shall, in any city of the first class, work at any 
time, or be employed or permitted to work at any 
time, as a bootblack or in any other street trade, 
or shall sell or offer any goods or merchandise for 
sale or distribute hand bills or circulars or any 
other articles, except newspapers, magazines or 
periodicals as hereinafter provided. 

s 257 



258 APPENDIX A 

Section 1728 r. No girl under eighteen years of 
age shall, in any city of the first class, work at any 
time, or be employed or permitted to work at any 
time, as a bootblack or at any other street trades or in 
the sale or distribution of hand bills or circulars or 
any other articles upon the street or from house to 
house. 

Section 1728 s. No boy under sixteen years of 
age shall, in any city of the first class, distribute, 
sell or expose or offer for sale any newspapers, 
magazines or periodicals in any street or public 
place or work as a bootblack, or in any other street 
or public trade or sell or offer for sale or distribute 
any hand bills or other articles, unless he complies 
with all the legal requirements concerning school 
attendance, and unless a permit and badge, as 
hereinafter provided, shall have been issued to him 
by the state factory inspector. No such permit 
and badge shall be issued until the officer issuing 
the same shall have received an application in 
writing therefor, signed by the parent or guardian 
or other person having the custody of the child, 
desiring such permit and badge, and until such 
officer shall have received, examined and placed on 
file the written statement of the principal or chief 
executive officer of the public, private or parochial 
school, which the said child is attending, stating 
that such child is an attendant at such school with 
the grade such child shall have attained, and pro- 
vided that no such permit and badge shall be issued, 



APPENDIX A 259 

unless such officer issuing it is satisfied that such 
child is mentally and physically able to do such 
work besides his regular school work as required 
by law. 

Section 1728 1. Before any such permit is issued, 
the state factory inspector shall demand and be 
furnished with proof of such child's age by the pro- 
duction of a verified baptismal certificate or a duly 
attested birth certificate, or, in case such certificates 
cannot be secured, by the record of age stated in 
the first school enrollment of such child. When- 
ever it appears that a permit was obtained by wrong 
or false statements as to any child's age, the officer 
who granted such permit shall forthwith revoke the 
same. After having received, examined and placed 
on file such papers, the officer shall issue to the 
child a permit and badge. The principal or chief 
executive officer of schools, in which children under 
fourteen years of age are pupils, shall keep a com- 
plete list of all children in their school to whom a 
permit and badge has been issued, as herein provided. 

Section 1728 u. Such permit shall state the place 
and date of birth of the child, the name and address 
of its parents, guardian, custodian or next friend, 
as the case may be, and describe the color of hair 
and eyes, the height and weight and any distin- 
guishing facial marks of such child, and shall further 
state that the papers required by the preceding 
section have been duly examined and filed; and 
that the child named in such permit has appeared 



26o APPENDIX A 

before the officer issuing the permit. The badge 
furnished by the officer issuing the permit shall 
bear on its face a number corresponding to the 
number of the permit, and the name of the child. 
Every such permit, and every such badge on its 
reverse side, shall be signed in the presence of the 
officer issuing the same by the child in whose name 
it is issued. Provided, that in case of carrier boys 
working on salary for newspaper publishers deliver- 
ing papers, a card of identification shall be issued 
to such carriers by the factory inspector, which 
they shall carry on their person, and exhibit to any 
officer authorized under this act, who may accost 
them for a disclosure of their right to serve as such 
carriers. 

Section 1728 v. The badge provided for herein 
shall be such as the state factory inspector shall 
designate, and shall be worn conspicuously in sight 
at all times in such position as may be designated 
by the said factory inspector by such child while 
so working. No child to whom such permit and 
badge or identification card are issued shall transfer 
the same to any other person. 

Section 1728 w. No boy under fourteen years of 
age shall, in any city of the first class, sell, expose 
or offer for sale any newspapers, magazines or 
periodicals after the hour of six-thirty o'clock in the 
evening, between the first day of October and the 
first day of April, nor after seven-thirty o'clock in 
the evening between the first day of April and the 



APPENDIX A 261 

first day of October, or before five o'clock in the 
morning; and no child under sixteen years of age 
shall distribute, sell, expose or offer for sale any 
newspapers, magazines or periodicals or shall work 
as a bootblack or in any street or public trades or 
distribute hand bills or shall be employed or per- 
mitted to work in the distribution or sale or expos- 
ing or offering for sale of any newspapers, magazines 
or periodicals or as a bootblack or in other street 
or public trades or in the distribution of hand bills 
during the hours when the public schools of the 
city where such child shall reside are in session. 
Provided, that any boy between the ages of four- 
teen and sixteen years, who is complying and shall 
continue to comply with all the legal requirements 
concerning school attendance, and who is mentally 
and physically able to do such delivery besides his 
regular school work, shall be authorized to deliver 
newspapers between the hours of four and six in the 
morning. 

Section 1728 x. The commissioner of labor or 
any factory inspector acting under his direction 
shall enforce the provisions of this law, and he is 
hereby vested with all powers requisite therefor. 

Section 1728 y. The permit of any child, who 
in any city of the first class distributes, sells or 
offers for sale any newspapers, magazines or periodi- 
cals in any street or public place or works as a 
bootblack or in any other street trade, or sells or 
offers for sale or distributes any hand bills or other 



262 APPEISTDIX A 

articles in violation of the provisions of this act, or 
who becomes delinquent or fails to comply with all 
the legal requirements concerning school attendances 
shall forthwith be revoked for a period of six 
months and his badge taken from said child. The 
refusal of any child to surrender such permit, and 
the distribution, sale or offering for sale of news- 
papers, magazines or periodicals or any goods or 
merchandise, or the working by such child as a 
bootblack or in any other street or public trade, or 
in distributing hand bills or other articles, after 
notice, by any officer authorized to grant permits 
under this law of the revocation of such permit and 
a demand for the return of the badge, shall be 
deemed a violation of this act. The permit of said 
child may also be revoked by the officer who issued 
such permit, and the badge taken from such child, 
upon the complaint of any police officer or other 
attendance officer or probation officer of a juvenile 
court, and such child shall surrender his permit 
and badge upon the demand of any police officer, 
truancy or other attendance officer or probation 
officer of a juvenile court or other officer charged 
with the duty of enforcing this act. In case of a 
second violation of this act by any child, he shall be 
brought before the juvenile court, if there shall be 
any juvenile court in the city where such child 
resides, or, if not, before any court or magistrate 
having jurisdiction of offenses committed by minors 
and be dealt with according to law. 



APPENDIX A 263 

Section 1728 z. Any parent or other person who 
employs a minor under the age of sixteen years in 
peddling without a license or who, having the care 
or custody of such minor, suffers or permits the 
child to engage in such employment, or to violate 
sections 1728 p to 1728 za, inclusive, shall be punished 
by a fine not to exceed one hundred dollars nor less 
than twenty-five dollars, or by commitment to the 
county jail for not more than sixty days or less 
than ten days. 

Section 1728 za. Providing that no badge shall 
be issued for a boy selling papers between the ages 
of twelve and sixteen years by the state factory 
inspector, except upon certificate of the principal of 
either public, parochial or other private school 
attended by said boy, stating and setting forth that 
said boy is a regular attendant upon said school. 
No boy under the age of sixteen years shall be per- 
mitted by any newspaper publisher or printer or 
persons having for sale newspapers or periodicals of 
any character, to loiter or remain around any sales- 
room, assembly room, circulation room or ofl&ce for 
the sale of newspapers, between the hours of nine 
in the forenoon and three in the afternoon, on days 
when school is in session. Any newspaper publisher, 
printer, circulation agent or seller of newspapers 
shall upon conviction for permitting newsboys to 
loiter or hang around any assembly room, circula- 
tion room, salesroom or ofl5ce where papers are 
distributed or sold, shall be punished by a fine not 



264 APPENDIX A 

to exceed one hundred dollars nor less than twenty- 
five dollars, or by commitment to the county jail 
for not more than sixty days or less than ten days. 

London, England 

By-laws adopted by the London County Coun- 
cil AND PUT IN Force on June 3, 191 1 

By-laws 1-9 concern the employment of children 
generally. 

10. No girl under the age of 16 years shall be 
employed in or carry on street trading. 

11. No boy under the age of 14 years shall be 
employed in or carry on street trading. 

12. No boy under the age of 16 years shall be 
employed in or carry on street trading before 6 in 
the morning or after 9 in the evening. 

13. No boy under the age of 16 years shall at any 
time be employed in or carry on street trading unless 

(i) He is exempt from school attendance, and 

(2) He first procures a badge from the London 
County Council, which he shall wear whilst engaged 
in street trading on the upper part of the right arm 
in such a manner as to be conspicuous. 

The badge shall be deemed to be a license to 
trade, and may be withheld or withdrawn for such 
period as the London County Council think fit in 
any of the following cases — 

{a) If the boy has, after the issue of the badge to 
him, been convicted of any offense. 



APPENDIX A 265 

(b) If it is proved to the satisfaction of the Lon- 
don County Council that the boy has used his 
badge for the purpose of begging or receiving alms, 
or for any immoral purpose, or for the purpose of 
imposition, or for any other improper purpose. 

(c) If the boy fails to notify the London Coimty 
Council within one week of any change in his place 
of residence. 

(d) If the boy commits a breach of any of the 
conditions under which such badge is issued; such 
conditions to be stated on such badge or delivered to 
the boy in writing. 

14. A boy to whom a badge has been issued by 
the London County Council shall in no way alter, 
lend, sell, pawn, transfer, or otherwise dispose of, 
or wilfully deface, or injure such badge, which shall 
remain the property of the London County Council, 
and he shall, on receiving notice in writing from the. 
London County Council (which may be served by 
post) that the badge has been withdrawn, deliver 
up the same forthwith to the London County 
Council. 

15. A boy under the age of 16 years, whilst en- 
gaged in street trading, shall not enter any premises 
used for public entertainment or licensed for the 
sale of intoxicating liquor for consumption on the 
premises for the purpose of trading. 

16. A boy under the age of 16 years, whilst en- 
gaged in street trading, shall not annoy any person 
by importuning. 



266 APPENDIX A 

17. Nothing in these by-laws contained shall re- 
strict the employment of children in the occupa- 
tions specified in section 3 {a) of the Prevention of 
Cruelty to Children Act, 1904, further than such 
employment is already restricted by statute. 



APPENDIX B 
TWO TYPES OF NEWSBOY BADGES. 





APPENDIX C 

CARDS FOR INVESTIGATIONS 

The cards used in the inquiries into the newsboy 
situations of Philadelphia and Milwaukee are re- 
produced here, in the hope that they will be of use 
in furnishing suggestions to any organization or 
individual who contemplates making such an in- 
vestigation elsewhere. It will be observed that 
these cards are practically confined to questions 
affecting newsboys only, and would have to be con- 
siderably amplified, if intended for use in a general 
study of street work by children. 



268 



APPENDIX C 



269 



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270 



APPENDIX C 



(Card Returned to School for File) 
LICENSED MINORS 



Birth date 
Teacher 
School 
Badge given 



No. 



Grade 



Expires and must be returned 



READ AND COPY 

License Rules of the Boston School Committee 



No boy can get a license unless he is eleven years of age and able 
to understand and COPY the following : 

A LICENSED NEWSBOY 



MUST 

1. Must ATTEND school reg- 

ularly. 

2. Must be "GOOD" in con- 

duct. 

3. Must have no UNLI- 

CENSED boy help him. 

4. Must keep the badge TO 

HIMSELF. 

5. Must RETURN his badge 

to the Superintendent of 
Schools when ordered to 
do so. 



MUST NOT 

6. Must not sell before 6 A.M. 

7. Must not sell after 8 P.M. 

(9 P.M. in baseball sea- 
son.) 

8. Must not sell in SCHOOL 

HOURS. 

9. Must not sell on CARS. 
10. Must not sell without wear- 
ing the badge IN PLAIN 
SIGHT ALL THE 
TIME. 



Any boy who breaks any of the above rules is liable to have his 
license revoked or go to court and pay a maximum fine of TEN 
dollars. 



APPEISTDIX C 271 

Form of Application for License used in Hartford, Conn. 

©its of 3KXttOX& 

To THE Superintendent of Public Schools: — 
/ hereby make application for a Street-Sales Permit for 

Born in 

Age Sex. Complexion 

Eyes Hair Figure 

Living at Street 

If such license is granted I agree that it shall he for this 
child and for no other. 

Parent, Guardian, Next Friend 

Hartford, 

School Information 

Living at Street 

is pupil in this School, is regular in attendance, and is a 
suitable child to have a Street-Sales Permit. 

Principal. 

Teacher. 

School. 

The age, sex, complexion, eyes, hair, and figure, should be as described above. 



272 APPENDIX C 

Form used in Obtaining Infonnation before the Issuing of 
a Badge in Province of Manitoba, Canada. 

LICENSED NEWSBOY 

No Date 

Child's name Age 

Father's name Address 

Mother's name 

Father's occupation 

School and Grade 

Principal's name 

Church Clergyman 

Address. 

Is child of apparently normal development ? 

What proof has been given that he is over twelve years of 

age? 

Why do parents want him to sell papers ? 

Can child read ? 

Can child write ? 

Has badge been granted ? No. of badge 

// badge has not been granted, state why. 

Superintendent Neglected Children ^ 

Province of Manitoba, 



APPENDIX C 



273 



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APPENDIX C 



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INSTRUCTIONS 

It is necessary to get answers to all ques- 
tions, as there are a comparatively small 
number of cases being investigated. 

Divisions I and III are to be obtained 
from the family. 

Division II from school principal or 
teacher. 

Division IV from the boy himself, away 
from his family, if possible. 

Only boys under 14 are to be considered. 

If parent is dead, cross out line two, over. 

* Use check (V) to mark what answer is. 

If there are several answers, check each. 


1 

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INDEX 



Addams, Jane, on Illinois child Chicago Vice Commission's re- 



labor law, 15. 
Age limit (see Laws and Or- 
j dinances), 194-196. 
Austria, investigation of 1907, 

49-51. 

Begging, 38, 69, 96, 220. 
Berlin regulations, 240. 
Bootblacks, 83, 93. 
Ages, 84. 

Delinquency, 165. 
Diseases, 87, 88. 
Earnings, 84, 89, 95. 
Environment, 86, 87. 
Home conditions, 85. 
Hours, 84, 8s, 94, 95. 
Padrone System, report by 
Immigration Commission, 
86-92. 
Report by North American 
Civic League for Immi- 
grants, 83, 84. 
Boston, license statistics, 33. 
Regulations of street work, 
196. 
Boston Newsboys' Court, 79-81. 
Boston Newsboys' Republic, 212. 
Buffalo conditions, report on, 
132, 133. 

Canada, 238. 

Chicago Child Welfare Exhibit, 

14, 29. 
Chicago statistics of local studies, 

28, 29. 



port, 30, 67, 96, 1 1 8. 
Child Welfare Exhibit, 14. 
Chicago, 29. 
New York, 60. 
Cindnnati, license statistics, 35, 

71. 
Market children, 97. 
Newsboy conditions, 54. 
Regulations of street work, 

196. 

Delinquency, relation to street 
work, report of Dr. Charles 
P. Neill, 159. 
Chicago juvenile court records, 

178. 
Connection between occupa- 
tion and offense, 171. 
Records of Indiana Boys* 
School, 179-187. 
Delivery Service, 68, 161-174. 
Detroit, regulations of street 
work, 193. 

Edinburgh, conditions in, 44, 125, 

224. 
Effects of street work, classified, 
128. 
In Buffalo, 132, 133. 
In physical deterioration, 142- 

145- 
Opinions of superintendents of 
reformatories, 131, 132. 
Employment distinguished from 
independent work, 2, 192. 



277 



278 



INDEX 



Enforcement of regulations, 132, 

208, 211. 
Errand running, 202. 
Delinquency, 161-174. 

France, regulations, 241. 

Germany, inquiry of 1898, 45-48. 

Regulations, 239. 
Girls as newspaper sellers, 31, 65, 

200. 
Great Britain, Departmental 

Committee of 1910, 76, 138, 

147, 197, 223, 237. 
Employment of Children Act, 

1903, 221. 
Interdepartmental Committee 

of 1901, 43, 73, 14s, 203, 

217. 
Interdepartmental Committee 

of 1902 on Ireland, 150, 294, 

220. 
Interdepartmental Committee 

of 1904 on Physical Deterio- 
ration, 125, 142. 
Parliamentary return of 1899, 

39-42, 215. 

Hartford, regulations of street 

work, 196. 
Housing problem's relation to 

street trading, 20. 

Illinois, effort to regulate street 
trading, 14, 198. 

Immigration Commission, report 
on Padrone System, 36, 86- 
92, 

Ireland, report of Interdepart- 
mental Comjnittee of 1902, 
150, 204, 220. 

Kelley, Florence, on street trad- 
ing, 52, 70, 127, 207. 



Laws, table of state, 194. 
Licenses for street work required, 

197, 209, 
License statistics, of Boston, 33. 
Of Cincinnati, 35, 71, 
Of New York, 16, 34. 
Liverpool, conditions, 230. 

Regulations, 232. 
London County Coimdl bylaws, 

233-236, 264. 
Lovejoy, Owen R., on messenger 
service, 123. 

Manchester regulations, 236. 
Market children, 21, 96. 

Ages, 97. 

Earnings, 96. 

Home conditions, 99, 100. 

Hours, 99. 

Nationalities, 97, 98. 

Orphanage, 100. 

Retardation, 98, 99. 
Merchandise, distinction between 

newspapers and, 189. 
Messenger boys, loi. 

Ages, 106-117, 

Character of work, 101-104. 

Chicago Vice Commission's 
report, 118-121. 

Delinquency, 104, 165, 169. 

Diseases, iii, 112, 113. 

Earnings, 106, 112, 113, 114. 

Environment, 102, 103. 

Hours, 108, 113, 115, 119. 

Investigation in Ohio Valley, 
106-117. 

Lack of prospects, 104, 126. 

Poverty as excuse for work, 122. 

Use of men instead of boys, 105, 
123-125, 

Nationality of street workers, 33, 

Q7. 
Nearing, Scott, conditions in 

Philadelphia, 69, 135. 



INDEX 



279 



Neill, Charles P., on newsboys' 
work, 64. 
On messenger service, 117. 
Report on'juvenile Delinquency 
and its Relation to Employ- 
ment, 159. 
Newark, ^j^regulations of street 

work, 196. 
New York, report of newsboy 
investigation, 16, 34, 148. 
Child Welfare Exhibit, 60. 
Regulations of street work, 
195- 
Newsboys, ages, 54-60. 
Assodations, 66. 
Character of work, 56-58. 
Classified, 52. 
Delinquency, 165. 
Diseases, 136. 
Earnings compared with 

factory wages, 58. 
Environment, 60, 135. 
Home conditions, 70-72. 
Hours, 65-70. 
Irregularity of meals, 61. 
Orphanage, 71, 168. 
Retardation, 147-156. 
Substitutes, 75-79. 
Tricks of the trade, 63-64. 
Newsboys' Court of Boston, 79- 

81. 
Newsboys' Republic of Boston, 

212. 
New South Wales, license statis- 
tics, 45. 
Regulations, 45, 238. 
Newspapers, as merchandise, 
189. 
Attitude toward regulation, 28, 
199. 
Night work, of messengers, loi, 
169. 
Of newsboys, 65-70. 

Ordinances, table of city, 196. 



Padrone System, report, of Immi- 
gration Commission, 36, 86- 
92. 
North American Civic League 
for Immigrants, 83, 84. 
Peddlers, findings of Chicago 
Vice Commission, 96. 
Cincinnati statistics, 97. 
Delinquency, 165. 
Immigration Commission's re- 
port, 36. 
Philadelphia conditions, 69. 
Playgroimds, 22. 
Poverty as an excuse for street 

work, 70-73, 136-138. 
Prohibition, of night work, 208. 
Of street work by children, 224, 
227. 

Regulation, by mimidpality or 
state, 205. 
Degree of, 193, 206. 
In future, 207. 
Unsatisfactory, 228. 
Retardation in school of street 

workers, 98, 147-156. 
Rochester, method of enforce- 
ment, 211. 

St. Loviis statistics, 146, 151. 
School, as sodal center, 21. 
Retardation of street workers, 

98, 147-156. 
Scotland, conditions, 44, 225. 
Spargo, John, on effects of street 

work, 135. ; 

Statistics, of U. S. Census, 24, 

25- 

Austria, 49-51. 

Boston, 33. 

Chicago, 28, 29. 

Cincinnati, 35, 71. 

Germany, 45-48. 

Great Britain, 40-44, 143-145. 

New York, 16, 34, 148. 



28o 



INDEX 



Street as a social agent, 17. 
Street employments, distinction 

between, 5. 
Street occupations, of minor im- 
portance, 38. 
Classified, 4. 

Contrasted with regular work, 
73, 13Q. 
Street trading defined, 3. 
Neglected in legislation, 7, 
12, 192. 



Street trading problem related 
to other problems, 20. 

Toledo, retardation of street 
workers, 152-156. 

Vagrants, Chicago report on, 32. 

Vice Commission of Chicago, 

report, 30, 67, 96, 118. 

Wisconsin, law, 257. 



T 



HE following pages contain advertisements of a 
few of the Macmillan books on kindred subjects. 



NOTABLE WORKS BY MISS JANE ADDAMS 



A New Conscience and an Ancient Evil 



Cloth, i2mo, $1.00 net; by mailj %i.io 



It is almost unnecessary to call attention to the importance of a new 
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"*A New Conscience and an Ancient Evil' was written, not from the 
point of view of the expert, but because of my own need for a counter- 
knowledge to a bewildering mass of information which came to me through 
the Juvenile Protective Association of Chicago. The reports which its 
twenty field officers daily brought to its main office adjoining Hull-House 
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NOTABLE WORKS BY MISS JANE ADDAMS 



The Spirit of Youth and the City Streets 

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Newer Ideals of Peace 

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NOTABLE WORKS BY MISS JANE ADDAMS 



Twenty Years at Hull-House 

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Some Ethical Gains through Legislation 

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