From the collection of the
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San Francisco, California
Mayor's Push-Cart Commission
THE CITY OF NEW YORK
LAWRENCE VEILLER, Chairman,
E. K. BROWD, BERNARDINO POLIZZO,
G. A. CARSTENSEN, LILLIAN D. WALD,
THOMAS DARLINGTON, GREGORY WEINSTEIN,
ARCHIBALD A. HILL, Secretary, JOHN McGAW WOODBURY,
EMILY W. DINWIDDIE Asst. Secretary.
SEPTEMBER 10, 1906.
Hon. GEORGE B. MCCLELLAN,
Mayor of The City of New York:
SIR The Commission appointed by you on February 20, 1905, to
examine into the conditions existing with regard to the push-cart
peddlers in this City, submits herewith its report, with such recommen-
dations as it believes will remedy those conditions that need to be
remedied, without working undue hardship to the push-cart peddlers
or those dependent upon them.
Accompanying this report will be found photographs, maps and
tables showing the existing conditions, as well as suggestions for or-
dinances to carry into effect the Commission's recommendations.
TABLE OF CONTENTS.
The Problem Stated 1 1
The Existing Evils 16
The Commission's Inquiry 18
Distribution of the Push-Carts 22
Nationality and Residence of Peddlers in the United States. ... 37
The Poverty of the Peddlers 38
The Padrone System 44
Extortion of Shopkeepers 50
Goods Sold on the Push-Carts 54
Peddling During the Religious Holy Days 58
Night Peddling 62
Relation of the Peddlers to the Police 65
The Increase of Fire Dangers 67
The Peddlers Well Organized 85
Basket Peddlers 86
Sidewalk Stands 89
" Stationary " Licenses 93
" Traveling " Licenses 97
I. The Proceedings of the Commission 105
II. Letter from Secretary of the City Club Suggesting the
Appointment of the Commission 113
III. Report of Secretary of the Commission as to Method of
Taking the Push-Cart Census 119
IV. Instructions of Secretary to Police Investigators 127
V. Tables of Statistics Giving Results of Inquiry 133
1. General Summary Number, Licenses, Ownership,
Goods Sold 135
2. Distribution of the Push-Carts Manhattan 136
3. Number of Carts on Certain Streets Brooklyn... 137
4. Nationality .^>f Peddlers Manhattan 138
5. Nationality of Peddlers Brooklyn 139
6. Length of Residence in U. S. Manhattan 140
7. Length of Residence in U. S. Brooklyn 141
8. Peddlers' Other Occupations Manhattan 142
9. Peddlers' Other Occupations Brooklyn 145
10. Licenses Issued by Bureau of Licenses 1896 to
1 1. Licenses Manhattan 148
12. Licenses Brooklyn 149
13. License Numbers on Carts Manhattan 150
14. License Numbers on Carts Brooklyn 151
15. Ownership and Rental of Carts Manhattan 152
16. Ownership and Rental of Carts Brooklyn 153
17. Monopoly of Carts Manhattan 154
1 8. Monopoly of Carts Brooklyn 154
19. Lists of Men Controlling Many Carts Manhattan. 155
20. Lists of Men Controlling Many Carts Brooklyn. ... 159
21. Commissioner Woodbury's List of Men Controlling
Many Carts Manhattan 162
22. List of Stables Where Carts are Stored Manhattan. 164
23. Goods Sold Manhattan 168
24. Goods Sold Brooklyn 169
25. Food Sold Detailed Classification Manhattan.... 170
26. Food Sold Detailed Classification Brooklyn 173
27. Quality of Food Sold Manhattan 175
28. Quality of Food Sold Brooklyn 176
29. Peddling During Hebrew Holy-days Manhattan. . 177
30. Arrests of Push-Cart Peddlers, 1904 Manhattan.. 179
VI. Compilation of Existing Ordinances 1905 185
VII Testimony Taken at the Public Hearing April 13, 1905. 193
VIII. Financial Statement of Expenses of the Commission. . 231
LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS.
Orchard street as it now is 10
The Same Street under the Commission's System of Regulation . . 10
In the Hebrew Quarter 14
Essex street near Rivington 14
Making a Drygoods store of the street 19
An East Side Street Filled with Push-Carts 19
Maps Showing the Number of Push-Carts and the Population in
Various Districts of Manhattan 23-32
i. The Tenth Ward Hebrew Quarter Rivington to
Division street, the Bowery to Norfolk street.
3. The Eleventh Ward Rivington to Fourteenth
street, Clinton street and Avenue B to the East
3. The Seventeenth Ward Rivington to Fourteenth
street, the Bowery and Fourth avenue to Clinton
street and Avenue B.
4. The Thirteenth Ward Hebrew Quarter Rivington
to Division street, Norfolk street to the East
5. The Seventh Ward Hebrew Quarter Division
street to the East river, Grand to Catharine street.
6. The Sixth and Fourteenth Wards Italian Quarter
West Houston to Chambers street, from the
Bowery to Broadway.
7. The Business Section The City South of
8. Part of the Twelfth Ward Includes " Little Italy "
East One Hundred and Sixth to East One
Hundred and Twenty-fifth street, Park avenue to
9. The Twentieth Ward West Twenty-sixth to
Fortieth street, Eighth avenue to Twelfth avenue.
10. The Twenty-second Ward West Fifty-sixth to
vSeventy-second street, Eighth avenue to Twelfth
Push-Carts on Hester street 36
A Typical East Side Scene 36
Rivington street Looking East from Allen Continuous Lines of
Push-Carts on each side of the street 42
How Push-Carts Impede Truck Traffic 42
Unbroken Lines of Push-Carts on Orchard street 47
Push-Carts do not Sell Only Necessities of Life 47
Push-Carts at Hester and Suffolk streets 51
Conditions on Forsyth street near Bayard 51
Italian Woman Peddling Fish 55
Bread for Sale 55
In the Italian Quarter Mulberry street 59
Mulberry street north of Hester Continuous Rows of Push-
An Arrest 64
Push-Carts on Essex street 69
How the Push-Carts Obstruct the Fire Hydrants 69
The Fish Market under the Williamsburg Bridge 73
Brooklyn Conditions Push-Carts on Seigel street near Man-
hattan avenue 77
Push-Carts on Manhattan avenue in Brooklyn 77
Hester street Looking east from Eldridge street 82
The Hot Potato Man The Nearest to the Automobile Push-
Cart as Yet 82
In the Downtown District Push-Carts on Cortlandt street .... 88
Orchard street as it will be under the plan proposed by the Com-
mission, with only four Push-Carts on each block 92
Diagram showing arrangement of Push-Carts, with four on each
block as proposed by the Commission 94
Signs Showing License Number and Location of Station to be
Affixed to Push-Carts 95, 9^
The Card Schedule Used in the Investigation 1 10
ORCHARD STREET AS IT NOW IS.
THE S'AME STREET UNDER THE COMMISSION'S SYSTEM OF
THE so-called " Push-cart Problem " is a local one peculiar to the
City of New York, and almost entirely confined to the Borough
of Manhattan, although the conditions which exist in that
borough are beginning to show themselves in Brooklyn and The Bronx,
where there will .soon be similar problems unless steps are taken to
prevent the growth of these conditions. At the present time there are
in New York City 4,515 peddlers plying their trade in the city's streets,
who sell their wares from push-carts two-wheeled carts supported at
one end by a stick and propelled by the peddler while others peddle
their goods from wagons drawn through the streets by horses, and
still others sell their wares from baskets which they carry from house
Owing to the increase in recent years of the number of persons
carrying on this vocation (the number of licenses issued for push-cart
peddlers alone having increased from 2,073 m 1900, to 6,747 in 1904,
because of the decrease in the license fee from $15 to $4 made in 1899,
and a generally " more liberal " enforcement of the ordinances) there
has arisen a condition of congestion in many streets, especially in the
crowded tenement quarters and in some parts of the business sections,
which causes great inconvenience to the public and which, if not re-
lieved, will result in serious evils.
It is not perhaps generally known that in certain streets known as
" market " streets, there are all day long and well into the evening,
unbroken lines of push-carts on each side of the street extending from
one block to another; the Commission in its investigations, for exam-
ple, found sixty-four push-carts at one time on one block, viz. : on
Orchard street, from Rivington to Stanton streets, and on the next
block on the same street, from Stanton to Houston streets, fifty addi-
tional carts. This congestion of peddlers is in no way general through-
out the city, however, but occurs in very clearly defined neighborhoods
or localities. The greatest congestion exists in the most crowded
quarters of the city the lower east side, and especially in the Hebrew
quarter. In that section south of Houston street, from the Bowery
to the East river, the streets are almost invariably found lined with
push-carts on every block; especially on the following streets: Riv-
irigton, Grand, Hester, Stanton, Houston, Canal, Monroe, Forsyth,
Orchard, Ludlow, Norfolk, Suffolk, Ridge and Pitt. In the Italian
section, from the Bowery west to Lafayette street, and from Mulberry
Bend Park as far north as Houston street, the following are chiefly
" market " streets : Hester, Spring, Prince, Elizabeth, Mulberry and
Mott; and further to the west, both Sullivan and Thompson streets;
also West Houston and Bleecker streets.
In the business section, on Beaver and South Broad streets, also
on Fulton street and on the streets leading to the west side ferries,
notably Cortlandt and Vesey streets, similar conditions prevail. Fur-
ther uptown, between Eighth and Fourteenth streets on First avenue,
there is another colony of peddlers, and on some of the crosstown
streets in this neighborhood there are a considerable number of them,
especially between First and Second avenues.
Throughout all the other extensive tenement districts of Manhat-
tan there are practically no such conditions to be found; no " markets,"
no line of push-carts from one end of the block to the other and no
undue congestion and crowding of the streets, although the neigh-
borhoods are distinctively tenement house neighborhoods, and rents
are even lower and the population is largely a foreign one. The
exceptions to this statement are to be noted in the district between
West Forty-second street and Thirty-seventh street on Ninth avenue,
known as "Paddy's Market"; and in "Little Italy," from One Hun-
dred and Sixth to One Hundred and Sixteenth streets, along First
avenue in the neighborhood of Jefferson Park, and on Third avenue
from One Hundred and Sixteenth street up to One Hundred and
Twenty-fifth street. Push-cart peddlers will be found on practically
every portion of Manhattan Island. The Commision found peddlers as
far south as the Battery and as far north as One Hundred and Ninetieth
street and Amsterdam avenue.
In the Borough of Brooklyn push-carts were found chiefly in the
Hebrew sections on the following' streets : Moore street, between Gra-
ham and Manhattan avenues; Belmont avenue, between Osborn and
Watkins streets ; Seigel street, between Graham and Manhattan avenues ;
Manhattan avenue, between Moore and Seigel streets; while a limited
number was found on Belmont avenue, between Osborn street and
Thatford avenue; on Osborn street, between Pitkin and Belmont ave-
nues; on Moore street, between Graham avenue and Humboldt street;
on Carroll street, between Third and Fourth avenue ; East avenue,
between Avenues A and B ; Main street, from Water to Front streets ;
Van Brunt street, from Union to President streets; Washington ave-
nue, between Avenues B and C, and West street, between Avenues
A and B.
IN THE HEBREW QUARTER.
ESSEX STREET NEAR RIVINGTON.
While adding materially to the picturesqueness of the city's streets
and imparting that air of foreign life which is so interesting to the trav-
eler, lending an element of gaiety and charm to the scene which is
otherwise lacking, the practical disadvantages from the undue con-
gestion of peddlers in certain localities are so great as to lead to a
demand in many quarters for the entire abolition of this industry, if it
may be dignified by that term. It is argued, and with much reason,
that when the city was smaller and there was no congestion of street
traffic, there was no harm in permitting a few persons to earn their
livelihood by peddling their wares along the highways. Conditions,
however, have greatly changed since those earlier days, and to such
an extent even in the last ten years, that practices which then might
have been permitted without inconvenience or danger to the public,
cannot now be tolerated. Within that short period our whole system
of traffic regulation has arisen. At the present day, in many sections
of the city, the streets are not sufficiently wide to accommodate the
ordinary traffic, and, with the changed conditions that have resulted
because of the increase of tall buildings and the more concentrated
housing of persons, both in their homes and in their places of labor,
the congestion of the streets has increased with great rapidity from
year to year, so that at the present time there are few problems con-
fionting the city authorities more difficult of solution than the traffic
problem. Because of these facts the Commission has found a rather
strong sentiment for the complete removal of the push-cart peddlers
from the streets. It is argued, and with reason, that the city's high-
ways are intended to afford means of quick and ready transit for citi-
zens, and not to be used as shops ; and that it is no part of the function
of the city to furnish to a limited element of the population unusual
privileges in carrying on their business.
The members of the Commission, before they began their work,
believed that not only would the peddlers and their families have
been seriously affected by any radical change, but that the great mass
of the tenement house population itself had become accustomed to
the prices that prevail on the push-carts and that any change in re-
ducing the number of these peddlers would therefore have brought
serious consequences to the great mass of the poorer people of this
The Commission, therefore, at the outset of its labors was confronted
with these problems. The difficult task was not so much how to ascertain
the facts with regard to the industry although such an inquiry pre-
sented its own difficulties but how so to regulate the industry itself as
to restore the City's streets to their original and proper use without
working serious injury to 25,000 people and to an element of the popula-
tion least able to adapt itself readily to changed conditions.
Any solution of the problem, therefore, which should be permanent,
had to consider existing conditions from the point of view of the pro-
tection of the interests of the community, as well as of the peddlers and
their families arid the peddlers' customers.
On the other hand, the Commission finds itself called upon to deal
with present conditions and not with conditions which existed fifty or a
hundred years ago, nor with theories as to the right use of thoroughfares.
It recognizes clearly that there are many thousands of persons now
honestly earning their livelihood in this occupation and with the permis-
sion of the City and for which privilege they pay the City a fee ; that the
great majority of them have no other means of livelihood, and if suddenly
compelled to cease this business, would be left without financial resource
and thrown upon the community for support.
THE EXISTING EVILS.
The evils resulting from the crowding of the push-cart peddlers in
certain sections of the City may be broadly summed up as follows : Con-
gestion of traffic in many streets, both for teams and for foot passengers,
the effect of which is to seriously delay merchants in the delivery of
goods, increasing the cost of their business and interfering materially
with their rights as citizens ; an increased difficulty in cleaning the streets
in the quarters where these peddlers congregate; an increase in the
danger from fire by impeding fire engines and delaying their prompt
arrival at fires, thus seriously endangering the lives of tenement dwell-
ers ; danger from improper food supplies because of dirt and germs ; an
improper and unfair competition with shopkeepers; persecution and
blackmailing of the peddlers by policemen and shopkeepers ; a lowering
of the standard of living by decreasing the cost of supplies ; a material
addition to the discomfort of living through additional odors and noise
in neighborhoods where conditions are now almost unbearable; the use
of space now needed by children for opportunities for play, and finally
the attraction to this City of immigrants by reason of the ease and facility
with which a livelihood is obtained in this occupation without special
In addition to the evils above stated the Commission has found other
evils of a serious nature which have grown up in connection with this
industry and which call for remedy. Among these may be noted the
traffic in licenses, which makes the present ordinance and its enforcement
little short of a farce. The Commission has learned through its own
investigations and also through the testimony presented to it, that a
constant barter and sale is transacted in the City's licenses to carry on
peddling and that ignorant foreigners are often grossly imposed upon
by their unscrupulous compatriots, who secure licenses from the City
and sell them to these newcomers at greatly advanced rates, notwith-
standing the fact that the license is supposed to be a personal license
and issued only after investigation of the applicant's circumstances.
We also find closely affiliated with this system of barter and sale, a
" padrone " or " boss " system existing among the Italians, and also
among the Hebrews, by which one man owns or controls many licenses
and push-carts, hires men to operate them for him and pays them a
small daily or weekly compensation, acting as middleman or capitalist
and reaping in such cases large profits from this industry. Not only
do these men control a large number of carts, but also a large number
of licenses. The method employed has been a simple one some well-
to-do Italian sends various of his Italian neighbors to the office of
the Bureau of Licenses and has them take out licenses in their own
names, although they do not intend to peddle, nor do they supply the
funds to pay the license fees required, but these are supplied by the
" padrone," who then hires peddlers by the day or the week to sell
goods for him and supplies each one of these peddlers with a license
for the time being. In view of the statements made to the Commis-
sion a special investigation was made of this subject for the purpose
of ascertaining to what extent this system prevailed. In Manhattan it
was found that one man controlled as many as 170 different push-carts ;
others as many as 66, 64, 62, 53, 50, 45, etc. Detailed statistics show-
ing these facts are presented with this report.
The cause of this state of affairs was found largely to exist in the
requirement that before a peddler can secure a license, he must either
show his citizenship papers or what are known as his " first papers,"
namely, his declared intention to become a citizen. It is largely because
of this requirement that most of the barter and sale in push-cart licenses
exists, owing to the inability of so many newly-arrived immigrants to
comply with the requirements of the various statutes with regard to
This requirement seems to us unnecessary and also unfortunate
in its results. We. are convinced that few Americans in New York City
need be granted the right to peddle in the streets. As one of the wit-
nesses at the hearing before the Commission very well said :
" Americans do not, as a rule, engage in such an occupation ;
nor do the foreigners for any great length of time."
Peddling in the City's streets requires no special qualifications, little
knowledge of our language, almost no capital, and serves as a stop-gap
occupation. It is obvious that, under these circumstances, a require-
ment that limits the right to peddle to those persons who have resided
here for five years and who are citizens, subverts the very intention
and reason for permitting this industry to be carried on.
THE COMMISSION'S INQUIRY.
The plan of investigation outlined in the report of the Sub-com-
mittee on Investigation and approved by the Commission has been car-
ried out so far as it has been possible. A careful digest of all ordinances
and laws relating to the subject has been prepared by the Corporation
Counsel and is appended to this report; statistics as to the number of
outstanding licenses and other data connected therewith have been com-
piled from the records of the Chief of the Bureau of Licenses in the
Mayor's office, showing the number of licenses issued to peddlers
in the various classes back as far as November and December, 1896,
the beginning of the records of that office.
A census of the push-cart peddlers was taken on May n, the city
having been first divided into large districts for the purpose of this in-
vestigation. By means of this census, and similar ones made at later
dates in other parts of the city, the Commission has been able to acquire
information with regard to the following points:
1. The number of push-cart peddlers actually peddling in the streets
of New York on a given date, with their names and addresses.
2. The distribution of the peddlers by districts, with the number found
on each block at the time the census was taken, showing the
congestion of traffic, and the location of the streets in which
the evil is greatest.
3. The following facts with regard to the peddlers :
(a) Name and address.
(c) Length of residence in the United States.
4. Peddlers' occupations:
(a) The number of peddlers whose sole occupation is peddling.
(&) The number of peddlers having other occupations and the
nature of such occupations.
MAKING A DRYGOODS STORE OF THE STREET.
AN EAST SIDE STREET FILLED WITH PUSH-CARTS.
5- Facts with regard to licenses:
(a) The number of peddlers properly licensed.
(b) The number peddling without a license.
(<;) The number peddling on licenses that had expired.
(d) The number peddling with licenses belonging to other per-
6. Relation of the carts to licenses :
(a) The number of carts containing the record number of the
(b) The number of carts without this.
(c) The number of carts with a license number which did not
correspond to the license held by the peddler.
7. Ownership of carts :
(a) The number of cases where the push-cart was owned by
the peddler operating it.
(b) The number where the cart was recited by the peddler.
(c) The number where the cart was borrowed by the peddler.
(d) The number of cases where the peddler was employed on
salary or commission.
8. Facts as to the rental of carts and the payment of commissions :
9. Control of many carts by few men :
(a) Statistics as to the number of carts owned by individuals.
(b) Lists of such owners, with the number of carts owned.
(c) Places where push-carts are stored.
10. Goods sold upon the carts:
(a) The kinds of goods sold classified in detail.
(b) Statistics with regard to the kind of food sold.
(c) Quality of food sold.
(d) Comparison of food sold on push-carts with that sold in
In addition to these facts ascertained by this investigation, special
inquiries have been made with regard to the subject of markets, the
dangers from fire by reason of impediment to street traffic and an
analysis of the arrests of peddlers for violation of the City ordinances.
Viewing the results of this investigation in detail, it is found that
there were on the '4ay the census was taken, 3,848 push-cart peddlers
plying their trades on the streets in the Borough of Manhattan (the
total number counted was 4,289, but there were 441 duplicates or cases
where the man's record was taken twice, due to the fact that he had
moved from place to place, and which, of course, should be eliminated),
and 667 in the Borough of Brooklyn, making a total of 4,515 ped-
dlers. As this census was taken in the early summer, a time of year
when the maximum number of peddlers are to be found in the streets,
it is at once seen that the number of peddlers actually carrying on this
occupation is considerably less than was at first supposed before the
Commission made its investigations. It was reported to the Com-
mission by the Chief of the Bureau of Licenses that there were about
9,000 outstanding licenses. This, it seems, was not, however, a safe
guide to the actual number of men carrying on the business.
DISTRIBUTION OF THE PUSH-CARTS.
Of the 3,848 push-carts found on the streets of Manhattan 2,362
were found on the east side below Fourteenth street east of Broadway,
and 815 on the west side below Fourteenth street west of Broadway,
leaving the small number of 671 distributed throughout the other
portions of the city.
The accompanying maps show the distribution of the peddlers in
several sections of the city, with the number of push-carts actually found
upon each block. These numbers are indicated by the numbers writ-
ten on the streets between blocks. The numbers written in on the
blocks themselves indicate the population in each block, taken from
the census of 1900, as given in the first report of the Tenement House
Department for 1903. An opportunity is thus had of studying in close
detail the relation between the number of push-cart peddlers and the
population in various parts of the city.
A consideration in detail of this relationship brings to light an ex-
tremely interesting state of affairs. One would naturally suppose that
the presence in large number of these peddlers in any one part of the
city is due to the greater needs of an increased population. A study
of these various maps, however, shows that this is not the case. Take,
for example, Map No. i, a map of the Tenth Ward, namely, the dis-
trict from Rivington to Division streets, and from the Bowery east
as far as Norfolk street. On Orchard street, on the block from Riv-
ington to Delancey, were found twenty-four push-carts. The popu-
lation of the two blocks adjoining Orchard street and extending from
Rivington to Delancey, is 3,918, which would make one push-cart to
each 163 of the population. On the next street, Ludlow street, from
Rivington to Delancey, we found but four push-carts, although the
population of the two blocks abutting on this street is 3,976. That
is, on this street there was one push-cart for each 994 of the popu-
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lation, as compared with one push-cart for 163 on the adjoining street.
Similarly, on Essex street, the next street to the east, from Rivington
to Delancey streets, we found but three push-carts; the population of
the blocks abutting on this street is 5,044, or one push-cart for each
i, 68 1 of the population, as compared with one push-cart for each 994
and 163 on the two adjacent streets.
The population in these three blocks is exactly the same in all char-
acteristics. It is a Hebrew population, and does not vary in any material
way. If, therefore, the number of push-carts on the streets had any
relation to the purchasing needs of the population in the neighbor-
hood, it is apparent that the wide variations discovered in these three
adjacent streets could not exist
A further examination of the maps shows similar interesting facts.
For instance, take Map No. 2, of the Eleventh Ward, extending from
Rivington street as far north as Fourteenth, and from Clinton street
and Avenue B on the west as far east as the East river. On Seventh
street, between Avenue B and Avenue C, we found five push-carts.
The population of the two blocks adjacent to this street is 4,686.
That is, there was one push-cart for each 937 of the population. This
is entirely a tenement house neighborhood and a densely populated
one. In the same ward, on Ridge street, between Rivington and
Stanton streets, we found forty push-carts for a population of 4,009
people; if there is any logical connection between the density of popu-
lation and the number of push-carts needed, it would certainly seem
that there should be as many push-carts in the former street as there
were in the block on Ridge street between Rivington -and Stanton,
the population being almost identical.
In a similar way, by examining Map No. 3 of the Seventeenth
Ward, we find on Orchard street, from Rivington to Stanton streets,
sixty-four push-carts. The population of the two blocks bordering
on this street is 5,243, or one push-cart for each 82 of the population.
Contrast this with conditions found in the very same ward, on Third
street, between Second and First avenues; here but one push-cart was
found, notwithstanding the fact that there is a population of 3,976,
practically identical in character with the population on the Orchard
street block, although in the latter case there was one push-cart for
each 82 of the population, as compared with one push-cart for each
3,976 of the population in the Third street block.
It is not necessary to examine in any further detail this relationship
existing between population and the number of push-carts in any
neighborhood. The conclusion inevitably resulting is that there is
no logical connection between the density of population and the con-
gestion of peddlers in certain districts, but that this congestion is due
to the fact that it has become customary for the peddlers to stand
with their carts in certain streets, and that one peddler is likely to go
to a neighborhood frequented by other peddlers, irrespective of the
purchasing demands of the neighborhood.
Considering this matter from larger areas and comparing con-
ditions found in one police precinct with other police precincts, we find
that the conclusions reached from a comparison of conditions found on
various blocks are confirmed by this larger examination.
The greatest number of push-carts found in any one police precinct
was found in the I2th Precinct, where there were 897 carts. This is the
district bounded by the Bowery, East Houston street, Norfolk and
Division streets. It is entirely a tenement house neighborhood on the
lower East Side in the Hebrew quarter. Its population (according to
the census of 1900) was 71,044, "which would give an average of one
push-cart to 79 of the population.
The next greatest number was found in the I3th Precinct, where
there were 663 carts. This district is bounded by Rivington, Norfolk.
Division and Scammel streets and the East river ; while the next largest
number of peddlers was found in the I4th Precinct, where there were
244. This precinct is the district bounded by Clinton street, Avenue
B, Fourteenth street, the East river and Rivington street. It immedi-
ately adjoins the Twelfth Precinct to the north, and is also entirely
a tenement house district and contains a population of 98,880 ; here
there were found but 244 push-carts or one push-cart to each 405 of
the population. In the Eighteenth Precinct, largely a tenement house
district, but still further to the north extending from Fourteenth to
Twenty-seventh streets and from Fourth avenue to the East river
with a population of 57,037 there were found but 36 push-carts or one
push-cart to 1,584 of the population.
A further comparison in a similar manner of the number of push-
carts found in each police precinct, with the population of that precinct
would show similar interesting facts, all conclusively proving that there
is no relation whatever between the needs of the tenement house popu-
lation and the number of push-carts to be found in various quarters of
The Commission has been somewhat surprised to discover this fact,
because it had a very strong impression at the outset of its work that
the reason for the existence of the push-carts in such numbers in
various sections of the city was the needs of the population in those
sections. It is fortunate that this view was not found to be correct,
because if it had been, it would have been much more difficult to have
PUSH-CARTS ON HESTER STREET.
A TYPICAL EAST SIDE SCENE.
dealt with the problem. We know now, however, that the only persons
who will be affected by any changes which may be made in the regula-
tion of this traffic are the push-cart peddlers themselves and their famil-
ies, and that the tenement house population who purchase their supplies
from push-carts, will not be materially involved by any such change.
NATIONALITY AND RESIDENCE OF PEDDLERS IN THE UNITED STATES.
In view of the questions that had been raised in the testimony before
the Commission as to the citizenship requirement of the present ordi-
nances, viz., that before securing a license a peddler must either be a
citizen or have declared his intention to become one, it was believed
by the Commission to be important to ascertain in connection with the
other inquiries, the nationalities of the various peddlers so as to deter-
mine the relative number who were American-born and of foreign birth.
The great mass of the peddlers are found to be of three foreign
nationalities in the following order: Hebrew, Italian, Greek. These
three comprise over 97 per cent, of all the peddlers, leaving
less than 3 per cent, to be divided among the following other nations :
Austrian, Bulgarian, English, German, Hungarian, Irish, Spanish,
Swedish, Turkish and American. Of these the larger number were the
American, who numbered 62 or 1.61 per cent. The tables in Appendix
V. show in detail, both in Manhattan and in Brooklyn, the distribution
of these nationalities. The conditions in Brooklyn are found to be
somewhat different from Manhattan. In the former borough there is
a less proportion of Hebrew peddlers and a larger proportion of Italians,
and a very much larger proportion of Americans, who in Brooklyn are
20 per cent, of all the peddlers recorded.
In a similar way we have ascertained the length of residence of
these peddlers in the United States. From the investigations made it
appears that the larger number have lived in this country for a period
of from five to ten years and from ten years up. In Manhattan, 1,059
peddlers or 27 per cent, have resided from five to ten years in this
country and 1,040 peddlers or 27 per cent, have resided here for over
ten years. The next longest period of residence is four years, 433
peddlers or 1 1 per cent, having resided here that time, while 641 peddlers
or 16 per cent, have resided here three years; 389 peddlers or 10 per
cent, have resided here two years; 123 peddlers or 3 per cent, one year,
while only 46 peddlers or i per cent, have resided in the City less than
In view of the statements made to the Commission at the public
hearing by some persons, that peddling was confined almost entirely to
those immigrants who had just arrived in this country and that very
few peddlers remained in this occupation for any length of time, the
facts disclosed by this investigation are of particular interest.
THE POVERTY OF THE PEDDLERS.
One of the claims often made with regard to the push-cart peddlers
is that they are people in practically destitute circumstances who only
earn a few pennies a week and who, if it were not for the small amount
that they can make in peddling, would be a charge upon the community.
The Commission, because of this public impression, originally de-
termined to include in its investigation an economic investigation of the
circumstances of the peddlers. It fully appreciated, however, the diffi-
culties of such an inquiry. A card schedule, however, was prepared,
intending to show the following facts : Name and address of the
peddler; whether he owns his cart or not; the amount he pays for the
'storage of his cart; the rental charge if the cart was rented: the num-
ber of carts owned ; the number of licenses owned ; his total income
from the rent of carts ; his income from peddling ; his other sources of
income from property, from other occupations, from wages of the other
members of the family and from charity ; a statement of the number of
members of the family and the rent paid for his rooms.
It was intended to have this inquiry made through the investigators
of the leading charitable societies, the Charity Organization Society,
United Hebrew Charities, the St. Vincent de Paul Society and the
Association for Improving the Condition of the Poor. When, however,
the results of the Commission's other inquiry had been obtained, and it
was found that the recommendations of the Commission would not in-
volve the removal of the peddlers from the streets or even a material re-
duction in their number, it became unnecessary to carry out this in-
As bearing on this question of the poverty of the peddlers, an
account in The New York Times of December 31, 1905, describing the
marching of the push-cart peddlers in a body, presenting a testimonial
to Inspector Flood and Captain Murtha, of the Police Department,
because of their appreciation of their work, is highly significant.
" Sigmund Schwartz, the President of the Peddlers' Assoc-
iation, marched at the head of the line, behind a band of music-
ians. Then came four push-cart men carrying a framed set of
resolutions eulogizing Inspector Flood and showing a picture
of the Inspector.
" Following the resolution bearers came six peddlers attired
in dress suits and wearing opera hats. They carried a monster
glass case which contained a big silver loving cup for Captain
Murtha. The loving cup was two feet high and bore inscriptions
telling of the love which the push-cart men had for Captain
" Then came the East Side Engravers' Union, each member
of which had carved at least one word of praise on the loving
cup. After the engravers came the citizen peddlers, all in hol-
iday attire, and then the Essex Street Push-cart Association,
each man wearing a silk hat and a white tie."
An account in the Evening Post of June 13, 1906, of a case of a
push-cart peddler arraigned before Magistrate Whitman for violation
of the ordinances, is equally instructive. The Post describes this
incident as follows :
" Charles Zussman, arrested for peddling and arraigned
to-day in the Essex Market Court before Magistrate Whitman,
said : ' I am poor. Judge, t can't pay the fine.' The fine was
one dollar for not having a license for his push-cart opposite
168 Essex street. The Magistrate discharged him, but after he
had left the court room an officer of the license squad searched
his pockets. In them was found $550 in cash, two rings valued
at $12 each, three gold watches valued at $135, and a pair of
diamond earrings worth probably about $150."
Moreover, the testimony given before the Commission by the push-
cart peddlers themselves did not bear out the view that they were all
poor people. Sigmund Schwartz, President of the United Citizens
Peddlers' Association of Greater New York, representing the Jewish
peddlers, testified with regard to the earnings of the push-cart peddlers
that he had been a peddler for twenty years, and that he had made as
much as $20 a week, and that on the other hand he knew men who made
only $3 or $4 a week. When asked what the average earnings of the
push-cart peddlers were, he stated from $15 to $18 a week. It appears,
however, that many of the peddlers have other occupations beside ped-
dling ; that some do not peddle throughout the year, but only in summer ;
that others only peddle when they are out of work or when there are
slack times in their trades, and that many have other occupations
regularly and let their wives or children attend to the push-carts while
1 they are earning their livelihood in other occupations. In order, there-
fore, to determine to what extent peddling was the sole occupation of
the persons enjoying licenses from the City, a special inquiry w r as made
with regard to the peddlers' other occupations. The great majority of
the peddlers stated that they had no other occupations. In Manhattan,
out of 3,848 peddlers, but 314 or 8 per cent, admitted another calling.
These 314, however, seem to be divided into pretty nearly every kind
of trade or profession, ranging from baker, coppersmith and iron-worker
to rabbi, ragpicker and watchmaker. A detailed table showing the
occupations of the peddlers, in Manhattan arranged by police precincts,
will be found in Appendix V. In Brooklyn, out of a total of 667
peddlers, 189 or 28 per cent, we found, had other occupations, and the
range here was almost as varied as in Manhattan.
In view of the claims frequently made to the Commission, that
thousands of peddlers were selling their wares in the streets without
a license and that hundreds of peddlers had licenses in other men's
names and that many persons controlled a great number of licenses, it
was deemed advisable to make a thorough inquiry into all facts con-
nected with this question. The first fact to determine, of course, was
the number of peddlers in the city's streets who were properly licensed.
Of the 3,848 peddlers recorded, we found in Manhattan 3,122 or 81 per
cent, who had a proper license that is, a license of the current year
or one which had been renewed and on which the name of the licensee
corresponded to the name given by the peddler as his name. There is
of course an element of error in this statement, in that the peddlers
may have been on their guard and given names which they knew to be
on the licenses, fearing that if a different name were given they might
get themselves into trouble. Every precaution, however, was taken
to avoid this situation, as the investigators were instructed to ascertain,
first, the man's name and address and other kindred facts before any
inquiry whatever was made with regard to his license, and the name
in which it was made out. Five hundred and twenty-two peddlers or
over 13 per cent, of all those on the street in Manhattan, were found
to be peddling without any license whatsoever ; 72 peddlers or slightly
less than 2 per cent, were using licenses which had expired ; 6 peddlers
or less than I per cent, had one license for two carts ; 5 peddlers were
peddling on veterans' licenses secured from the State, and 33 peddlers
or less than I per cent, had licenses in other men's names. In Brooklyn
446 men or over 66 per cent, were properly licensed; 182 peddlers or
27 per cent, of those on the streets were peddling without any license
whatsoever ; 2 peddlers or less than I per cent, were using a license that
RIVINGTON STREET LOOKING EAST FROM ALLEN CONTINUOUS
LINES OF PUSH-CARTS O'N EACH SIDE OF THE STREET.
HOW PUSH-CARTS IMPEDE TRUCK TRAFFIC.
had expired, and 13 men or less than 2 per cent, had a license in
another man's name.
Inquiry was also made to ascertain whether the record number of
the license was displayed on the peddlers' push-carts, thus affording a
ready means of identification to the authorities enforcing the ordinance.
Section 523 of the Revised Ordinances provides that a sign bearing the
number of the license must be attached to the side of the push-cart
where it can be readily seen. This requirement, however, has seldom
been enforced, although it has been the custom for some of the peddlers
to paint in crude figures upon the side of the push-cart their license
In Manhattan the Commission found that in the great majority of
cases, namely, 2,726 or over 70 per cent., there was no number upon
the cart, and only in 329 cases or 8 l / 2 per cent, was there a number
on the cart that corresponded to the number on the license ; in 793
cases or over 20 per cent, there was a number painted on the cart, but
this did not correspond to the number on the license indicating either
that there had been an exchange of licenses between peddlers or an
exchange of carts, or that the cart used was not owned by the peddler
himself, but was either borrowed or rented. In Brooklyn 262 carts or
39 per cent, were found without any number; 217 or 32 per cent, had
the correct number; and 188 or 28 per cent, had a number which did
not correspond to the number of the license.
Some of the facts ascertained in individual cases in this inquiry
have special interest. One Italian who was interviewed and found to
be peddling on another man's license, stated that he had paid $7 for
it. An amusing case was found, where two peddlers, who lived in the
same house, were discovered to have exchanged their licenses, both of
which were good, but showing how little value the men attach to their
licenses, what little effect they have and to what slight extent they are
One man, an Italian, who was peddling without a license, said
that he had a license, but the police had taken it from him; an interest-
ing comment on the value of the present method of enforcing the
ordinances. Another man, found selling goods on Seventh avenue,
had no license; when questioned, he said that he possessed one, but
he had loaned it to another man, who was using it over on Eighth
avenue with a basket. A Greek, who had been in this country but one
month and who was peddling without a license, when interrogated
said he had applied for a license, but was refused one, and had deter-
mined to go ahead and peddle, and 'was doing so.
THE PADRONE SYSTEM.
Allusion has already been made to the system of barter and sale
in licenses and a " boss " or " padrone " system existing among the
Italians and Hebrews, by which one man has control of a number of
push-carts and also of a number of licenses, hires persons to operate
them for him, paying them daily or weekly wages, and makes material
profits from their operation.
Before the appointment of the Commission an investigation of this
subject had been made by Street Cleaning Commissioner Woodbury,
who, in the fall of 1904, reported the facts with regard to the owner-
ship of push-carts and presented a list of the men owning and con-
trolling them in quantity. Commissioner Woodbury at that time said:
'* There exists on the East Side a union of push-cart stable keepers,
who lease out push-carts for the day for 10 cents, and upon the pay-
ment of 25 cents the peddler hiring the push-cart, it is reported, is
also provided with a license to enable him to ply his vocation un-
molested by the police for that day. A security of $5 is generally
exacted for the license so loaned and must be surrendered in the even-
ing on his return."
The Commission deemed it important, therefore, to endeavor to
secure such facts as it might be possible to obtain, that would throw
Hg.ht upon this extremely important phase of its work. All of the
peddlers themselves, and especially the representatives of the Italian
peddlers, who testified before the Commission, were most urgent in
their desire that the " padrone " system should be abolished, and the
peddlers of every nationality Hebrew, Italian, Greek and American
were a unit in the recommendation that the license should be a personal
one, and that one man should have only one license.
The Commission accordingly has collected such information as it
could with regard to the ownership of the push-carts. Of the 3,848
carts in Manhattan, the peddlers themselves stated that but 1,495, or
39 per cent., were owned by the peddlers, and that in 2,078 cases, or
54 per cent., the carts were rented from persons who owned a large
number of them. In two cases the cart was borrowed, while in 18 cases
or less than i per cent., the peddler stated that he was employed on
salary or commission. In 83 cases, or over 2 per cent., the peddler
admitted that he did not own the cart, but the investigator was not able
to ascertain whether the peddler was employed on a salary or com-
mission, or whether rent was paid for the cart. In 172 cases, or 4 per
cent., no information on this subject was obtainable. In Brooklyn,
out of the 667 push-carts, 379, or 57 per cent., were owned by the
peddlers and 279, or 42 per cent., were rented.
In addition, a special investigation was made with regard to the
ownership of push-carts in quantity, and the name of the owner and
his address, with the number of carts in the field, ascertained both in
Manhattan and Brooklyn. It appears from the result of these investi-
gations that one man in Manhattan was reported to have control of
as many as 170 different push-carts; others had control of the following
numbers: 66, 64, 62, 53, 52, 50, 46, 45, 44, 43, 41, etc. In Brooklyn
one man was reported to have control of as many as 55 push-carts ;
others had control of as many as 34, 29, 14, etc. Detailed lists show--
ing the names of these persons, with their addresses and the number
of carts owned, will be found in Appendix Y.
In addition to the facts already ascertained bearing on this subject,
the Commission has secured a list of places in Manhattan and in
Brooklyn where the push-carts are most frequently stored, with a
record of the number of both' loaded and empty carts found there on
the day when the push-cart census was taken. In Manhattan 1,460
push-carts were found stored in these stables; of these 871 were empty
and not in use, while 448 were loaded with goods, evidently to be sent
out for sale next day. In 141 cases the investigators failed to ascertain
whether the push-carts were loaded or empty. In Brooklyn only
empty carts were found, and of these there were 138. The accompany-
ing lists in Appendix V. give the places where the push-carts were
stored and the number of carts found on these dates, both loaded and
The facts thus ascertained with regard to the ownership of carts
have a distinct bearing on this question of a monopoly of the owner-
ship, of push-carts and the existence of a " padrone " system. It
appears that in Manhattan, out of a total of 296 carts used by men
other than the owner, it was found that in 181 cases, or 61 per cent.,
the owner had but one cart in the field; in 60 cases, or 20 per cent.,
the owner had from two to ten carts in the field; in 14 cases, or 4 per
cent, from 10 to 20 carts in the field; and in 15 cases, or 5 per cent,
from 20 to 30 carts in the field. In Brooklyn, out of 79 cases where
the carts used were used by men other than the owners, in 50 cases, or
63 per cent., the owner had but one cart in the field, and in 25 cases, or
29 per cent., he had from two to ten carts.
The testimony of the various witnesses at the public hearing given
by the Commission with regard to the control of many licenses by few
men, is of material interest in this connection. Sigmund Schwartz,
president of the United Citizens' Peddlers' Association of Greater New
York, testified as follows, in response to the following questions from
the Chairman of the Commission :
'The CHAIRMAN Let me ask you this question: It has
been stated here and on the outside, that some men have a
number of licenses; that one man will control five, ten, fifty
or probably more; so that the man with the cart has but the
use of the cart and the license. What about this?"
"Mr. SCHWARTZ I will explain that: Years ago when a
man wanted to get a license he went there to the Bureau and
got it, and he was in the business for a few weeks, probably
during a strike in his line of trade. He would get a license for
$4, and then when the strike was over and he went back to his
former business he would sell the license. Then there were
some of the fellows who ' came over ' (immigrants) who wanted
to get licenses and could not get a license, so they would buy
these from these other fellows."
" The CHAIRMAN The charge definitely is this : That one
man, for instance, will have fifty carts or ten or as many as you
may say, but quite a number. He will get fifty men to come
down here and ask for licenses for those carts, giving them the
money. They in reality do not own the license or the cart,
and they only work for this other man."
" Mr. SCHWARTZ That is right. A man goes down and pays
ten cents a day for the use of a cart; before the holidays they
pay twenty-five cents a day. Some of them have been given
licenses. There are not so many now. There were 500 or
600 on the east side, but now if a fellow goes to change his
license papers he must have his citizenship papers with him. If
he did not have the papers his license would be taken away
from him. It was not that way before."
" The CHAIRMAN In other words, they send a man down
with citizenship papers?"
" Mr. SCHWARTZ Yes, sir. But that man might not work on
the cart then. He might have gone to Philadelphia."
It also developed from this questioning that the push-carts cost
but $10 to purchase outright, and under the existing system of rental
the peddler is obliged to pay $20 a year, so that it would be to the
interest of the peddler himself to be compelled to own his own push-
cart. One of the American peddlers who testified before the Com-
mission, Mr. Murphy, stated that it was the practice of some peddlers
UNBROKEN LINES OF PUSH-CARTS ON ORCHARD STREET
PUSH-CARTS DO NOT SELL ONLY NECESSITIES OF LIFE.
to get one license, and that, when the enforcing officer came along
to inspect their licenses, the license was passed on from one peddler
Mr. Lambert J. Marcucci, who appeared before the Commission
on behalf of the Italian peddlers and represented particularly the
Italian newspaper, " II Progresso Americano," and also the Italian
Push-Cart Peddlers' Association, testified along similar lines with re-
gard to the evils connected with the padrone system and the control
of a number of push-carts by few men. He stated: *' Not to give the
license save to the fully admitted citizen would result in the encour-
agement of the padrone system, and nothing else, because the padrone
system was born from this fact. Some fellow with the privilege of
being an American citizen, and having a license, sold his license to
those unable to become American citizens. We realize that all but
a few of the padrones we have are American citizens, and they sell their
citizenship in parts. They have ten or twelve carts and they give their
permission to the others. If you restrict this privilege to citizens,
you certainly encourage the padrone system." And further, in regard
to the issuing of licenses, he said: "The Italian push-cart peddlers
pledge their good will to co-operate with the authorities for the extir-
pation of the so-called ' padrone system.' ' They respect-
fully note that the suggestion of depriving of the license those who
have not full citizenship papers would be, if enforced, a cruel, impolitic
and unwise act. Cruel, because the greater part of the peddlers have
not the full papers; impolitic, because no better preparation for Ameri-
can citizenship can be made for these poor, simple-hearted people
than by this striving to earn their living with honest work; unwise,
because the needs of the families oblige the non-citizen peddler to buy
the privilege of a license from a license holder; and there are unfor-
tunately too many ready to sell this advantage of citizenship by taking
out a license in their names which another will profit by. The padrone
system has its roots in the misunderstanding still common to those
people, that to have a license they must produce the citizenship papers."
H. Goldstein, vice-president of the Citizens' Peddlers' Association
of New York, testified that a similar system existed among the
Hebrews. In answer to a question from the Chairman, " What was the
largest number of licenses which you ever heard of one man holding?"
he replied : " People control fifteen or twenty. They will give you
$10 for any license and make money on it."
"The CHAIRMAN The same man?"
" Mr. GOLDSTEIN One man will buy licenses as many as 50."
EXTORTION OF SHOPKEEPERS.
Allusion is made elsewhere in this report to a system of extortion on
the part of shopkeepers, compelling peddlers who wish to stand in
front of their shops to pay tribute regularly to them for that privilege,
and who, failing to receive such tribute, complain to the police of a
violation of the ordinances. Sigmund Schwartz, the President of the
United Citizens' Peddlers' Association, testified before the Commission
as follows, in response to a question from Mr. Hill, Secretary of the
" Mr. HILL You say the push-cart man does not pay rent.
Does he pay something, not rent, for the privilege of standing
in front of certain places ?
" Mr. SCHWARTZ Yes, sir.
" Mr. HILL How much do they pay ?
" Mr. SCHWARTZ Sometimes ten dollars, or twelve or fif-
teen dollars a month. They ask a man, ' Will you let me stand
in front of your place during the holidays?' and he says, ' Well,
you know I have to pay rent here, I cannot do that for nothing/
He says, ' Give me $25 and I will do it.'
" The CHAIRMAN Those who pay rent are not touched by
" Mr. SCHWARTZ No. A fellow complained that he wanted
a push-cart man put away from his place. I went to the Cap-
tain, and said, ' If this man complains about this peddler stand-
ing there and makes him go away, don't let anybody else go
there.' ' If he wants the front of his premises kept clear, he
cannot put any other cart there.' That man went around to the
station house and the Captain told him that ; and so he left this
In an interview between Police Inspector Max F. Schmittberger
and Mr. Hill, Secretary of the Commission, while making inspections
of push-cart conditions on the East Side on April 12, 1905, the In-
spector pointed out the fact that a large number of the push-carts in
Hester, Orchard and Rivington streets were owned by the storekeepers
in these streets, and that the peddlers were selling exactly the same
goods as were sold in the stores. In connection with this, a storekeeper
of S&s'z Hester street was interviewed. He showed his license and
stated that he kept his cart in front of his basement store all the time.
When a storekeeper does not desire to put a cart in front of his house
PUSH-CARTS AT HESTER AND SUFFOLK STREETS.
CONDITIONS ON FORSYTH STREET NEAR BAYARD.
for his own line of goods, he frequently lets out the space in the public
'street to some man in another line of business. The Inspector stated
that it was told him that these storekeepers frequently derived $15
a month from one cart, for the privilege of standing in front of their
store. In Orchard street a number of peddlers were interviewed, who
stated that they themselves did not pay for the privilege of standing in
front of the stores, but that there were two or three stores on the block
which did make such charges.
Patrolman Selig Whitman, who for a period of two and one-half
years was assigned to the Street Cleaning Department, and had under
him chiefly the regulation of the push-cart peddlers, made the following
statement to the Commission with regard to this subject.
" During the course of my investigation made while assigned
to the Street Cleaning Department, I found that it is not an
unusual occurrence for a storekeeper to let out stands, cellars
and push-cart space, in front of his respective store, for a gain.
In many instances, I found that this gain almost nets two-thirds
of the whole rent of the store; all this is done under the guise
of official right ; no receipt is given or money received for push-
cart space, other than a verbal one; in other instances an enor-
mous rental is charged, for the use of a cellar, to which is at-
tached the privilege of push-cart space in front of the premises ;
this privilege or rental is given only from month to month, and
when one is found, who is willing to pay a larger rental for
the push-cart space, the old tenant is given notice to vacate, and
this tenant not knowing any better, believes it is the storekeeper's
privilege to let the sidewalk and curb space to the highest bidder.
In occasional instances, the push-cart vendor ' puts his foot
down,' and refuses to be taxed any further advance, and also
refuses to vacate. The storekeeper will then complain to the
police, saying that he objects to the push-cart vendors using
and occupying a position in front of his premises ; the place is
then cleared and for a few days no one is permitted there, when
he installs the favorite vendor, that is, the favorite so far as the
rental is concerned."
Sigmund Schwartz, President of the United Citizens' Peddlers' As-
sociation, has made the following statement with regard to this sub-
" One man who keeps a drug store at the corner of Riving-
ton and Orchard streets, has been in the habit of collecting rent
from carts in front of his place and other classes of stands, as
follows : One soda water stand $25 per month ; one pickle
stand, $35 per month; two boxes with eggs, $15 per month;
boot-black stand, $20 per month; four push-carts. $10 each,
$40 per month. This man's rent for his drug store was raised
from $70 per month to $200 on account of the rents he was re-
ceiving for privileges in front of his place."
GOODS SOLD ON THE PUSH-CARTS.
From time immemorial in all countries there has been provision
for open air markets of one kind or another for the sale of food,
especially fruit, for the poorer people, and it was undoubtedly in ac-
cordance with this custom that licenses to peddle in New York's streets
were originally granted. Gradually a change has taken place, until
now the peddlers no longer limit themselves to the sale of food, al-
though still most of the goods sold are of this nature.
As one of the reasons that have been advanced for the removal
of the peddlers from the streets was the serious injury to health, caused
by selling food of an inferior quality, the Commission determined to
include in its inquiry a careful examination of the kinds of goods
sold, especially food. In Manhattan it was found that food of one
kind or another constituted 69 per cent, of all goods sold. Had our
inquiry been made at some other time of the year, namely, in the
winter, the proportion would undoubtedly have been less. The great-
est variety in the nature of the food sold was found. In the tables
accompanying this report these various kinds of food have been
classified in four broad classes: Fruit, vegetables, sea food and other
foods. The varieties of foods sold are almost innumerable, for in-
stance, among sea food we found clams, fish and oysters; among fruits,
apples, bananas, cherries, cranberries, dates, dried fruits, figs, grapes,
grape fruit, lemons, oranges, pears, pineapples, plums and strawber-
ries; among vegetables we found artichokes, asparagus, beans, beets,
cabbage, carrots, celery, cucumbers, egg plant, horse radish, lettuce,
onions, parsley, parsnips, peas, peppers, potatoes, radishes, rice, spin-
ach, sprouts, tomatoes, turnips; while a miscellaneous class included
such incongruous articles as bread, cakes, candies, cheese, eggs, ice
cream, lemonade, nuts, olives, peanuts, pickles, seltzer water and tea.
The tables in Appendix V. show the number of push-carts found selling
each article of food.
Looking at the question broadly, we found in Manhattan 193 ped-
dlers, or 5 per cent., selling fish; 1,442 peddlers, or 37 per cent, sell-
ing fruit; 567 peddlers, or 15 per cent., selling vegetables, and 457 ped-
ITALIAN WOMAN PEDDLING FISH.
BREAD FOR SALE.
dlers, or 12 per cent., selling other kinds of foods. In Brooklyn, 19
peddlers, or 3 per cent., were found selling fish; 150 peddlers, or 23
per cent., fruit; 165 peddlers, or 25 per cent., vegetables, and 128
peddlers, or 19 per cent., other foods. The percentage of peddlers
selling food in Brooklyn was identical with that in Manhattan, namely,
69 per cent.
A special inquiry was made with regard to the quality of food sold
upon the push-carts, the investigators being instructed to report
whether the food was good, fair, bad or injurious to health. They
were told to look over the food carefully, and if they found it was such
that they would be willing to buy it for their families, to mark it
" good "; if they were in doubt about it, to class it as " fair "; if they
did not think they would want members of their families to eat it,
to mark it " bad " or " injurious to health/' as the case might be.
In Manhattan, in 1,952 cases, or 71 per cent, it was reported that the
food found upon the push-carts was "good"; in 599 cases, or 22
per cent., that the food was " fair," and in only 34 cases, or I per cent.,
that the food was "bad"; while in but 9 cases, or less than one-half
of i per cent., was the food reported to be " injurious to health."
In Brooklyn similar conditions were found; in 399 cases, or 75 per
cent, the food was reported "good"; in 109 cases, or 21 per cent.,
"fair"; while in only 4 cases, or less than i per cent, was it reported
" bad," and in no cases " injurious to health."
In addition to these facts ascertained by the investigators in the
general inquiry, a special investigation was made through the De-
partment of Health under the direction of Dr. Walter Bensel, the As-
sistant Sanitary Superintendent. This investigation was made on April
2 7> I 95 anc l covered an area of about thirty blocks on the lower
east side. Besides examining foods sold on 1,249 push-carts, foods
sold in 964 neighboring stores were similarly examined. The official
report of the Health Department shows that as a result of this investi-
gation, only on 44 push-carts, out of 1,249, or 3/^ P er cent, of the total
number examined, was any food found in a condition unfit for human
consumption, and on these 44 carts there was only a small percentage
of food in such condition. The report of Dr. Bensel is as follows:
" On April 27 a careful investigation was made of the stores
and stands, covering an area of about thirty blocks, on the lower
east side. Nine hundred and sixty-four (964) stores were ex-
amined, in which were sold meat, fish or other foodstuffs. Three
hundred and eighty (380) stands were examined, on which were
sold salt or smoked fish or other foodstuffs.
"In 128 of these stores eighty-five (85) pounds of meat and
fish, and nine hundred and fifty (950) pounds of other foodstuffs
were found to be in unfit condition and were condemned and
destroyed. On 138 of the stands, twenty-five (25) pounds of
salt or smoked fish, and two hundred (200) pounds of other
foodstuffs were found to be in unfit condition, and were con-
demned and destroyed.
" Inspection has been made of one thousand two hundred
forty-nine (1,249) push-carts. On forty-four (44) of these was
found a small percentage of food in a condition unfit for human
consumption. This means apparently that about three and one-
half per cent. (3^2) of the total number of push-carts may con-
tain at times a certain amount of improper food.
" On the other hand, it was found that less than one quarter
(^4) of i per cent, of the food or fruit on each one of these carts
was more or less decayed. The average weight of merchandise
on each cart is one hundred (100) pounds.
" Pounds of foodstuffs examined, 124,900.
" Pounds of foodstuffs found in bad condition, 250.
" Carts inspected, 1,249.
"Carts containing unfit food, 44, 3^/2 per cent.
" (Signed) WALTER BENSEL, M. D."
Thirty-one per cent, of the goods sold on the push-carts was other
than food or food supplies. In Manhattan 376 carts, or 10 per cent.,
contained dry goods; 315 carts, or 8 per cent., clothing; 405 carts, or
ii per cent., miscellaneous supplies not included in any of the above
categories, and 89 carts, or 2 per cent., contained mixtures of various
classes of goods. In Brooklyn, 57 carts, or 9 per cent., contained
dry goods, 32 carts, or 5 per cent., clothing; 67 carts, or 10 per cent,
contained miscellaneous supplies not included in any of the above
classes, and 47 carts, or 7 per cent., contained mixtures of various
classes of goods.
PEDDLING DURING THE RELIGIOUS HOLY DAYS.
The push-cart problem is so largely bound up with the problems
of the nationalities chiefly engaged in it, namely, the Hebrews and Ital-
ians, that no consideration of it would be complete which did not take
into account the fact that conditions are not the same at all times of the
year, and that with these two races there are occasions when the push-
IN THE ITALIAN QUARTER MULBERRY STREET.
MULBERRY STREET NORTH OF HESTER CONTINUOUS ROWS OF
cart industry is at its height, notably during the times preceding the
religious holy days of both these races, as well as during the Christmas
The leading Hebrew holy days are celebrated according to the lunar
months and are therefore variable in the same way as the Christian
Easter. In the year 1906 these holy days fall as follows : The Hebrew
New Year, September 19 to 21 ; Day of Atonement, September 29 and
30; Feast of Tabernacles, October 4 to 12; Passover or Easter, March
29 to April 5 ; Purim, some time in February.
The leading Italian holy days are: The Feast of Mt. Carmel, July
16; Assumption, August 15; St. Rocco, August 16; All Souls, Novem-
ber 2; and Christmas, December 25.
It has frequently been the custom for the aldermen, during the
periods preceding these holy days, to pass resolutions suspending the
operation of the peddling ordinances, the effect of which has been largely
to increase the number of peddlers upon the city's streets, not only
during these particular periods, but permanently, as many men are in-
duced to take up the occupation of peddling during periods when no
license is required, who gradually drift into this work as a permanent
calling, with the result that many of the peddlers are found to be
peddling in the city streets without any license whatever. The sus-
pension of the ordinances for these periods moreover breeds a general
disrespect for the ordinances at other times of the year. It is not
strange that this state of affairs should result in view of the fact that
for long periods of time the peddlers are not required to comply with
any rules or regulations ; such a condition of affairs must necessarily
breed a spirit of lawlessness. The statistics presented elsewhere in this
report, showing the number of arrests of peddlers made in Manhattan
in one year and the charges under which the prisoners were arraigned,
indicates clearly the general disregard of the ordinances that exists.
In order to ascertain to what extent the number of peddlers was
increased during certain periods of the Hebrew holy days, a special in-
vestigation was made during one of these times, and the number of
push-carts found on certain streets of the lower East Side namely,
Bayard, Delancey, Essex, Forsyth, Grand, Hester, Houston, Orchard,
Rivington and Stanton was ascertained. It was found in the district
investigated that there was an increase of 68 per cent, in the number of
peddlers on the street during this holy-day period, over the number
found at the time the census was taken by this Commission, there being
1,494 peddlers on this day, as compared with 891 on the day of our
The Commission is clearly of opinion that the practice of suspending
the ordinances should be discontinued, and that provision should be
made for special temporary licenses to be issued only for these holy-day
periods, for which a small fee may be charged. The Commission has
therefore included in its recommendations a plan for the issuance of
such temporary licenses.
Although the majority of push-cart peddlers ply their trade in the
daytime, in some quarters of the City and especially at certain seasons
of the year, this business is carried on during the larger part of the
night as well as the day. In order to determine to what extent such a
condition of affairs existed, on May nth, the same day that the census
of the push-carts was taken, a special night inspection was made under
the direction of Police Inspector Max Schmittberger, of the number of
push-carts found on the streets between 4 p. M. and midnight in the
First, Fifth, Seventh, Twelfth, Thirteenth, Fourteenth and Fifteenth
Precincts. 2,291 push-carts were found on the streets in these precincts
during this inspection as follows: First Precinct, 119; Fifth Precinct,
43; Seventh Precinct, 174; Twelfth Precinct, 1,074; Thirteenth Precinct,
416; Fourteenth Precinct, 242; Fifteenth Precinct, 223.
A comparison of these figures, with the number of carts found in
the same precincts in the daytime from noon until 4 o'clock in the
afternoon of the same day, is of interest. For example, in the First
Precinct there were 25 carts more in the daytime than at night ; in the
Fifth Precinct 5 less in the daytime than at night; in the Seventh Pre-
cinct 36 more in the daytime than at night; in the Twelfth Precinct
140 more at night than in the day; in the Thirteenth Precinct 324 less
at night than in the day; in the Fourteenth Precinct 13 more in the day-
time than at night, and in the Fifteenth Precinct 20 more at night than
in the daytime. The Commission has seriously considered the advis-
ability of restricting the hours within which push-carts may occupy
the streets and has been in considerable doubt as to the wisdom of such
a regulation. In the absence of more specific complaint from the
residents of the districts in which the push-carts are chiefly to be found,
as to disturbance at night because of noise, the Commission is of the
opinion that no restriction of this night traffic should be made at the
RELATION OF THE PEDDLERS TO THE POLICE.
In the report of the Mayor's Secretary for 1903 dealing with the
work of the Bureau of Licenses, attention is called to a system of black-
mail of push-cart peddlers carried on by certain police officers, as well
as a similar system of extortion practiced by the store-keepers in the
neighborhoods in which the peddlers congregate. In this report the
Mayor's Secretary says:
" Formerly, knowing that they were violating all the ordi-
nances, the peddlers felt a sense of insecurity and found them-
selves absolutely in the power of any rough policeman who
might take offense or entertain a grudge against a particular
vendor. It was also the fertile source of a well organized system
of blackmail carried on by certain police officers, with the probable
co-operation and connivance of some representatives of the ped-
dlers. Furthermore, there arose a system of collection of rentals
by the shop-keepers in front of whose stores push-carts were
placed. If the rental was not paid, the shop-keeper would imme-
diately complain to the police that the peddler was a nuisance, an
objection not repeated when the next peddler took his stand in
front of the store and paid the unlawful rental."
The Commission has no information with regard to either of these
charges. It has been a matter of public knowledge for some time that
among some unscrupulous members of the police force there has been
carried on a system of petty blackmail of these peddlers, the peddlers
having been " shaken down " at stated intervals by the policeman on
the post. In a similar way the system of compelling the peddlers to
pay tribute to the store-keeper in front of whose place of business the
individual peddler might stand, has been a matter of common knowledge
for some years past.
The Commission has not thought it worth while to attempt to obtain
evidence with regard to either of these charges. The peddlers them-
selves have been unanimous in admitting their truth. Nor did the Com-
mission see anything to be gained by ascertaining individual cases of
this kind in view of the fact that the practice was generally known to
We have, however, thought that it would be of interest and of pos-
sible future value to include in our report figures showing the number
of peddlers arrested each year and the reasons for such arrests. The
tables appended to this report furnished by the Police Department show
in detail for the Borough of Manhattan for the year 1904, the follow-
ing facts, arranged by police precincts : The number of peddlers arrested
on various charges, as follows : Having no license, having no number
or name on the cart, not having a copy of the ordinance exposed,
obstructing the crossings, obstructing the fire hydrants, obstructing the
sidewalks and streets, obstructing traffic generally, selling in restricted
streets, standing over thirty minutes in one place, standing within a
space of ten feet of each other, standing at the curb, standing on the
wrong side of the street, disorderly conduct, complaint of storekeepers,
violation of the ordinances, violation of Sanitary Code and violation of
the " Sunday Law," and in addition the number of men discharged, the
number fined and the amount of the fines imposed.
A total of 5,124 arrests were made during the year; of these 1,280
were for peddling without a license, 2,013 were for standing at the
curb, 460 were for violation of the Sanitary Code and 445 were for
selling in restricted streets; 219 for obstructing the sidewalks, 109 for
obstructing the streets and 101 for obstructing the crossings; while 127
were for standing over thirty minutes in one place.
To what extent the charges on which the prisoners were arraigned
are accurate, is a difficult question to determine. It is to be feared that
in many cases the policeman arrested the man and determined upon the
charge afterward. The figures quoted are extremely instructive, how-
ever, with regard to the enforcement of the push-cart ordinances and
the regulation of this trade. It is apparent that if a proper system of
enforcement existed there would not be during any one year 1,280 ped-
dlers arrested for peddling without a license. The relation of the pun-
ishment inflicted for this charge probably has a great deal to do with
the large number of arrests of this kind. Although 1,280 arrests were
made, the great majority of persons arrested on this charged were fined
but $2 815 having been fined that amount and only 97 persons any-
thing more than this. The highest amount of any fine imposed was
$10, although in two cases peddlers were sentenced to two months in
the city prison, presumably because of some especially aggravating cir-
cumstances. The most frequent charge, as will be seen from the tables,
is for standing at the curb and obstructing traffic in one way or another.
While the Commission has not thought it necessary or desirable to
make any extensive inquiry into the charges of police blackmail and
extortion by store-keepers, it has at all times borne this state of affairs
in mind, and in formulating its remedies for present conditions, has
sought to prevent in future the existence of any such system. It is
believed that under the plan of regulation proposed by the Commission
as embodied in this report, blackmail by the police and by the shop-
keepers will no longer be possible.
THE INCREASE OF FIRE DANGERS.
Allusion has already been made to the increase of the dangers from
fire in the crowded quarters of the city, because of the impediment to
traffic and to the quick passage of fire engines through the streets,
because of the crowded conditions due to the push-carts.
In order to ascertain to what extent this condition was really a
menace, the foremen of various engine and hook and ladder com-
panies of the Fire Department were requested by Fire Chief Edward F.
Croker to report their experiences in this regard. That present con-
ditions are a serious menace and add materially to loss of life and of
property because of the delay in reaching fires is fully borne out by
these reports, a few extracts from which are given as follows:
John B. Hughes, Foreman of Engine Company No. 33, writes:
" The apparatus of this company while responding to alarms
for fire have on many occasions been delayed on the streets of
the east side of the city, owing to the number of push-carts
standing in said streets, and in some of the streets it is impossi-
ble to make any headway while responding to stations. The
drivers are in constant dread of acccidents or collisions with said
push-carts or their owners, and on that account the apparatus
of this company are many times brought to a walk, and in many
cases are compelled to come to a standstill in order to avoid an
Edward F. Birmingham, Assistant Foreman Engine Company No.
ii, detailed to Engine Company No. 15, writes:
" From my experience on the east side of the city the crowd-
ing of push-carts in the streets delays the apparatus of this
department in many different ways, viz.: an engine trying to
connect up to a hydrant ; at times you must threaten them with
" arrest " before they move on, also being delayed while re-
sponding to alarms, you cannot pull out right or left on account
of the push-carts being lined up on both sides of the streets. It
is my honest opinion that they are a menace to public safety
and are certainly detrimental to the interests of this department."
Thomas F. Norton, Foreman of Engine Company No. 55, writes:
' This company has been delayed on several occasions while
responding to stations on the east side by push-carts crowding
the streets and blocking hydrants, especially on Grand street
and Rivington street. The push-cart owners neglect and refuse
to open the streets as the apparatus approaches, and the members
of the company are often compelled to lift the push-carts on to
the sidewalk in order to get the engine close enough to the
hydrant to make connections. Push-carts in the East Side
streets are very numerous and detrimental to the interests of
this department and greatly impede the progress of the appara-
tus when responding to alarms for fire."
Philip C. Harmon, Jr., Foreman of Hook and Ladder Company
No. 9, writes :
" Push-carts around the streets of the east side have inter-
fered, caused delay and accidents with this company in
responding and returning from alarms of fire, causing a closing
of streets in which they are located, giving the drivers no chance
to pull to either side of the street to pass a wagon or truck
which they may meet, and in my opinion they are detrimental to
the interests of this department."
William Devlin, Foreman of Hook and Ladder Company No. 18,
" In responding to alarms for fire in this district I find the
push-carts interfere with the speed of the apparatus to a very
great extent, they occupying as a rule both sides of the streets;
vehicles going either way have not space enough to pull out on
the approach of fire apparatus, to allow same to proceed with
the necessary speed. While drivers of vehicles generally are
anxious to give the right of way to fire apparatus, they cannot
do so, owing to the presence of the push-carts on the streets.
This condition has existed in this part of the city since the push-
carts have been allowed to occupy the streets. It is my opinion
that the presence of the push-carts on the streets is very detri-
mental to the best interests of this department."
Timothy J. McAuliffe, Foreman of Engine Company No. 31, writes:
'' The apparatus of this company has in the past experienced
a great deal of difficulty in responding to alarms of fire on the
east side of this city, by the crowding of push-carts in the
streets, obstructing the passage of the apparatus through the
streets and obstructing the fire hydrants, and in my opinion their
presence is a menace to life and limb, and is detrimental to the
best interests of this department."
Similar reports, giving experiences indicating similar delays, in-
convenience and danger, have been received from the Foremen of
Engine Companies Nos. 4, 9, u, 17 and 32, and of Hook and Ladder
Companies Nos. 6 and 20.
PUSH-CARTS ON ESSEX STREET.
HOW THE PUSH-CARTS OBSTRUCT THE FIRE HYDRANTS.
At various times persons have suggested as a solution for the push-
cart problem, the establishment of municipal markets in different
quarters of the city, especially in the more crowded tenement districts.
This suggestion was made originally and pushed with much energy
by the late Colonel George E. Waring, Jr., the Commissioner of Street
Cleaning during Mayor Strong's administration. It was renewed in
the report of the Secretary to the Mayor under Mayor Low's admin-
istration for 1903, and published in the " City Record " of January 21,
In that report Mr. James B. Reynolds, as Secretary to the Mayor,
and having special charge of the work of the Bureau of Licenses,
reported as follows:
" A better and more satisfactory handling of this problem
would, I believe, be found in the creation of three or four push-
cart markets by the city and the requirement upon the establish-
ment of these markets, that all push-carts be relegated to them.
* * * If this plan could be considered, I would strongly
recommend that one market be established in that section of
the east side between Houston street and the Bowery by con-
demnation of an entire block in about the locality of the typical
block selected; or in the condemnation of two half blocks, one
near the section named and the other nearer the East river;
a third might be established on a half block not far from Mul-
berry Bend Park; a fourth between Eighth and Ninth avenues
above Thirty-fourth street, and a fifth on the upper east side
below One Hundred and Twenty-fifth street."
With this report Mr. Reynolds submitted a plan showing an ar-
rangement of an entire east side block, the block bounded by Riving-
ton and Stanton streets, from Ludlow to Orchard streets, with the
push-carts arranged in six long rows, providing accommodations for
a total of 880 push-carts. In his report Mr. Reynolds says :
" I have been constantly assured by peddlers that many
of them would gladly go to a market where they could be
assured of protection. They have even shown me calculations
which they made, demonstrating the possibility of the payment
of a moderate rental by each peddler, rated at so much per week,
and which they claim would be adequate to compensate the
city for taking a block and turning it into a market. While
I have not verified the accuracy of these figures, I am strongly
of the opinion the benefits to the public would be such that if
the city were not able to make a profit from its market, it would
still be wise to maintain it."
This whole subject has been given careful study by the Commis-
sion. At the beginning of its work a number of members of the Com-
mission were favorably inclined to the establishment of municipal
markets, having heard only the popular presentation of the subject
and believing that it might offer a solution for the problem. Upon
a more thorough consideration of the questions involved, we are clearly
of opinion that the push-cart problem cannot be solved by the crea-
tion of municipal markets. The reasons for this conclusion cannot be
stated in any better way than was stated by Lambert J. Marcucci,
representing the Italian Push-Cart Peddlers' Association. He said:
" The push-cart peddlers are unanimously against a market,
or even three markets, where to locate the peddlers. The
patrons of the peddlers buy from them because their merchan-
dise is handy, everywhere. To congregate the peddlers in one
or in ten places in all the city would mean destruction for the
Mr. Marcucci in this statement touched the entire root of the mat-
ter. The Commission found push-carts distributed all over Manhat-
tan Island, from One Hundred and Ninetieth street as far south as
the Battery. Of what use to the population in West Thirty-ninth
street would a market in Rivington or Orchard streets be, or of what
use would a market in Mulberry and Houston streets be to the tene-
ment population living in East Eleventh street and First avenue? As
the tenement districts are scattered all over the city, it is obvious that
if the push-cart peddlers exist at all for the accommodation of the
tenement house population, the concentration of the peddlers in one
market or in a few markets will in no way meet the needs of the peo-
ple. The peddler must be free to travel from place to place, and there
must be peddlers on each street where the tenement people live if those
people are to use the advantages offered by the push-cart business.
Because of these fundamental objections and also because of the
fact that no plan of municipal markets for push-cart peddlers can be
devised that will pay the interest on the bonds, the Commission is
of the opinion that in no way will the establishment of municipal mar-
kets solve the push-cart problem.
In the report of Mayor Low's secretary already alluded to, the
block bounded by Stanton and Rivington streets, from Orchard to
Ludlow, is suggested as a site for a municipal market for this purpose,
and the plan accompanying this report shows accommodations for
880 push-carts. Unfortunately, in presenting this plan, the persons
urging it did not take into consideration the financial questions in-
volved. Had they done so, they would have seen that the project was
not feasible. A block such as this, located in the crowded east side,
would cost the city to acquire either by purchase or by condemna-
tion, $1,500,000 for the property alone. In order to pay the interest
on the bonds at the current rate of 4 per cent., it would be necessary
to secure an annual revenue from rentals of push-carts amounting to
$60,000. With 880 carts this would mean an annual rental for each
push-cart peddler of $68. As the peddlers now annually pay $4, and
many of them $2 for the privilege of traveling throughout any part
of the city, and as the average weekly earnings of the push-cart ped-
dlers are from $12 to $15 a week, it is obvious that a rental of $68 a
year for each push-cart would be prohibitive. Moreover, the revenue
thus derived would only pay the interest on the bonds for the initial
cost of the property, and would not include the cost of the building,
would make no provision for a depreciation fund or sinking fund nor
for annual maintenance and the salaries of caretakers and other em-
ployees. In former years the city engaged in the business of provid-
ing space to dealers for the purpose of selling supplies, notably at Cen-
tre, Jefferson, Tompkins and Catherine Markets, and especially at
Fulton and Washington Markets. Several of these markets have grad-
ually been abandoned, namely, Centre, Catherine, Union and Clin-
ton Markets. Only the largest of them, namely, the West Washing-
ton, Washington and Fulton Markets, are profitable to the city. Cen-
tre Market, for instance, returned in the year 1903 up to July 16,
when it was closed, a revenue of $2,550, notwithstanding the fact that
its assessed valuation is $350,000. To pay 4 per cent, interest on this
valuation would mean that the annual revenues from rentals and fees
should equal $14,000 instead of $5,100. Similarly, Jefferson Market,
the assessed valuation of which is $500,000, returned in rents in 1904
but $9,655. To pay 4 per cent, interest on its value, the return should
have been $20,000.
We can see no reason why The City of New York should go into the
business of providing shop space for dealers in any class of supplies,
at a large annual loss, nor why taxpayers should be called upon to bear
such a burden.
For these reasons and for the, more fundamental reason that the es-
tablishment of markets would not solve the Push-cart Problem, the
Commission has not included in its recommendations any recommenda-
tion for the establishment of municipal markets.
To what extent the existing evils are due to defects in the present
method of regulation and to what extent to the failure to enforce exist-
ing laws, is one of the subjects to which the Commission has given care-
The responsibility for the enforcement of the ordinances with re-
gard to peddlers is unfortunately divided between two City Depart-
ments: The Police Department, which is responsible for enforcing all
ordinances (with some few exceptions) and the office of the Bureau of
Licenses of the Mayor's Marshal. As is usually the case where there
is divided responsibility, there is duplication of effort and a failure to
secure compliance with the statute to the same extent as would be
possible if responsibility were centralized.
The enforcement of these ordinances by the Police Department
is had through the men on post, who from time to time arrest push-cart
peddlers on various charges, chiefly on the charge of standing too near
the curb, of standing longer in one place than the specified time of
thirty minutes, or of obstructing the street or traffic generally. As the
maximum fine that is generally imposed by the magistrates in these cases
is but $2, it is apparent that the peddlers do not greatly fear arrest.
There is also unfortunately a popular belief, already alluded to else-
where in this report, that many of these arrests are made for the
purpose of blackmail, so as to compel the peddlers to pay the police
officers a small gratuity for the privilege of breaking the law, and thus
The enforcement of the Push-cart Ordinances by the Bureau of
Licenses of the Mayor's office is in the direct charge of the head of
that Bureau, who is known as the Chief of the Bureau of Licenses.
Besides having jurisdiction over push-cart peddlers he has many other
duties, namely, jurisdiction over other peddlers, the licensing of public
carts, hacks, express wagons, junk shops, ticket speculators, public
shooting galleries, bowling alleys and so on, as well as newspaper and
soda water stands and similar privileges. Up to a few years ago the
regulation of employment agencies as well, was under the jurisdiction
of this officer. The staff employed in this Bureau on July I, 1906,
consisted of a chief, two deputy chiefs, four financial clerks, six other
clerks and a stenographer, with a total annual payroll of $21,200. In
addition, there is detailed to the service of this Bureau a special squad
of 28 patrolmen, i sergeant and i roundsman from the Police Depart-
ment at an annual cost of $42,700, making the total cost of this Bureau
$63,900 for salaries alone. The patrolmen serve as inspectors and are
BROOKLYN CONDITIONS PUSH-CARTS ON SEIGEL STREET
NEAR MANHATTAN AVENUE.
PUSH-CARTS ON MANHATTAN AVENUE IN BROOKLYN.
the only employees in this Bureau who are assigned to field work. Of
these 28 patrolmen attached to the License Bureau, only four are de-
tailed for the inspection of push-carts; and these four are required to
thoroughly inspect the 4,500 push-carts in the Greater City. It is, of
course, obvious that no adequate method of inspection can be accom-
plished with so inadequate a force.
The following statement made by John P. Corrigan, Chief of the
Bureau of Licenses, describes the system in vogue in this Bureau :
" i. Two officers of the License Squad, assigned to this par-
ticular class of licenses, are stationed in the office here every
day from 9 A. M. to 12 M., to receive applications for new
peddlers' licenses. Applicants are referred to these officers, to
whom they give their names and addresses and state the particu-
lar kind of license they desire, whether for horse and wagon,
push-cart or basket. These facts are noted on a blank form.
They must also furnish two letters of recommendation and are
questioned as to the length of their period of residence in this
State, as the ordinance requires a legal residence in the State
of at least one year. They are then further questioned as to
their citizenship and required to show their citizen papers,
either a ' first paper ' or full citizenship certificate, as under
the provisions of the ordinances, applicants for licenses must
be citizens of the United States or at least have declared their
intention to become such. Should an applicant, however, have
a ' first paper ' which shows the time to have elapsed when he
can become a full citizen, he is required to procure a full
citizenship certificate, in further accord with the provisions of the
ordinance, before his application is accepted. After complying
with all the foregoing regulations, the applicant is then given
a slip of paper by one of the officers, upon which is stamped
a notice for him to return to this office two or three days
later to learn the result of the investigation into his references.
" 2. At 12 M. the receipt of applications closes for the day.
The two officers who have taken the applications then devote
the balance of the day to their investigation. They verify the
addresses given by applicants, again require the applicant to
produce his citizen paper, if found at home, call upon the persons
purporting to have written the letters of recommendation, and
sometimes by inquiry among neighbors they endeavor to obtain
information as to the general character of such applicant. All
information obtained is reported by the officer on the original
form No. I and turned in by him to this office the following
" 3. These reports of their investigations which are handed
in every morning by the officers are examined by myself, or the
Deputy Chief, and if applicants are found to have conformed with
all the rules of the office and the provisions of the ordinances,
they are ' O. K'd.' Should the report show the contrary, how-
ever, they are marked ' No.'
" 4. After having been examined and checked by myself, or
my Deputy, these reports are turned over to one of the clerks
in the office, to whom the applicants are referred when they re-
turn and present the slip which is given them on their first
appearance here (form No. 2). When such a slip is presented the
clerk looks up the report on the applicant and if the same is
marked ' O. K.' he issues a license. If marked ' No,' however,
he informs the applicant that he cannot obtain a license and
advises him the reason therefor.
" Some of the reasons for the refusal of a license to an appli-
cant are: Having no citizenship paper of any kind; having a
' first paper ' which shows that the time has elapsed when full
citizenship certificate can be procured ; not having had a legal
residence in the State of at least one year; and also for fictitious
names, addresses and letters of recommendation given on applica-
" 5. Once a license has been obtained, the licensee can renew
the same either before or within thirty days after its expira-
tion for another term of one year at one half the original cost.
When applying for such renewal he is required to show the
badge which was issued to him with the original license, as well
as his citizenship paper, which identifies him as the person entitled
to the renewal. Should there for some reason be any further
doubts as to the identity of the applicant for renewal, he is
questioned on the facts contained in his citizenship paper, such
as to his age, date of arrival in this country, and so forth, upon
which, if satisfactorily answered, the license is renewed without
any further question.
" The foregoing statement covers all the facts in relation to
this subject so far as this Bureau is concerned."
HESTER STREET LOOKING EAST FROM ELDRIDGE STREET.
THE HOT POTATO MAN THE NEAREST TO THE AUTOMOBILE
PUSH-CART AS YET.
The most serious defect of this system is the fact that all of the
important statements made by applicants for a license are merely verbal
statements written down by an employee of the City. It is obvious that
it would be impossible under this arrangement to revoke a license for
false statements, where the original statements are not a matter of
record. The effect of this also is to make the applicant feel that securing
a license is a matter of slight importance. It would certainly seem a
wise requirement that all applications for privileges to peddle in the
streets, should be rilled out by the applicant in writing.
The information required of the applicant with regard to himself
personally, is of so superficial a character as to be of little value. The
purpose of having any such requirements is to make sure that the license,
which is a personal privilege to peddle, shall only be granted to a per-
son complying with the provisions of the ordinances and entitled to
such a privilege. If, therefore, the system is such as to permit easy eva-
sion of these requirements, it obviously is inadequate. No effort is made
to secure a description of the applicant, such as is required on a passport,
namely, the essential physical characteristics, height, weight, color of
hair and eyes, and so on. It is also to be noted that applicants are
merely required to show their citizen's papers, and not to leave duplicates
of them as a matter of record in the office. This of course opens the
door for corruption on the part of employees in the office, who under this
system are in a position to grant licenses for a consideration, where
citizens' papers do not exist. The Commission does not wish to be
misunderstood : It does not charge that any such practice exists, but
-simply wishes to point out that the looseness of the methods employed
would permit it. It is also unfortunate that the receipt of applications for
licenses should only be possible up to twelve o'clock each day. due to
the fact that the men employed in receiving applications have to spend
so much of their time in questioning the applicants, and doing so much
of the work that the applicant should do for himself, that they can only
devote half of the day to work in the field. More serious, however, than
any defects which have been heretofore pointed out, is the fact that
licenses are issued on every day of the year for one year, and therefore
expire on every day of the year, instead of having one day when all
licenses fall due. We know of no other City or State Department which
grants licenses, that conducts its business in this extraordinary way.
It is a fundamental principle that licenses should be granted so that they
will expire at one time.
In the statement of the procedure in vogue in the Bureau of Licenses,
quoted from the report of the Chief of that Bureau, much emphasis
was laid upon the work done in making sure that the applicant for a
license either had his citizen's papers or had resided one year in the State
and had declared his intention to become a citizen. The following
experiences of the Commission's investigators show strikingly of what
little value this work is:
One peddler, who had been in this country but three weeks, was
found peddling without any license. Another peddler, a Greek, who
had been here but fourteen days, was peddling under the same circum-
stances; so was an Italian who had been here but 21 days. A Hebrew,
who had been in this country but seven months, was found on May 12,
1905, with a license issued on May 31, 1904. One of the most interesting
cases was that of an Italian who had been here but five weeks, who had
a license issued May I, 1905. These instances might be repeated
indefinitely. It was the common experience of the Commission's inves-
One of the unfortunate conditions connected with the present
system is the form of license which is issued to the peddler. It is solely
in the English language, notwithstanding the fact that 97 per cent, of
all the peddlers who receive the licenses are Hebrews, Italians and
Greeks, very few pf whom can read English. Moreover, the information
printed on the license paper itself is so meagre as to be of little value.
The license should, of course, be issued in several languages in addi-
tion to English, and various forms should be used; thus, if the appli-
cant is a Greek, the license should be in English and Greek ; if a Hebrew,
in English and Yiddish, and so on. Moreover, it should contain a
formal statement of what the license is; that it is a privilege granted
by the City and that in granting that privilege the holder of it binds
himself to comply with the various laws. On the back of the license
there should be a statement of what these laws are, couched in simple
language easily understood by people of this class.
The system existing with regard to renewals leads to many disad-
vantageous conditions. It is possible under it for a person to present
an existing license that was never issued to him and to which he has
no right, and have it renewed from year to year. There is nothing in
the present method of the issuance of licenses to prevent the constant
barter and sale which the Commission has found is carried on, and
yet it would be comparatively a simple matter to prevent this traffic.
The Commission has included in this report recommendations which
it believes will completely change these conditions and prevent in
future the traffic in licenses.
It is not surprising that the Push-cart Ordinances are uniformly
violated, nor that the Commission should have found 522 peddlers on
one day in Manhattan and 182 in Brooklyn peddling their wares in the
streets without a license, nor that during one year 1,280 peddlers should
have been arrested for this reason. When one considers the methods
employed in the field in the enforcement of the ordinances relating
to push-cart peddling by the Inspectors of the Bureau of Licenses one
is surprised that there is any compliance with the statute. Although
the ordinance requires that each peddler shall be furnished with the
number oi his license on a sign to be attached to his cart, no such sign
is furnished, and as a rule this number does not appear on the cart.
It is therefore impossible, under the present system, for the patrolmen
on the post to determine quickly whether peddlers are entitled to peddle.
The four Inspectors of the Bureau of Licenses are sent out throughout
the city without definite districts being assigned to them. Each Inspector
carries a huge book which it would seem that he almost needed an
assistant to carry for him this book contains the numbers of all badges
which have been issued by the Bureau, from No. i up to the latest
badge issued. The Inspector is supposed to walk along any street and
approach any push-cart peddler he sees, ask him for his badge, note
the number, ask the peddler's name, and if the name of the peddler
and the name in the book do not correspond the peddler is then
arrested; or if no license and no badge can be produced, the same
result follows. It is obvious that this method of enforcement cannot
produce satisfactory results.
As the push-cart problem is entirely a traffic problem, we are of
opinion that the enforcement of the ordinances in relation to it should
be lodged solely in that branch of the city government which is respon-
sible for the solution of the general traffic problems of the city, namely,
the Police Department; and our report therefore includes a recom-
mendation that the enforcement of such push-cart ordinances as may
be enacted be vested solely in the Department of Police, and that all
powers and duties with regard thereto be transferred from the Bureau
of Licenses to that department.
THE PEDDLERS WELL ORGANIZED.
We find that the push-cart peddlers in Greater New York are well
organized, and that at least four different organizations of them exist, as
Among the Hebrews, the United Citizens' Peddlers' Association of
Greater New York. This, according to the statement of its President,
Sigmund Schwartz, has six branches : four for the Hebrews, one for the
Italians and one for the Greeks, with a total membership of about 3,000.
One of the branches of this organization is in Williamsburg, with a mem-
bership of 250 peddlers. In addition to this there are the Italian Push-
cart Peddlers' Association, the Push-cart Vendors' Association of
Harlem and the Brooklyn Peddlers' Association. The representatives
of all of these organizations have appeared before the Commission at
its public hearings, or have made definite suggestions in writing to the
Commission, embodying their ideas as to the changes that should be
made in the present laws. The Commission is glad to be able to report
that it has included in its recommendations a great many of the sug-
gestions made to it by the peddlers themselves, through these organiza-
tions. It considers that their existence is of benefit to the city, and
believes that such organizations can be a means not only of improving
the peddlers' condition, but of securing a better compliance with the
requirements of the ordinances and a better understanding of American
conditions of living.
Although the purpose of the Commission's inquiry has been with
regard to the so-called Push-Cart Evil, it necessarily has had to take
cognizance of other evils connected with peddling in the city streets
that are closely allied to it, and in this connection has had to give
consideration to the question of the regulation of the so-called " Basket
peddlers." During the year 1904, 368 new licenses and 503 renewals,
a total of 871 licenses, were isssued to these persons, who thus secure the
privilege of carrying supplies in a basket and peddling them from house
to house, having a distinct advantage over the push-cart peddlers, in
that they are thus enabled to enter houses and ply their wares from
floor to floor and from one apartment to another.
The Commission is of the opinion that the practice of issuing
licenses to basket peddlers should cease, and that in order not to pro-
duce hardship this recommendation should be carried into effect grad-
ually. The best method would seem to us to be the issuance of an
executive order to the Chief of the Bureau of Licenses to discontinue
the issuance of any new licenses for basket peddlers or the renewal of
any existing ones. Thus all of the licenses would gradually expire.
The Commission is confident that this step is necessary if the push-
cart evil -is to be remedied. Otherwise, the peddlers who now use
push-carts will simply evade the new requirements by taking out basket
licenses, and the city will be soon overrun with this evil. There is
nothing in existing conditions of living which makes it necessary that
peddlers should be permitted to carry their wares about in baskets
from door to door ; we feel sure that the very generous privileges which
will be accorded push-cart peddlers under the recommendations of the
Commission will be sufficient to satisfy the needs of the tenement house
population and of all persons who need to engage in this occupation.
The Commission has not included in its report any recommenda-
tion with regard to the permanent sidewalk stands which exist to so
large an extent throughout the City, and especially in the tenement
house districts in front of the various buildings. These in our judgment
are almost as great a nuisance as the push-carts under existing condi-
tions, and were it not outside of the scope of our inquiry, we should
have included in this report a recommendation for the abolition or regu-
lation of these stands. This is a matter that we think should at an
early date have the attention of the authorities, and some method be
devised for reducing the number of these stands, especially in the con-
gested districts, as they now obstruct traffic and add materially to the
discomfort of living.
We find that:
1. There are between 4,000 and 5,000 push-cart peddlers plying
their trade in the streets of New York.
2. That these peddlers are not equally distributed throughout all
parts of the City, but that in some quarters great congestion prevails ;
that in many streets the push-carts stand in unbroken lines on both sides
of the street for many blocks.
3. That this condition interferes seriously with traffic.
4. That it adds materially to fire dangers by impeding and hinder-
ing fire engines and other apparatus in promptly attending fires.
5. That this crowding of push-carts in certain streets has no rela-
tion whatsoever to the needs of the population in such neighborhoods.
6. That the push-cart peddlers could be abolished from the streets
of New York without loss or injury to anyone but the peddlers them-
selves and their families.
7. That such drastic action is not necessary, provided the number
of push-carts on each street is properly regulated by an automatic
system which will check congestion. That the remedy for present con-
ditions is not abolition but distribution.
8. That there is no danger to the community from the food supplies
sold on push-carts, and that the quality of food is generally as good as.
and often better than that sold in neighboring stores.
9. That 97 per cent, of the peddlers are foreigners, viz., Hebrews,
Italians and Greeks.
10. That the majority of the peddlers are not newly-arrived immi-
grants, but have lived in the United States from five to ten years.
11. That the push-cart peddlers are not poor, but earn from $12 to
$15 a week on an average.
12. That the City's licenses to peddle are often not granted to poor
men, but are controlled by rich " padrones " who possess a large number
of licenses and carts and make large profits by employing poor men to
peddle for them.
13. That a system of barter and sale in City licenses exists to a
14. That the citizenship requirement of the present ordinances is
of no value, and conduces to the existence of a padrone system and
prevents men who need work from obtaining it.
15. That peddling is not the sole occupation of many of the peddlers,
and is often only a temporary and stop-gap one.
1 6. That there exists a system of petty blackmail by the police and
the selling of indulgences.
17. That a similar system of extortion exists among shopkeepers,
by which peddlers are regularly made to pay tribute.
1 8. That peddling at night is not sufficiently an evil to warrant its
suppression at the present time.
19. That basket peddling is unnecessary, is a nuisance and should
20. That sidewalk stands in congested districts are almost as great
an evil as the push-carts, and should be similarly regulated.
21. That the suspension of the peddling ordinances during the religi-
ous holy-days is bad in its effect and should not be permitted.
22. That public markets will not solve the push-cart problem, can-
not be self-supporting and would be an unwarranted burden to the
23. That the present ordinances are generally violated and that
many hundreds of peddlers peddle without a license.
24. That the present system of enforcement of the ordinances is
inadequate and antiquated.
25. That as the push-cart problem is a traffic problem, its regulation
should be solely with the Police Department.
In seeking a solution of this problem we have constantly had in
mind the consideration that conditions are not uniform in all parts of
Xew York City ; that the city is a cosmopolitan one, the home of repre-
sentatives of nearly every nation in the world and that the customs and
habits of many of its inhabitants are not the customs and habits of
others; that practices which would not be tolerated in one part of the
city are necessary and desirable in other parts. Many of the attempts
that have been made in the past to solve the so-called " push-cart prob-
lem," and also other social problems have failed because of the failure
to recognize this fundamental fact: that laws which are good for one
part of the city, may not only be valueless but may even work great
hardship in other sections.
We believe that the solution of the push-cart problem therefore will
be found in distinguishing between the conditions which prevail in the
congested tenement quarters and conditions throughout other portions
of the city. Because of the difficulties of living in these crowded dis-
tricts, it may well be that practices should not be permitted there which
may safely be allowed in the less crowded sections.
With these considerations in mind, the Commission makes the fol-
i. That the City be divided into two broad districts, to be known
as " Restricted " and " Unrestricted " Districts. The " Restricted "
districts are to be the congested tenement quarters, for example in
Manhattan the entire part of the City south of Fourteenth street, east
of Broadway to the East river as far south as the Brooklyn Bridge ;
these districts are to be defined by ordinance and will be extended
from time to time as changing conditions warrant ; the " unre-
stricted " districts are to be the rest of the City.
Two kinds of licenses are to be issued : " Traveling " licenses and
" Stationary " licenses ; the former, to be good only in the " unrestricted "
districts, and will permit peddlers to sell their wares in any portion of
such districts and to travel from street to street.
The " Stationary " licenses are to be good only in the " restricted "
districts and only in the particular portion of each street named in the
individual license. In these " restricted " districts the number of push-
carts is to te limited to four carts on each street: one at each of the
four corners, but located 25 feet back from the corner. These stations
JP. On E->*c-i BLOCK
AS.& F=F?OF'O.Se.O B-T
'OP^S PuM-C/*xt?"r COMMIS&IOM
O e*. c i t
will be disposed of at public auction to the highest bidder once a year.
A minimum license fee of $10 will be charged for all licenses and a
premium will be paid, as may be determined at auction, for such amounts
above this $10 fee as the peddlers may desire to bid in competition
depending upon the desirability of the individual location.
A peddler who is thus awarded a license to stand, for instance, on
the west side of Orchard street, 25 feet south of Rivington street, will
have the right to maintain his push-cart at this point at all times for
one year. He will not be allowed to sell goods at any other point ; nor
will he be allowed to move his push-cart up and down that block
except when going to and from his station night and morning. During
such progress he will not be permitted to sell goods. There will be
another peddler at the corner below him, 25 feet north of Delancey
street, and two others directly opposite on the east side of Orchard
street as shown in the accompanying drawing. Xo other peddlers will
be permitted to ply their trade upon that block at any time during the
year. These four peddlers therefore will have, during the period of
one year, the exclusive privilege of peddling in this street, their only
competitors being the shop-keepers. For this privilege they will pay
the City instead of the shop-keeper as at present.
Each peddler securing a stationary license will be given two signs,
which must be fastened upon the end of his push-cart. These signs
will be uniform in style, will be in large letters, of a blue and white
enamel so as to be easily legible and will be furnished by the City.
Their cost will be included in the $10 license fee. One sign will contain
the license number of the peddler's license, the other will contain the
location at which he is entitled to stand.
Although there will be only two push-carts on each side of each
street, it will be seen that anyone standing at any corner will be able
to have access immediately to eight push-carts within a radius of 50
feet, thus completely serving the needs of the tenement house population.
The Commission found 2,362 peddlers in the district south of Four-
teenth street and east of Broadway. Under the plan of the Commission
for " Stationary " licenses, with one push-cart on each corner, 2,634
push-carts can he accommodated in this district, or nearly 300 more
than are now there.
" TRAVELLING " LICENSES.
In the " unrestricted " districts " travelling " licenses will be issued.
These will not be for any definite location, but will permit the peddler
to sell his wares at any point outside of the " restricted " districts and
will permit him to travel from street to street. He will be allowed,
of course, to pass through the " restricted " districts for the sake of
getting to his business in the " unrestricted " district, but in so doing
will be required to have his push-cart covered and forbidden to sell
wares during that time. In the " unrestricted " districts no limit as to the
amount of time that a peddler may stand at a certain spot will be im-
posed. The main requirements will be that no peddler shall stop his
cart on any block on which there are four push-carts standing at the
time he enters the street; if such a condition exists he must proceed
immediately to another street. In these districts the peddlers will be
required to locate one at each of the four corners, and 25 feet back
from the corner, just as in the " restricted " districts, but the peddlers
will be free to travel from street to street.
In addition to this general plan of regulation we offer the following
2. Minimum License Fee That the minimum license fee for all
kinds of push-cart licenses be $10 a year. That " stationary " licenses
be auctioned off once a year to the highest bidders, who will pay premi-
ums beyond this minimum fee.
3. Period of Licenses That all licenses expire at one time,
namely, on July ist of each year. That renewals be abolished and the
amount of the fee be the same irrespective of whether a peddler has
had a license in previous years. That on May ist of each year notice
of a public auction of the " stationary " licenses for the ensuing year
be advertised in the City Record, and in the Hebrew, Italian and
Greek newspapers of the City for a period of two weeks and that
such auction be held at some convenient place in the districts
affected, beginning on June ist and continuing on subsequent days
as may be necessary.
That, if persons have not applied for a license prior to July ist and
desire to take out a license after that date, the full annual fee shall be
charged and the license shall expire on June 3Oth of the following year,
provided that such application is made before January ist. In the
event of an application for a license being made between January ist
and July ist of any year, but one-half of the annual fee, viz., $5, shall
be charged and the license shall expire, as all other licenses, on June
3Oth. -Peddlers who for various reasons may desire to surrender their
licenses, may do so and secure a rebate or return of a portion of the fee
from the City, as follows: If a license is surrendered by the holder
to the City before January ist, one-half of the license fee shall be re-
funded; but no refund shall be made for any license surrendered after
January ist of each year.
4. Horse and Wagon peddling to be Excluded from " Restricted "
Districts That all horse and wagon peddlers be forbidden to ply
their trade in " restricted " districts, otherwise there would be an
unfair competition with the peddlers holding stationary licenses.
5. Form of Licenses That the licenses issued to peddlers be in
several forms. That those used for " stationary " and " travelling "
licenses be different and contain a statement of the fact as to whether
they are " stationary " or " travelling." That each license issued con-
tain, both in English and in the language spoken by the holder of the
license, provided he is either Hebrew, Italian or Greek, the privilege
which the license confers and that this privilege is granted upon the
payment of a fee named in the license, and upon the understanding
that the holder thereof agrees to comply with all laws and ordinances
relating thereto. That on the back of each license there be printed
in the two languages above mentioned, the ordinances relating to
push-cart peddlers. That each " stationary " license shall contain
the amount of the fee paid and also the station or location at which
the push-cart may be maintained.
6. Badges That all badges be abolished.
7. Number of the License to be affixed to the Cart- That a clear,
legible sign 3 inches wide and 9 inches long, with letters I inch high,
containing the license number in blue and white enamel, be affixed to
each push-cart. That this sign be furnished by the City at the time
the license is issued, and that no extra charge be made therefor as the
fee is fixed at $10 so as to include this cost. In the case of " stationary "
licenses that an additional sign 4^2 inches wide and 12 inches long, giv-
ing the location of the station at which the push-cart may be maintained,
thus : " West side of Orchard street south of Rivington street," be
furnished by the city authorities without extra charge and be affixed
to the cart.
8. Requirements Before a License can be Secured That each li-
cense be solely a personal one not transferable and be issued to any
person over 21 years of age, male or female, who complies with the
requirements of the ordinances. That there be no restrictions whatso-
ever as to citizenship. That only one license be issued to each person ;
that any license found in the possession of a person not entitled to it
be confiscated and declared void ; that no person keeping a store be
permitted to hold a license; that no license be issued to any peddler
who does not own his own push-cart; that the push-cart must be
presented at the time the license is issued and the sign bearing the li-
cense number be then affixed by the enforcing authorities. That before
a license is issued the applicant shall fill out a blank, giving his name,
address, age, nationality and such other facts as may be required by the
enforcing authorities. That the enforcing authorities shall take a photo-
graph of each applicant for a license, and also a description of the ap-
plicant's chief characteristics; namely, height, weight, sex, color of
hair and eyes, etc. ; that these photographs be uniform in size and be
kept on card records in the office of the enforcing authorities, together
with the other information above mentioned. By these means the pres-
ent padrone system will be entirely done away with, also the system
of extortion by shopkeepers, as well as the barter and sale in City
The suggestion that a photograph and description of the peddler's
physical characteristics be required to be filed among the records of
the enforcing authorities, originated with the peddlers themselves. All
of the peddlers who testified before the Commission including the three
leading nationalities, namely, the Hebrew, Italian and Greek, were
unanimous in this suggestion. Some even went so far as to state
that they would be willing to have the photograph on the license
itself, and some being willing that it should be displayed on the
push-cart. The requirement that the photograph shall be taken by
the enforcing authorities is for the sake of uniformity and con-
9. Basket Peddlers That all licenses to basket peddlers be abol-
ished ; that no new licenses of this kind be issued and that all existing
licenses be taken up as they fall due.
10. Enforcement That the entire enforcement of the push-cart
ordinances be vested in the Police Department, and that all existing
powers and duties with regard to this matter, now vested in the
Bureau of Licenses, be transferred to and conferred upon that
11. Temporary Licenses That special temporary licenses be
issued, good only during the Hebrew and Italian holy-days, and the
Christmas season, no such license to be good for any period longer
than two weeks ; the minimum fee for these licenses to be $3 ; all
of the conditions relating to the granting of other licenses to apply
to these temporary ones ; and no such temporary licenses to be
granted in " restricted " districts except for such stations as may not
12. Ordinances That the existing ordinances relating to push-
cart peddlers be repealed and new ordinances carrying out the above
recommendations be enacted. That these new ordinances take effect
not sooner than one month after they receive executive approval.
13. Penalties. That the penalty for peddling in the city's streets
without a license be arrest and imprisonment for not less than one week
nor more than one month. That the penalty for peddling in a " re-
stricted " district when holding a " traveling " license or in an " unre-
stricted " district when holding a " stationary " license be confiscation
of the push-cart and forfeiture of the license. Also that a license be
forfeitable for the selling of food that is injurious to health or unsani-
tary, under such regulations as may be determined by the Department
of Health. That no new license be issued within one year to any peddler
whose license has been confiscated.
The peddlers themselves are heartily in accord with the following
recommendations of the Commission: That the license be a personal
one ; that it be limited to persons over 21 years of age ; that a photograph
and description of the peddler's physical characteristics be required;
that badges be abolished; that the number of the license be affixed to
the cart ; that the amount of the minimum license fee be increased ; that
the license be a personal one, not transferable and forfeited if found
in another person's possession ; that each peddler shall own his own
push-cart; that no license shall be issued to a shopkeeper; that the en-
forcement of the ordinances be vested solely in the Police Department.
It will be seen that by this system of regulation the congestion of
peddlers that now exists in various streets will be abolished. One
peddler on each corner sufficiently back* from the crossing can cause no
inconvenience to anyone. With this limited number of peddlers on
each block there will be no impediment to traffic, no difficulty in clean-
ing the streets, no danger to fire engines. The system of extortion prac-
ticed by shopkeepers, described in this report, will no longer be possible,
as the shopkeeper cannot make the peddler pay for a privilege which
has already been accorded him by the City and for which he has paid
Similarly, under this system there will be an end to police black-
mail ; the peddler being stationed at one point, cannot be ordered to
" move on " by the policeman, cannot be arrested for obstructing 1 traffic,
for standing in the wrong place, for standing more than thirty minutes
in one spot, nor for any other of the charges on which peddlers are now
most frequently arraigned. Under this plan the enforcement of the
ordinances will be comparatively simple; the patrolman on post will be
the 'enforcing officer and the special squad now assigned to the License
Bureau will no longer be necessary, but can devote its time to other more
Under this system it will not be necessary either to remove the ped-
dlers from the streets or to reduce the number of licenses. By a proper
distribution of the peddlers all of the present evils can be remedied, but
such distribution must be automatic and must be permanent.
LAWRENCE VEILLER, Chairman ;
E. K. BROWD,
G. A. CARSTENSEN,
ARCHIBALD A. HILL, Secretary ;
LILLIAN D. WALD
. GREGORY WEINSTEIN,
JOHN McGAw WOODBURY.
THE PROCEEDINGS OF THE COMMISSION
THE PROCEEDINGS OF THE COMMISSION.
This Commission was appointed on February 20, 1905, to make a
thorough inquiry into the circumstances connected with the condition
of the push-cart peddlers and the sale of goods from push-carts on
the public highways in The City of New York, with such recom-
mendations as in the opinion of the Commission would secure improve-
ment in these conditions. The Commission as appointed by Mayor
McClellan was constituted as follows: Police Commissioner William
McAdoo, Chairman; Health Commissioner Thomas Darlington, Street
Cleaning Commissioner John McGaw Woodbury, and the following
citizens: Dr. E. K. Browd, Rev. G. A. Carstensen, A. A. Hill, sec-
retary; Rev. Bernardino Polizzo, Lawrence Veiller, Miss Lillian D.
Wald and Gregory Weinstein. Subsequently, upon the resignation
of Mr. McAdoo as Police Commissioner, Mr. Veiller was appointed
by the Mayor as Chairman of the Commission. In calling together
the Commission for its initial meeting, Mayor McClellan recommended
that the investigations of the Commission be in general along the
lines suggested in a letter which had been addressed to him by the
present Chairman, in his capacity as secretary of the City Club, sug-
gesting the appointment of such a Commission, and outlining a plan
of investigation to be pursued.
The Commission held its first meeting on February 20, 1905, and
has held a number of meetings on subsequent dates. Shortly after
its initial meeting it perfected its organization by appointing a chair-
man and secretary, and also a Subcommittee on Investigation, con-
stituted as follows: Lawrence Veiller, Chairman; A. A. Hill, Rev.
Bernardino Polizzo and Miss Lillian D. Wald. On March 4, this
subcommittee submitted a report recommending that investigations
be carried on along the following lines :
" i. That full statistics be obtained from the License Bureau
in the office of the Mayor's Marshal as to the number of out-
standing licenses, and that the Mayor's Marshal be requested
to make a report at the earliest possible date on this subject
his report to contain all information that is available from the
records of his office, and to include such facts (if this informa-
tion is on record) as the following:
" The full name and address of the person to whom a
license is issued, the date of the issuance, whether a renewal
of an existing license or a license granted for the first time,
whether the holder is a citizen, the sex of the holder, and
any other facts which may be on record.
" 2. That the Mayor's Marshal be requested to report at
an early date, in detail, the names and addresses of individuals
holding more than one license, with the numbers of such licenses
and the date of issuance of each.
"(3) That the Corporation Counsel be requested to prepare at
an early date, for the use of the Commission, a digest of all
ordinances and laws relating to the subject of push-carts.
"(4) That the city be divided into certain districts, and that
on certain days to be decided upon later a census of the
push-carts found on each block on those days be taken, and
that such census include the names and addresses of the persons
operating the carts, the number of each license, and the nature
of the goods sold upon each cart; that this census be taken by
patrolmen assigned from the Police Department.
"(5) That an economic investigation be made into the finan-
cial conditions of the holders of push-cart licenses, that the city
be districted and that this be a block to block canvass so far
as possible, made on uniform schedules of inquiry prepared
by this Committee; and the actual investigations to be carried
out by the investigators of the Charities Department and by
such organizations as the United Hebrew Charities, St. Vin-
cent de Paul Society, the Charity Organization Society and other
private organizations who should be asked to co-operate with
the Commission in this investigation.
"(6) That an effort be made to obtain by an appropriate in-
vestigation, the average weekly earnings of the push-cart ped-
dlers in a specific number of cases.
"(7) That an effort be made to ascertain, in a limited num-
ber of cases, the approximate distance traveled by the patrons
of a certain number of push-carts.
"(8) That an investigation be made of the quality of food sup-
plies sold on push-carts as compared with food supplies in
"(9) That an effort be made to determine the needs as to
the number of push-carts of a given kind in a given district.
"(lo) That an investigation be made of the effect of push-
carts in increasing" rentals, both of stores and apartments, on
certain so-called " market " streets.
"(n) That a study be made of the effect of the competition
of the push-carts with neighboring stores."
After carefully considering these recommendations, the Commis-
sion, at its meeting on March 20, adopted this report and authorized
the subcommittee to carry out this investigation. At an early date
in the deliberations of the Commission, on February 23. 1905, a re-
quest was made to the Mayor to direct the Chief of the Bureau of
Licenses to stop the issuance of all new licenses for push-carts until
such time as the Commission might render its report. On March 20,
1905, it requested that similar action be taken with regard to basket
peddlers. Since these dates practically no licenses, either for push-
cart peddlers or basket peddlers, have been issued, the issuance hav-
ing been confined to renewals of old ones.
The investigations authorized by the Commission have been car-
ried out and a thorough and painstaking inquiry has been made and
a vast fund of information acquired. In accordance with the plan
above outlined, a census of the push-cart peddlers was taken on May
n, 1905, in Manhattan, and on a later date in Brooklyn. This work
was done under the direction of the secretary, Mr. A. A. Hill, with
the co-operation of Police Commissioner McAdoo, who detailed to
the services of the Commission a number of members of the Police
Department. We cannot too strongly commend the accuracy, care
and efficiency with which this work was done by the policemen as-
signed to assist us, and the very substantial co-operation and help
accorded us by the higher officials of the Police Department. Before
taking the census, card schedules had been carefully prepared under
the direction of the present chairman and the secretary, so as to min-
imize the amount of work necessarv to be done in the field and to facili-
tate the work of tabulation. The sample on the opposite page of one
of these cards rilled out indicates the method of the investigation.
On April 13, a public hearing was given by the Commission, at
which representatives of the push-cart peddlers attended in force and
were heard at length. Among those heard were representatives of
the Hebrew, Italian, Greek and American peddlers. The facts brought
out on this occasion and the testimony presented by the various wit-
nesses have been of great value to the Commission in acquainting the
members with actual conditions and in helping them to formulate
their conclusions as to the methods by which the present evils can be
remedied. We consider the information thus presented of such value
that we have appended to this report a stenographic account of it,
which we would recommend be printed as part of this Commission's
The difficult part of the work of the Commission has been after
the facts have been ascertained, in formulating remedies for the con-
ditions found. Much time, however, has been given to this work, and
the Commission has purposely refrained from making its report at an
earlier date, so as to make sure that its conclusions should be care-
fully digested and submitted only after long deliberation. Before the
recommendations submitted with this report are finally enacted into
law, we would urge that a further hearing be given to the push-cart
peddlers and all other persons interested, at which the recommenda-
tions of the Commission be fully explained and the widest publicity
be given to them in advance, and that special efforts be made to obtain
their publication in the various newspapers, both in Yiddish and Italian,
so as to reach those chiefly affected.
The Commission wishes to make acknowledgement of its indebted-
ness to the following persons for their helpful co-operation in its work :
Ex-Police Commissioner McAdoo, Police Inspectors Schmittberger,
Hogan, Walsh, McLaughlin, Titus, Cross and Brooks; the individual
patrolmen who took the census, the Chief of the Bureau of Licenses,
John P. Corrigan, and others of his staff; Dr. Walter Bensel, Assistant
Sanitary Superintendent of the Department of Health; Tenement
House Commissioner Edmond J. Butler, through whose courtesy the
photographic work of the Commission has been possible; Fire Chief
Edward F. Croker and the Foremen of different Engine Companies
and Hook and Ladder Companies of the Fire Department; Thomas
F. Byrnes, Collector of City Revenue, and the representatives of the
push-cart peddlers' organizations, who have placed before the Com-
mission their views.
The Commission desires to express its appreciation of the effec-
tive work done by the secretary of the Commission, Mr. A. A. Hill,
and by the assistant secretary, Miss Emily W. Dinwiddie. The mem-
bers of the Commission have served without compensation, and the
entire expenses of the Commission have amounted to less than $1,000.
This result has been possible because of the co-operation accorded by
the various city departments.
LETTER FROM SECRETARY OF THE CITY CLUB
SUGGESTING THE APPOINTMENT OF
LETTER FROM SECRETARY OF THE CITY CLUB SUGGESTING THE AP-
POINTMENT OF THE COMMISSION.
OCTOBER n, 1904.
Hon. GEORGE B. MCCLKLLAX,
Mayor of The City of Nciv York:
SIR I take the liberty of writing you in regard to the " Push-cart
Problem " so-called, in the hope that these suggestions may be of
assistance; they are based upon twelve years' close personal observa-
tion of conditions in the tenement house districts.
That the present conditions are a distinct evil no one will deny.
Before, however, any intelligent remedy can be applied it is essential
that the facts be known and, unfortunately, the facts are not known.
It is claimed, for instance, that if all push-carts were compelled
to withdraw from the streets great injury would result to the persons
engaged in the business of operating push-carts and their families
would seriously suffer. It is also claimed by some that the great mass
of the population in the more crowded tenement districts have adjusted
their scale of living to the prices which prevail upon the push-carts
(and that these prices are much lower than the prices in neighboring
stores) and that, were a change to be made in the existing system,
it would be impossible for these families to readjust their standard of
living to the changed prices that would ensue. If this is so, the con-
sequences of a decision to abolish the push-carts from the streets would
be most serious, as such a change would affect not a few hundred
people or even a few thousands, but hundreds of thousands of people.
It also stated that the quality of the supplies sold upon push-
carts is far inferior to the supplies sold in neighboring stores, and that
in the case of food products, the supplies are often of such a nature
as to be injurious to the health of the community.
It is stated by some that there are a number of syndicates control-
ling the operation of push-carts in certain parts of the city, and backed.
by well-to-do and prosperous men, who make large profits from their
operation. It is stated by others, on the other hand, that most of the
push-cart men are in such destitute circumstances that, were they com-
pelled to cease this employment their families would become a charge
upon the community.
These statements may be true or may not be true. The point that
I wish to make is that no one knows what the facts really are.
That the present congestion of the streets because of the push-
carts in the more crowded parts of the city is intolerable there can be
no question. Any hasty action, however, in coping with this evil will,
I believe, be fraught with serious consequences.
I would suggest therefore that you appoint a citizens' committee of
investigation, to make a thorough study of the whole subject of the
push-cart problem. A similar committee was appointed by Mayor
Strong to study the subject of public baths and comfort stations, and
another to study the subject of small parks. In both cases the services
rendered by these committees have been of very great value to the com-
munity, not only at the particular time when the inquiry was made, but
for the future as well.
A committee of this kind, which, preferably, should be composed of
not more than three members, if properly constituted of public-
spirited citizens familiar with the conditions in tenement districts and
entirely free from political motives, would, I believe, perform a service
distinctly advantageous to the city.
While no appropriation would be necessary for salaries of the com-
mittees, a slight appropriation for incidental expenses would be re-
quired. To be successful there should be placed at the committee's
disposal the co-operation of the various City departments, whose ser-
vices they would need, especially the services of the License Bureau,
the Street Cleaning Department, the Police Department, the Health
Department and the Charities Department. If, in addition, the Street
Cleaning Commissioner, the Health Commissioner and the Police
Commissioner could -give the time to serve with the committee, it would
be very desirable.
A committee of this kind to intelligently make recommendations
should direct its inquiries to ascertaining the following essential facts:
1. The number of push-carts actually operating in various districts of
the city upon given dates to be determined by the committee
that is, a census of the push-carts, with the names and addresses
of the persons operating them.
2. The number of push-carts in the various districts selling various
classes of merchandise, as for instance, fruit, fish, vegetables,
dry goods and so on.
3. An investigation by the investigators of the Charities Department
of the financial condition of each push-cart peddler. In this
connection I have no doubt that the leading charitable organiza-
tions of the city, such as the United Hebrew Charities and the
Charity Organization Society, would be willing to co-operate in
ascertaining 1 certain facts, if so requested.
4. The average daily earnings of push-cart peddlers.
5. The relative prices of goods sold on push carts and similar goods
sold in neighboring stores.
6. The quality of food supplies sold on push-carts as compared with
the quality of the same goods sold in neighboring stores.
7. The average distance traveled by tenement dwellers to patronize
push-carts. While it would be difficult to obtain exact statistics
on this subject, considerable information can be obtained that
would be of value.
8. The number of persons patronizing a single push-cart, so as to
determine the number of push-carts that may be necessary to
supply the needs of a given population in a given district, if it
be admitted that push-carts are necessary.
The right kind of a citizens' committee, with the cordial co-opera-
tion of the various City departments indicated, could, in my judgment,
make such an investigation and render a report probably within two
or three months' time. Pending the results of such an inquiry, it would
seem desirable to prohibit the issuance of any new licenses or the
renewal of any old ones, to rescind the recent suspension of the push-
cart ordinance by the Board of Aldermen and to enforce this ordinance
in the way it has been enforced in past years.
If I can be of any assistance to you in this matter I trust that you
will command me.
(Signed) LAWRENCE VEILLER,
Secretary, City Club.
REPORT OF SECRETARY OF THE COMMISSION
AS TO METHOD OF TAKING THE
REPORT OF SECRETARY OF THE COMMISSION AS TO METHOD OF TAKING
THE PUSH-CART CENSUS.
It was decided that our first census should be taken in the district
east of Broadway, Park row and the Bowery and south of Fourteenth
street. I consulted Max F. Schmittherger, Police Inspector for this
district, who is thoroughly familiar with the locations in which the
peddlers congregate in this district. He furnished me with a list of all
such places and kindly took me through the district, pointing out cer-
tain evils which he thought should be remedied. For example, the
placing of push-carts in front of their stores by the storekeepers. I
then made a personal inspection of this entire district, counting the
number of push-carts on each block of each street, in order to deter-
mine how many men it would take to make this census. I estimated
that it would take a patrolman from ten to fifteen minutes to fill out
a card for each peddler on his post and endeavored to give each man a
post which would be frequented by about twenty-five peddlers. In
some instances this was less than one block, as for example, Ridge,
from Stanton to Houston, where four men were placed, as at the time
of the first inspection by me more than one hundred men were found
on this block. Inspector Schmittberger then detailed to me Officer
Estabrook, of his personal staff, who was to act as foreman of the
census takers for this entire district. As the result of conference with
Officer Estabrook, I decided that 197 men would be necessary to take
this census at the time decided upon. The Commissioner of Police
was then asked to detail to this district 200 men at eleven o'clock on
Thursday, May n. This date was selected because, after consultation
with the police officers, the Street Cleaning Department and the well-
informed residents in the district, it was thought that more carts were
on the street on Thursday between the hours of twelve and four than
any other one time. The event has justified the selection of this time.
As soon as it was decided to take this census in this way I secured
a number of maps of this section of the city, cut these into sections just
the size of the post which each man was to cover and these were pasted
on a card, together with a full description in writing of the post, and I
outlined in red ink the exact route that each patrolman was to take
in covering his post. A letter of instructions was then drawn up, a
copy of which is appended. A clerical man was assigned as foreman
for his particular precinct and was instructed to remain in the office
every minute during the day on which the census was taken, in order
that the patrolman taking the census might reach him over the depart-
ment telephone in case of need. These clerical men had previously
been thoroughly drilled by me in the use of these cards and had had
the letter of instructions referred to above in their possession for several
days. Previously all patrolmen on regular duty in this district and all
members of the license squad had been instructed not to disturb the
peddlers in any way on the day selected for the census, in order that
they might not be hurried from one block to another.
On the day selected these 200 men reported to me at the office of
the First Inspection District. Each man was given a sample card made
out for a supposed case, a copy of which is inclosed, and was told to
study this with the letter of instructions until such time as I was ready
to address them. By this means they were somewhat familiar with the
cards when I began to speak. I first instructed them in the spirit in
which they were to approach the peddler, namely, one of friendliness
and respect for his present rights, in order that the peddler might give
to us the information which we desired. They were also instructed to
make no arrests, inasmuch as we did not want the men to be hurried
from one block to another by fear of arrest, and were furthermore
instructed to take the statistics of every peddler, no matter whether or
not he stated that he had previously been interviewed by a patrolman.
With a blank card and the letter of instructions in their hands, I then
addressed them, showing just how the cards were to be filled out.
In order that there might be no misunderstanding as to just where they
were to go, sample posts made on large maps were held up before them
all and the men were told that they were to be the red lines shown on
the map, i. c., that by walking over a post they would make a line
similar to that shown on the map. So carefully was this followed that
in only one instance was one post covered by two men. The next
matter not covered in the letter of instructions was in regard to the
name on the license. In order that there might be as little danger as
possible of a man giving as his own the name that was on the license,
when in reality he was another person, the patrolman was instructed to
ask his name first and then, after that was given, to look at the name
that was on the license certificate. In the matter of the goods sold, the
patrolmen were told not to write down every article on the carts, but
to write down in the proper spaces the most prominent things on the
cart. In regard to the quality of goods sold, they were told to look over
the goods, if it was food, and if they found it to be such as they would
be willing to buy for their children, they were to mark it as good. If
they were in doubt about it, to mark it as fair. If they did not think
that they would want their own children to eat it, then they were to
mark it as bad or injurious to health.
The men then went out on the street and began taking the census,
with the results shown in the tables. They were assigned to their
particular posts in the following manner. We having previously
determined how many would be needed, for example, in the First
Police Precinct, the Inspector called for all men detailed from that
precinct. If there were enough men detailed to cover all the posts, then
they were sent out immediately. If, however, there were not enough
men from the First Precinct then the detail from the Second Precinct
were called for. As soon as the full detail for the First Precinct was
made up, a duplicate of all the posts in this district was given to the
clerical man for that district, so that he might intelligently follow his
men. He then took his men and began the census in his precinct.
This was followed for every precinct in this district. As soon as
all of the men were on the street, the foreman in charge of the entire
district telephoned to each of the clerical men that no man who had fin-
ished his post should be allowed to return home until such time as we
were assured that each man would be able to cover his entire post.
This was necessary, inasmuch as certain points were found on this day
to be visited by more peddlers than on the day when the first inspection
was made by me. I remained the entire day in the office of the First
Inspection District. At 3.30 we called up each precinct in the entire
district and asked how many of their men were still out, and the
clerical man was instructed to send to the help of each man still out one
of the men who had been held in reserve. When a patrolman had
finished his post he was required to return to the police station in
whose precinct he was working that day, present to the clerical man
the card showing the route that he had covered, and the clerical man
then checked up his route with his cards, in order to see that there
was either a card showing that there were no push carts on each block
on his post, or else a card filled out showing that he had found a push-
cart. The men so carefully followed these instructions that later on it
was found by me that not a single block in this district had been
neglected by the patrolmen. In this way the entire census was
completed by five o'clock.
As soon as the men got on the street it was discovered that certain
of the peddlers were " taking to cover," in order to escape the census
taker. I had previously secured a list of all places in this district where
push-carts were known to be stored. One of the men held in reserve
was sent to each of these stables, with instructions to count the number
of carts and to ascertain how many were loaded and how many empty.
This completes the method of the census in the First Inspection
In all other districts in Manhattan a letter was written to the
Inspector of Police in each district. He assigned one of his men as
foreman for his entire district. Instructions were then issued to every
patrolman in these districts to count the number of push-carts on his
post each day for one week, in order that we might determine when
the largest number of push-carts were on the streets. The census was
then taken in each police precinct at the day and hour when the largest
number were said to be on the street. Inasmuch as the numbers were
not too great for the census to be taken by the men on regular patrol
duty, it was decided that it should be taken by them rather than by a
special detail. The clerical man was again the foreman in each pre-
cinct. These clerical men, together with the patrolmen were then
summoned to meet me at a convenient time, and the method of instruc-
tions used in the first precinct was again followed, with the following
difference: In each precinct there is a printed list of the regular posts
patrolled. A copy of this was secured and when a patrolman found no
carts on his entire post, instead of filling out a card for each block, he
was told to sign his name with the word " none " on this patrol blank
referred to above. If he found three carts, he turned in cards for three,
putting the number and his signature on the above patrol blank. He
was instructed that this meant that on the blocks represented by his
three cards he found push carts, but that on all the other blocks on his
post he found none.
In order to keep secret when the census would be taken, the patrol-
men did not know when they were to do it until the roll call on the day
that the census was to be taken.
In the Fifth Inspection District there is only one place where the
number of carts is large. To this were assigned certain of the men
who had previously been detailed to help with the census in the First
Inspection District, and therefore in this district the individual patrol-
men were not instructed by me, but the clerical men were.
The same procedure was followed in the Borough of Brooklyn as
in all of the above, with the exception that only the captains and the
clerical men were instructed, but inasmuch as, after the instructions to
them had been given, the Borough Inspector had "recitations" by the
captains and the clerical men to see whether or not the instructions had
been thoroughly understood, the result proved entirely satisfactory.
The thanks of the Commission are due to the individual patrolmen
who took the census, the clerical men and the captains of each precinct,
and to Inspectors Schmittberger, Hogan, Walsh, McLaughlin, Titus,
Cross and Brooks.
(Signed) A. A. HILL,
Secretary Push-cart Commission.
INSTRUCTIONS OF SECRETARY TO POLICE
INSTRUCTIONS OF SECRETARY TO POLICE INVESTIGATORS.
His Honor the Mayor, realizing the need for better regulation
of push-carts has appointed a Commission to study the question and
to report to him their recommendations. This Commission has chosen
as its chairman your own Commissioner, Honorable William McAdoo.
You will thus see that this work is of the utmost importance to the
City and to your own Department, and is well worthy of your most
careful and painstaking effort.
The first step is to learn the exact facts as to the number and
location of the push-cart peddlers in the city. Herewith you will
find a card upon which you are to record the facts which you secure.
When detailed for this work you will be assigned to certain streets
or blocks upon which you are to interview every push-cart peddler.
For example, one of you may be told to cover the east side of the
Bowery from Division to Houston. Whatever may be the street
you are to cover you will first fill in the name of that street on the
card after the word " street." You will then put a check mark in
the space immediately following the word " side " above the initials
N. E. S. \V. for whatever side of the street you are to cover. For
example, the man mentioned above would fill in after the word
" street " Bowery, and put a check mark above the letter E. After
the word " between " (abbreviated bet.) and after the word " and "
fill in the names of the streets by which the block is bounded. Thus
the man mentioned would fill in after the* word " between " Division,
and after the word " and " Canal for the first block on hi? post. One
of these cards must be filled out for each block on your post, whether
or not any push-carts are found on the block. If none are found
write diagonally across the face of the card the word " None," and
if you have covered both sides of the block put a check mark above
the initials for both sides. This will show us that you have gone over
the block and found no push-carts. If, however, you find push-carts,
then fill in the other blanks on the card. In the space after the words
" Name of Peddler," fill in his name, getting the spelling as exactly
as you can. After the word " Address," put in the street and number
of his home, and over the word " Floor," put the number of the floor
on which the man lives, and put a check mark above the proper word
" Front, Back, Right, Left " (abbreviated, fr., bk., rt.). Thus the line
would read: "Name of peddler, John Jones; -Address, 85 RivingtOn
street; 3d floor, front, right," or of course whatever the name and
address of the man would be.
In the next line after the word " Nationality " fill in the nationality
of the peddler. After the words, " Time in U. S.," fill in the number
of years the man has lived in this country, and after the words,
" Peddler's other occupation," fill in the nature of any other occupation
he may have, for example, keeping store and the kinds of goods sold.
Thus this line would read: "Nationality, Jewish; Time in U. S., two
years; Peddler's other occupation, keeps dry goods store," or whatever
the nationality, time in U. S. or occupation would be.
If the peddler owns the cart, fill in his name and address on the
next line also. If someone else owns the cart, fill in his name and
address. If the peddler cannot give you the name of the owner he
can give you the address of the place from which he secures the cart
from day to day. If he will not do this you will find on most of the
carts something which indicates either the owner's name or address.
For example, you will find "49 L" or "154 Attorney" painted on
some of the carts. Whatever this may be fill it in after the word
On the next line, if the man rents the cart, fill in above the word
" Amount," the sum he pays for it, and whether this amount is for
the day, week )r month. This should be done by putting a check mark
above the proper word, " Day, Week or Month." If the peddler owns
the cart, this space need not be filled in. After the word "License,"
if the man has none, put a check mark above the word " None." If
he has a license fill in on this line the name that is on the license.
Above the word " Date," fill in the date, which shows when the license
was issued. If there is a number on the cart other than the address
of the owner, fill it in above the words " Number on Cart." If there
is no number, write the word " None." Thus if a man rented a cart
and had a license this line would read: "Rental of cart, ten cents
(with a check over the word day showing that it is ten cents per day) ;
License, John Jones; Number 261; Date, February 21, 1905; Number
on cart, 351 "; or whatever name, number or date is on the license.
On the next line headed " Nature of Goods Sold," you need not
write anything, but on the following lines you are to write the nature
of the goods sold by the peddler; if, for example, it is fish, you would
fill in fresh fish or dried fish or oysters, or whatever the fish may be.
If fruit, you would fill in the line headed " Fruit," oranges, apples or
bananas, or whatever the fruit may be. After the words " Other
Foods," fill in such things as pickles, nuts, candy, bread or any food
that is neither fish, fruit, meat nor vegetables. After the word " Dry
Goods," fill in such things as ribbons, laces or anything usually classed
as dry goods, while after the word " Clothing," fill in any ready-made
clothing. After the word "Miscellaneous," fill in anything not included
in the above classes, such as toys, fancy goods, crockery, agate ware,
or anything else which does not properly come under the above
classes. If the material sold by the peddler is food, fill in the next line
by putting a check mark above the word " Good, Fair, Bad or In-
jurious to Health," according to the condition of the goods; that is,
if the food is good, put a check mark above the word " Good," etc.
After the word " Remarks," if, in your estimation the food is bad,
write your reasons for thinking so. For example, if it is fish and it
is so far decayed that it should not be eaten, simply write in the word
If it is possible to learn from the peddler where his goods are
bought, please do so, and fill in the dealer's address on the next line.
If, however, he buys from several dealers simply fill in the word
" several." If it is difficult to secure this information omit it alto-
On the next line headed " General Remarks," fill in any fact that
seems important to you. On the next line write your own name and
shield number; after the word " Department," write your precinct num-
ber ; after the word " Date," write the date on which you are doing this
work, and after the words " Time of Day," put in the hours between
which you saw the peddler; that is, if seen between n and 12 a. m..
simply put 1 1-12, or whatever the time may be. This completes the card
for this particular peddler, and one of these cards must be made out
for each peddler found on your post. As soon as you have covered
your entire post report to the officer in your precinct, leaving your
cards with him. If you possess a fountain pen please use it in filling
out the cards, as it will be much easier to read than if written in pencil.
Please accept in advance my thanks for your kindness in thus help-
ing the Commission in its work.
(Signed) A. A. HILL,
Secretary, Push-cart Commission.
TABLES OF STATISTICS GIVING RESULTS
Classification by Large Popular Districts.
I 4 6
Ownership of Carts
Owned by Peddler
Not ascertained. . . .
DISTRIBUTION OF THE PUSH-CARTS.
< - WJ O
I 1 ^
3 City Hall.
4 Brooklyn Bridge.
23 Grand Central Depot.
27 Central Park.
BLOCKS IN BROOKLYN WHERE FIVE OR MORE PUSH-CARTS WERE FOUND.
Belmont avenue between Osborn and Watkins streets 28
Belmont avenue between Osborn street and Thatford avenue. ... 9
Osborn street between Pitkin and Belmont avenues 8
Manhattan avenue between Moore and Seigel streets. .' 25
Moore street between Graham and Manhattan avenues 41
Moore street between Graham avenue and Humboldt street 5
Seigel street between Graham and Manhattan avenues 26
Carroll street between Third and Fourth avenues 5
East avenue between Avenues A and B 5
Main street between Water and Front streets 9
Van Brunt street between Union and President streets 8
Washington avenue between Avenues B and C 5
West street between Avenues A and B . . 6
NATIONALITY OF PEDDLERS.
NATIONALITY OF PEDDLERS.
y ' oy
26 . QQ
LENGTH OF RESIDENCE OF PEDDLERS IN UNITED STATES.
Under One Year.
Up to Ten Years.
I 7 .
26.. . .
LENGTH OF RESIDENCE OF PEDDLERS IN UNITED STATES.
Time in United States
Less than I year
4 years j
5 years up to 10
10 years to life
1 ' :
Lecturer . . .
1 !s c
f i i
Jj S 5
! s i
Pk OH 0.
kppnpr . . .
- =8 I
: - X
v -C "3
C bJ3 be
S 2 a
1 I J s
|| I I
I ^ 1 IP
rt rt O ' X 2
OTHER OCCUPATIONS OF PEDDLERS.
TABLE 9 (Continued). OTHER OCCUPATIONS OF PEDDLERS.
Street cleaner ,
Total with other occupations
PEDDLERS' LICENSES ISSUED BY THE BUREAU OF LICENSES 1896-1906.
* 1 --
577 \ "3 6.
611 178 7
730 258 o,
616 320 9
368 503 8
t38 561 5
t37 278 3
3i8 j 85
207 ! 346
* Records not availabl
For horse an<
2 for January to ^
NT OF FEES
t Issuance stopped F<
ibruary 23, 1005.
Renewal . . .
Renewal . . .
Total $20,014 oo
LICENSES OF PEDDLERS.
for 2 Carts.
14 . .
13 . 56
LICENSES OF PEDDLERS.
License in another man's name.
NUMBERS ON PUSH-CARTS.
11.. . ,
M. . . .
7Q . .
NUMBERS ON PUSH-CARTS.
Number not corresponding" to license .
No number . . . . .
OWNERSHIP AND RENT OF CARTS AND SALARIES AND COMMISSIONS OF
I 9 I
OWNERSHIP AND RENT OF CARTS AND SALARIES AND COMMISSIONS OF
Cart owned by peddler
Peddler on salary or commission
Not ascertained .
PUSH-CART OWNERS AND STABLE KEEPERS CLASSIFIED ACCORDING TO
NUMBERS OF CARTS IN OPERATION.
Having" I cart in field
(5 1 T i
Having 2 to 9 carts in field
Having" 10 to 19 carts in field
Having 20 to 29 carts in field
Having 30 to 39 carts in field
Having 40 to 49 carts in field
Having 50 to 99 carts in field ....
Having 100 or more carts in field
Total number ascertained owners of
carts used by other men
PUSH-CART OWNERS AND STABLEKEEPERS CLASSIFIED ACCORDING TO
NUMBER OF CARTS IN OPERATION.
Having I cart in field
Having 2 to 9 carts in field . . .
Having 10 to 19 carts in field. .
Having 20 to 29 carts in field. . ,
Having 30 to 39 carts in field . .
Having 40 to 49 carts in field . .
Having 50 to 99 carts in field. .
Having 100 or more carts in field
Total number ascertained owners of
carts used by other men
LIST OF OWNERS OF Two OR MORE PUSH-CARTS USED BY OTHER MEN
WITH NUMBER OF CARTS OF EACH IN FIELD.
Name. Address. Number.
Alterman & Weisman, No. 103 Allen street 13
Bear, No. 65 Ludlow street 2
Berkowitz, No. 170 Ludlow street 50
Berkowitz, No. 83 or 87 Columbia street 21
Berkowitz, Chas., No. 176 Orchard street 62
Bernstein, Joseph, No. 53 Orchard street 16
Blanck, No. 15 Ludlow street 12
Carman, Harry, No. 55 Orchard street 6
Cohen, No. 80 Suffolk street 4
Cohen, Isaac, No. 77 Ludlow street 6
Cohen, Mrs. R., No. 71 Suffolk street 10
Davidson, Henry, No. 65 Chrystie street 14
Davis, No. 44 Ludlow street 3
Demachos, Peter, No. 7 Chrystie street 2
Diyaint, No. 178 Hester street 2
Eisenstein, Herman, No. 159 Ludlow street 32
Falduto, Dominick, No. 4 First street . 2
Faller, Joseph, No. 207 Forsyth street 22
Fishman, Abraham, No. 77 Chrystie street 45
Friedman, Morris, No. 25 Ludlow street 22
Fuchs, Morris, No. 78 Ludlow street 5
Furman, No. 57 Orchard street 39
Gerskowitz, Ludlow, between Stanton and Houston streets. . 3
Gold, No. 48 Ridge street 35
Gold, No. 291 East Second street 2
Goldberg, Benjamin, No. 339 East One Hundred and Fifth
Goldenstein & Weiss, No. 56 Allen street 41
Goldstein, No. 115 Hester street 43
Goldstein, No. 60 Attorney street 27
Greenfeld, David, No. 69 Ludlow street 64
Grill, Isaac, No. 164 Attorney street 23
Grossman, Max, No. 62 Willett street 32
Halpers, Joseph, No. 125 Ridge street 66
Harris, Joseph, No. 142 Suffolk street 6
Harris, Joseph, No. 155 Suffolk street 30
1 5 6
TABLE 19 (Continued).
LIST OF OWNERS OF Two OR MORE PUSH-CARTS USED BY OTHER MEN
WITH NUMBER OF CARTS OF EACH IN FIELD.
Name. Address. Number.
Hoffman, Louis, No. 49 Ludlow street 34
Isaacs, Attorney and Broome streets 2
Karwell, Abraham, No. 153 Orchard street 37
Karren (or Kearn), Jos., No. 63 Chrystie street 25
Katz, No. 69 Chrystie street 2
Katz, M., No. 750 East Fifth street n
Kennis, D., No. 53 Orchard street 5
Kimelman, Isaac, No. 26 Allen street 12
Landman, Max, No. 179 Ludlow street 21
Lenwitz, Charles, No. 71 Broad street 7
Levine, No. 312 Cherry street 4
Livote, G., Nos. 183-185 Elizabeth street 2
Mandel, Louis, No. 115 Ridge street , 2
Margulies, No. 30 Suffolk street 32
Meyer, No. 60 Pike street 29
Meyer, No. 45 Pike street 21
Michaelson, No. 29 Ludlow street. 5
Nagler, E., No. 153 Attorney street 10
Nathanson, Abraham, No. 154 Attorney street 43
Oliver & Co., No. 468 Pearl street 16
Poplock, Nathan, No. 31 Ludlow street 2
Probber, Isaac, No. 34 Ludlow street 31
Radsches, No. 9 Hester street 53
Raussman, Willett, between Delancey and Rivington streets. 2
Rosenzweig, No. 182 Orchard street 45
Rothstein, No. 58 Pitt street 15
Schaefer, Israel, No. 196 Orchard street 24
Schambaum, No. 154 Attorney street 4
Scheinholtz, Louis, No. 128 Attorney street. . 19
Schlochok, Jacob, No. 176 Eldridge street 45
Schmiel, No. 18 Chrystie street 2
Schmugler, No. 51 Sheriff street ....... 5
Schreider, Chas., No. 211 Stanton street 33
Schreider, No. 334 Rivington street 30
Schwimmer, I., No. 117 Lewis street 24
Scilla Ice Cream Company, No. 67 Crosby street 4
TABLE 19 (Continued).
LIST OF OWNERS OF Two OR MORE PUSH-CARTS USED BY OTHER MEN
WITH NUMBER OF CARTS OF EACH IN FIELD.
Name. Address. Number.
Schecter, No. 159 Ridge street 3
Singer, No. 17 Forsyth street 44
Sofia, Frank, Walker, near Centre street 2
Stalalos, Louis, No. 452 West Forty-first street 3
Steier, No. 90 Willett street 24
Steinberg, No. 78 Ludlow street 2
Stencil, No. 73 Rivington street 2
Sternbach, B., No. 50 Clinton street 29
Tiesman, No. 142 Suffolk street 3
Tony, No. 196 Mulberry street 2
Tunis, B., No. 26 Attorney street 27
Warren Ice Cream Company, No. 31 Depeyster street 12
Weiner, S., No. 100 East Houston street 2
Weiner, S., No. 29 East Third street 10
Weiner, S., No. 630 East Fifth street ; 3
Weiss, Joe., No. 106 Norfolk street 46
Welber, Abraham, No. 37 Orchard street 170
Wiener Bros., No. 320 East Eighth street 3
Winkler, H., No. 52 Rutgers street 20
Ziper, No. 13 Chrystie street 52
Zoltok, Joseph, No. 35 Norfolk street 18
Bills Original Ice Cream Company 7
Chino, Carmelo 2
No. 16 Attorney street 2
No. 53 Attorney street 3
No. 1 52 Attorney street 2
No. 155 Attorney street 4
No. 160 Attorney street 3
No. 83 Baxter street 2
No. 62 Chrystie street 2
No. 161 Forsyth street 7
No. 169 Forsyth street 2
No. 117 Hester street 2
No. 13 Ludlow street 2
T 5 8
TABLE 19 (Continued).
LIST OF OWNERS OF Two OR MORE PUSH-CARTS USED BY OTHER MEN
WITH NUMBER OF CARTS OF EACH IN FIELD.
Name. Address. Number.
No. 32 Ludlow street 3
No. 36 Ludlow street 2
No. 67 Ludlow street 2
No. 149 Ludlow street 3
No. 168 Ludlow street . 3
No. 51 Pike street 2
Suffolk, near Broome street 2
Suffolk, between Stanton and Houston streets 3
Nos. 80 and 82 Willett street . . 6
LIST OF OWNERS OF PUSH-CARTS USED BY OTHER MEN WITH NUMBER
OF CARTS OF EACH ix FIELD.
Name. Address. Number.
Balsamo, Dominick, No. 94 Union street I
Baumann, Fred. (Mr. Floyd), Tompkins avenue I
Bergner, Chas., No. 608 Manhattan avenue I
Bernstein, Abraham, Sutter and Osborn street 2
Cohen, Samuel, No. 79 Siegel street 34
Conery, Chas., No. 52 South Second street 5
Copal, A., No. 178 Orchard street 2
Damn, Geo., No. 71 Evergreen avenue 2
Finkelstein, Samuel, No. 65 Siegel street 55
Fishman, Abraham, No. 77 Chrystie street I
Forman , George, No. 57 Orchard street I
Friedman, Chas., No. 60 Attorney street i
Frohm, Fred, No. 218 Throop avenue n
Gold, Jacob, No. 291 East Third street i
Goldstein, Chas., No. 115 Hester street 3
Goldstein, Jacob, No. 60 Attorney street i
Goldstein, Joseph, Myrtle avenue and Harman street i
Graf, Andrew, No. 16^2 Grattan street i
Horowitz, Nathan, No. 77 Belmont avenue i
Hart, Owen, No. 725 Sixth avenue i
Hofken, Becky, No. 181 Osborn street i
Hutter, Edward, No. 120 Ralph avenue 2
Hutter, Henry, Macon, near Broadway i
Imperato, Gaetano, No. 1470 Herkimer street i
Kempf, Christ., No. 169 Cook street 6
Krell, Isaac, Ridge and Houston streets i
Kane, Mrs., No. 131 Oakland street i
Krant, Willett street, near Rivington street , . . i
Landman, Max, No. 179 Ludlow street i
Lebowitz, Max, No. 42 Belmont avenue i
Lenwer, John, Melrose, near Central avenue i
Leyer, Otto, No. 215 Montrose avenue 14
Leary, Dennis, No. 54 Navy street i
Link, Samuel, No. 82 Cook street I
Martin, No. 127 Withers street 3
Mernigolo, Michael, No. 635 Classon avenue 3
TABLE 20 (Continued).
LIST OF OWNERS OF PUSH-CARTS USED BY OTHER MEN WITH NUMBER
OF CARTS OF EACH IN FIELD.
Name. Address. Number.
Miller, Joseph, No. 320 Powers street i
Miller, Joseph, No. 278 Maujer street 2
Mostoes, No. 207 North Eighth street \ i
Nelling, Emil, No. 178 Ten Eyck street . . 2
Nagler, E., No. 153 Attorney street i
Parker, Wm. J., No. 44 Raymond street 3
Pietry, No. 163 Twenty-first street i
Quell, Isaac, No. 94 Attorney street i
Pomanik, Joseph, No. 185 Watkins street 5
Rosenzwik, No. 182 Orchard street i
Rudash, Abraham, No. 297 Sutter avenue , 8
Schaefer, Henry, No. 82 Raymond street 10
Schmiddle, Abraham, No. 169 Watkins street i
Schrack, Frank, No. 193 Graham avenue 3
Schultz, Tony, No. 78 Stockholm street i
Short, Michael, No. 143 Suffolk street i
Shutz, Sam, No. 351 East Third street i
Siebert, John, No. 1336 Gates avenue 2
Sickman, Chas., No. 156 Graham street i
Slater, James, No. 174 Richardson street 3
Smith, Sam, No. 36 Siegel street 29
Soeldert, Henry, No. 188 Harman street i
Solomon, Michael, No. 60 Pike street r .'' ' r ' 2
Sparks, Alfred, Wallabout street and Nostrand avenue 3
Start, Charles, Skillman street, Willoughby avenue 8
Swartz, No. 13 Chrystie street i
Schwimmer, No. 117 Lewis 3
Torminie, Louis, No. 135 Bayard street i
Trupiano, Guiseppo, No. 227 North Ninth street r
Wahalit, John, No. 24 Stagg street i
White, John, Lorimer and Stagg street vl- ' i
Wiener, S., No. 291 East Third street i
Wise, Joseph, No. 106 Norfolk street I
Rinckler, Chas., No. 288 Stagg street |: ' i
Wrinkler, John, No. 256 Scholes street 2-
TABLE 20 (Continued).
LIST OF OWNERS OF PUSH-CARTS USED BY OTHER MEN WITH NUMBER
OF CARTS OF EACH IN FIELD.
No. 119 Roebling street I
No. 153 Willett street 2
No. 308 Cherry street I
No. 52 Rutledge street I
No. 74 Columbia street i
Not ascertained I
REPORT OF STREET CLEANING COMMISSIONER WOODBURY 1904.
List of Push-cart Owners Who Lease Out Push-carts to Peddlers, and
Number of Push-carts Owned by Each.
Name. Address. Number.
Krill, No. 155 Suffolk street . 86
Scheimholtz, No. 120 Attorney street 228
Steier, No. 90 Willett street 58
Grimfeld, No. 69 Ludlow street 128
Bloom, No. 159 Ludlow street 50
Grossman, No. 61 Willett street no
Harris, No. 142 Suffolk street 78
Rothstein, No. 52 Pitt street 68
Saks, K., No. 176 Orchard street 235
Friedman, No. 25 Ludlow street 46
F'einberg, No. 53 Orchard street 86
Scheffler, No. 196 Orchard street 186
Margulies, No. 30 Suffolk street 56
Goldstein, No. 115 Hester street 85
Ziper, No. 13 Chrystie street 229
Radsches, No. 9 Hester street 145
Singer, M., No. 17 Forsyth street 90
Berrovitz, No. 170 Ludlow street 100
Pruber, No. 34 Ludlow street 90
Schoor, Isaac, No. 211 Stanton street 70
F'uchs, No. 78 Ludlow street 65
Weiss, M., No. 1 19 Norfolk street 200
Alfert, No. 119 Ridge street 125
Schoimer, No. 117 Lewis street 200
Weiss, No. 56 Allen street , 100
Alterman, No. 78 Eldridge street 50
Kimelman, No. 26 Allen street 5
Michalson, No. 31 Ludlow street 30
Furman, No. 57 Orchard street 204
Kamial, No. 153 Orchard street 100
Blanck, No. 15 Ludlow street 33
Watwitz, No. 179 Ludlow street 100
Hoffman, No. 49 Ludlow street 90
Zadicowich, No. 44 Ludlow street 25
TABLE 21 (Continued).
REPORT OF STREET CLEANING COMMISSIONER WOODBURY 1904.
List of Push-cart Owners Who Lease Out Push-carts to Peddlers, and
Number of Push-carts Owned by Each.
Name. Address. Number.
Cohen, M., No. 45 Pike street 90
Weiiier, Sam, No. 60 Pike street 76
Winkler, No. 52 Ridge street 75
Colin, No. 71 Suffolk street 60
Nattanson, No. 154 Attorney street 102
Gold, No. 48 Ridge street 152
Orchard, No. 53 Attorney street 80
Friedman, No. 95 Goerck street 122
Goldstein, No. 82 Sheriff street 100
Davidson, No. 65 Chrystie street 50
Schlomchok, J., No. 176 Eldridge street 150
Rosenzweig, No. 182 Orchard street 120
Lepowitz, No. 63 Chrystie street 60
Fischman, No. 77 Chrystie street 212
Tamorkin, No. 161 Forsyth street 150
Faller, No. 207 Forsyth street 146
Rubin, No. 15 Willett street 100
Sternbach, No. 50 Clinton street 80
LIST OF PLACES WHERE PUSH-CARTS WERE STORED AND NUMBER OF
LOADED AND EMPTY CARTS IN EACH ON DAY CENSUS WAS TAKEN.
Avenue A, 315
Avenue A, 319 I
Avenue A, 321
Avenue Ai 1335 2
Avenue A, 1358 i
Avenue B, 287 9
Avenue B, 289 6
Allen, 26 ,
Attorney, 130 i
Attorney, 154 4
Chrystie, 13 75
Chrystie, 63 50
Chrystie, 65 40
Chrystie, 77 90
Columbia, 83 i
Elizabeth, 157 ,
East i4th, 515
East i8th, 401
East iSth, 403
TABLE 22 (Continued).
LIST OF PLACES WHERE PUSH-CARTS WERE STORED AND NUMBER OF
LOADED AND EMPTY CARTS IN EACH ON DAY CENSUS WAS TAKEN.
East igth, 427
East ii/tli. 439
East 22d, 320
East 22d, 322
East 3ist, 322 . t
East 32d, 316
East 35th, 302 .
East 47th, 337
East 6oth, 338
East 6oth, 315*
East gist, 444
East ggth, 2 r6
East io3d, 215
East io4th, 101 .
East 105 h, 334
East logth, 301
East noth, 307
East mth, 208 ..
East i nth, 209
East ii5th, 429
Ludlow, 31. .
Ludlow, 34. .
Ludlow, 69 '
TABLE 22 (Continued).
LIST OF PLACES WHERE PUSH-CARTS WERE STORED AND NUMBER OF
LOADED AND EMPTY CARTS IN EACH ON DAY CENSUS WAS TAKEN.
, _..._ Manhattan.
Macdougal, 15 6
Minetta Lane, 25 8
Orchard, 57 30
Orchard, 153 6
Orchard, 1 76 10
Orchard, 182 14
Pitt, 58 5
Park avenue, 1403. . .
Park avenue. 1506. . .
Thompson, 154 15
Vandam, 3 6
TABLE 22 (Continued).
LIST OF PLACES WHERE PUSH-CARTS WERE STORED AND NUMBER OF
LOADED AND EMPTY CARTS IN EACH ON DAY CENSUS WAS TAKEN.
Atlantic avenue. 2453 . .
South 2d, 52 . .
In addition to above, carts were said to be stored at following places, but they could not be seen
at time of census:
J. Balsamo, Xo. 106 Mott street, Manhattan
J. Oliver, No. 468 Pearl street, Manhattan
J. Lorelli, No. 128% Baxter street, Manhattan ...
J. Ferraro, Xo. 84 Mulberry street, Manhattan
Total . .
GOODS SOLD ON PUSH-CARTS.
I^ 1 ^
25 -. . ..
- -3 - '
. . . . . 7.
3,8 4 8
I OO . OO
* Not included elsewhere. t Goods of more than one class.
GOODS SOLD ON PUSH-CARTS.
Fruit 1 50
Other foods 128
Dry goods 57
Not ascertained I I
* Not included elsewhere.
f Goods of more than one class.
co 1 I
o' =g <? 2 8
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PH X. H
SPECIFIC ARTICLES OF FOOD SOLD ON PUSH-CARTS.
Dates I i
Oranges 1 1
Peas i 46
Potatoes I 126
Radishes I 13
Salad greens | 13
Sprouts . . i
TABLE 26 (Continued).
SPECIFIC ARTICLES OF FOOD SOLD ON PUSH-CARTS.
Ee r 2 r s .
Meat (fresh) ...
QUALITY OF FOOD SOLD ON PUSH-CARTS.
IN (i FOOD.
I 4 6
1 7 6
QUALITY OF FOOD SOLD.
- 2 I . 46
Injurious to health
3- J 5
Total number carts on which food
NUMBER OF CARTS FOUND ox CERTAIN BLOCKS DURING HEBREW HOLY-
DAYS WHEN ORDINANCES WERE SUSPENDED, COMPARED WITH DAY
WHEN CENSUS WAS TAKEN.
Bayard, between Bowery and Chrystie 1 1
Delancey, between Ridge and Pitt 81
Essex, between Grand and Hester 30
Essex, between Hester and Canal 16
Forsyth, between Canal and Bayard 23
Grand, between Allen and Orchard ! 4
Grand, between Orchard and Ludlow 19
Grand, between Ludlow and Essex 13
Grand, between Essex and Norfolk 16
Hester, between Forsyth and Eldridge 18
Hester, between Eldridge and Allen 28
Hester, between Allen and Orchard 28
Hester, between Orchard and Ludlow | 20
Hester, between Ludlow and Essex 42
Hester, between Essex and Norfolk 55
Hester, between Norfolk and Suffolk 21
Hester, between Suffolk and Clinton 19
Houston, between Bowery and Chrystie 8
Houston, between Chrystie and Forsyth I
Houston, between Forsyth and Eldridge 7
Houston, between Eldridge and Allen 9
Houston, between Allen and Orchard 15
Houston, between Orchard and Ludlow 13
Houston, between Ludlow and Essex
Orchard, between Division and Hester 14
Orchard, between Hester and Grand 6
Orchard, between Delancey and Rivington ... 24
Orchard, between Rivington and Stanton 64
Orchard, between Stanton and Houston 50
Rivington, between Eldridge and Allen 15
Rivington, between Allen and Orchard. . 21
TABLE 29 (Continued).
NUMBER OF CARTS FOUND ON CERTAIN BLOCKS DURING HEBREW HOLY-
DAYS WHEN ORDINANCES WERE SUSPENDED, COMPARED WITH DAY
WHEN CENSUS WAS TAKEN.
Rivington, between Orchard and Ludlow.
Rivingtpn, between Ludlow and Essex. . . ,
Rivington, between Essex and Norfolk . . .
Rivington, between Norfolk and Suffolk. .
Rivington, between Suffolk and Clinton. . .
Rivington, between Clinton and Attorney,
Rivington, between Attorney and Ridge. ,
Rivington, between Ridge and Pitt
Rivington, between Pitt and Willett
Rivington, between Sheriff and Columbia
Rivington, between Willett and Sheriff. . .
Stanton, between Allen and Orchard
Stanton, between Orchard and Ludlow. . .
Stanton, between Ludlow and Essex
Increase during holyday
Percentage of increase
8 9 I
ARRESTS OF PUSH-CART PEDDLERS, 1904.
Having no license 1,280
Having no number on cart I
Not having copy of ordinance exposed 5
Obstructing crosswalk 101
Obstructing fire hydrants 3
Obstructing sidewalk 219
Obstructing street 109
Obstructing traffic 30
Selling in restricted streets 445
Standing over 30 minutes in one place 127
Standing within space of 10 feet of each other 92
Standing at curb 2,013
Standing on wrong side of street 22
Disorderly conduct 12
Storekeepers' complaints 79
Violation of Park ordinance I 36
Violation of Sanitary Code i 460
Violation of Sunday Law | 90
Total r I2 ,
TABLE 30 (Continued).
ARRESTS OF PUSH-CART PEDDLERS, 1904.
* Denotes " Two (2) months in City Prison."
t Denotes " Sent to the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children.
TABLE 30 (Continued).
ARRESTS OF PUSH-CART PEDDLERS, 1904.
Having no Name or Number on)
Not having Copy of Ordinance)
Obstructing fire hydrants
* Denotes "Two (2) months in City Prison."
t Denotes " Sent to the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children.'
TABLE 30 (Continued).
ARRESTS OF PUSH-CART PEDDLERS, 1904.
^ \ & \ Discharged.
Selling in restricted streets . .
Standing over 30 minutes in one )
place . f
Standing over 30 minutes in one )
Standing over 30 minutes in one (
place. ... . . i
Standing over 30 minutes in one 1
Standing over 30 minutes in one I
Standing over 30 minutes in one i
Standing over 30 minutes in one )
Standing over 30 minutes in one V
Standing within a space of 10)
feet of each other (
Standing within a space of 10 \
feet of each other i
Standing within a space of 10 1
feet of each other 1
Standing at curb .
* Denotes " Two (2) months in City Prison."
t Denotes " Sent to the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children.
TABLE 30. (Continued).
ARRESTS OF PUSH-CART PEDDLERS, 1904.
Standing at curb n
" J 5
.. | ..
" ' 27
2 > OI 3
Standing on wrong side of street . . 14
Disorderly conduct 5
* Denotes " Two (2) months in City Prison."
t Denotes " Sent to the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children.'
TABLE 30 (Continued).
ARRESTS OF PUSH-CART PEDDLERS, 1904.
Violation of Park Ordinance
Violation of Sanitary Code
Violation of Sunday Law
* Denotes " Two (2) months in City Prison."
t Denotes " Sent to the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children."
i H. D. Health Department Squad.
COMPILATION OF EXISTING ORDINANCES,
COMPILATION OF EXISTING ORDINANCES RELATING TO STREET PED-
Article XIII. Peddlers, Hawkers, Venders and Hucksters.
516. The Mayor of The City of New York may, subject to the
restrictions hereinafter mentioned, grant a license to any peddler,
hawker, vender or huckster of any kind of merchandise using a horse
and wagon, hand-cart, push-cart or other vehicle, for the use of streets
of this city, excepting such as are specially restricted by ordinance
(sec. i of Ord. Appd. Dec. 7, 1896).
517. All applicants for such license shall produce satisfactory
evidence to the Mayor of his or her good moral character; that they
are citizens of the United States and residents of the State of New
York one year; or, if not citizens for no fault of their own, they must
certify to the following facts: That their period of residence in this
country has not been a sufficient length of time to become such; and if
not able, in consequence, to secure naturalization papers, they must at
least show that they have " declared their intention." Anyone who
cannot present satisfactory evidence as above required shall not be
granted a license ; and anyone who, on presentation of " first papersj"
and otherwise complying with all requirements, obtains a license, shall
at the proper time give evidence of full citizenship, otherwise such
license shall become null and void (sec. 2 of Id.).
518. The license fee shall be as follows: To fish dealers, $25, but
any fish dealer shall also have the right to vend other merchandise;
to all venders plying their trade with horse and wagon, $25; and all
others contemplated by this act, using a push-cart, hand-cart or other
vehicle of light character, $15; venders of merchandise, carrying upon
their person a basket, tray or other receptacle for their goods, shall
pay $5 ; and the license granted shall be in force and effect for one year
only, unless revoked. Applications for new licenses under the same
conditions as originally granted may be made annually. No one person
shall be granted more than one license per year, except venders with
horses and wagons (sec. 3 of Id.).
519. Application for licenses shall be made on a blank form,
specially prepared by the Clerk of the Common Council, after a letter
of authorization for such application shall have been signed by the
Alderman of the district in which said applicant resides, and which
shall set forth the full name of applicant, place of residence, length of
time resident in this State, if a citizen of the United States, and if not
a citizen, whether application has been made for first papers and the
same obtained, whether license for the same privilege has been pre-
viously obtained, and if so, where and for what period, and such other
data or information as the Mayor may desire. All must be certified
to under oath (sec. 4 of Id.).
520. The Mayor shall have power to grant licenses, subject to
the conditions contained in section 4 (sec. 5 of Id.).
521. No license under this ordinance shall be transferable. The
provisions of this ordinance shall not apply to venders of newspapers
who carry the same on their persons (sec. 6 of Id.).
522. Each person securing a license or permit under the terms of
this ordinance shall at the same time be furnished with a copy of said
ordinance by the Mayor's Marshal (sec. 7 of Id.).
523. The Mayor shall furnish each licensee with tin signs, duly
and conspicuously numbered, bearing the words " Merchandise
No ," and a metal badge containing the same wording. The
number of the license, the signs and the badge must correspond. The
signs must be attached to the sides of the wagon, cart or vehicle,
where they can be readily seen, near the front thereof, and the badge
must be worn on the left breast of the outer garment of the licensee at
all times when conducting his or her business on the public streets
(sec. 8 of Id.).
524. Anyone using either the sign or badge, as referred to in the
preceding section, without authority, shall be punishable, upon con-
viction, of a fine of not more than twenty-five dollars or a fine and
imprisonment of not less than one, nor more than ten days. No license
shall be renewed until the license, badge and signs theretofore issued to
the applicant shall be surrendered to the Mayor's Marshal or satisfac-
tory reasons given for a failure so to do. In the event of the loss or
destruction of any badge, sign or license duplicates thereof may be
issued to the Mayor's Marshal upon the payment of the cost therefor
(sec. 9 of Id.).
525. No licensed peddler, vender, hawker or huckster shall per-
mit any cart, wagon or vehicle, owned or controlled by him or her, to
stop, remain upon or otherwise encumber any street, avenue or high-
way for a longer period than thirty minutes at one time on any one
block. Nor shall any such peddler, vender, hawker or huckster stand
in front of any premises, the owner of or the lessee of the ground floor
thereof objecting thereto. At the expiration of the thirty minutes afore-
said any vender, with or without a basket, cart, wagon or vehicle, must
be removed to a point at least one block distant (sec. 10 of Id.).
526. Xo licensed peddler, vender, hawker or huckster shall permit
his or her cart, wagon or vehicle to stand on any street, avenue or
highway within twenty-five feet of any corner of the curb, nor within
ten feet of any other peddler, vender, hawker or huckster (sec. 1 1 of Id.).
527. Xo licensed peddler, vender, hawker or huckster shall use
any part of a sidewalk or crosswalk for conducting his or her business,
and shall not cast or throw any thing or article of any kind or char-
acter upon the street, nor interfere with or prevent in any degree the
Street Cleaning Department from sweeping or cleaning, or from gath-
ering street sweepings, etc., from the streets or avenues (sec. 12 of Id.).
528. X"o licensed peddler, vender, hawker or huckster shall blow
upon or use or suffer or permit to be blown upon or used any horn
or other instrument for the purpose of giving notice of the approach
of any cart, wagon or vehicle, in order to sell thereout any article of
merchandise (sec. 13 of Id.; see ord. app. Aug. 17, 1897).
529. Xo licensed peddler, vender, hawker or huckster shall cry
or sell his or her wares or merchandise on Sunday, nor after 9 o'clock
p. M., nor cry his or her wares before 8 o'clock in the morning of any
day except Saturdays, when they shall be allowed to cry or sell their
wares or merchandise until 11.30 o'clock P. M. None of the provisions
of this section shall be construed as regulating the crying or hawking
of newspapers in the territory comprised within the present City of
Xew York (sec. 14 of Id., as amended May 17, 1898; see ord. appd.
Aug. 17, 1897).
530. Xo licensed peddler, vender, hawker or huckster shall be
allowed to *cry his or her w r ares within two hundred and fifty feet of any
school, court-house, church or hospital between the hours of 8 o'clock
A. M. and 4 o'clock p. M. on school days; or stop or remain in Nassau
street, between Spruce and Wall streets; or in Chambers street, be-
tween Broadway and Centre street; or in Fulton street, between Broad-
way and Pearl street; or in Avenue A, between Houston and Seventh
streets; Park row, from Xew Chambers to Ann street; Centre street,
from X^ew Chambers street to Park row; and Xassau street, from Park
row to Ann street; from 8 o'clock A. M. to 6 o'clock p. M. (sec. 15 of Id.,
as amended December 21, 1897; May 16, 1899; July 10, December 18,
1900; see Ord. appd. August 17, 1897).
531. All licensed peddlers, venders, hawkers or hucksters who
shall locate on any street, or avenue under the provisions of this ordi-
nance with intention to remain thirty minutes or part thereof, shall
use the east and north sides of streets and avenues up to noon, and
the west and south sides after noon of any day so using them. This
section shall not apply to such venders who are moving along the
streets, avenues or highways, without intention to locate at any one
point, for thirty minutes, or who may be called on by the resident of any
building for the purpose of making a purchase (sec. 16 of Id.).
532. The violation of any of the foregoing provisions of this ordi-
nance, or any part thereof, shall be deemed a misdemeanor, and the
offenders shall, upon conviction, be fined or imprisoned, or both, as
provided by section 85 of the New York City Consolidation Act of
1882 (sec. 17 of Id.).
533- No peddler, hawker, vender or huckster of any kind of
merchandise shall conduct or carry on in the City of New York any
business as such peddler, hawker, vender or huckster until he or she
shall have first obtained a license in compliance with the provisions of
this ordinance. Any person violating the provisions of this section
shall be punished upon conviction by a fine of not more than twenty-
five dollars, or in default of payment of such fine, by imprisonment of
not less than one or mjore than ten days (sec. 18 of Id.).
534. Sections 54, 55, 56, 57 and 58 of article V., chapter 8. of the
Revised Ordinances of 1880, as amended by ordinance adopted
December 19, 1882, approved December 30, 1882, by ordinance
adopted January 30, 1883, approved February I, 1883, and by ordinance
adopted March 27, 1883, approved April 9, 1883, are hereby repealed
(sec. 19 of Id.).
535. All ordinances, or parts of ordinances, inconsistent with this
ordinance, or in conflict therewith, are hereby repealed (sec. 20 of Id.).
536. No turkeys or chickens shall be offered for sale in the city
unless the crops of such turkeys and chickens are free from food or
other substances and shrunken close to their bodies. That all fowls
exposed for sale in violation of this ordinance shall be seized and con-
demned; such of them as shall be tainted shall, upon examination, be
destroyed and the rest which is fit for food shall be used in the public
institutions of the city (sec. i of Ord. appd. April 13, 1882).
537. Every person exposing for sale any chicken or turkey in
contravention of this ordinance shall be liable to a penalty of five dollars
for each chicken or turkey so exposed for sale (sec. 2 of Id.).
538. The sale or disposal (to minors) of toy or other pistols that
can be loaded with powder and ball or blank cartridge to be exploded
by means of metal caps, is hereby prohibited, under penalty of a fine
of ten dollars for each offense, said fine to be imposed by any police
justice of this city, upon the arrest of any offender, after due proof of
a violation of this ordinance. Nothing herein contained shall apply to
the sale or disposal of what are known as fire cracker pistols, torpedo
pistols, or such pistols as are used for the explosion of paper caps
(Ord. appd. June 28, 1883).
539. Each and every peddler or hawker of clotheslines in The
City of New York, and each and every individual engaged in putting
up and affixing clothesline connections to poles, fences, houses or other
property, or taking down the same, shall be regularly licensed by the
Mayor, upon proof of good moral character, and for such license shall
pay a fee of two dollars into the City treasury, which license shall be
valid for one year from the date thereof, and each and every peddler or
hawker so licensed shall not enter any house or premises without the
permission of either the owner, lessee or occupant of such house or
premises, and shall abstain and refrain from all shouting and crying
out of his wares and occupation in back yards of residences, under a
penalty of a revocation of his license, and upon arrest and conviction
a fine not exceeding ten dollars shall be imposed for each and every
such offense (Ord. appd. May 5, 1892, as amd. by Ord. passed May
35. Any person hawking, peddling, vending or selling merchan-
dise in the streets of the City of New York shall be deemed to be a
peddler, and shall be classified as follows: A peddler using a horse*
and wagon; a peddler using a push-cart and a peddler carrying mer-
chandise in business; but the selling of newspapers or periodicals in
the street is not hereby regulated in any way.
36. Any vehicle used in peddling shall show on each outside
thereof the words " Licensed Peddler," together with the figures of its
official number, and any peddler duly licensed to use a horse and
wagon may employ two persons and no more to assist in selling and
delivering the wares, but such person shall so act only while accom-
panying a licensed peddler.
Any person owning or operating a farm, in The City of New York
and selling in the streets of said city produce raised on such farm
shall not be deemed a peddler within the meaning of this ordinance.
Any such person may make application to the Bureau of Licenses,
upon affidavit setting forth sufficient facts to entitle him to this ex-
emption, and thereupon shall receive a certificate thereof.
TESTIMONY TAKEN AT THE PUBLIC HEARING,
APRIL 13, 1905.
TESTIMONY TAKEN AT THE PUBLIC HEARING, APRIL 13, 1905.
PROCEEDINGS OF THE COMMISSION APPOINTED BY THE
MAYOR OF THE CITY OF NEW YORK, TO CONSIDER
THE SUBJECT OF PEDDLERS' LICENSES, PARTICU-
LARLY IN ITS CONNECTION WITH THE " PUSH-CART
MAYOR'S OFFICE, CITY HALL, NEW YORK, ^
April 13, 1905, at 2.30 p. M.
The Commissioners met at the office of the Mayor at 2.30 p. M.,
this clay, pursuant to notice which adjourned the meeting time from
Friday, March 31, 1905, at 3 p. M.
The following Commissioners were present :
Police Commissioner WILLIAM McAooo (Chairman),
Commissioner JOHN McGAw WOODBURY,
Health Commissioner DARLINGTON,
Miss LILLIAN WALD,
Mr. A. A. HILL, Secretary;
Reverend BERNARDINO POLIZZO,
Reverend GUSTAV CARSTENSEN,
Mr. LAWRENCE VEILLER
Mr. GREGORY WEINSTEIN.
The CHAIRMAN Now, I take it that most of you present are in-
terested on the push-cart side of this question, and that you individu-
ally belong to the Associations or have interests in common with the
peddlers and push-cart men. So, I want to say at the outset that this
Commission was appointed by The Mayor not to deal with this large
question in any revolutionary way, and certainly in no unjust or unfair
There are two or three phases of the question which concern the
general public. Those who live outside of the districts affected are
concerned more with the traffic view than any other. I mean to say,
that people who live outside of the district, the congested district where
there are more push-carts than anywhere else, their personal interest is
in the question of freedom of the streets for cars and vehicles, as well
as pedestrians. With them, it is the traffic question.
With the people who live and do business in the immediate vicinity
of these congested districts there is the " business " question : How far
do the push-cart men and peddlers interfere with the storekeepers ;
and the second and larger question is the question of the public health.
Are the wares sold wholesome, and is the public health injuriously
or otherwise affected by the sale of these articles. Then, there is the
still broader question which we must consider, and that is the social
one, or the economic one.
Attention was first attracted to this subject because of the large
number engaged in this business. There are practically nine thousand
licenses (9,000) and each license is supposed to represent, and in my
judgment should represent one man, and one man alone. There are
nine thousand persons making a living with these carts. According
to statistics, in the case of a married man that represents an average
of five other persons; and therefore, we have to consider in dealing
with this subject the social feature of these nine thousand license
holders and those dependent upon them.
That phase, of itself, it seems to me, would be a check upon any
revolutionary or hasty action, in asking for any new law or ordinance
in regard to this question.
Now, I should say that the nationalities of those engaged in the
push-cart industry appears to be considering it in numerical order
first, the Hebrews, then the Italians and then the Greeks. The Hebrew
push-cart men have an organization ; I do not know whether the Ital-
ians have one or not I am now informed that they have; and the
Greek Consul is here to be heard in behalf of his countrymen, I am
told. So, I suggest that you select on behalf of each of these three
different nationalities, or groups, certain spokesmen one, two or prob-
ably three in number probably two would be better who can speak
authoritatively. After you have chosen them, we will be glad to hear
Mr. SIGMUND SCHWARTZ Mr. Chairman !
The CHAIRMAN Mr. Schwartz.
Mr. SCHWARTZ Gentlemen and members of the Commission, I am
the representative of the United Citizens' Peddlers' Association of
Greater New York, and we would say that we have no suggestions to
make to the Commissioners. You are best fitted to prepare rules.
There is one suggestion we would make, and that is to ask for markets,
i 9 7
three markets, which could be built by the City, one at the upper end
of town, the other at the East Side, and the other on the West Side.
Those would be public markets, and then have the push-carts in those
markets, and charge each man so much a month, which should cover
the expense to the City for the property it would buy.
Wherever we go now, we feel the hand of the law. If we leave
one street and go to another we are hounded out of that. Our men
have been pounded and arrested, and there has been much suffering.
Our only suggestion is that the City buy property, build markets and
charge each man so much for the space he occupies. We think that is
the best way.
Take a place like Hester street. You see there a great many schools,
and in order to do justice to these people you do injustice to the chil-
dren, and in order to do justice to the children, you do injustice to the
people. There are many other places where the streets are small and
the number of people is large ; and the only way to do is to make public
markets ; and until such time as they are built, certain streets could be
picked out, where there is not too much traffic, and where the push-carts
can stand until the markets are built.
The CHAIRMAN Let me ask you this question : It has been stated
here and on the outside, that some men have a number of licenses ; that
one man will control five, ten, fifty or probably more, so that the man
with the cart has but the use of the cart and the license. What about
Mr. SCHWARTZ I will explain that. Years ago when a man wanted
to get a license he went there to the Bureau and got it, and he was in
the business for a few weeks probably during a strike in his line of
trade he would get a license for four dollars, and then when the strike
was over and he went back to his former business, he would sell the
license. Then there were some of the fellows who " came over " who
wanted to get licenses, and could not get a license, so they would buy
these from these other fellows.
Now a fellow who wants a license must make an application. We
want to see it so that no man shall be entitled or allowed to have more
than one license. And he should only have a paper, and not a badge.
Badges should not be given. The number should be on the push-cart,
and he should have a paper. Then in these markets when they are
built, there should be a market policeman located there, and he should
make them show the license.
The CHAIRMAN The charge definitely is this : That one man, for
instance, will have fifty carts, or ten, or as many as you may say but
quite a number. He will get fifty men to come down here and ask for
licenses for those carts, giving them the money. They, in reality, do
not own the license, or the cart, and they only work for this other man.
Mr., SCHWARTZ That is right. A man goes down and pays ten
cents a day for the use of a cart ; before the holidays they pay twenty-
five cents a day. Some of them have been given licenses. They are
not so many now. There were five or six hundred on the East Side ;
but now if a fellow goes to change his license papers he must have his
citizenship papers with him. If he did not have the papers his license
would be taken away from him. It was not that way before.
The CHAIRMAN In other words, they send a man down with citizen-
ship papers ?
Mr. SCHWARTZ Yes, sir; bi\t that man might not work on the cart
then. He might have gone to Philadelphia.
Mr. WEINSTEIN Suppose, one man had only one license ; how many
would that reduce the number?
Mr. SCHWARTZ It would reduce it by thirty-five per cent.
Father POLIZZO And are you willing that each man should have
his own cart?
Mr. SCHWARTZ Positively. A cart costs only ten dollars, and he
pays twenty dollars a year in hiring a cart.
Father POLIZZO And it would be a hardship on you people?
Mr. SCHWARTZ No ; it would be better for each man to have his
Miss WALD Mr. Chairman, may I ask a question?
The CHAIRMAN Certainly, Miss Wald.
Miss WALD Your suggestion was for a future market ; what is your
immediate suggestion ?
Mr. SCHWARTZ To give some certain streets which are not narrow
or overcrowded, in which they can remain until the markets are built.
That, madam, is my suggestion.
The CHAIRMAN Do you agree that we can have push-carts and
street-car lines on the same streets?
Mr. SCHWARTZ No, we cannot. Take Hester street, there are four
schools there and a park.
The CHAIRMAN And you know that Grand street has a car-line?
Mr. SCHWARTZ Yes, sir; but it helps property in many streets.
Property on Orchard street has gone up.
The CHAIRMAN You think the push-carts standing in a street
increase the value of the property?
Mr. SCHWARTZ Yes, sir.
The CHAIRMAN What streets are worst?
Mr. SCHWARTZ Hester street, Orchard, Ridge Grand is not, there
are only push-carts there no store-keepers have push-carts there.
Mr. YEILLER Do you know how much a push-cart man earns?
Mr. SCHWARTZ I have been a peddler for twenty years ; and I know
I have made twenty dollars a week, and I know some who make only
two or three dollars, or four dollars, and get arrested then.
Mr. YEILLER What is it on the average?
Air. SCHWARTZ Fifteen, twenty, eighteen.
The CHAIRMAN Have you a double line of carts in Rivington street " J
Mr. SCHWARTZ Only one, on account of the automobiles; and
Inspector Schmittberger recommended only one line there.
The CHAIRMAN Have you push-carts in front of the public school
Mr. SCHWARTZ Only one, and that is not in front of the school.
The CHAIRMAN What would you think of a rule not to permit
them to stand on streets where there is a car-line or a church, or a
synagogue or a public school?
Mr. SCHWARTZ Then there would be no push-carts on the East
Side. The only way we can think of, Mr. Commissioner, is the way
we ask you to have a public market. That would settle the whole ques-
The CHAIRMAN How does the fish market work?
Mr. SCHWARTZ That is sold only one day in the week.
Mr. CARSTENSEN How many markets would you want?
Mr. SCHWARTZ Three.
Miss WALD You say the average earnings of the push-cart worker
are fifteen dollars, eighteen dollars or twenty dollars a week. Do you
include the vegetable men too?
Mr. SCHWARTZ Yes, Madam. Sometimes they get twenty, some-
times ten, or even five or six sometimes.
Miss WALD Do you guess at that?
Mr. SCHWARTZ No; I have been in that business fifteen to twenty
The CHAIRMAN Mr. Schwartz, does the peddler sell cheaper than
the storekeeper ?
Mr. SCHWARTZ The peddler sells cheaper. He does not pay a cent
of rent, but the people who go~to these carts could not go into a store
and get one cent's worth of stuff; but they go to a market and come
home with a whole basket of stuff for fifty cents. A push-cart man
gets his goods at wholesale and he sells more than a storekeeper; in a
day he sells more than a storekeeper in a week.
The CHAIRMAN What about the goods offered for sale is the mer-
chandise and food sound and wholesome?
Mr. SCHWARTZ Well, they have apples, grapes, pears and all kinds
of fruit. You will find good fruit on the push-carts that you cannot
get in the best stores.
Mr. WEINSTEIN Isn't it a fact that they ask the highest prices
possible on the push-carts?
Mr. SCHWARTZ Yes, sir. If we ask a woman half a dollar, she gives
you fifteen cents ; and if you ask fifteen cents, she gives you three.
Mr. HILL You say the push-cart men do not pay rent. Does he
pay something, not rent, for the privilege of standing in front of certain
Mr. SCHWARTZ Yes, sir.
Mr. HILL How much do they pay ?
Mr. SCHWARTZ Sometimes ten dollars, or twelve or fifteen dollars
a month. They ask a man, " Will you let me stand in front of your
place during the holidays?" and he says, "Well, you know I have to
pay rent here, I cannot do that for nothing." He says, " Give me $25
and I do it."
The CHAIRMAN Those who pay rent are not touched by the police ?
Mr. SCHWARTZ No. A fellow complained that he wanted a push--
cart man put away from his place. I went to the Captain and said, "If
this man complains about this peddler standing there and makes him go
away, don't let anybody else go there. If he wants the front of his
premises kept clear, he cannot put any other cart there." That man
went around to the station-house and the Captain told him that and so
he left this fellow alone.
Father POLIZZO I would like to know, Mr. Schwartz, if you think
three markets in The City of New York would be plenty?
Mr. SCHWARTZ Yes, sir.
Father POLIZZO How far would the people go to the push-carts
Mr. SCHWARTZ As far as fifteen blocks, I should say, to the mar-
Father POLIZZO Suppose we have one at the Bridge where it is
now, and another, where?
Mr. SCHWARTZ At Hester street, Ludlow street, or somewhere.
Father POLIZZO And the third would be where?
Mr. SCHWARTZ Farther down on the east side.
Father POLIZZO What about the west side people ?
Mr. SCHWARTZ There would be none ; up there there are only fifty
or seventy-five. The second market should be right at Hester street,
Essex street, Ludlow. The third should be between Mulberry and
Mott, Canal and Hester.
Father POLIZZO Do you know we have four hundred peddlers on
the west side, between Wooster and Houston streets?
Air. SCHWARTZ Yes, sir ; may be you have.
Father POLIZZO Don't you think there should be a market there?
Mr. SCHWARTZ Yes; build first one, two or three, and then the
others can come later.
Father POLIZZO But we must try and supply everybody. Should
this Commission decide to have markets, we should have more than
three or four.
Mr. SCHWARTZ That is for your own judgment. The markets
should be three stories ; downstairs for vegetables and fruits ; the first
floor for notions and dry-goods, and the push-carts not up there ; and
on Sunday it should be closed up.
The CHAIRMAN Have you the Williamsburg and Brooklyn people
under your association?
Mr. SCHWARTZ Yes, sir; it is a branch.
The CHAIRMAN You have a great many over there?
Mr. SCHWARTZ Yes, sir; two hundred and fifty or three hundred.
The CHAIRMAN That is the Williamsburg section ?
Mr. SCHWARTZ Yes. sir.
The CHAIRMAN Since the new bridge was opened they operate
there quite extensively ?
Mr. SCHWARTZ Yes, sir.
The CHAIRMAN Do some of them go to Williamsburg at times, and
then come over to New York at other times?
Mr. SCHWARTZ No. Sometimes on Saturday he might do that;
one day in the week.
Mr. VEILLER How many branches have you?
Mr. SCHWARTZ Four for the Jews, one for the Italians and one
for the Greeks.
Mr. VEILLER How many members have you in your organization?
Mr. SCHWARTZ The way we have it on the books is three thousand.
Mr. VEILLER When you say the market would be desirable the
three markets, does that represent the view of your organization as
well as yourself?
Mr. SCHWARTZ Yes, sir.
The CHAIRMAN Who wants to be heard on behalf of the Hebrew
Mr I represent the Hebrew Immigrants Aid Society,
33 Canal street. We are here to make a statement as to the pre-
requisites necessary to procure a license for people who have just landed.
The rule now is, that a man must be a citizen before he can obtain a li-
cense. We would suggest, that giving the immigrant the right to land,
we should not deprive him of the right to earn his livelihood. When the
average immigrant lands here he is not intelligent enough to procure
papers, and if you are going to deprive this immigrant of his only means
of making a livelihood, you are making a pauper of him. We would
suggest giving him a license until he is ready to take up something else.
The CHAIRMAN That would make the license a school of citizen-
Mr Ninety-five per cent, of them go to the push-carts
until they are. intelligent enough to get citizens papers; then they go
out of the push-cart business.
Mr. VEILLER Don't you think that would attract too many immi-
grants to it?
Mr The United States Government are the ones who
pass upon his eligibility to land here.
Mr. VEILLER Don't you think the City's first duty is to take care
of those now here?
Mr They should take care of them. You are taking
care of those here and you might as well take care of those coming.
Mr. VEILLER We have now about nine thousand licenses; because
we have nine thousand do you recommend that we have twenty thou-
Mr No; but I do not think we should have laws passed
to deprive them of their livelihood. That is their only means of making
a livelihood. They cannot get citizen's papers as soon as they land.
Rev. GUSTAV CARSTENSEN They are all sufficiently intelligent to
declare their intentions ; one of their fellow countrymen could tell them
to do that as soon as they land.
Mr Is that sufficient? If a man is permitted to land
he should be permitted to peddle, have the same privilege as the
man with citizen's papers.
The CHAIRMAN Do you think he would not come if he did not
get that privilege?
Mr He is here, and we have to take care of him in some
The CHAIRMAN The possibility is, he might not come.
Mr : The Government has given him the right to land
on the soil; it should not take away the right to a livelihood.
Mr. VEILLER Does not the Government permit him to land only
when there is satisfactory evidence that he can take care of himself;
or that he has relatives that can take care of him, or that he has some
means of support?
Mr Yes, sir.
Air. VEILLER I fail then to see how he can come to be a charge
on the community within a year. If he does become a charge on the
community within a year, then it is the duty of the Government to send
Mr He is here, and we should not pass any laws pre-
venting him from earning his livelihood.
The CHAIRMAN You do not ask that he be given an opportunity
to gain a livelihood only; you ask that he be given special privileges
the use of our streets, etc.
Mr. HILL Suppose the City were to wipe out the entire push-cart
problem, or industry?
Miss WALD Is not the point this: that if the privilege be ac-
corded to anybody, that those comparatively most helpless are entitled
to most consideration ?
Mr That is my point. You are tolerating the push-cart
peddlers now here ; why not tolerate all who land ?
Mr. VEILLER Have you any figures showing the percentage of
the number of men who land that go into the push-cart business?
Mr I think fully seventy-five per cent, of them.
Mr. YEILLER Can you send us any figures to substantiate that?
The CHAIRMAN His figures are evidently wide of the mark. It
could not be seventy-five per cent. The total number of licenses issued
is 9,000 and there are one million immigrants landing here annually.
Mr. YEILLER The man must be a resident of the State for one year
and he must take out his first papers.
The CHAIRMAN Who is the next speaker wishing to be heard?
Mr. JACOB MAGIDOFF Mr. Chairman and members of the Com-
mission, I am the City Editor of the Jewish Morning Journal, and I
represent the Jewish Morning Journal here to-day. This matter of
only allowing licenses to be issued to citizens was brought to our
attention by several peddlers who came to our office and complained
that there was a proposition made that only citizens should get licenses,
and that others should not get licenses ; and the plea they made, was
that, exactly, those immigrants who have just landed are most in. need
of this means of livelihood.
I am familiar with this question, and I want to contradict the gentle-
man who spoke before me. The point is, those gentlemen are not de-
pendent on peddling only. That is a mistake. That is an erroneous
impression that seventy-five per cent, of the immigrants take to ped-
dling. The fact is, that the number who arrive here is one hundred
thousand a year, and we have but nine thousand peddlers. A great
many immigrants upon first landing are unable at first to get work at
their trades, simply because they do not speak the language of the
country and do not know how to find positions ; so they look for the
easiest way to get something to do, and naturally they turn to peddling,
which is not a skilled trade, and a man can start at it anywhere. So,
for the first few weeks a good many go on the streets and peddle,
but they do not remain at the business. As soon as they learn some-
thing of the City and their prospective trades, they return to their
own vocations. Peddling with them is not a profession ; they use it
merely as a step-ladder.
You will find among the merchants of Broadway a great many
who started with a push-cart and then opened a small store, and
finally they became wholesale dry-goods merchants.
We who mingle with these people, know it is not such a nuisance; it
is a means of support for many who are seemingly helpless at first. For
this reason we claim it is unjust to deprive the immigrants of this
means of maintaining themselves until they get into their profession.
The CHAIRMAN The law now is, that the man must declare his
intentions and be a year in the State. Have you any objection to that?
Mr. MAGIDOFF I think you are wrong about the year in the State.
Mr. VEILLER That has been the practice for a long, long time.
Mr. MAGIDOFF Then it must have been evaded by many people.
It is wrong, as it shuts off the opportunity for people who have recently
landed from earning a living, and not becoming a public charge. They
use this method of supporting themselves until they get acquainted with
The CHAIRMAN Then there are no veteran peddlers?
Mr. MAGIDOFF Yes, sir; very few.
The CHAIRMAN You say, peddling is a transient or temporary
business with these men?
Mr. MAGIDOFF Yes, sir. There are no more than two hundred old
The CHAIRMAN Your newly-landed immigrant must first have
money to start, then get a cart and a license.
Mr. MAGIDOFF The push-cart is loaned, or rather, hired.
Miss WALD Do you believe there should be restrictions, or do you
think the extent to which this push-cart business is carried on is a nuis-
Mr. MAGIDOFF It may be considered a nuisance, but I consider it a
Mr. VEILLER Do you think it should be restricted?
Mr. MAGIDOFF Unless it is for the benefit of the Street Cleaning
Department I cannot see that they do any harm.
Mr. VEILLER In case of fire, do you not think they are in the way
The CHAIRMAN How would you get a fire-engine down Rivington
street now ?
Mr. MAGIDOFF They keep along the sidewalk.
The CHAIRMAN They are on the roadway, on the street. The
cart is against the curb, and occupying the street. How would you get
a fire-engine down Rivington street, when in addition to the usual bus-
iness they have a special order covering the Jewish holidays, and extend-
ing to the 26th of this month?
Mr. MAGIDOFF Perhaps those men are one hundred in number,
probably one hundred to two hundred occupy those streets. This evil
could be cured by the remedy proposed by the peddlers. Those streets
are now practically markets.
The CHAIRMAN You are the editor of a Jewish paper there?
Mr. MAGIDOFF Yes, sir.
The CHAIRMAN Are the peddlers popular on the East Side?
Mr. MAGIDOFF Very popular. The fact is, a great many poor
people of the East Side buy all their things, all they want of their
necessaries, from the push-carts, because it is much cheaper. And, con-
sidering that the East Side is full of poverty-stricken people, this depriv-
ing these people of the chance to buy from the push-carts, would raise
their cost of living from two to three dollars more a week.
The CHAIRMAN Leaving the East Side and taking the view of the
citizens of New York would you place a limit to the number of push-
Mr. MAGIDOFF I do not see that the number of peddlers at present
is so great that it should be limited. In Rivington street it could be
limited and regulated.
The CHAIRMAN We have nine thousand now. How many more
would you say?
Mr. MAGIDOFF That is not too much. They are scattered through-
out the city.
The CHAIRMAN Suppose there is an additional immigration from
Russia this summer; probably the number would rise to one hundred
thousand, if we did not place a limit on it somewhere, of the people we
would have to take care of according to you gentlemen. If we placed
a limit on the number, making it, say, twelve thousand, the rest would
have to take care of themselves.
Mr. MAGIDOFF You can as well place the limit on the number of
shoe-makers, tailors, and so on, as on the number of peddlers. No more
will take it up than can make a living at it.
The CHAIRMAN It is a question of street space and not whether
they can make a living at it.
Mr. MAGIDOFF But, I say this question is governed by the same law.
When these people don't find the business profitable they will go to
something else. It will regulate itself. Why should we believe that if
we have no restrictive laws too many will flow in here ?
The CHAIRMAN Don't you think we should give some thought of
the right of the public to go up and down the streets in the cars, and
by other means?
Mr. MAGIDOFF This question involves a few streets only.
Mr. WEI N STEIN Don't the peddlers take up room which the chil-
dren in the crowded tenement houses should have for exercise and play ?
Mr. MAGIDOFF Only in two or three places. There are nine thous-
Mr. WEINSTEIN Which do you think is the more important, the
health of the children and their comfort, or the push-cart industry?
Mr. MAGIDOFF A great many accidents occur in the streets because
children play there.
Mr. WEINSTEIN Isn't it so, because the driver has trouble dodging
the push-carts ? Don't you remember about five years ago when the
streets there were asphalted and the children played and used to dance
there on the street?
Mr. MAGIDOFF Yes, sir.
The CHAIRMAN Who else wishes to be heard?
Mr. J. H. DONOVAN I do not know that I am out of order, Mr.
Chairman, but in calling off the different nationalities you did not place
the Americans in it at all.
The CHAIRMAN Well, we will give him a show ; he is entitled to
Mr. DONOVAN I have listened with interest to the remarks of our
two former friends., and I must say that I cannot agree with them.
In the first place, the last speaker says, this is only a temporary occu-
pation. I can name twenty men right here in this room now who have
been twenty years in the push-cart business.
In regard to the market suggestion of Mr. Schwartz, let me say that
T do not know about the East Side, as I peddle downtown and in that
neighborhood we have been getting a lot of chasing lately, and I can-
not see where it comes in. We have a wide street
The CHAIRMAN Are you talking about Broad street?
Mr. DONOVAN Yes, sir. There was objection to the lack of clean-
liness of the street, so we offered to take care of the street and clean
The CHAIRMAN Mr. Schwartz made the same offer. I objected
Mr. DONOVAN We deal in lunches; and you know there are thou-
sands of messenger boys in that section, and they do not get large
salaries. We cater to that trade exclusively.
The CHAIRMAN How many carts are there in Broad street?
Mr. DONOVAN About twenty.
The CHAIRMAN How many in Beaver street?
Mr. DONOVAN They are all in Beaver street now; they are not
allowed in Broad street. They take more room in Beaver. In Broad
street they are nearly out of the way of all traffic.
The CHAIRMAN Here is what one complainant says: "If they
were restricted to the foot of Broad street they would do nobody any
harm, and we think, in time, if they were compelled to go there, their
trade would follow them, as they are supported mostly by the boys
who cat their products, which must certainly be very injurious, and the
Board of Health should compel them to stop it."
Mr. DONOVAN There are people who applied to the Board of
Health to stop it before. The Board of Health came around every
once in a while, and they got a man who had his can open.
The CHAIRMAN You are now in Beaver street?
Mr. DONOVAN Yes, sir.
The CHAIRMAN Do you think you could meet the needs of the
office boys there if you had a permanent sidewalk stand?
Mr. DONOVAN Yes, sir; but where could I get it? I was in a
cellar ten feet deep, and it cost me $125 a month. In regard to push-
carts, if only citizens had licenses it would be better. There are nine
thousand licenses and I believe there are fifteen thousand push-carts.
Have nobody but citizens entitled to a license.
Mr. CARSTENSEN On what do you base your estimate that there
are fifteen thousand push-carts on the street?
Mr. DONOVAN I know one man with a license, and then eight men
without a license, all working on that one license.
Mr. CARSTENSEN Do you judge from the Broad street crowd only?
The CHAIRMAN What nationalities have no licenses, the Ameri-
Mr. DONOVAN The Americans all have licenses.
The CHAIRMAN You must get out of Beaver street, Mr. Donovan.
as the complaints are so numerous there.
Mr. DONOVAN We have to get out of any narrow street; but
Broad street from Wall to Beaver is very wide.
The CHAIRMAN Are there not a number of large and cheap eating-
houses in that neighborhood, selling coffee, pie and milk?
Mr. DONOVAN Only one.
The CHAIRMAN Which one?
Mr. DONOVAN Finn's, 52 Broad stret. Nobody will go down to
him. The only ones who go down to him are clerks who are ashamed
to get their lunch at a push-cart.
The CHAIRMAN Do all the messenger boys get their lunch from
Mr. DONOVAN Yes, sir.
Mr. MURPHY Mr. Chairman, I addressed a communication to you,
in relation to this matter. I would like to have something to say
about Broad street. I have had experience since 1880. I suggest, that
the way to get out of all this is not to give licenses to anybody unless
he is a voter, and identifies himself as such. There are 9,000 of these
men in summer, and only four thousand of them in winter. Where
are the other five thousand of them then? They insult us by taking
their profit out of the country every winter. What are they doing on
our streets, if they cannot spend the money here. Look at them in
Greenwich street. What do they do in the fall? Why should we citi-
zens and voters be driven from the streets by these foreigners? Down
on Broad street I pay a man to clean the streets there, as Commissioner
Woodbury knows. We are less in the way of pedestrians and vehicles
than the curb-brokers. They sell and offer for sale stuff we would
not handle what might be called " Common Steal " their business is ;
some of these very complainants have their cheap-paid clerks out selling
that stock on the street.
The CHAIRMAN You think some of these complainants from Broad
street are interested in the curb-market?
Mr. MURPHY I would not like to say so directly, but I think some
of them get their lunches from me, at any rate some of their clerks do.
Mr. CHAIRMAN You have complaints from Broad street; why
are we moved from there? There is plenty of room for engines and
cabs. We have no interest in the market question. We were left out
of that by the other speakers ; they do not suggest a market for us ;
it is only for the foreign sections. They ask what they shall do with
the immigrants that come over here. I say, let them go West and
build up the country, as my forefathers helped to build up New York.
They are here only for a while to make what money they can out of the
country. They would not shoulder a gun, except for the pay. You
know that the statistics show that.
I propose that you do right by the voters. I want licenses issued
to the voters ; and I offer to assist Commissioner Woodbury and Dr.
Darlington in any way I can.
The CHAIRMAN Where are you now?
Mr. MURPHY It is hard to say where I am. I go to one place
and the officer comes along and says, " Get off of my post !" and we go
across the street, and another man comes along and says, " Get off of my
post!" So one day when two of them had said this to my brother, he
said, " I have no air-vessel, I cannot go into the air." We have the
license, but we cannot use it. All we ask is, that you do what is rea-
sonable and fair. I have drawn up a set of rules which may be poorly
worded, but in general they set forth our views on Broad street. The
rules are as follows :
" To the Honorable Push-cart Commissioners:
SIRS W r e, the undersigned lunch-peddlers in Broad street,
respectfully request your Commission to look into our applica-
tion for a stand for lunch business on Broad street and Ex-
change place, as said place has been a market for lunch for the
last twenty-five years, and is, to our mind the only solution and
proper place for the lunch-peddlers. The centre of the street is
what we require.
As you are aware of the trials and struggles of the young
generation to get along on small salaries, and owing to the high
cost of living at the present time, you can therefore see that the
lunch push-cart men are a public necessity. By granting this re-
quest we will keep said street in a state of cleanliness. Also,
as you are aware, Broad street near Exchange place is very wide,
and we would be out of the way of truck traffic.
Hoping that your Commission will give this request your
usual kind consideration, we are.
THOMAS P. MURPHY,
The American peddlers do not lend their citizen papers for others
to get licenses on. I will get the names of a number of men who are
willing to have their photograph on the license. When they make an
application the officer when he looks it up takes that photograph and he
sees if he is a citizen ; and the police officer can then do his duty far
better than he does now to the likes of me.
The CHAIRMAN Did you say a while ago that it is the practice for
them to get one license and when the officer comes along to inspect
their licenses that they pass the same one on from one to another?
Mr. MURPHY Those people are too smart for your Police Depart-
ment. They have a school of training for all classes of them.
The CHAIRMAN How is that, Mr. Schwartz?
Mr. MURPHY Mr. Schwartz is with me in this matter of the
photographs. The commuters use photographs on the suburban roads.
Your police cannot do their duty fair, as the thing is so complicated.
They see us on the street and they say, " Get out of here ; get off my
post." What are we then to do about it?
Let us have this cab-stand, and we will keep it clean ; we now pay
the same man that cleans for the curb-brokers.
The CHAIRMAN This seems to be " Common Steel" against
*' Coffee," and I guess you sell better stuff than the brokers, don't you.
Mr. MURPHY On a barrel of lemonade I make two dollars, and I
must sell six hundred glasses. You spoke, Mr. Commissioner, about
a complaint from Beaver street. Are there any openings there by
which we can get our old place back ?
The CHAIRMAN I am going down there myself, Murphy.
Mr. MURPHY Can I hope for your approval on this photograph
question in reference to this having a man's picture on the license
to help your men identify the licensed peddler?
The CHAIRMAN We will consider it, Murphy. (Continuing)
We are informed that the Greek Consul-General wishes to make a few
remarks in the interest of his fellow-countrymen.
Mr. D. N. BOTASSI (Consul-General of Greece in New York) Mr.
Chairman, I wish to say a few words on behalf of the Greek peddlers.
There are seven thousand Greeks in New York, and out of that seven
thousand, most of them are, as you know, the most peaceful citizens
we have here. About one-third of them perhaps two thousand are
fruit peddlers. They are very quiet; obey the laws and are entitled to
a living. Most of them when they arrive, go to the City Hall and
get their first papers of American citizenship.
Certainly they do crowd the streets to a certain extent. They sell
fruit almost exclusively, and it is all American fruit that they sell.
The}- do not send abroad and buy the fruits which they sell here ; it is
all American fruit.
Those people are entitled to a living; they are industrious and
make good American citizens, sooner or later.
In relation to the encumbering of the streets : Certain streets they
should not be allowed on Broadway, from Fourteenth street to the
Battery ; Sixth avenue from i4th to 23d, and in certain other streets ;
but it would be a sin to deprive these two thousand industrious people
of a chance to make a living on the other streets.
I ask the authorities of this City to be lenient to these men to be
just to them as they are entitled to justice at the hands of the officials
of their adopted land.
Mr. VEILLER Would it be agreeable to have pictures on the carts?
Mr. SCHWARTZ My suggestion is to have the picture on the li-
Mr. VEILLER Only on the paper?
Mr. SCHWARTZ Yes, sir. If it is on the cart and I go away for
five minutes to get lunch, and I ask my wife to stand by the cart until
I come back, then the policeman comes along and asks, " Where is
your license and your photograph?"
Mr. JAMES PATTERSON Mr. Chairman, I am a Greek, and I am
Chairman of their General Committee. When I first came to this
country I went to peddling. I am now the father of six children and
I am in a different business. I have listened to many gentlemen to-day ;
that is, American gentlemen, they say. They say they were born
here and must have more rights than foreigners have. I do not
think that is proper.
This great country was created by Almighty God for anybody
who came here. Not for the citizens of the United States only, but
for every decent and honest man who lands here.
I admit and agree with the Commissioner of the Street Cleaning
Department that the push-carts in the streets are a nuisance; but we
might find a remedy which will clean the streets and not stop these
men from earning a livelihood.
I do not ask you, Mr. Commissioner, to bring the Bertillon system
from Police Headquarters to the License Bureau. They should have
one push-cart on each block, or not more than one push-cart on one
block ; and they should get a license for this cart. When it is placed
in front of a man's place, there should be an affidavit from him that
he is not taking money for the privilege. And then you should take
away the power from the Alderman in this license matter. I had a
case where a man was going to put a stand in front of a saloon ; 1
asked the saloon man if he was satisfied, and he said : "I am willing,
but the Alderman will not give it to you.'' I said, " Why "? He said,
" I did not belong to his club and he was prejudiced against me." 1
went to see the Alderman and he said, " Come to my club, and we will
think this over.'' I said, "What time"? he said, "Eight thirty."
I went to the club at that time and he came in at 12 o'clock. He then
said, " Meet me at the Board of Aldermen." And then he said, " That
fellow never came to the club/'
Place one push-cart man on every block, have them 10 feet fronr
the corner. Get the consent of the store keeper, and if they want more
than you make, nuke him make an affidavit that he does not receive
any money for the standing of the cart there, and then have a small
can on every push-cart to put the refuse in, and then put the number
of the license on that can in large numbers. Then if any peddler vio-
lates the law or the rules, revoke his license ; take it away and do not
give him any other at any time.
As you said, Mr. Commissioner, there is the broad question of
the public health which must be considered. That is a very im-
portant thing. I have six children. I am as much interested in the
health question as Commissioner Woodbury, Mayor McClellan or
any one. I moved to a place down town and pay $45 a month
because that strtst is clean. I was paying $25, but I did not want to
stay there as the health of my children was endangered.
Put one push-cart on one block.
The CHAIRMAN All over the city?
Mr. PATTERSON For instance, you would not put one on Broadway
way and Murray street, but on Murray street, just off Broadway.
License them, have no more than one push-cart on one block, don't
have them on the crowded streets, and if they break the rules, revoke
that peddler's license and do not issue another to him.
The CHAIRMAN I should like to hear from the speakers chosen
for the Italian push-cart men. Let one of the Italian representatives
give us their side of the question, and any suggestions they wish to
Mr. J. J. FRESCHI (Room 401, World Building) Mr. Chairman
and members of the Commission, I have deemed it proper to place
my remarks on paper, and at the close of my remarks I shall hand a
rough copy to the stenographer to the Commission.
My purpose in doing this was to get through my remarks as
promptly as possible, and to detain you but a few moments.
I am authorized to represent certain Italian interests.
Mr. J. J. FRESCHI (Room 401, World Building).
Gentlemen of the Municipal Push-cart Commission:
I am authorized to represent the Italian Herald, one of the " dailies "
in this community, and in its behalf I urge the retention of the push-
The complex problem, commonly known as the push-cart " evil "
has become more vexed because of the lack of adequate means to
properly regulate the trafficking in wares and merchandise either
with push-carts or baskets.
The push-carts in this metropolis have come to stay, and they
now seem almost indispensable to certain classes of people, and it
may be said they are an institution in peculiar localities in this city.
The contention is made by the opponents those who would take
radical action and adopt and employ extreme means in an attempt
to eradicate the so-called " evil," and that push-carts in particular,
among other things, impeded traffic in the public highways, and, there-
fore, are nuisances and endanger the public health.
The heavy vehicles and the enormous amount of traffic in the pub-
lic streets, require, it is true, considerable space in which to move
back and forth. But it is an indisputable fact that the condition exist-
ing in certain quarters at certain hours of the day will permit the push-
cart vender to ply his occupation without hindrance or interference
whatsoever to moving wagons. In order that the difficulty of how
to prevent an impediment to the public conveyances and traffic may
be removed, it might be well to recommend that the territory or
districts wherein public traffic is heaviest be designated during certain
hours of the day as a proscribed territory from which push-carts and
peddlers shall be excluded.
In the selection and designation of proscribed districts, it is sub-
mitted, this Commission might well take into consideration the size
of the streets, avenues or thoroughfares, amount of traffic and the
number of vehicles using the same, hours of the day or night when
such traffic is heaviest, the nature of the neighborhood and the tran-
sient business requirements therein; elements which, if investigated
with caution and thoroughness, and weighed judiciously, will mate-
rially aid in the intelligent modeling of laws for the future regulation
of peddlers and push-cart venders.
Another suggestion in this same direction. The proper and effi-
cient enforcement of our municipal ordinances applicable to public
venders is absolutely essential in mitigating the evil, and in order to
facilitate the better regulation and conduct of push-carts by public
officials. Peddlers ought to be prohibited, without discrimination,
from standing at any one point for a period of time beyond that limi-
tation prescribed in our ordinances. Push-cart men should not be
permitted to obstruct cross-walks or stand or move on the wrong side
of the streets; and, above all, individuals should not be permitted
to peddle without licenses. The fact is that a very large percentage
of the arrests of push-cart men are made because they have not pro-
cured the necessary licenses to peddle.
The storekeeper who has and maintains a cart outside of his
doors should not be shown any more favor than the ambulatory ped-
dler. The storekeeper placing a push-cart in front of his premises
should enjoy no greater privilege than the ordinary peddler.
Then, again, it is incumbent upon drivers of moving vehicles to
lend a helping hand in the interest of this cause. If push-carts can
be avoided without inconvenience by the drivers of public convey-
ances, it should be done. A push-cart peddler, as a rule, is adept at
moving his cart about, from place to place, thus avoiding interfer-
ences with other vehicles or pedestrians at the same time using the
highways. Only two evenings ago, while I was walking through
Centre street, opposite our new Hall of Records, I noticed a push-
cart peanut vender dodge with adeptness, celerity and precision, the
automobile of the Commissioner of Street Cleaning, guided and oper-
ated by a chauffeur, although he apparently so steered his vehicle
as to travel in a direct line and in the path of this selfsame push-cart
The great advantages to a large number of the people derived
from the presence of push-cart venders needs no lengthy argument
to demonstrate. But I am informed that Dr. Marcucci, represent-
ing another Italian daily newspaper in this city, will speak more at
length on this subject.
Rescind the push-cart and basket peddlers licenses and thousands
of men and women will be deprived of an occupation and thrown upon
whatever other resources, if any, they possess, to earn a livelihood.
Their families would suffer in no small degree. Those of the people who
have been accustomed to make their daily purchases from the push-
carts, would, in a major part, be affected, for the products of the push-
cart men, especially in fruits and vegetables, are superior in quality,
as a rule, to those sold by many of the storekeepers.
I have heard it acknowledged by people who daily have dealing's
with the push-cart peddler, that the quality of the goods and mer-
chandise was, in the majority of cases, better and fresher than that
which was for sale by many of the storekeepers in the immediate
vicinity where they lived.
I have carefully observed that in some instances the sale of a
superior quality of merchandise by storekeepers in the localities
most frequented by peddlers is in major part the result of a sharp com-
petition between the push-cart peddler and the storekeeper ; but re-
move the push-cart and you thereby remove the storekeeper's com-
petitor, who caters to the public taste and fancies of the people, by
exposing and offering for sale fresh and wholesome merchandise.
Then you will find, I dare prophesy, that the storekeeper will grow
gradually indifferent as to the quality of his wares, and possibly en-
hance the cost .thereof. The push-cart peddlers in certain localities
have helped to maintain a standard of quality that seems to gratify the
public demands ; and also, they have fixed a standard of expense for the
poorer people that has adjusted itself to their income. Say you will
wipe out the push-carts, and, no doubt, you will foresee a loss of revenue
aggregating thousands upon thousands of dollars to this city. Ex-
clusive of the income of other licenses, the push-cart and basket ped-
dlers alone have paid into the City Treasury something like $15,000
per year, and if proper and adequate receptacles in which
refuse of the peddlers might be thrown, allowed to accumulate, and at
short intervals removed by the Street Cleaning Department and then
sold, some $25,000 yearly, I believe, could be realized moneys, all
of which would be used to great benefit by our very efficient Street
It is charged that store keepers complain that their business inter-
ests suffer as a result of the push-cart peddlers stationing themselves
near and about their places of trade, and that the majority of store-
keepers demand the immediate removal of what they have been
pleased to characterize as the push-cart evil. The indictment is false.
In some instances, and perhaps in many cases, this may be true; but
there need be only one incident cited that occurred, I am informed,
about fifteen years ago, to point out the absurdity of the claim that
the push-cart in any way injures the store traders' business at any
permanent stand or place.
When the store keepers in Bleecker street protested at that time
against the presence of push-carts in front of their premises, and in
their appeal demanded that push-cart venders be prohibited from tak-
ing such stands, the demands of the storekeepers were heeded, and
the push-cart men duly enjoined. Result that locality which had
been regarded by the people as a marketing street or place became
desolated, and the storekeepers' business suffered. They, within
five days thereafter, asked that the inhibition be removed and the
push-carts be permitted to return to take their stands in the street.
This was done. Now Bleecker street, from Carmine to Commerce
streets, is on Saturday nights, the rendezvous of the push-carts and
wagon peddlers, and that place is largely patronized by the people
there. It seems that the presence of the push-cart and other peddlers
has given that particular locality a severe business air and generated
an extensive business activity that is beneficial to all ; even the free-
holders command better purchase prices for their lands and houses.
If this is true in one case, it is also true in others.
The precinct station house blotters, I believe, do* not disclose the
same number of arrests on complaint of store keepers as for other
causes. The large department store managers are, in the main, the
complainants. Their reasons are principally prompted by selfish
The phase of the push-cart problem that presents itself to me as
more difficult of solution than any other, is how can the existing
padrone system be abolished without injuring the men who ply their
trade with push-carts?
I would respectfully suggest that under no circumstances should
any person under a prescribed age, say twenty-one years, be per-
mitted to hawk, peddle or attend at any push-cart stand or other place
to peddle goods in the public highways. This would eliminate the
young boy, who has -become the serf of the padrone, from this line
Furthermore, every man peddling should have his license, and
under no circumstances should any one man be given more than
one license in the course of the same year.
If push-cart syndicates there are, this feature of a license law may
in a measure help destroy the syndicate by placing its backers at the
mercy of the venders in whose names, necessarily, the licenses would
have to be issued.
To avoid the substitution of a peddler for the person in whose
name the license has been issued, some means of identifying the
applicant and licensee should be adopted. There are some imprac-
ticable schemes that might be suggested in this connection, but the
plan that appeals to me is that under which the pedigree and general
description of the physiognomy of the applicant must be stated in
the applications for the licenses and the license itself.
The license in the form I have just suggested becomes an identi-
fication card and will aid public officers in the fulfilment of their
Constant inspection of push-cart venders is a very important and
necessary thing to be done. Another device that would be of value
to inspectors and the public generally is a large movable tablet, to be
adjusted to and placed on each push-cart regularly licensed, contain-
ing in heavy figures, say a white figure on a blue enamelled back-
ground, the number of the peddler's licence, so that from a distance
anybody may be able to decipher the number a matter of concern and
value in identifying street peddlers.
I would recommend a severer penalty than the one iuw imposed
for any infraction of the license ordinances, incarceration for a period
of six months or more, of any person who procures or aids or abets
in procuring a license in any name other than that of the individual
to possess and use the same, or who transfers or accepts a transfer
of said license not entitled lawfully to possess and use it, shall not be
too severe. Substitute imprisonment in place of the fine and cancel
the license in such cases. As a deterrent it may be advised that such
person shall not be granted a license in the future, until after the lapse
of a definite period of time, to be fixed by law. The padrone system
can only be wiped out by drastic measures, such as I have mentioned
that will protect the push-cart venders, and at the same time serve
the interests of the public.
If the food products sold by peddlers are injurious to health as has
been asserted, the provisions of the Sanitary Code give ample author-
ity to act in such cases for the protection and preservation of the
It may be well to recommend, however, the enactment of an ordi-
nance, imposing a heavy penalty upon those who may be convicted
of exposing for sale such perishable goods as fish, meat, etc., without
keeping the same inclosed in a suitable glass case, immune from
flying dirt and dust.
In the name of The Italian Herald and its many subscribers, I beg
that this Commission shall give these few suggestions such considera-
tion as they may deem in their wisdom the public interests require.
Yours, very respectfully,
In connection with the personal description which we recommend
should be on the license, I would like to say that our passports have
such descriptions on them.
Rev. BERNARDINO POLIZZO Are you in favor of marking each
license with the photograph of the holder of the license?
Mr. FRESCHI If practicable, I am in favor of it.
The CHAIRMAN Who is the next speaker for the Italians?
Mr. LAMBERT J. MARCUCCI Mr. Chairman and members of the
Com|mission, in addressing you I wish to say that I am the representa-
tive of // Progresso It alo- Americano and also the Italian Push-
cart Peddlers' Association. The Italian Push-cart Peddlers' Associa-
tion had a meeting yesterday evening, and I went there to get their
views, and I am here to-day to echo them. I there heard what they
wanted and I am here to tell you.
They declare that they are against the agglomerations of push-carts
which constitute an impediment to traffic, and they are against that
because it is against their own best interests to be grouped in any
place. Therefore, they will like any measure you adopt to disperse them
throughout the city. They would respectfully suggest to you in that
line the distribution of the push-cart men in such places in every district
as you would think convenient for them.
In every district of New York there is some place which is more
apt to be frequented by these push-cart mien than other places. They
would like to have the push-cart men distributed in such places. They
think it would destroy the push-cart business to put them all in one or
two or even three places.
They say there are fourteen thousand families, nine thousand with
licenses, and fourteen thousand push-carts; and they claim that the
existence of these fourteen thousand push-carts are a necessity for their
own families as well as a utility for the public.
I think I heard Mr. Schwartz say they earned on an average fifteen
dollars a week. Say two dollars a day; that means $28,000 a day for
all of them together, and $28,000 are two million eight hundred thou-
sand cents, or pennies ; because of this fact that their money is made in
cent sales, cent by cent, I think I can say without exaggeration that
the $28,000, representing 2,800,000 pennies, represents more than one
million clients or purchasers who daily go to the push-carts and buy
some utility from them.
I know that push-carts are an impediment to traffic. But there
are more than one million people who take advantage of their busi-
ness, and their selling; therefore, they claim they are not a public
They are willing to submit to any regulation which you like. Take,
for instance, Houston street. There is a widening of Houston street.
Between Bleecker and Houston there is a kind of a square. I know
Houston street is crowded, but it would not be crowded if every dis-
trict had their special block or place for push-carts to stand.
But there are some districts where they do not go ; and they would
like to be distributed in those districts according to your judgment and
in places where they would not be a traffic impediment.
In regard to the issuance of licenses they are more than willing
to agree with you not to issue licenses except to those who declare their
intention to become American citizens; but it would be the destruction
of the push-cart trade to oblige them to be citizens. You, gentlemen,
know as well as I do that when a man is able to be an American citizen
he is not obliged to be a push-cart man. When he can speak English
he is more than a push-cart man, Therefore, we can say: That a push-
cart man is an aspirant to the degree of American citizenship.
As Commissioner Darlington once told me: They are really chil-
dren; that is true, because blood, and Latin blood, is hot too hot; but
they submit to every regulation you like. They say that not to give the
license save to the fully admitted citizen would result in the encourage-
ment of the padrone system, and nothing else, because the padrone
system was born from this fact. Some fellow with the privilege of being
an American citizen, and having a license, sold his license to those
unable to become American citizens. We realize that all but a few of
the padrones we have are American citizens, and they sell their citizen-
ship in parts they have ten or twelve carts, and they give their per-
mission to the others. If you restrict this privilege to citizens you
certainly encourage the padrone system.
The push-cart men are obliged to walk around all day; they are
obliged to have steel legs. These men were all tired yesterday, and we
had not such a big crowd, but they agreed to propose to you to put
their own photograph on their own license, and if the photograph is
not sufficient, then you can put on a description too, as it is on the
Italian passport. They are willing to have the license strictly'personal,
for no one of them seeks to be a slave; they want to be free.
Another thing, the distribution of those people in districts, in
special parts of the district, would benefit and make easy the Health
Department and Police Department inspection. There would not be a
danger in case of fire, or anything of that kind, because they run
more than your fire-engines. As soon as they see the flame they take
good care of their own lives and their push-carts. In any case, the
danger would in that event be limited to one place only.
The Italian push-cart peddlers are against any congestion of push-
carts; first, on account of the traffic; second, for their own interest.
They would welcome any distribution that avoiding any impediment
to traffic should suit the interests of their business. They suggest
a division of the city into districts, and the selection in every district of
a proper place a kind of district market for all the licensed push-
carts allowed in that place. The number of push-carts is to be estab-
lished by the authorities. This suggestion, however, does not imply
the refusal or antagonism to any other method of distribution; as, for
instance, the distribution of push-carts in some streets (more than one)
of every district; or at some particular corners; avoiding those streets
where the traffic is greatest. What they insistently ask is to be let
alone in their place, without being obliged to continually walk around.
This rule, if enforced, is a source of possible mishaps, because, able as
the push-cart " chauffeur " may be, he will never be able to repair the
incapability of the automobile chauffeur.
They deny the statement that they should be classed as a public
The push-cart peddlers are as many as 14,000. Their daily trade
gives them a profit of about two dollars a day. If we take the two dol-
lars, not as the profit, but as the amount of the money they daily receive
from the public, it is the considerable amount of $28,000 that we must
consider. This amount is made nearly cent by cent. There are 2,800,000
pennies which most probably represent more than one million people,
daily patrons of the push-cart peddlers. This million of people finds it
very convenient and economical, as well as hygienic, to buy goods from
the push carts.
The impediment to traffic, the nuisance to the public, if considered
from this point of view, it will appear in its true and very democratic
light; the million people who daily buy fruit from the push-carts can-
not afford to cry their complaints from an automobile, because they
are working people.
The push-cart peddlers are unanimously against a market, or even
three markets, where to locate the peddlers. The patrons of the ped-
dlers buy from them because their merchandise is handy everywhere.
To congregate the peddlers in one or in ten places in all the city would
mean destruction for the class, and starvation for 14,000 families.
In regard to the issuing of licenses, the Italian push-cart peddlers
pledge their good will to co-operate with the authorities for the extir-
pation of the so-called " padrone " system. They welcome anything
for this purpose, and they suggest a personal license with a photograph
of the licensee, stamped with the seal of the Bureau of Licenses.
They respectfully note that the suggestion of depriving of the
license those who have not full citizenship papers would be if enforced
a cruel, impolitic and unwise act. Cruel, because the greater part of the
peddlers have not the full papers. Impolitic, because no better prep-
aration for American citizenship can be made for these poor, simple-
hearted people than by this striving to earn their living with honest
work. Unwise, because the needs of the families oblige the non-citizen
peddler to buy the privilege of the license from a license holder, and
there are, unfortunately, too many ready to sell this advantage of citi-
zenship, viz., taking out a license in their names which another will
profit by. The padrone system has its roots in the misunderstanding,
still common to those people, that to have a license they must produce
the citizenship papers.
Summarizing The Italian Push-cart Peddlers' Association gives
the following as its position :
First It favors a reasonable distribution of the push-carts.
Second It asks for a permanent place during the hours of day-
Third It declares the push-cart trade to be not a nuisance, but a
Fourth It is against the so-called push-cart markets ; at least, if
they are not district markets.
Fifth While it thinks it is reasonable not to issue licenses save to
those who have at least the first papers of citizenship, it is against the
proposition not to issue licenses save to those who are citizens.
Sixth It is heart and soul against the padrone system, and favors
a strictly personal license ; favoring the repeal of the license for any
violation of the rules.
Seventh It favors the repeal or revocation of a license in cases of
violation of the rules and regulations of the Health Department.
Eighth It recommends that the rules and regulations and the laws
in relation to this business be translated into the languages of the
Such proposals are respectfully submitted by the representative of
The Italian Push-cart Peddlers' Co-operative Association and of //
Progresso Italo- Americano } the oldest Italian daily newspaper in the
United States, on behalf of a very numerous class of Italian workmen,
asking for them the kind consideration of your honorable body.
Mr. WEINSTEIN What would you suggest as the proper method
in the distribution of the carts? There are some profitable streets and
some poorer ones. Who shall decide where the peddler shall go, and
how can he do it justly.
Dr. MARCUCCI They propose: If we live in one district, why
should we go to another?
Mr. WEINSTEIN But there are streets which are profitable and
some which are not. For instance, Centre street with its shops, and so
on, may be quite profitable, and another street would be less so; how
is any one to decide justly in apportioning them?
Dr. MARCUCCI Easily ; establish one place in a district for all those
men in that district.
Father POLIZZO Suppose we wished to make a distribution; how
could we fairly distribute the peddlers in the streets?
For instance, suppose we have fifteen peddlers on Houston street,
and we allow seven to stay there, what do we do with the rest? Sup-
pose those that stand on Houston street make fifteen dollars a week,
and those on Wooster street only eight dollars a week. How is the
Commission to determine the distribution ? You say you leave it to the
Commission to determine that.
Dr. MARCUCCI We have in New York forty or forty-two districts
I do not know the number now. Suppose there are twenty. Let
us have twenty places in those districts in which to put a part of the
push-carts that part which lives in that particular district.
The CHAIRMAN This is in line with the ordinance the Mayor
vetoed, allowing the Aldermen that privilege.
Rev. BERNARDINO POLIZZO Don't you think that should be left to
the Police Commissioner?
Dr. MARCUCCI They do not wish to be distributed in five, six
or seven streets of a single district; because it would in that case
be impossible to avoid injustice. They mean to have one place in a
district. Divide New York City into as many districts as you think
proper, and then establish all of the push-carts of that particular district
in one particular place, all together.
The CHAIRMAN Who is the President of the Italian Push-cart
Dr. MARCUCCI It is in process of formation now. The present
president is Lawyer Asterretti, the one I brought here. He proposed
the photograph on the license. They are willing to submit to your judg-
ment the distribution of the push-carts, provided they are placed in
parts of the districts where they can make some money.
Miss WALD May I ask a question, Mr. Chairman?
The CHAIRMAN Certainly, Miss Wald.
Miss WALD What do you think about certain streets where there
are street-car lines and other narrow streets, where push-carts, even
one or two, should be entirely proscribed and forbidden ; and then have
a maximum number allowed on other blocks. Would that meet your
Dr. MARCUCCI I do not think so. It would be impossible to avoid
confusion and injustice in the distribution. Some streets are favorable
to them, and some are not, and it would be unjust to the push-cart ped-
dlers to say to one, " You pay a license, and you stay in Wooster street "
and to another, " You pay a license and you stay in some other street."
Miss WAI.D I do not know that that is the case. I mean, not to
say, where they are to go ; but that they must not go on certain streets,
and on other streets they shall not go beyond a certain maximum
The CHAIRMAN Miss Wald means that on certain streets owing to
the street-car tracks or to the narrowness of the streets, no push-carts
whatever should be allowed on those streets and no one should be al-
lowed to peddle.
Dr. MARCUCCI They are willing to do that; but the second part
of the proposition I do not think is agreeable to them. They ask for one
place in a small district, where all of those in that district can be allowed
to come together; and that is full justice for all.
Mr. WEINSTEIN All in one place?
Dr. MARCUCCI Yes, sir ; all in that district in one place ; and it is
for you to determine the size of the district.
Rev. BERNARDINO POLIZZO You recognize the necessity of exclud-
ing the peddlers from certain streets?
Dr. MARCUCCI They do. They themselves are against any con-
gestion of push-carts which will prove to be an impediment to traffic.
It is against their own interests.
The CHAIRMAN Are the different papers composing the Italian
press a unit on this question ?
Dr. MARCUCCI Yes, sir. The Italian Herald and the // Telegrafo
that is the evening edition of the Italian Herald, I represent them here.
And another gentleman here represents the // Progresso. There are
four Italian papers.
Rev. BERNARDINO POLIZZO // Telegrafo, The Italian Herald, II
Progresso and Bollctino del la Sera.
The CHAIRMAN These two are they the leading papers, Father?
Rev. BERNARDO POLIZZO These are the leading papers.
Mr. FRESCHI He favors market places, which I do not favor.
Dr. MARCUCCI I see that what they think is right for them; they
think of what is good and proper for them. The only question is, is it
proper for you? These are their views.
Mr. P. GALLAGHER We are in the lunch business, we are in Beaver
street, and below there, as you will see by the Sunday Herald three
weeks ago, we brought up the rent on Broad street. Below Beaver they
would to have us come there too.
The CHAIRMAN Do you think Clews, Henry Clews, sells more bonds
by your being in front of his place? Do you think you have increased
Morgan's business ?
Mr. GALLAGHER I don't know. Take the curb brokers and with the
sight-seers on that automobile away and there is no crowding. If those
curb brokers were put off the street to-morrow they would starve ; but
the peddlers are here to stay, just as the trusts are.
The CHAIRMAN And the padrone is the trust man, -is he?
Mr. GALLAGHER He is trying to be. Many men, members of the
Stock Exchange had to eat their lunch off push-carts in the past. I
think many of these editors that complain would be eating off push-
carts if they lost their jobs to-morrow.
The CHAIRMAN Don't the peddlers make a great slop there with
their bananna skins, broken pieces of pie, etc. ?
Mr. GALLAGHER We keep a particular sweeper. The Street Clean-
ing Department has two foremen watching two sweepers, and I think
if one of those foremen were put out with a broom it would be better.
The peddler has been made the target for years, and it is not just. The
landlords, the property owners on Fulton street would like to have
them back there again. Fulton street is dead without them.
The CHAIRMAN Do you think you help the business of the Stock
Exchange by standing in front of it?
Mr. GALLAGHER^ We do. I think if inspectors were appointed, of
different nationalities say Italian, Greek and American and they could
say, " This is your location," and then have those inspectors under the
Mayor's Marshal. Now, the Mayor's Marshal issues the license but
has no control over them. I think he should have ten inspectors ap-
pointed to take care of this business all over the City.
The CHAIRMAN How many are there now peddling in Broad
Mr. GALLAGHER Fifteen or twenty.
The CHAIRMAN That does not include the Greeks and the fruit
Mr. GALLAGHER We got the worst of the deal in the chasing this
week the Americans got the worst.
The CHAIRMAN Who is next?
Mr. MARKS WOLFF (Nos. 61-63 Park Row) I represent the Push-
cart Venders Association of Harlem what is known as " Little Italy."
They have already organized and I will present a petition to you in due
form. They peddle between One Hundred and Twelfth and
One Hundred and Fourteenth street on First avenue. It is the same
with them as with all the other peddlers, they are being chased by the
police, and the street cleaners. There is plenty of room on One Hundred
and First street, between First avenue and the river, where the gas tank
is there. That street has very little traffic, and they would like to get
that district to put their push-carts there, and they are willing to clean
their own streets as soon as the market is over.
The CHAIRMAN What precinct is that in?
Mr. WOLFF The Twenty-ninth Precinct. This is the copy of the
petition which we wish to present to the Commission.
" GENTLEMEN The undersigned Push-cart Vendors' Protective As-
sociation, a membership corporation, duly organized and existing under
the laws of the State of New York, respectfully submits to your
Honors the following petition :
Because of the daily oppression and abuse of the policemen and
other city officials, we now lay before you this memorandum for your
consideration, in order that protection, which is so eagerly sought by
any honest and industrious citizen, be accorded to the members of
Gentlemen, we are constantly abused, and the privilege given to
us by the laws which emanated from the laws of God are trodden
under the feet and thrown into the mire, and we are continually told that
we are not entitled to consideration. Can it be so, where liberty is
gloriously elevated to a plane that makes the whole civilized world
appreciate its freedom in the land of Protection and Freedom?
The law requires that we should pay a certain fee to the City to
be allowed to sell merchandise, from whence we earn our daily bread
to satisfy the hunger of our children, to give them sufficient food to
preserve their existence which is dear to all fathers to give them an
education ; to preserve our honor, as by working honestly, we may
forever make an honorable body of citizens, and bequeath an honorable
name to our children, for honesty, and to teach them how to uphold
their brows in a way becoming an honest laborer.
What we, all members of the Push-cart Vendors' Protective As-
sociation demand, is this: A place to hold a small market anywhere
you may designate, lying between One Hundred and Tenth street and
One Hundred and Fourteenth street and First avenue ; and in return,
gentlemen, we promise to keep the place so designated to us clean at
our own expense. We ask this, gentlemen, simply to protect our com-
mon interest and look after the welfare of our Association, which grants
to its members full protection, sick benefit, medical attendance and all
other benevolent aid, free of charge.
If the place asked for by us cannot be given, we respectfully
petition that another place, which will be designated by you, in that
neighborhood, will be accepted by us under the same conditions.
We again appeal to you, gentlemen, to heed our prayer; grant us
what we demand, and do us justice as citizens of this great City.
By ANNUNZIOTO BONPRISEO, President,
417 East H4th Street,
Mr. ABRAHAM BENJAMIN I represent the Brooklyn Peddlers' As-
sociation; in the whole discussion to-day nothing was said about our
part of the City. As you gentlemen of the Commission are over all
of Greater New York, I wish to make my argument for the Brooklyn
Association. Over there we occupy two blocks
The CHAIRMAN What do you represent ?
Mr. BENJAMIN The Brooklyn Peddlers.
The CHAIRMAN Are there any Syrians here?
Mr. BENJAMIN We occupy two blocks, and there are no schools
or cars going through there. Why should we not be allowed to stand
The CHAIRMAN Are there many of you around the City Hall and
the Court House there?
Mr. BENJAMIN Yes, sir.
The CHAIRMAN How many? A good many?
Mr. BENJAMIN Yes, sir.
Rev. BERNARDINO POLIZZO I think it would be a great advantage
to all the peddlers to have a translated copy of the license issued. As
it is, some of the Italians cannot understand the regulations of the road
and the ordinances of the City. If it were printed in English for Am-
erican peddlers, in Yiddish for those represented by Mr. Schwartz,
and in Greek, Italian and Syrian for the others it would prove to be a
great aid to them.
The CHAIRMAN Has the editor of the Jewish Journal left?
Mr. SCHWARTZ Yes, sir.
The CHAIRMAN Is there anybody else wishing to be heard?
Mr. H. GOLDSTEIN It was stated here to-day that Mr. Murphy has
got to get out of Beaver street and go elsewhere. I have been a
peddler sixteen years. It has been stated that the push-cart peddling
business is one only temporarily made for immigrants, because some
people are foxy enough to get poor immigrants to work all day on the
streets for fifty or sixty cents a day. There are peddlers on the East
Side where they are wanted. The Commissioner of Street Cleaning does
not want them there. Are we to go where we are wanted or are we to
go where we are not wanted? Peddlers have been on Grand street for
years, lately they were put off. They were put off by the late Commis-
sioner Murphy, and they have been preparing a petition signed by every
landlord, and they are here to-day.
It has been asked by some one here to-day : How about the chil-
dren ? I live in that neighborhood ; others live there, all of us have
children, and we have good wishes for our children.
Again, it has been stated here that we are doing harm to the store-
keepers. I am sorry to say that I know a storekeeper on Grand street,
a dealer in notions and ribbons, who is retiring from business and
going into the real estate business. That looks as if he did well.
Mr. YEILLER Do I understand there is a padrone system among the
Yiddish people, as among the Italians?
Mr. GOLDSTEIN Sometimes a man will go among his neighbors and
ask them to sign a petition to let them stand on the street in front of
a place. In front of some of the places they don't want the peddler, but
they let a truck as big as a house stand there. Again, about that traffic
business : I never heard of a peddler being killed by a fire engine or
anything else. You will find that any driver who is honest and has
good common sense has never upset a push-cart in his life.
Now, Mr. Commissioner, this whole thing is a delusion. It has
been stated that 9,000 licenses were issued ; but three thousand of them
might be dead and buried, and their licenses still alive.
I have had a case in this very room, where James B. Reynolds heard
me make a remark, and he said, " Can you prove it ?" I said, " Yes." I
showed where a man with a license had gone out to work as a waiter,
and another man holds his license.
The CHAIRMAN Do you think there is any room below Canal street
where they could go say on Cortlandt street, Wall street and Fulton
Mr. GOLDSTEIN Fulton street is all right.
The CHAIRMAN You have a ferry at the end of the street and a
car-line along it. I am now taking the police view.
Mr. GOLDSTEIN Yes, sir. There are plenty of streets. I am seven-
teen years downtown. On Fulton street one gents' furnishing store
asked us to go on to his side of the street. Mr. Nathan claims he has
been taking in a great deal more money with the carts by his place to
draw the crowds.
The CHAIRMAN What do you sell, yourself ?
Mr. GOLDSTEIN I sell eye-glasses; I have been selling them for
seventeen years, and I never went into Nassau street or Cortlandt street.
I talked to Commissioner Woodbury when he went into office, and I
started the Citizens Peddlers' Association of New York.
The CHAIRMAN Are you the President?
Mr. GOLDSTEIN No, sir ; I am the Vice-President.
The CHAIRMAN How about the charge that the Hebrew is a man
with a lot of licenses.
Mr. GOLDSTEIN I am the first one to kick about that.
The CHAIRMAN What was the largest number of licenses which
you ever heard of one man holding?
Mr. GOLDSTEIN People control fifteen or twenty. They will give
you ten dollars for any license and make money on it.
The CHAIRMAN The same man?
Mr. GOLDSTEIN One man will buy licenses as many as fifty.
Miss WALD Does the license go with the push-carts hired out by
Mr. GOLDSTEIN Some of them.
Miss WALD Some men have one hundred push-carts ; how many
licenses would that man have?
Mr. GOLDSTEIN About twenty-five. There are over twenty-five
per cent, working without licenses.
The CHAIRMAN Are you in favor of having the photograph on the
Mr. GOLDSTEIN Yes, sir.
Miss WALD Is it true that storekeepers and dealers having a stock
of goods on hand, will engage a number of men with push-carts to dis-
pose of them?
Mr. GOLDSTEIN Why, certainly.
Miss WALD Isn't it true that some small merchants feel obliged
to have push-carts ; and that those who are paying rent are driven
out of the business by the push-carts?
Mr. GOLDSTEIN Yes, Madam.
The CHAIRMAN What would become of the push-cart men if their
licenses were taken away?
Mr. GOLDSTEIN This business has been cut down so far already
that it is now either make or break ; either give them a chance, or take
them up, or give them markets. I heard that the Captain of a certain
precinct pulled his gun and said, " Come down to the house."
Mr. VEILLER What officer was it, a police officer?
Mr. GOLDSTEIN Yes, sir.
The CHAIRMAN Give me the name of that man and I will make a
Mr. SCHWARTZ A man who is a politician interfered with the men.
Mr. GOLDSTEIN I did not mean a Captain of a precinct.
Thev are all in favor of markets, if possible ; but markets cannot
be built in a day or two, or even six months ; so. therefore, my sug-
gestion would be this, that this thing be taken under control of the
Police Department or the License Bureau, or hand it over to any other
Department, or have a special department for this work, and let them
find a remedy for it. Thirty-five per cent, of them could be taken off
the next week after the holidays.
The CHAIRMAN The traffic question does not appeal to you. You
are at the curb line and selling, and how much you interfere with traffic
does not concern you much.
Mr. GOLDSTEIN There is plenty of room for automobiles to go up
and down the streets.
Mr. SCHWARTZ Now, in regards to the push-carts on Orchard
street, Mr. Woodbury, the Street Cleaning Commissioner, should know
that the Street Cleaning Department is corrupt from right to left; they
are taking privileges and taking money for it. The policemen with a
long post cannot take care of it.
Mr. GOLDSTEIN There is plenty of room on Rivington street. The
men come there after four o'clock in the afternoon, after the Street
Cleaning Department gets out. There are at least one thousand push-
carts go out after four o'clock, and they go everywhere, all over the
Miss WALD Do you mean to say there is room on Rivington street?
Mr. GOLDSTEIN Yes, Madam; on one side. There are some people
who like to walk in the street.
The CHAIRMAN My experience with Rivington street is that the
street, between the outer wheel of the push-cart and the opposite curb
was from fifteen to twenty feet. I measured it. I have been through
there on several occasions. I tell the automobile man that in going
through there he must look out for everything, " You will have to creep
through there and lift them off the street to the sidewalk, and then go
on to the next man."
Mr. WEINSTEIN That is due to the fact that the sidewalk is
absolutely dirty, and people prefer to go out and walk in the roadways.
Again, the sidewalk is broken in many places, and pools of water ac-
cumulate. I walk in the middle of the street there.
Mr. GOLDSTEIN It is not the push-carts; it is the stands.
Mr. WEINSTEIN There is no use denying that it is the push-carts:
it is both of them.
The CHAIRMAN Now, gentlemen, I hope the Jewish and Italian
press will help us in this matter. They can do much by addressing
their readers through their own columns.
There is no intention on the part of the Administration or this Com-
mission to do anything that is revolutionary or hasty ; but we must con-
sider the use of the public streets from the public and police point of
view. That is the primary consideration. That means that the people
and the cars shall have free access to the streets ; they are for the use
of the people of New York generally.
We are very glad to have heard from so many of you. Many of
the suggestions advanced are novel ; and some of them are good. We
will give the matter thorough and honest consideration, and later on we
will ask Mr. Schwartz and other gentlemen for certain information on
questions which we may not be able to get at this time.
We will reach our conclusions only after thorough investigation with
a view to do injustice to none ; but with the public good in mind.
Of course arguments made to the effect that if you don't allow the
men to occupy the street legally, he will become a burden on the com-
munity, are not much unlike the case would be, if I had the power,
if I were addressed in the same way by people who would say, " If
you close the poolrooms you must find a living for all these men." It
is hardly fair to say it would be an analogous case to the one I have
announced ; but it will serve to show my meaning.
Of course, it goes without saying, that we will take into considera-
tion the social condition of the people engaged in this business.
FINANCIAL STATEMENT OF EXPENSES OF
APPENDIX \ III
FINANCIAL STATEMENT OF EXPENSES OF THE COMMISSION.
A. A. Hill, Secretary, April 16 to 30; May 9
to 31, at $150 per month, and June I to
July 22 at $166.66 $466 38
E. W. Dinvviddie, Assistant Secretary, May
22 to July 8, at $100 per month 158 06
J. C. Marriott, Official Stenographer 147 82
A. A. Hill, Secretary, Incidental Expenses 14 20
G. A. Ward, Making Maps and Drawings 59 oo
Lawrence Yeiller, Chairman, Incidental Expenses, Ste-
nographers, stationery, stencil supplies, prints, etc.... 47 84
Total expenses $893 30
Balance on hand not spent 106 70
Total $i ,000 oo
Amount appropriated by bond issue, 1905 $1,000 oo