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[REV 25-NOV-2014]

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Two Cents a Glass: 1906

Two Cents a Glass: 1906

New York circa 1906. "Broad Street lunch carts." Hot dogs 3 cents each or two for a nickel; lemonade 1 and 2 cents a glass. Detroit Publishing Co. View full size.

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Don't drink the lemonade

Urcunina, you reminded me of a line of narrative from Dorothy Canfield Fisher's book "Understood Betsy," published only a few years after this photo was taken. The two little girls are spending a day at the county fair: Betsy and Molly "still had twenty cents to spend out of the forty they had brought with them ... Cousin Ann had put no restrictions whatever on them, saying they could buy any sort of truck or rubbish they could find, except the pink lemonade. She said she had been told the vendors washed their glasses in that, and their hands, and for all she knew their faces."

Umbrella Date

If you look closely, there is a date on one of the umbrellas on the far left. It says "7-20-4", which I'm assuming is July 20, 1904. Hmmm, maybe it's a date of a special event, or the day that particular stand opened. Any ideas?

[7-20-4 was an address, not a date, used as the brand name for cigars made by R.G. Sullivan. - Dave]


Great mustache on the workman on the left.

Also, I was searching fruitlessly for information about the "No frankfurters sold..." notice and ran across a quite humorous 1918 NY Times article about a number of restaurant owners cited for failing to observe "Meatless Tuesdays" during WWI. One fellow said in his defense that "I didn't know until today that you class ham and frankfurters with meat."

All gone

This is way downtown at Broad and Beaver -- two blocks south of the stock exchange. None of the buildings in the photo are there anymore.

View Larger Map


April 26, 1912 - "The fund started by Mayor Gaynor for the relief of the Titanic survivors and those dependent upon them, reached a total of $121,611.67 yesterday, as a result of contributions sent to the City Hall, or to Jacob H. Schiff, Treasurer of the New York County Chapter of the American National Red Cross."

Francis Draz Co. donated $50. Couldn't find anything else about the Draz Co. Other than the name on the building above the awnings, you can't see inside the business because of the hot dog cart umbrellas!

[The company was an importer of wines and spirits. - Dave]

Fresh Lemonade Hits the Spot

No wonder all the potential patrons cast longing glances at Ye Olde Lemonade Stand---they're swaddled in clothes from neck to toe! Even the boy in short pants has long stockings up to his knees (unless it's long johns). Hope it was a nice spring day, rather than sweltering summer temperatures.

Can't help but think of the flies that buzzed around the food & lemonade. And the cleanup! Those metal & cast iron pans are a bear to clean. Probably just swiped them out with a soapy rag. Lemon juice & salt is a good c.i. cleaner---hey, they probably reused the lemon rinds now that I think about it!

Notice the peddler's license displayed on the pushcart. After 103 years, New York has come full circle: they're taxing everything under the sun!

Also note the Fire Alarm Box with the fancy shade.

Hot Dog Hygiene

How did they wash the lemonade glasses after use? And "No frankfurters sold during the" ... what?

["No frankfurters sold during the summer for-- " is all we can see. - Dave]

Two kinds of lemonade

2¢ for lemonade "to order" -- perhaps the quality of the "ready made" was questionable? At least if it was prepared to your order, you knew it was fresh.

(And I note as well that lemonade was the original "Real Thing"!)

Great NYC Photo

This was taken not far from my home in the East Village. A lot of the streets in this part of town don't look much different now. The automobiles are newer, but there are still plenty of carts selling hot dogs.

SHORPY HISTORICAL PHOTO ARCHIVE | History in HD is a vintage photo archive featuring thousands of high-definition images from the 1850s to 1960s. (Available as fine-art prints from the Shorpy Archive.) The site is named after Shorpy Higginbotham, a teenage coal miner who lived 100 years ago.

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