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VINTAGRAPH • WPA • WWII • SPANGLES: THE CONTINENTAL CIRCUS

Goes to Moving Picture Shows

Goes to Moving Picture Shows

May 1910. Wilmington, Delaware. "William Gross, 516 Tatnall Street. Newsboy, 15 years of age. Selling papers 5 years. Average earnings 50 cents per week. Father, carpenter, $18 week. Selling newspapers own choice, to get money to go to moving picture shows. Visits saloons. Smokes sometimes. "Serves papers" to prostitutes. On May 25 William gave to investigator a list of houses of prostitution written in his own handwriting, to which he serves papers. He also tells a story of occasionally guiding strangers to these houses, for which he receives from 15 cents to a quarter." Photograph by Lewis Wickes Hine. View full size.

 

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Not too bright

Imagine, snitching on some of your best customers, plus tips, for a lousy 50c a week job? There must have been a substantial reward for turning in prostitutes in those days to do something that stupid. Today he could have built up a promising career in Washington.

[I suspect the reason was more self-preservation than any lack of smarts - Dave]

The faces, part 2

Quote: Maybe a little more hardship would do us some good.

Can't say I agree with that part of the previous post. "Today's youth" may have problems, like everyone else, but no 15 year old boy should look that sad and exhausted with life.

On the other hand, I do agree that the faces are mesmerizing.

The faces

I have just been mezmerized by the faces of the children presented in the photos on this fantastic site. Every face tells a different story. These faces seem so different from those of kids today -- so much more hardship witnessed and parteken of.
We Americans have become so soft and live lives of such luxury compared with the average person even 60 years ago. Maybe a little more hardship would do us some good.

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