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VINTAGRAPH • WPA • WWII • VINTAGE CHRISTMAS ART

Tremont Street, 3:15 p.m.

Tremont Street, 3:15 p.m.

January 23, 1917. Boston, Massachusetts. "G. Leahy, 1249 Cambridge Street. Messenger for Metropolitan Messenger and Mailing Co., 67 Bromfield Street. Said 14 years old. Gets $5 a week wages, and makes $2.50 a week in tips. Taken at 3:15 p.m. on Tremont Street." View full size. Photograph by Lewis Wickes Hine.

 

On Shorpy:
Today’s Top 5

Mass. dealer plate

The suffix "E" indicates the fifth plate issued to dealer No. 2.

MA Plates

If you move to Massachusetts, you too could have a two or three digit license plate.

Many "low number" license plates are still in circulation there, and they have become status symbols. A few are well known and have remained in the same hands for decades (the plates belonging to senior religious or governmental officials, or a few wealthy families). Others circulate, and are available by lottery.

License plate

Three digits. Talk about an early adopter!

Messenger Boy

$7.50 a week was good money for a 14-year old in 1917 and probably more than many adults earned. Today it would be equivalent to about $125 according to the Federal Reserve Consumer Price Index calculator for the comparative value of a dollar. This boy was probably proud to be able to help his family financially.

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