“Extra! Extra!”

Bradley & Hubbard "Whistling Boy" Bookends (LEO Design)

Today is National Paperboys’ Day.  On this day in 1833, ten year old Barney Flaherty was hired to deliver the New York Sun.  Little Barney—responding to a classified ad seeking “a number of steady men”—was the first of countless boys who made money delivering newspapers door-to-door or on the streets.  Despite the romanticized, iconic image of a boy with a stack of papers under his arm, newspaper delivery could be dangerous and difficult. The boys were out before dawn, unprotected, carrying money, and might be missing school in order to earn money for their families.  Furthermore, the papers’ publishers financially “squeezed” the boys who were mostly poor to begin with.  And U.S. labor laws did nothing to protect them, declaring that paperboys “are exempt from Fair Labor Standards Act child labor provisions, as well as the wage and hours provisions.”

The little chap (shown above), from a pair of “Whistling Boy Bookends,” may or may not have delivered any newspapers.  But this being Paperboys’ Day, let’s imagine that he’s just sold his last paper, has a little money in his pocket, and is heading off—just in time for his first class of the morning.

Click on his photo to learn more.


LEO Design's Greenwich Village store is now permanently closed.  While we contemplate our next shop location, please visit our on-line store which continues to operate  (www.LEOdesignNYC.com).

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