Courtesy of Library of Congress, Hines, Lewis, W., "Hartford, Conn. 6 A.M. Sunday...," 7 March 1909
Newsies sold newspapers in the big cities. They were usually homeless orphan boys who had no other way to make money. Newsies were not hired employees. They ran their own business. Each morning they would get up and buy newspapers. Then they would find a good corner with lots of traffic and sell the papers for a profit. Hopefully, they could sell all the papers. If they didn't, they might actually lose money. This photograph was taken in Hartford, Connecticut, with boys starting out with Sunday papers at 6 a.m. Some boys were only 8 and 9 years old. Some of these children had been selling until 7 and 8 p.m. and later Saturday night.
- Look closely at the photo. What job did these young boys have? What makes you say that?
- Boys who sold newspapers in cities were called newsies. Each morning they would buy newspapers to sell. They were not employees of a company, but bought the newspapers with their own money making it very important that they sold all of their papers each day. What are the benefits of not being an employee? What are the drawbacks?
- Compare this photo to the photo of the breaker boys. What do you notice about the working conditions for young boys in the early 1900s? Is this a positive or negative outcome of industrialization? Why?
Hines, Lewis, W., "Hartford, Conn. 6 A.M. Sunday...," 7 March 1909. Courtesy of Library of Congress