The New York newsboys' strike of 1899

A short account of the successful 1899 strike of newspaper delivery boys in New York City.

Submitted by petey on November 8, 2009

Hawking newspapers in the 19th century was hard work. Rather than working for the newspaper itself, a newsboy—usually a kid or young teen from a poor family, often homeless himself—had to buy copies of the paper from the publisher, then sell them independently.

An estimated 10,000 newsboys worked the streets of New York City. Publishers wouldn’t buy back unsold copies of their papers, which made it tough for a kid to eke out a profit.

In 1899, the Evening World and Evening Journal started charging newsboys 60 cents for a hundred copies of their papers, a hike from 50 cents. Pissed off, thousands of newsboys went on strike. They held protests all over Manhattan and got into fights with men and boys hired by the papers as replacement workers.

But the strike worked. After a few weeks of gloating media coverage in other New York City papers, the publishers scaled back the price hike.

Source: http://ephemeralnewyork.wordpress.com/2009/10/26/the-newsboy-strike-of-1899/

Comments

leandr

14 years 7 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by leandr on November 15, 2009

This text in russian http://revsoc.org/archives/2956

petey

14 years 2 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by petey on April 20, 2010

third item along:
http://www.cracked.com/article_18492_5-shockingly-powerful-kids-who-make-you-look-like-coward.html

more on the kid:
http://www.fortunecity.com/meltingpot/offord/192/articles/trib_28a.html
http://www.fortunecity.com/meltingpot/offord/192/articles/trib_30.html
http://www.booksbybrown.com/blinkpage.html

Anarchia

14 years 2 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Anarchia on April 21, 2010

And, of course, it was made into a Disney musical starring Christian Bale in 1992.

Newsies - http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0104990/

petey

12 years 5 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by petey on December 28, 2011

a little more info
https://ephemeralnewyork.wordpress.com/2011/12/27/the-first-newsboy-to-hit-the-streets-of-new-york/