From the July 18, 1898 edition of the New York Sun, a story about a newspaper seller who isn’t as he seems:
Hungry Joe the Newsman.
When in Brooklyn His Garb Differs from His Ordinary Wear.
The newsman at Ann street and Park row, who is commonly called “Hungry Joe” owing to his famished appearance, changes his garb and bearing when he goes home to Brooklyn. When parading Fulton street, Brooklyn, yesterday, he carried a silk umbrella and wore a black broadcloth suit, surmounted by a derby hat. He was scrupulously clean.
On Park row “Hungry Joe’s” business outfit is a hybrid basket and bag that contains his papers. His clothes are ragged and so faded that one cannot guess their original color. He wears no hat, and appears to be a tramp risen to the dignity of a newsman from desire for an honest living. His trade in papers is large and he makes a good living.
None of the newsboys dare compete with him. He carries a long club, a broom handle, and with this he argues the young idea into his way of thinking.