From the July 9, 1899 edition of The Sun, a tale that could spark fan fiction:
Newsboy’s Swift Revenge
Murderous Assault Seen By A Crowd Near Bridge Entrance.
From the July 9, 1899 edition of The Sun, a tale that could spark fan fiction:
bootblacks, Brooklyn Bridge, colored film, early films, el station, el train, everybody jaywalks, ferry boat, Flat Iron Building, motion pictures, New York Herald Building, newsboys, Statue of Liberty, street scenes, Svenska Biografteatern
Black and white images show a lot about people and places in the past, but there’s something about seeing old black & white images that have been colorized to make the image seem even more real. Thanks to Denis Shiryaev, we can do that with a film compilation about New York City.
In 1911, cameramen from a Swedish company, Svenska Biografteatern (which existed from 1907 to 1919), made travelogues of places of interest around the world, including New York City. (Other locations included Niagara Falls, Paris, and Venice.) One of the nitrate prints survived and was restored by the Museum of Modern Art. Guy Jones slowed down the frame rate to match a natural speed of movement, and added background sounds for realism. It’s this version of the film that Shiryaev colorized.
Here is Guy Jones’ black & white version for comparison: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aohXOpKtns0
From the May 15, 1905 edition of the New York Tribune:
Frederick Johnson, who lived for years in the Newsboys’ Lodging House, at No. 14 New Chambers-st., and who died in Bellevue Hospital last Friday, will be buried to-day in Linden Hill Cemetery, Brooklyn, by his former comrades. Johnson, who was known as “Dutch” by the newsboys, died from pneumonia. He came from Germany seven years ago, but where his parents live is not known.
Superintendent Heig and John Paul, leader of the Newsboys’ Band, will superintend the funeral arrangements and the boys will act as pallbearers.
Ev’ry kid on the block has a sweetheart,
A pearly he looks to with pride
And when the old moon starts a-dreaming
He flies like a bird to her side
Have you heard of Mamie Maloney
You did? well you know she’s alright.
The real thing you bet not a phoney
She’s my sweet, say she’s not and I’ll fight.
My sweet my sweet, the copper while passing says isn’t she neat,
My sweet my sweet, the newsies admit, she’s the belle of the street,
There’s a little cosy corner in the subway of my heart
That’s locked up you see,
And I’ve handed the key to my sweet, sweetheart.
I don’t mean to always sell papers
Although I makes pretty good pay
It’s honest and there aint no tellin’
I might be a mayor some day
Or head of the great knights of labor
For hist’ry is known to repeat.
Or Willie K. Vanderbilt’s neighbor
In a brown stone with my little sweet.
Words by William Jerome,
Music by Jean Schwartz
Performed by Joseph Cawthorn in the 1905 musical “In Tammany Hall”
From the December 23, 1897 edition of The New York Daily Tribune:
“Do yer tink he’ll come ter-night?” asked a little Park Row newsboys of his companion.
“Do I tink who’ll come ter-night?” replied the second boy.
“Why, Santa Claus.”
“Say, what’s der matter wid yer, anyhow? Is yer getting dopey? What do you tink Santa Claus ud be doing down in Park Row. He’d get the grand ha ha if he come down here. He only goes among der rich folks up on der avnoos.”
“Well, he come here last year an’ took us ter der beanery an’ filled us all up wid pork and beans, an’ pie and coffee. Oh, I wish he’d come ter-night. I’se awful hungry.”
“Dat’s jest like you, Petey; you’se always hungry, an’ besides day feller wasn’t Santa Claus. He was a chap dat bet on der ‘beef-an’ horse at der races an’ made a big wad. Why, dat blokey had dough ter burn, an’ he wanter ter blow hisself. I don’t tink he’ll come ’round again cause I guess he’s broke—all dose racetrack fellers goes broke. It’s jest as bad as shooting craps ter get away wid a feller’s dough.”
“I’se awful cold. Let’s go an’ sit on der grating over der pressroom.”
“Dere yer go agin, Petey. I never seen a feller like you. Yer can’t stand notting. If yer ain’t hungry yer cold, an’ if yer ain’t cold yer hungry. Come on. You can lay on der graing an’ I’ll hustle’ round, an’ if I sell dese poipers we’ll have some buns.”
A little later the boys met again on the grating.
“I tink Santa Claus’ll come sure ter-night,” said Petey.
“Come notting”, exclaimed the second boy; “he’s got better graft den dis.”
“I wish I was up in dose stars. Santa Claus lives up dere, an’ all der boys are warm an’ have plenty ter eat.”
“See here, Petey, dere yer go agin. Yer gettin’ daffy fer sure. Get a brace on yer an’ we’ll go an’ buy some buns. I sold me poipers and we’ll celebrate.”
“I can’t get up, Chimmy; someting’s der matter wid me. I’se sick and I guess I’se going to croak. Oh, I wish Santa Claus ‘d come.”
The second boy stooped down over his sick comrade, and just as he did so a big policeman appeared on teh scene and said:
“See here, get a move on you or I will have your hides. You know you can’t stop here.”
“Dat’s all right, boss,” said Petey’s chum, “but Petey’s sick an’ I guess yer’ll have ter get der ambulance.”
The big policeman laid his hand gently on Petey’s shoulder and tried to rouse him, but the boy’s eyes were closed, and he did not move.
Just then a rough-looking man clad in a big ulster pushed his way through the little crowd that surrounded the sick newsboy and asked what the trouble was.
“Oh, Petey’s caved in,” exclaimed his cum. “He to’ght dat Santa Claus would be down here ter-night, an’ he didn’t come. Dere ain’t no Santa Claus. Dat feller dat treated us in der beanery las’ year was a racetrack feller, dat’s all.”
“Who says there isn’t a Santa Claus?” shouted the big man. “If you say that again I’ll throw you down a manhole. I am Santa Claus, and don’t you forget it.”
Then stooping over Petey’s prostrate form he tenderly picked him up in his arms, and, telling the rest of the boys to fall in line, he carried him into the warm and cheerful little restaurant a short distance away. The genial warmth of the room and a few spoonfuls of hot coffee soon aroused Petey from his stupor, and, looking trustfully up into the face of the man, he exclaimed:
“I know’d Santa Claus ‘d come.”
The man stayed in the restaurant until the boys had feasted to their hearts’ content and the orders that were filled for pork and beans, “sinkers,” mince pie and coffee kept the waiters busy. Every now and then a new lot of boys gathered in front of the beanery, and they, too, were called inside and feasted by Petey’s Santa Claus. The latter did not leave until there were no more boys to fee, and when he finally went away he left a bright silver dollar in Petey’s hand, and the latter and his chum slept in warm beds in the Newsboys’ Lodging House that night.
From the November 10, 1901 edition of the New York Tribune:
“About four years ago,” said Superintendent Heig of the Newsboys’ Lodging House yesterday, “a boy named Herman Felten stopped at the lodging house. He became a regular attendant at our night school and at the Sunday evening meetings. As he had friends in Louisville, Ky., he wished to go there, and we sent him. He has since organized a newsboys’ club there of which he is the head.”
Mr. Heig received a letter from Felten a few days ago, which was as follows:
It is so long since I last wrote you that mayhap you think I have forgotten you and the Brace Memorial Lodging House. But, no; the lessons I learned and the kindnesses that I received are indelible impressions on my mind—effaceable only by the tragedy of death.
I am now no more the humble newsboy, shouting “Extree! All about the terrible murder!” but a plain stenographer. With the money I saved from selling papers I took a course in a business college and graduated, and procured a position as stenographer.
Inclosed [sic] is an extract from one of our papers regarding myself which may interest you and the boys in your charge. The personage of whom I spoke is but a second Charles Loring Brace—a man worthy to be emulated and honored, and, being emulated, makes the doer happier and of service to his fellowmen; and being of service to one’s fellowmen is a type of love that uplifts the soul to the pedestal of a better life.
This letter was written by a boy who only four years ago was selling newspapers in this city, and much less than four years ago was pursuing the same occupation in Louisville. The newspaper clipping mentioned is from one of the Louisville newspapers, and states that at the “Thompson memorial services of the Newsboys’ Home, held at the Elks’ Home last evening, many interesting addresses were made, of which the most novel was by Herman Felten, the crippled newsboy who stands at the corner of Fourth and Jefferson sts.” The paper went on to say that the address was considered remarkable from a boy so young, after which it gave the address in full.
Felten’s speech was a tribute to Judge R . H. Thompson, the one to whom he referred in his letter as a “second Charles Loring Brace.” The judge had been friendly to Felten when he was a poor newsboy and in actual want, and had helped him through his difficulties.
From The Evening World on October 12,1887: