This photo by celebrated photographer Lewis Wickes Hine shows a group of newsies selling evenings in saloons and stores. It was taken in an alley in back of the City Jail at 10 P.M. Left to right: Dominick Mardilo, 28 1/2 Fulton Street; Roderick Towle, 44 Sheridan Ave.; William Towle, brother, 44 Sheridan Ave.; Louis Strasburg, 40 Mulberry Street; Max Erlich, 101 Dallius Street.
Lewis Wickes Hine was a sociology professor who used photography as a tool for reform; this picture and many others that preserve bits of Capital District and national history were taken for the National Child Labor Committee; Hine’s work was some of the earliest documentary photography. His work helped bring about child labor laws but, more importantly to me, he preserved images of people and places that would otherwise never have been documented.
Four daily newspapers are captured here – the Evening Journal, the Times-Union, the Evening Sun, and the Evening Telegram. Although Albany probably had at least seven daily newspapers then, I think the Sun and the Telegram may have come upriver from New York City. If there’s an afternoon newspaper alive today, I’m unaware of it; Albany’s last, the Knickerbocker News-Union Star, died in 1988. Officially, it merged into the Times-Union, which had long since switched to morning production. Lincoln’s image is prominent because it was his birthday, then celebrated on his actual birthday, February 12, because the mattress sales interests hadn’t yet gotten hold of Congress and merged Lincoln’s and Washington’s birthdays into a single day of weak remembrance.
There’s more . . . .