Needle Trades To Street Musicians

Features H and J

Picture of remains of a New World Cebus monkey Picture of Mother of Pearl buttons Picture of sewing related ojects Picture of Pressed glass buttons Picture of Bias tape Picture of black cotton thread Picture of Twill cloth fragment Picture of 'Shoddy' cloth fragment

The archaeological remains of hard work and industry stand in stark contrast to contemporary descriptions of Five Points, which were blatantly biased. George Foster, a reporter for the New York Tribune in the 1840s and 50s, described Baxter (then Orange) street as lined with " 'fences' or shops for the reception and purchase of stolen goods...One who has never seen the squalid undercrust of a fine city would be at a loss to derive any adequate idea, even from the most graphic description, of the sort of building in which the great business of living and trafficking can be carried on. If the reader is a farmer, however, we shall succeed tolerably well in conveying some notion of what we mean. Let him imagine forty of fifty cow-sheds got together in line, furnished with dismal-looking windows, half broken in and patched up with old newspapers--let him imagine half a hundred of these establishments, we say, standing in a row, with a dark paved street and an uneven narrow brick sidewalk in front, and he will not be far behind the reality of the place where we now stand."

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