Audio Recording Shining shoes outside Near's Drug Store

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About this Item

Shining shoes outside Near's Drug Store
Contributor Names
Jones, Leonard (Narrator)
Levitas, Susan, 1961- (Interviewer)
Created / Published
Subject Headings
-  African Americans
-  Child labor--New Jersey
-  Oral history
-  Interviews
-  Sound recordings
-  Shoe shiners
-  Ethnography
-  United States -- New Jersey -- Paterson
-  Interview with Leonard Jones, urban gardener, hardware store worker, motorcycle club member.
-  Summary of audio segment: Shined shoes near Near's Drug Store which had been part of the Underground Railroad at corner of Bridge and Broadway. Knew how to pop rag; could still do that today. Made his first shine box at school from an orange box, then bought two brushes, two rags, two cans of polish, two bottles of wash, and two daubers and you're in business; a lot of kids were doing this. When any kid tried to take your shoe box, you'd hit him on his hand with a pipe which we all carried in our box, nine times out of ten, he stops. On weekends, every corner where traffic was was taken. You'd have to get out right after dinner on weeknights. Had to be off the streets by a certain time or the police would pick you up and take you to your mother. Good corners were Market and Church at Alexander Hamilton Hotel, Broadway and Bridge by Near's Drug Store, Paterson and Market Street by Bickford's Restaurant and railroad station across the street, and Market and Main, Broadway and Main was good, and well-frequented bars. Did it from age nine to age thirteen.
Digital Audio Tape
Call Number/Physical Location
AFC 1995/028: WIP-SL-A017
Source Collection
Working in Paterson Project Collection (AFC 1995/028)
American Folklife Center
Digital Id
Online Format

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Credit line

Working in Paterson Project collection, 1993-2002 (AFC 1995/028), American Folklife Center, Library of Congress

Cite This Item

Citations are generated automatically from bibliographic data as a convenience, and may not be complete or accurate.

Chicago citation style:

Jones, Leonard, and Susan Levitas. Shining shoes outside Near's Drug Store. -08-19, 1994. Audio.

APA citation style:

Jones, L. & Levitas, S. (1994) Shining shoes outside Near's Drug Store. -08-19. [Audio] Retrieved from the Library of Congress,

MLA citation style:

Jones, Leonard, and Susan Levitas. Shining shoes outside Near's Drug Store. -08-19, 1994. Audio. Retrieved from the Library of Congress, <>.