JF Ptak Science Books Quick Post
This is a 53-second insight into one of the primary interfaces of the American news industry and the user--the interface being a mode of distribution--in this case, the paperboy. The film's source is the American Memory Project at the Library of Congress, and is the creation of the American Mutoscope and Biograph Company in 1903. It is filmed in New York City (the LC description guessing that it is Union Square) and shows the delivery wagon for the New York World approaching a drop-off point for the new dailies. (The World, 1860-1931, was published by Joseph Pulitzer at the time that this movie was made.) It is quickly swarmed by the paperboys (along with a few men); the carriage is stopped, and a man begins tossing bundles of the folded paper into the crowd. There is chaos, and confusion; there is shoving, grabbing, pushing, and fighting. Towards the end of the film the boys stand by to watch two other boys in a true fight. It is a visualization of an unpretty memory of youthful competition for the chance to make a few nickels and who wind up being point-men for an enormous news agnecy which must have had little regard for their being. What a weak thing this is.