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The Street Railway Gazette, 1886-1887

The Street Railway Gazette, 1886-1887

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Excerpt from The Street Railway Gazette, 1886-1887: Volumes I and II

We have thought fit to introduce these extracts here, not so much for the purpose of amusing our readers with their absurdity, as to afford a caution to the general opponents of improvement. Arguments of a similar illogical nature are now used in reference to almost every proposed melioration in our social condition, and will doubtless, in a century hence, be quoted for their shortsighted folly, though at present meeting with countenance from a large class in the com munity. To be continued.) The iniquitous small boy, always ubiquitous in the Empire City, has shown much ingenuity by improving the time of the popularity of the uniform 5 cent fares, on the Manhattan elevated railways, to earn an honest living. Under the pressure of circumstances, the intelligent gamin has learned that many tired men and women are willing to go the same old dime for a comfortable ride, paying five cents to Messrs. Gould, Field and Sage for transportation and five for a reserved seat to any person who, having pre emptied a place to sit down, desires to release it at a profit. Acting upon this discovery, the small boy hastens into the car and proceeds to exercise the American privilege of squatter sovereignty over as many seats as his diminutive frame can control. When half way up town, or down town, business begins. Passengers are packed in the car like herrings in 'a box. A still, small voice comes from the right, low down: U'm tired ah' got a long ways to ride, but anybody's got fi' cents kin have my seat. Ain't goin' t' ast nobody fur 't, but here 't is fur fi' cents. And that plaintive tone, like the legendary pole, seldom fails of fetching the persimmon.

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