Audio Recordings "Originally, Paterson, New Jersey was Paterson, New Jersey."
McDowell, Rev. Louis
McDowell's Barber Shop (Paterson, N.J.)
- "Originally, Paterson, New Jersey was Paterson, New Jersey."
- Contributor Names
- McDowell, Rev. Louis (Narrator)
- Levitas, Susan, 1961- (Interviewer)
- Created / Published
- Subject Headings
- - African Americans
- - Child labor--New Jersey
- - Oral history
- - Interviews
- - Sound recordings
- - Work processes
- - Shoe shiners
- - McDowell's Barber Shop (Paterson, N.J.)
- - Ethnography
- - United States -- New Jersey -- Paterson
- - Interview with Reverend Louis McDowell, owner, McDowell's Barber Shop.
- - Summary of audio segment: "Originally Paterson, New Jersey was Paterson, New Jersey." From the 1930s to the 1950s it was really good. For shoe shining, we made a box and it would have a footing on the top, size nine. We'd go to a leather store and buy polish and a cleanser and the paste and we'd leave our home and go right down on the main street, "Shine mister? Shine mister? Shine mister?" We would pop the rag and make it shine like mad. A shine was 5 cents, then it went up to 10 cents. You'd be careful not to get polish on the sides of shoes. Shoe shine boys were all around. We'd never tell each other the truth about what we made. We used to go home with at least 8 ot 9 dollars on a Saturday. Went after school to do it, after finishing chores. Your parents could use the money; everybody helped out. (Boy comes in who he had given food to, to get more food for his family) Used to be signs in the saloons that said, "No Bootblacks;" an Italian friend of mine and I once raced to a saloon and we both stood there and my friend went up to a drunk and said, "Shine mister?" and the guy said, "You don't call me Shine!" and stepped on his foot. We laughed about that even after we were grown; all the bars would let you in if you were decent.
- Digital Audio Tape
- Call Number
- AFC 1995/028: WIP-SL-A022
- Source Collection
- Working in Paterson Project Collection (AFC 1995/028)
- American Folklife Center
- Digital Id
Rights & Access
The Library of Congress is not aware of any U.S. copyright protection (see Title 17, U.S.C.) or any other restrictions in the material in this collection, except as noted below. Users should keep in mind that the Library of Congress is providing access to these materials strictly for educational and research purposes. The written permission of the copyright owners and/or other holders of rights (such as publicity and/or privacy rights) is required for distribution, reproduction, or other use of protected items beyond that allowed by fair use or other statutory exemptions. Responsibility for making an independent legal assessment of an item and securing any necessary permissions ultimately rests with persons desiring to use the item. See our Legal Notices and Privacy and Publicity Rights for additional information and restrictions.
The American Folklife Center and the professional fieldworkers who carry out these projects feel a strong ethical responsibility to the people they have visited and who have consented to have their lives documented for the historical record. The Center asks that researchers approach the materials in this collection with respect for the culture and sensibilities of the people whose lives, ideas, and creativity are documented here. Researchers are also reminded that privacy and publicity rights may pertain to certain uses of this material.
Researchers or others who would like to make further use of these collection materials should contact the Folklife Reading Room for assistance.
Working in Paterson Project collection, 1993-2002 (AFC 1995/028), American Folklife Center, Library of Congress
Rights assessment is your responsibility.
More about Copyright and other Restrictions
For guidance about compiling full citations consult Citing Primary Sources.