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The time Curley rid Boston of the scourge of women shoeshiners and bootblacks

The Boston City Archives recount what happened when Mayor James Michael Curley successfully fought to rid Bromfield Street of young women shining shoes and blacking boots on Bromfield Street in 1917 - when the young men who would normally have done the job were getting ready for war. It was an outrage to public morality, Curley and others - including the Women's Christian Temperance Union - thundered.

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Comments

There is no business like shoe business.

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Voting closed 8

Oh, that rascal.

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It occurred to me after reading this that the idea of a shoe as a thing that you should or even can shine is on the way out, and good riddance.

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The article describes the city regulators of 1917 seem backwards and short-sighted, in a way that implies we're better now. But there have been plenty of stories on here about bizarre and biased licensing and zoning decisions, so I'm not sure we're any more sensible today.

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That's so Boston.

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