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Barney Flaherty, the first Newspaper Carrier, was hired at 10-years-old by Benjamin Day, publisher of the New York Sun, on Sept. 4, 1833.

 

 

 

There are celebration/commemoration days for just about everything.

Even the nearly extinct newspaper carriers have a celebrant day, Sept. 4.

I was a “paperboy.”  In fact, I won a Eugene Pulliam Scholarship, thanks, in part, to my years (and my brother’s years) schlepping The Phoenix Gazette and The Arizona Republic.

We’d ride our bikes to the “station,” or drop-off point for bundles of newspapers awaiting home delivery.  In our day, Hurley Trucking held the contract to transport the papers from the print shop to the station.  Once our routes and territory got big enough, we had the station moved to our house.

Then we’d load our bikes with all the papers and deliver them to our subscribers’ door steps.

Once a week, we’d go door-to-door to collect the money for the paper, which we bought from the publisher at a discounted rate.  It was our own little business.

Those days are long gone.  Now it’s a car-delivered paper at the end of my driveway by a person I’ve never met and a pay-by-mail set-up.

Society has dictated those changes – but it cannot take away the memories of that first job for thousands across America -- being a “paperboy.”

Scott Hanson
Scott Hanson
President Scott is president of HMA Public Relations and a founding member of the Public Relations Global Network. He’s a Phoenix native, husband, father of two and a fan of all sports and a participant in some. Check out Scott's full bio

4 Comments

  1. David Landis says:

    I still think of this as one of the great American jobs. Our paper guys (and gals) do a terrific job and I still love getting my hard copy newspaper in the morning. There’s a great quote from the movie the “Big Carnival” (alias “Ace in the Hole) where Kirk Douglas says, “I didn’t go to any fancy journalism school, but I sold newspapers on the street. So I learned what sells. And you know what sells best? Bad news. ‘Cuz good news is no news.”

  2. I still remember our carrier back in Minnesota. His name was Clay. I had a crush on him.

  3. Josh Weiss says:

    It’s a tough job for a pre-teen kid! When I was nine I covered the route for a neighbor/friend when he went on vacation. Halfway through the first morning, I needed my dad to help me finish the two block route. Per dad, I was banned from volunteering to help when my friend went on future vacations. Then again, the friend/neighbor never asked me again… I think he got too many complaints about my delivering the paper late each day or leaving them in the wrong location at the doors.

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