Sunday, April 7, 2013

Newspaper Carrier Tools of the Trade

One of my earliest jobs was delivering the Erie Daily Times, just like hundreds of other kids. I picked up my bundle at the firehouse on 23rd and Ash, counted the papers and inserted the ads in each one. Depending on the weather and the weight of the paper, I would put the papers in my canvas bag and then jump on my bike, walk or pull the sled behind me and head down to Slomski's Funeral Home on East 21st St. and start my rounds. My father drove me around on most Sundays because the papers were so heavy.

On Fridays and Saturdays I'd carry a money bag with change, a hole puncher and a hard-covered binder full of cards. I would line up the customer card and my card and punch the appropriate spot so we would each have a record of payment. The color of the card changed each year. 

The district manager (Dan) would meet us at the firehouse so we could pay our bill, part of which included a savings plan that did not pay interest. We got a long, skinny form that recorded our payment for the papers. A few years after I stopped delivering papers I started writing freelance for the Erie Times. I don't think there are any more youth carriers now that adults deliver the motor routes.

Enjoy more historic facts and photos of Erie, PA at:


  1. OMG does this bring back memories. I had the morning paper route in Lawrence Park on Bell St where I lived in the late 60`s also had Silliman and Smithson Ave I had around 60 homes to do.
    I would get up go the Drug store on Maine St pick up papers and go down to laundry Mat next to the Dinor and fold and put inserts in. I used my bag most of the time but on Sundays I used my wagon :)

    Had all the stuff ur talking about.

    Paid my Bill at Lawrence Park Volunteer Fire Dept.

    Thanks for doing Old Time Erie it brings back alot of memories of Erie and lawrence park where I grew up.

  2. Wow, this does bring back memories! My route was Fairmont Pky, Prospect, Buffalo Road, Linwood between Downing and June Streets. Used to dread going into the fish market on buffalo rd, Kerns, but boy that gentleman tipped well! Picked my papers up at the blue box on June street just above Fairmont. Always did it on my Stingray bike with the saddle bag over the seat. Winter time meant wrapping a piece of clothes line around the tire/rim on the back! The good old days when times were so much simpler....

    Kevin B