Living Poor - Charles Garrett and Catherine King - New York World

Garrett's description of how he experienced life on an actual budget of a nickel a day. His series ran in the Evening World in tandem with Catherine King's report on trying to get a job at a living wage in the city.

Media History

The reporting was intended for these media types: Newspaper

VI-"The First Steps in a Chorus Girl's Life" - Catherine King - New York Evening World

Catherine King, After Much Tribulation, Gets a Position at Weber & Fields's; Such a Long Chase For Work; Though Snubbed by Some Managers, Others Were Kind and She Succeeded


". . .I had gone the rounds of all the big offices and had entered upon the second week of my search when I determined on a somewhat bolder plan of procedure. Heretofore I had dressed quietly and had conducted all my inquires and requests for interviews modestly, as one asking a favor. As a fast resort I resolved to take a more aggressive attitude. . ."

VII-"From Five Cents a Day to a Waldorf Feast" - Charles. H. Garrett - New York Evening World

Mr. Garrett Departs from His Cheap Living for a Special Occasion.


" . . . It seemed to me as though my good fortune was coming all at once. Just before entering the hotel I had found out that a poem which I had sold to the Criterion, and for which I was to be paid upon publication, was in the current issue of the magazine."I had found, too, that a long-delayed story from my pen is printed this month in Demorest's and between the two I could see that I would have enough money to more than supply my present wants. So there was absolutely nothing to interfere with my appreciating everything to the fullest. I did. . . ."

V-"A Day as a Cloak Model" - Catherine King - New York Evening World

Catherine King Works in a Big Mercantile House on Broadway; The Buyer and His Luncheons; Girls Must Have Fine Figures and Wear Garments So They Sell Readily


". . .All I knew about work as a cloak model was that one had to be possessed of a good appearance and a figure measuring so many inches about the bust and waist. But in order to find out exactly what the work was and exactly how a woman could earn a living in this field I picked up the Sunday World and read the following advertisement: 'Wanted- A young woman to try on suits and jackets; must be 34 bust. Apply tomorrow morning' . . ."

VI-"New York Life at Five Cents a Day" - Charles H. Garrett - New York Evening World

Not a Cheerful Proposition, as Mr. Garrett's Story Goes on to Show Very Plainly.


"I had gained a foothold with the papers and magazines, too, and was usually in receipt of enough money to assure me of at least my room rent. My income did not run above $2.50 a week, but that was enough to get along on. That sum paid for my room and left me 75 cents for food, tobacco, an occasional shave and such odds and ends of repairing to my shoes and clothing as I could not do. . . ."

V-"Living Upon Five Cents a Day" - Charles H. Garrett - New York Evening World

Mr. Garrett Goes on Showing How He Found It Possible but Often Very Painful; Gold Collar Button, 1 Meal; The Narrator Mends His Own Shoes -- Sells a Story, Good LUck, and Hears of a Sick Mother, Which is Grief.


"I had been down in the five-cent-a-day basin for some time and was vibrating between that and the two or three cent a day allowance of mush and coffee. . . . "

IV-"Girl Toilers' Chance at Selling Books" - Catherine King - New York Evening World

Catherine King Does Not Find Them to Be the Most Encouraging; The Women's Rebuffs Hurt; A Tip on Working Office Buildings, Despite Rules, but It Didn't Work for Sales


"I had tried several ways of earning a living and had found none that would have brought me enough to even settle my board bill, had I been in real distress. I felt that I must find something. Other women reduced to financial straits manage to earn a living somehow and I must do the same. I searched again the advertisements in the papers and found that although there was plenty of work offered for women, most of it required special training. . ."

IV-"Five Cents a Day; A Man's Life" - Charles H. Garrett - New York Evening World

Mr. Garrett's 4th Chapter on His Hard Experience in New York Living; He Does His Own Laundry; News from Papers Picked Up in the Parks -- Wisdom Gained from Accidents -- What He'll Tell To-Morrow"


". . . I was getting to the end of my small stock of cash and was beginning to wonder where the next money was coming from when my troubles were added to by an accident. To many people it would have seemed most trivial, but in the condition of my finances, it was a serious one. . . . "

III-"Girl Toilers With the Needle and Their Pay" - Catherine King - New York Evening World

Catherine King Works in Stylish Modiste's as a Beginner; Little Pay for a Year's Work; Fixes Society Woman's Gown at Redfern's and Sews with the Tired Workers


"I have been not exactly among the singers of 'The Song of the Shirt,' but nevertheless in the place and the atmosphere of a wearying 'stitch, stitch, stitch.' I have followed up my one day's work in a department store and my other day's work as a quick-lunch waitress with a brief experience as a dressmaker at Redfern's. . ."

III-"FIve Cents a Day, No Work, No Play" - Charles H. Garrett - New York Evening World

Mr. Garrett Continues the Thrilling True Story of His Fight for Food in New York; First Trip to a Pawnshop; Too Weak--Looking to Get a Job on a Ship--Students Respect his Cheap-Living Ideas


"The pawnshop is no more an evil than the grocery store," said one of the medical students. "In fact, in many instances, it is a blessing, and there are thousands of persons in New York today who have been saved from starvation or crime by the pawnbroker . . . "

II-"Girl Toilers' Work and Wages" - Catherine King - New York Evening World

Catherine King's Second Trial for a Place Was a Big Restaurant; Adjured Not to Loaf; She Learns How to Fill Mustard Pots and to Balance Big Tray of Dishes


"Clearly I was not intended for a shop girl. One day's experience had proved this. I turned my attention in other directions. 'Why not become a waitress?' said I to myself. So I resolved to try to secure a position in some downtown restaurant. . ."

II-"Five Cents a Day for This Man's Living" - Charles H. Garrett - New York Evening World

The Second Chapter of an Amazing True Tale of Existence in New York


" . . . When I had finished I would try and make myself believe that I had just enjoyed a course dinner. But I was seldom quite successful, as it is not easy to deceive your stomach . . . "

I-"Girl Toilers of the Great City" - Catherine King - New York Evening World

Evening World Woman Reporter Seeks Work at Living Wages; Catherine King in Department Store; Treated Kindly by Everybody, but the Hours Are Long and Pay Small for Beginners


"I started out early one morning to find work as a shopgirl. It has always seemed to me that there must be plenty of opportunities in the big stores for women and girls who are willing to work. . ."

I-"Lived Three Months on Five Cents a Day" - Charles H. Garrett - New York Evening World

Strange Experiences of Charles H. Garrett, Who Was Forced to Live in New York Cheaply; Nickel a Day for Three Months; A Wonderful Story of Local Life Simply told -- What the Unemployed May Have to Endure


"Have you ever been starving? Have you ever been so faint from lack of food that your brain swam and your mind refused to respond to even the simplest demands made upon it? Have you ever been so poor that you were forced to make twenty-five cents worth of food last for a week? Have you seen the time when a fifteen cent meal was a luxury and a restaurant lunch which cost twenty cents was the wildest extravagance?" I have. For the last six months I have lived this way . . . "