Men pulling carts, c. 1898, Palm Beach, Florida

Men Pulling Carts Palm Beach Florida copy
Men pulling carts, circa 1898, Palm Beach, Florida
Description: African American men pull carts with people in them.
Source: Loewentheil Collection of African-American Photographs, Cornell University

2 thoughts on “Men pulling carts, c. 1898, Palm Beach, Florida

  1. These appear to be Japanese rickshaws ( jinrikisha in Japanese ) which were developed to replace sedan chairs. The modern wheels and suspensions gave a smoother ride for the passenger and made it easier for the runners to pull. From Japan, they spread all over Asia in the 1870s and 1880s. These appear to have been used for wealthy older passengers in a park setting. Two in their 50s maybe and an older relative being pushed in a wheelchair. The date is about right for this to have come to America. This is hard work, but not as bad as dodging traffic in Tokyo or Shanghai pulling one of these at top speed (5 MPH). Peasants moving to the city took the job which was the bottom of the rung job for them.

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