Fw: Re: History of sleeping on the streets

ICAN! (icanamerica@email.msn.com)
Sat, 25 Dec 1999 22:07:23 -0500


Subject: Re: History of sleeping on the streets


Posted by Peter C. Holloran <pch@world.std.com>

Boston police in 1900-20 reported on boys (and less often girls) bunking
out, which means sleeping in shop doorways and alleys. Juvenile court
records mention this practice also. I assume it was common in other
cities. Most of these kids had homes, but were running away for a short
time. I would be interested in knowing if this term, bunking out, was used
elsewhere.

Peter Holloran
Worcester State College

[This brings to my mind Jacob Riis's _How the Other Half Lives: Studies
Among the Tenements of New York_ (Charles Scribner's Sons, 1890), esp.
Chapter XVII:  "The Street Arab."  There is a wonderful on-line version of
this book, including Riis's own drawings and photographs, housed at Yale,
at http://www.cis.yale.edu/amstud/inforev/riis/title.html.  I highly
recommend the site and always have my urban history students peruse it.
--MJB]