Saturday, November 28, 2009

Youth and Vice, 1887

In December 1887, the Vallejo Evening Chronicle reported on the following scandalous situation in San Francisco:

“The father of a child attending the public school in the Western Addition, called Wednesday on Secretary Bennett of the Society for the Prevention of Vice, to make a complaint against the indecent pictures circulated in cigarette packages. He brought a handful with him which he had taken from his little boy who was making an album of them after the manner of postage stamp collectors. He said the other boys were doing so, and exchanging with each other when they had two or more of a kind. The worse the pictures were, or the more female nudity they displayed, the more they were in demand, his son told him, and boys who did not smoke cigarettes themselves rivaled each other in begging the pictures. This he thought was a fruitful cause of demoralization among the youths of the city, and he asked if something could not be done to stop the sale of such pictures in cigarette packages. Mr. Bennett said that as the packages were not put up here but at the East mostly in New York, it would be difficult to reach the evil, which he recognized as a great one, but he would write to Anthony Comstock about the matter at once, and see if something could not be done to abate the unbearable nuisance.”

1 comment:

  1. I guess nothing could be done to abata the terrible nuisance.