Street corner cops
1880 to the 1930s
Municipalities and school districts issued badge-permits to street corner newsboys in the decades between 1880 and the 1930s. The urchins were prone to fistfights over who would get the best corners, so licensing and regulating them enabled authorities to assign corners and avoid fisticuffs in front of customers. Additionally, newsboys were required to be enrolled in school. This unusual two-and-one-half-inch pinback shield was issued to a “News Boy Inspector” for the Cincinnati Times-Star. The inspector likely patrolled the city to ensure that no unlicensed boys were selling papers.