Bread Line

Lisa O'Brien lisasmiles123 at HOTMAIL.COM
Thu Oct 17 21:10:14 UTC 2002

Hey there! Thanks for writing me back! You just made my day when I saw your
message! I had one of those days today  and I am not to thrilled about it. I
think I am going to go pamper myself for awhile. Ok well here are some more
pics of me, I would take the time to attach them, but come to think of
it...I don't really know how to do that. Ok well I hope you think I am
still pretty!! Teehee!! Ok well I will check back on here a little later,
and see what we should do from here. Ok well, time for me to make my day
even better. See ya later babe!! xoxo Lisa

>From: George Thompson <george.thompson at NYU.EDU>
>Reply-To: American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
>Subject: Re: Bread Line
>Date: Thu, 17 Oct 2002 16:11:25 -0400
>Historically, the "bread-line" question stands thus.  In the late 19th C,
>the New Model Viennese Bakery, run by Louis Fleischmann, on Broadway and
>Twelfth street, was in the practice of giving day-old bread at midnight to
>whoever applied for it.  The NYTimes of September 16, 1896 mentions the
>line of people waiting for bread.  The bakery had been around for up to 20
>years before 1896.  The obvious descriptive term for this was a
>"bread-line", but the Times did not use these two words, and I can't beat
>the 1900 citation in DAE, DAmer and OED.
>Philologically, there is the question of when the term "bread-line" as
>applied to this nightly line-up of the hungry poor, or similar lines at
>other places or in other cities, came to be used figuratively, to mean
>"poverty", &c., as in "if that's the way he throws his money around, he'll
>be on the bread-line before long."  OED has a quotation from 1909, that
>"the republic" was "chained to the bread line", but it seems to come from a
>biography of McCormick, the inventor of the reaping machine, and I suspect
>that the author had in mind that until McCormick made harvesting of large
>fields of grain efficient, the bread supply was inadequate -- so, a
>figurative use, but not the usual one.  OED's 3rd and last quotation, from
>1929,  is clearly what I have in mind: someone writes that he had spent his
>life with "people close to the bread line."
>The historical question is confused by the fact that the Fleischmanns were
>a large family of brothers.  The chief seems to have been Charles Louis,
>who lived in Cincinnati, and who began as a cultivator and supplier of
>yeast to bakers and brewers.  It appears that he didn't get into retail
>baking and running a cafe & bakery until the Chicago World's Fair of 1876.
>He was also an inventor, particularly of contrivances useful in baking,
>brewing, distilling, &c.  He's the one who has biographies in the
>Dictionary of American Biography and the American National Biography.  He
>died in 1897.  The DAB and ANB name only one of his brothers, but Louis
>Fleischmann, the New Yorker who ran the bakery and gave out the bread and
>died in 1904, evidently was another.  But it's odd that his obituary and
>several related stories in the Times don't connect him with his family.  It
>seems that both Charles Louis and Louis, as well as other family members
>had estates in the same village in the Cat!
>skill's, and the grateful citizenry renamed the village Fleischmann's in
>acknowledgement.  I checked America: History & Life, but found only an
>article about Max Fleischmann, one of C. L.'s sons, who was involved in a
>depression-era food program in Santa Barbara.
>George A. Thompson
>Author of A Documentary History of "The African
>Theatre", Northwestern Univ. Pr., 1998.

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