Joslin Hall Rare Books

Curious, Unusual, Interesting & Occasionally Useful Books of the 16th-20th Centuries exploring the skills, trades, lives and ways of other times...

 Wednesday, December 13, 2017

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Mussey, Henry R.
The "Fake" Instalment Business.

New York The University Settlement Society: 1903.

"Being an outline of its development, an account of the revival of imprisonment for debt and of the other outrages practiced by dealers under cover of the law, together with suggestions for the destruction of the 'fake' trade". A study of the so-called "fake" trade -a trade which, according to the author, flourished exclusively in New York's East Side Italian immigrant community. Poor immigrants were sold "gewgaws" and jewelry at "outrageously inflated" prices, often 10 to 20 times what the objects were worth, and signed a draconian contract for installment payments. The corrupt dealer then arranged for them to miss a payment and would immediately demand full payment of the balance. If the immigrant could not borrow enough from friends to pay, a corrupt policeman would arrest him, at which point he would either pay up or be sent to what amounted to debtors prison until his friends and family finally settled the bill. The author also includes proposed legislation to correct this scam. This study was reprinted in 1936, and neither printing is common OCLC locates just 3 copies of each.

Softcover. 5.5"x9", 45 [1] pages a poor copy, ex-institutional, completely disbound with the pages and front cover all loose, and rear cover missing. In addition the paper is very brittle and the pages and cover are chipping. For all this, a very scarce item in any condition.

Inventory #: 6884
Price: $ 125.00      

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