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PhallaciesHistorical Intersections of Disability and Masculinity$
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Kathleen M. Brian and James W. Trent, Jr.

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780190458997

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2017

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780190458997.001.0001

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Down and Out

Down and Out

American Male Beggars’ Presentations, 1860s–1930s

(p.194) 9 Down and Out

Robert Bogdan

Oxford University Press

In the past, in many people’s minds, begging went hand and hand with disabilities. People with incapacitations have always been overrepresented in the ranks of beggars, and among them male solicitors have significantly outnumbered their female counterparts. Indeed, men with disabilities dominated the ranks of beggars in the United States from 1860s to the 1930s. This chapter examines begging cards, photographic images, and accompanying texts that these mendicants distributed to solicit donations from would-be patrons by analyzing the historical and cultural circumstances of those who created and consumed them. In doing so, it also argues for the significance of alternative archives for excavating histories of disabled men.

Keywords:   disability, mendicancy, begging cards, beggars, solicitor, disabled men

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