Entrepreneur William Allen
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Written by Strawbery Banke Archive

William Allen (c) Strawbery BankeStrawbery Banke Presents
HISTORIC PORTSMOUTH #33

Getting a leg up in business was especially difficult for African-Americans in Portsmouth. William E. Allen’s bootblack stand was right next to LV Newell’s photo shop on Congress Street. Records show Mr. Allen operated from 1887 to 1905 and became a home owner. Other shoeshine stands downtown were run by Italian, Greek and Russian immigrants.(click to enlarge)

 

HISTORIC PHOTOS of the Greater Portsmouth Area appear here weekly

Bootblack Stand (c) Strawbery Banke

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HISIORIC PORTSMOUTH
Early Photographs from the Collections of Strawbery Banke
by James L. Garvin & Susan Grigg, Peter Randall Publisher
(c) Strawbery Banke Museum . All rights reserved.