Entrepreneur William Allen
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Written by Strawbery Banke Archive

William Allen (c) Strawbery BankeStrawbery Banke Presents

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)


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Bootblack Stand (c) Strawbery Banke

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Early Photographs from the Collections of Strawbery Banke
by James L. Garvin & Susan Grigg, Peter Randall Publisher
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