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Bamberger's Sign Shop

By Bill Newman

        Among the various after school jobs I had, was one in the sign shop of Bambergers Department Store.  Bambergers was the store in Newark and working there was a mark of achievement.

        My hours were from 4 P.M. till 9 P.M.  This gave me time to get from school to work.  I would eat my dinner at 3:30 on the bus taking me from school to work.

        My job was to print signs from large pieces of type.  The signs usually announced a sale, special value, new item or the like.  Since this was Bambergers, I guess I earned .20 an hour.  In the 30's any laws relative to minimum wages or child labor laws were unknown to both employer and employee.  To complain to a superior about any working conditions was the equivalent to saying, "I quit."

        I guess what I liked most about my job was that I could say to my friends that I didn't get home from work last night till almost 10 O'clock.

        The job lasted about two months.  After the Christmas season it seemed that half of the Bam's (as it was called by the locals) employees we given their walking papers.

        My print shop job was just another part of growing up.  Even though it only lasted two months I have fond memories of the job.  The knowledge I  gathered at Bam's served me many years later in another job in which I  supervised the making of signs.  No knowledge is ever lost.

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