Newspaper delivery people have long been independent entrepreneurs, and Butte’s newsies were no exception. For Dec. 24, 1911, the Butte Miner gave its Christmas Eve edition to the “little fellows” at no charge as a Christmas bonus. Each delivery boy probably made 5¢ on each paper sold that day, instead of his usual 2½¢. That was a fairly big deal in an era when 50¢ bought a nice meal at a boarding house.
Skates and other sporting equipment were hot items for Christmas 1911. The Montana Hardware Company’s sporting goods department offered men’s skates at prices from 75¢ a pair to $5.00 for “American club hockey, hardened full nickel” skates. You could get a baseball for 5¢. Montana Hardware, initially run by W.A. Clark’s brother J. Ross, was at 30-40 West Park in 1911, the 3-story Pennsylvania Building that stood just west of where the F&W Grand Building is today (the Military Recruiting Building, which dates to the 1930s).