Growing up in a relatively poor neightbourhood in the
1950s, steak was a very rare item. I do not remember
having steak before my teenage years with the rise in
the standard of living. There were people much poorer
than us who did have outdoor privies.

I can recall that it was unusual for industrial
workers to have automobiles back then. People could
just not afford them. People would borrow cars or
trucks when they needed them. I can recall the unique
thrill of being taken with my cousins for a take-out
hamburger. This was from a bar and grill which served
them. There were no fast food places. Such delicacies
were unknown.

The idea that steak would be commonly available in
poor neightbourhoods around 1910 seems very doubtful
to me.

--- Carrol Cox <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> The features Eliot identifies probably point to a
> somewhat run-down
> area, but not by the wildest stretch of the
> imagination could those
> features point to a slum -- at least for anyone who
> has ever seen the
> conditions of an actual slum. If he were describing
> a slum the smells
> would be of garbage, sour milk, excrement. As late
> as the 1940s there
> were residential areas in cities that had no indoor
> toilests. I picked
> this up by an article in some magazine, Colliers
> perhaps, on a young man
> who had won the Congressional Medal of Honor in
> Italy, and it mentioned
> that the tenement in which he grew up in Pittsburgh
> had an outdoor
> toilet in the back yard.
> Moreover, almost _all_ neighborhoods, except the
> very wealthiest, tend
> to have a mixture of residents, so even in a real
> slum there would be a
> scattering of apartments where someone had an income
> that allowed steaks
> once in a while. Housing in u.s. cities has always
> been so abominable
> that there would be people with a decent job who
> _still_ couldn't afford
> decent housing.
> Carrol

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