A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006.

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Entry from June 03, 2012
“No Irish need apply”

"No Irish need apply” (NINA) was sometimes added to the job descriptions of the 19th century. The job was usually for a woman to help with housework, but Irish women did, in fact, take many of those jobs at that time. “I want a Printer—NO DAMNABLE IRISHMAN need apply. WILLIAM COBBETT.  COBBETT’S Porcupine Gazette, Philadelphia 1797” was printed in the London Morning Post in 1810. “No Irish need apply” appeared in a New-York (NY) Evening Post advertisement in September 1827.

The song “No Irish Need Apply” (1862), by John F. Poole, was a big American hit when Tony Pastor (1837-1908) sang it on New York’s Bowery.

Two papers were published on the saying in the Journal of Social History. Richard Jensen’s “‘No Irish Need Apply’: A Myth of Victimization” (2002) argued that such signs were rare, but this was disputed in Rebecca Fried’s “No Irish Need Deny: Evidence for the Historicity of NINA Restrictions in Advertisements and Signs” (2015).

“No Jews need apply” is a similar sign.

[Stephen Goranson of the American Dialect Society listserv assisted with the 1819 citation, below.]


Wikipedia: Anti-Irish sentiment
Anti-Irish sentiment may refer to or include persecution, discrimination, hatred or fear of the Irish as an ethnic or national group, whether directed against Ireland in general or against Irish immigrants and their descendants in the Irish diaspora.

It is traditionally rooted in the medieval period, and is also evidenced in Irish immigration to other countries like the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom. Anti-Irish feeling can include both social and cultural discrimination within the island of Ireland itself, such as sectarianism or ethno-political conflicts in The Troubles of Northern Ireland.

Discrimination and racism towards Irish Travellers, an Irish minority group, is evident in both the Republic of Ireland and the United Kingdom. Such racism is open and can be compared to that experienced by the Irish diaspora in the 19th century, with the hanging of signs in private establishments in Ireland stating “No Travellers” in the same style as “No Irish Need Apply”.
(...)
19th century
After 1860 many Irish sang songs about signs reading “HELP WANTED – NO IRISH NEED APPLY”; these signs came to be known as “NINA signs.” (This is sometimes written as “IRISH NEED NOT APPLY” and referred to as “INNA signs"). The 1862 song, “No Irish Need Apply”, was inspired by NINA signs in London. Later Irish Americans adapted the lyrics, and the songs perpetuated the belief among Irish Americans that they were discriminated against.

Google Books
20 December 1809, Blagdon’s Weekly Political Register (London), pg. 373:
In his American “Porcupine,” of 1797, he (Cobbett—ed.) says, “I want a printer! NO DAMNABLE IRISHMAN NEED APPLY!”

7 December 1810, London Morning Post, “WILLIAM COBBETT,” pg. 3, col. 3:
Of Irishmen, the most worthless of whom are now endeared to the heart of COBBETT, he formerly spoke thus;--

“I want a Printer—NO DAMNABLE IRISHMAN need apply.
“WILLIAM COBBETT.”
COBBETT’S Porcupine Gazette, Philadelphia, 1797.

11 August 1819, Mercantile Advertiser (New York, NY), pg. 3, col. 2:
COACHMAN WANTED—(...) No Irish or colored man will be engaged.

Google Books
28 January 1825, Galignani’s Messenger (Paris), pg. 57, col. 3:
The following advertisement appears in a Paper called the Porcupine, printed by Cobbett, in America, Feb. 18, 1795:—

“I Want a Printer. No damnable Irishman need apply.”

Old Fulton NY Post Cards
26 September 1827, New-York (NY) Evening Post, pg. 3, col. 4:
COOK—Wanted immediately, in a small family, at 491 Broome street, a white middle aged American woman, to cook and wash. None need apply who cannot produce satisfactory reference from their last place as to character & ability. No Irish need apply.

20 December 1827, New-York (NY) American, pg. 2, col. 5:
WANTED—at No. 300 Greenwich street, a good COOK:one that can bring recommendations forindustry, neatness, and fidelity. No Irish need apply.

17 July 1828, New-York (NY) Evening Post, pg. 3, col. 1 ad:
WANTED a woman to cook, wash, and iron, for a small private family. One who understands her business, and can come well recommended, will find a good and steady place by applying at 297 1/2 Broadway.
N. B.—No Irish need apply.

12 July 1830, New-York (NY) Morning Herald, pg. 3, col. 3:
“NO IRISH NEED APPLY.”—Several advertisements with this insulting appendage have been from time to time left on our hook for insertion, but which we rejected with disdain for their authors. If one Irish servant maid commits a fault, is that a reason that all other Irish girls must be bad? Surely not. Those who write those illiberal and foolish advertisements ought to remember that the misconduct of a few can afford no ground for insulting a whole nation; and a nation like Ireland—renowned for the virtues of her females, and the genius and generosity of her sons. That American cannot be patriotic who would deliberately offer an insult to the country of General Montgomery and Commodore Barry. When we were making the great struggle for our liberties, were we not nobly assisted by IRISHMEN?

Google Books
The New Monthly Magazine
1836
Pg. 358:
Advertisements frequently run in these terms:—“Wanted. so and so.—No Irish need apply.” But the usual phraseology is — “Wanted, an English or American,” &c. Notwithstanding this, the Irish constitute the great mass of domestic servants, and without them I cannot conceive what could be done.

Chronicling America
18 May 1841, New-York (NY) Tribune, pg. 3, col. 4 ad:
WANTED—An America Woman to do the general housework of a small family. (...) No Irish need apply.

10 November 1854, New York (NY) Times, pg. 5 classified ad:
GIRL WANTED—In a small private family—a young ril, 14 or 15 years old, either American or German, to take care of a young child. She must have good references. Wages $3 a month. No Irish need apply. Call at No. 89 McDougal St.

Chronicling America
17 March 1864, Holmes County Farmer (Millersburg, OH), pg. 1, col. 2:
THE SONG OF ALL SONGS.
An Original Conglomeration Titles.
BY TONY PASTOR.
(...)
“When this cruel war is over,” “No Irish need apply,” ...

OCLC WorldCat record
No Irish need apply : an original song by John F. Poole, written for and sung with immense success by the great comic vocalist of the age, Tony Pastor ...
Author: John F Poole
Publisher: [S.l. : s.n., 18--?]
Series: CIHM/ICMH Microfiche series, no. 59502. 
Edition/Format:  Book Microform : Microfiche : Master microform : English

OCLC WorldCat record
Condemned for their country; or, “No Irish need apply!”; an authentic, but startling, expose of the delinquencies of South Kensington Museum; and a plea for the projected “Royal Irish Institute” ...
Author: George Butler Bradshaw
Publisher: Dublin, W.B. Kelly, 1868.
Edition/Format:  Book : English

OCLC WorldCat record
“No Irish need apply”, boycotting of Irish qualifications by certain English hospitals.
Author: Association of Fellows of the Royal College of Surgeons.
Publisher: Ireland: By the Association, 1910.
Edition/Format:  Book : English

OCLC WorldCat record
‘No Irish need apply’ : prejudice as a factor in the development of immigration polic in New South Wales and Victoria, 1840-1870
Author: Pauline Hamilton
Dissertation: Thesis (doctoral)--University of New South Wales, 1979.
Edition/Format:  Thesis/dissertation : Thesis/dissertation : English

OCLC WorldCat record
“If you’ve come a’seeking justice, no Irish need apply:” Irish Republicans, political asylum, and United States foreign policy
Author: Karen McElrath
Edition/Format:  Article : English
Publication: Critical Criminology, v8 n1 (199703): 93-108
Database: CrossRef
Other Databases: British Library Serials

University of Illinois at Chicago
Journal of Social History 36.2 (2002) 405-429
“No Irish Need Apply”:
A Myth of Victimization

Richard Jensen
Retired Professor of History, University of Illinois, Chicago
Abstract
Irish Catholics in America have a vibrant memory of humiliating job discrimination, which featured omnipresent signs proclaiming “Help Wanted--No Irish Need Apply!” No one has ever seen one of these NINA signs because they were extremely rare or nonexistent. The market for female household workers occasionally specified religion or nationality. Newspaper ads for women sometimes did include NINA, but Irish women nevertheless dominated the market for domestics because they provided a reliable supply of an essential service. Newspaper ads for men with NINA were exceedingly rare. The slogan was commonplace in upper class London by 1820; in 1862 in London there was a song, “No Irish Need Apply,” purportedly by a maid looking for work. The song reached America and was modified to depict a man recently arrived in America who sees a NINA ad and confronts and beats up the culprit. The song was an immediate hit, and is the source of the myth. Evidence from the job market shows no significant discrimination against the Irish--on the contrary, employers eagerly sought them out. Some Americans feared the Irish because of their religion, their use of violence, and their threat to democratic elections. By the Civil War these fears had subsided and there were no efforts to exclude Irish immigrants. The Irish worked in gangs in job sites they could control by force. The NINA slogan told them they had to stick together against the Protestant Enemy, in terms of jobs and politics. The NINA myth justified physical assaults, and persisted because it aided ethnic solidarity. After 1940 the solidarity faded away, yet NINA remained as a powerful memory.

YouTube
No Irish Need Apply - The Weavers - (Lyrics)
Carlo Schena
Uploaded on May 12, 2011
Album - Goodnight Irene 1949-1953 [Disc 1]
Track 6 of 32

Journal of Social History (2015)
First published online: July 4, 2015
No Irish Need Deny: Evidence for the Historicity of NINA Restrictions in Advertisements and Signs
Rebecca A. Fried
Email:
. (...)
Abstract
Richard Jensen has forcefully argued that the absence of evidence supporting the Irish-American community’s historical memory of “no Irish need apply” restrictions in advertisements and signs suggests that these “NINA” publications, and particularly those directed to men as opposed to female domestics, did not occur to any appreciable extent in American history. Jensen argues that the NINA memory requires explanation as a psychological phenomenon rather than a historical one. This article surveys additional evidence from the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries documenting the publication of NINA-restricted solicitations directed to men. It shows that there were many such advertisements and signs, and argues that a variety of lines of evidence support the conclusion that such publications were sometimes common in some places during the nineteenth century. The article also surveys evidence relevant to several of Jensen’s subsidiary arguments, including lawsuits involving NINA publications, NINA restrictions in housing solicitations, Irish-American responses to NINA advertisements, and the use of NINA advertisements in Confederate propaganda. The article concludes that Jensen’s thesis about the highly limited extent of NINA postings requires revision, and that the earlier view of historians generally accepting the widespread reality of the NINA phenomenon is better supported by the currently available evidence.

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityWork/Businesses • Sunday, June 03, 2012 • Permalink


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Posted by john  on  07/31  at  01:18 PM

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