This scissors sharpener's pushcart was given to CHM in memory of Joseph Antonucci, father of donors, who owned and operated the cart from about 1900 until around 1961; his brothers used the cart until 1968.
The cart helps document the Italian immigrant experience in Chicago. It was used by Joseph Antonucci, an Italian emigre who operated the cart from about 1900 until around 1961. According to Antonucci's daughter, Antonucci used to "walk" the cart from Chicago all the way to Hammond, Indiana and probably even further. He usually parked the cart in a fire station or in a customer's garage before taking the train home. Antonucci was one of 16,000 foreign born Italians living in Chicago in 1900, many of whom relied on itinerant work to make a living. Deprived of decent opportunities in Italy, many Italians immigrated to Chicago for "pare e lavoro" (bread and work). Though many Italian immigrants intended to eventually return to their homeland, most, like Antonucci, remained in Chicago.