Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Popcorn Selling Forbidden at the Middleborough Rotary, 1948

In 1948, the Middleborough Rotary was set upon by out of town pop corn vendors intent upon selling their snack to passing motorists.  Ultimately, opposition by local merchants to what they saw as unregulated competition resulted in the matter coming before the Board of Selectmen as recorded in the following item carried in the Brockton Enterprise on May 18.

The area about the traffic circle at Middleboro seems to be an attractive place for pop corn merchants.  They float in there by motor and start doing business.  Other local merchants along the line object.  And that brings the matter to the attention of the selectmen.  The latest caller appeared at the selectmen's meeting last night.  He was Romeo Duverger, 214 Centre street, Brockton.  He had been dispensing pop corn near the traffic circle Sunday when Middleboro police intervened.  He informed the board that while he had a State license, he was driven away from there by the police.  He claimed to have a permit from the owner of the land to use it.

It was stated that the State license covered peddling and the contention was that it did not cover a location, such as the traffic circle.  He said he was willing to take out any other kind of license which might be required.

Chairman [Manuel J.] Silvia informed him that two others had met difficulty in a similar enterprise at the same location earlier in the year.  Action was held up, pending more complete information on the regulations of such business.  The unanswered question was why this particular location in Middleboro seemed to be so popular to pop corn merchants.

Photograph by Steve Snodgrass, reprinted under a Creative Commons license.


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