Vendors

Crowds of visitors, lobbyists, staff, and elected officials pass through the Capitol each day, and over the years, the building continually evolved to meet their needs. In the 19th century, a chaotic array of enterprising vendors set up stands that hawked everything from gingerbread to cigars to guidebooks. The informal approach to commerce suited some, but it eventually clogged up the corridors. The crowd-pleasing pie sellers, stationers, and others eventually found themselves banished from the corridors, replaced by more formal approaches to food service and supplies.


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