Grinder Cart of Anthony Gagliarducci


This grinder cart was owned and operated by Italian immigrant Anthony “Tony” Gagliarducci. Like many before him, he relied on his trade skills to make a living in a new country. Gagliarducci started his tool sharpening business in the 1920s, pushing a 250-pound cart through the streets of Southern St. Louis for over 60 years. Gagliarducci worked six days a week and walked 25-30 miles each day, wearing out countless shoes and three homemade grinder carts before the end of his career in 1988. 

Tony Gagliarducci was a member of St. Louis’ thriving Italian community. From the 1880s, the newcomers arrived in St. Louis and established a “Little Italy” downtown near other immigrant enclaves. In the early 1900s, Italian residents formed a new neighborhood southwest of “Little Italy” called The Hill, and by the mid-twentieth century, most Italian families had relocated to the Hill. Many in the Italian community traced their roots to Cuggiono in Lombardia, which helped develop a strong sense of shared heritage, stability, and collective identity. Over the years, residents established important cultural institutions. One of them, the St. Ambrose Catholic Church has provided a community center and beacon of leadership for the community. These community landmarks have enabled The Hill and St. Louis’ Italian community to survive the test of time.

Object Details

Categories: Arts & Culture, Business & Economy, People

Creator: Gagliarducci, Anthony

Date: 1958

Subject: Italian Americans;

Contributing Institution: Missouri Historical Society

Accession Number: 1988-104-0001

Copy Request: Transmission or reproduction of items on these pages beyond those allowed by fair use requires the written permission of the Missouri Historical Society: 314-746-4510

Rights: The text and images contained in this collection are intended for research and educational use only. Duplication of any of these images for commercial use without express written consent is expressly prohibited. Contact the Missouri Historical Society's Permissions Office at 314-746-4511 to obtain written consent.

Region: St. Louis Metro

Type: Object

Language: English

Latitude: 38.614904

Longitude: -90.25763