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[ 362 ] RICHARD SKOLNIK Waring's exceptional grasp of the problems of executive leadership led him to recognize a direct relationship between the Department's public image and employee morale and efficiency. This knowledge compelled him to seek ways to dispel existing attitudes, aware that success would enhance his position and enable him to bargain more effectively for greater appropriations from other city officials and agencies. Waring's strategy called for his men to discard their civilian clothes and sweep the streets in white duck uniforms and caps that they would purchase. The psychological effects of donning a uniform were not lost upon the former Colonel, nor was he unaware that conspicuously clothed, his men could not easily stray from their posts without detection. Waring believed also that "the fact that the sweepers stare the public in the face in every street" would have "much effect in securing popular approbation and assistance!'18 New Yorkers watched incredulously as Waring's men, at first caricatured as "Waring's White Angels" appeared in their new uniforms. Some people were not at all impressed and protested the action. Dr. Edward Duffy, in a letter to Mayor Strong, reflected some part of this adverse reaction: "Clothing the street cleaners of New York in the garb of white winged angels is repugnant to the declared feelings of the people and should be resented as a gross impertinence. . . . The idea of placing immaculate garments on men who are continuously dealing with mud and dirt presents to the mind an immensely ludicrious picture!'19 After the initial uproar had subsided, however, the idea of street cleaners dressed smartly in white gradually caught the public imagination. Waring, encouraged by this reception, determined to press further. He announced that his men would parade down Fifth Avenue in uniforms and in strict military order. Under Tammany, the Department would never have dared risk such a public display. There were those who still thought such an action ill-advised. One city alderman objected to "subjecting the men of the street cleaning department to the scoffing, laughter and humiliation that will result!'20 Nevertheless, 18 Times, April 6,1895, February 20, 1898. 19 William W. Ellsworth, "Colonel Waring's 'White Angels': A Sketch of the Street- Cleaning Department of New York" The Outlook, LIII (June 27, 1896), 1191. Edward Duffy to Strong, April 17,1895, Strong Mayoralty Papers, MA. 20 Times, April 20, 1896.