London Labour and the London Poor, Volume 1

Mayhew, Henry


Of the Street-Sellers of Dog-Collars.


OF these street-traders there are now regularly ; man counted to me , but of these only sold dog-collars occasionally, when they could not get employment in their trade as journeymen brass-founders. Of the regular hands, , , and sometimes sell only dog-collars (with the usual adjuncts of locks, and sometimes chains, and key-rings), but even these, when their stock-money avails, prefer uniting to the collars some other trifling article.

of the most profitable pitches for the sale of these articles are in the neighbourhood of the Old Swan Pier, off , and at a corner of the Bank. Neither of these traders confines his stock to dog-collars, though they constitute the most valuable portion of it. The sells, in addition to his collars, key-rings, keys and chains, dog-whistles, stamps with letters engraved upon them, printer's type, in which any name or initials may be set up, shaving-brushes, trowser-straps, razors, and a few other light articles. The other sells little more than "dog" articles, with the addition of brass padlocks and small whips. But the minor commodities are frequently varied, according to the season and to the street-seller's opinion of what may "sell."

Some of these traders hang their wares against the rails of any public or other building in a good situation, where they can obtain leave. Others have stalls, with "a back," from the corners of which hang the strings of dog-collars, linked within another. The manner in which streetseller displays his wares is shown in the illustration before given. Of the whole number, half are either itinerant on a round, or walk up and down a thoroughfare and an adjacent street or . "Dog-collars," said man, "is no good at Saturday-night markets. People has said to me— for I was flat enough to try once—'Dogs! pooh, I've hardly grub enough for the kids.' For all that, sir, some poor people has dogs, and is very fond of them too; ay, and I've sold them collars, but seldom. I think it's them as has no children has dogs."

The collars most in demand are brass. man pointed out to me the merits of his stock, which he retailed from each (for the very small ones) to —for collars seemingly big enough for Pyrenean sheep dogs. Some of the street-sold collars have black and red rims and linings; others are of leather, often scarlet, stitched ornamentally over a sort of jointed iron or wire-work. A few are of strong compact steel chain-work; "but them's more the fashion," said seller, "for sporting dogs, like pointers and greyhounds, and is very seldom bought in the streets. It's the pet dogs as is our best friends."

The dog-collar sellers have, as regards perhaps -half, been connected in their youth with some mechanical occupation in metal manufacture. , I am told, are or were pensioners to a small amount, as soldiers or sailors.

Some further particulars of the business will be found in the following statement given me by a man in the trade. He was sickly-looking, seemed dispirited at , but to recover his spirits as he conversed, and spoke with a provincial (I presume a Warwickshire or Staffordshire) accent.

I served my time, sir; my relations put me —for my parents died when I was a boy—to a harness furniture maker, in Wa'sall (Walsal), who supplied Mr. Dixon, a saddler's ironmonger, in a good way. I had fair makings, and was well treated, and when I was out of my time I worked for another master, and I then found I could make my pad territs" (the round loops of the harness pad, through which the reins are passed), "my hooks, my buckles, my ornaments (some of 'em crests), as well as any man. I worked only in brass, never plated, but sometimes the body for plating, and mostly territs and hooks. Thinking I'd better myself, I came to London. I was between five and six weeks before I got a stroke of work, and my money had gone. I found that London harness makers and coachmakers' names was put on Walsal-made goods, and 'London made' and 'town made' was put too. They might be as good, but they wasn't town made no more nor I am. I can't tell what I suffered, and felt, and thought, as at last I walked the streets. I was afraid to call at any brass-worker's—for I can do many sorts of brass work—I was so shabby. I called once at Mr. A——'s, near Smithfield, and he, or his foreman perhaps it was, says to me, 'Give that tugbuckle a file.' I'd had nothing to eat but an apple I found in the street that day, and my hand trembled, and so he told me that drunkards, with trembling hands, wouldn't do there. I was never a drinking man; and at that time hadn't tasted so much as beer for ten days. My landlady—I paid her 1s. a week for half a bed with a porter—trusted me my rent, 'cause I paid her when I had it; but I walked about, narvussed and trembling, and frightened at every sudden sound. No, sir, I've stood looking over a bridge, but, though I may have thought of suicide, I never once had really a notion of it. I don't know how to tell it, but I felt stupified like, as much as miserable. I felt I could do nothing. Perhaps I shouldn't have had power of mind to drown myself if I'd made up my resolution; besides, it's a dreadful wickedness. I always liked reading, and, before I was fairly beaten out, used to read at home, at shopwin- dows, and at book-stalls, as long as I dared, but latterly, when I was starving, I couldn't fix my mind to read anyhow. One night I met a Wa's'll friend, and he took me to his inn, and gave me a good beef-steak supper and some beer, and he got me a nice clean bed in the house. In the morning he gave me what did me most good of all, a good new shirt, and 5s. I got work two days after, and kept it near five years, with four masters, and married and saved 12l. We had no family to live, and my poor wife died in the cholera in 1849, and I buried her decently, thank God, for she was a good soul. When I thought the cholera was gone, I had it myself, and was ill long, and lost my work, and had the same sufferings as before, and was without soles to my shoes or a shirt to my back, 'till a gentleman I'd worked for lent me 1l., and then I went into this trade, and pulled up a little. In six weeks I paid 15s. of my debt, and had my own time for the remaining 5s. Now I get an odd job with my master sometimes, and at others sell my collars, and chains, and key-rings, and locks, and such like. I'm ashamed of the dog-collar locks; I can buy them at 2d. a dozen, or 1s. 6d. a gross; they're sad rubbish. In two or three weeks sometimes, the wire hasp is worn through, just by the rattling of the collar, and the lock falls off. I make now, one way and another, about 10s. a week. My lodging's 2s. a week for a bed-room—it's a closet tho,' for my furniture all went. God's good, and I'll see better days yet. I have sure promise of regular work, and then I can earn 30s. to 40s. I do best with my collars about the docks. I'm sure I don't know why.

I am told that each of the street-sellers of dogcollars sell on the average a dozen a week, at a medium receipt of ("sometimes , and sometimes "), though some will sell and even dozen collars in the week. Any regular dog-collar seller will undertake to get a name engraved upon it at a letter. The goods are bought at a swag-shop, or an establishment carried on in the same way. The retailer's profit is per cent.

Reckoning weekly taken by men, we find expended yearly in the streets in dog-collars.

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 Title Page
 The Street-Folk: Of Wandering Tribes in General
 Of the Wandering Tribes of this Country
 Of the London Street-Folk
Of the Number of Costermongers and Other Street-Folk
Of the Number of Costermongers and Other Street-Folk
Of the Varieties of Street-Folk in General, and Costermongers in Particular
Of Costermongering Mechanics
Ancient Calling of Costermongers
Of the Obsolete Cries of the Costermongers
Of the Costermongers 'Economically' Considered
The London Street Markets on a Saturday Night
The Sunday Morning Markets
Habits and amusements of Costermongers
Gambling of Costermongers
'Vic Gallery'
The Politics of Costermongers.-- Policemen
Marriage and Concubinage of Costermongers
Religion of Costermongers
Of the Uneducated State of Costermongers
Language of Costermongers
Of the Nicknames of Costermongers
Of the Education of Costermongers' Children
The Literature of Costermongers
Of the Honesty of Costermongers
Of the Conveyances of the Costermongers and Other Street-Sellers
Of the 'Smithfield Races'
Of the Donkeys of the Costermongers
Of the Costermongers' Capital
Of the 'Slang' Weights and Measures
Of Half Profits
Of the Boys of the Costermongers, and their Bunts
Of the Juvenile Trading of the Costermongers
Of the Education of the 'Coster-Lads'
The Life of a Coster-Lad
Of the 'Penny Gaff'
Of the Coster-Girls
The Life of a Coster Girl
Of Costermongers and Thieves
Of the More Provident Costermongers
Of the Homes of the Costermongers
Of the Dress of the Costermongers
Once Try You'll Come Again
Of the Diet and Drink of Costermongers
Of the Cries, Rounds, and Days of Costermongers
Of the Costermongers on their Country Rounds
Of the Earnings of Costermongers
Of the Capital and Income of the Costermongers
Of the Providence and Improvidence of Costermongers
Of the Costermongers in Bad Weather and During the Cholera
Of the Costermongers' Raffles
Of the Markets and Trade Rights of the Costerongers, and of the Laws Affecting Them
Of the Removals of Costermongers From the Streets
Of the Tricks of Costermongers
Of the Street-Sellers of Fish
Of Sprat-Selling in the Streets
Of the Street-Sellers of Fruit and Vegetables
Of the Stationary Street-Sellers of Fish, Fruit, and Vegetables
Of the Street-Irish
Of the Street-Sellers of Game, Poultry (Live and Dead), Rabbits, Butter, Cheese, and Eggs
Of the Sellers of Trees, Shrubs, Flowers (Cut and In Pots), Roots, Seeds, and Branches
Street-Sellers of Green Stuff
Of the Street-Sellers of Eatables and Drinkables
Of the Street-Sellers of Eatables and Drinkables
Of the Street-Sellers of Pea-Soup and Hot Eels
Of the Experience of a Hot-Eel and Pea-Soup Man
Of the Street-Sellers of Pickled Whelks
Of the Customers, Etc., of Pickled Whelk-Sellers
Of the Street Sellers, and of the Preparation of Fried Fish
Of the Experience of a Fried Fish- Seller, and of the Class of Customers
Of the Preparation and Quantity of Sheep's Trotters, and of the Street-Sellers
Statements of Sheep's Trotter Women
Of the Street Trade in Baked Potatoes
Of 'Trotting,' or 'Hawking' Butchers
Of the Experience of a Hawking Butcher
Of the Street-Sellers of Ham-Sandwiches
Of the Experience of a Ham Sandwich- Seller
Of the Street-Sellers of Bread
Of the Street-Sellers of Hot Green Peas
Of the Experience of a Hot Green Pea Seller
Of Cats' and Dogs'--Meat Dealers
Of the Street-Sale of Drinkables
Of Coffee-Stall Keepers
Of the Street Sale of Ginger-Beer, Sherbet, Lemonade, &c
Of the Experience and Customers of A Ginger-Beer Seller
Of the Street-Sellers of Hot Elder Wine
Of the Street Sale of Peppermint-Water
Of Milk Selling in St. James's Park
Of the Street Sale of Milk
Of the Street-Sale of Curds and Whey
Of the Street-Sellers of Rice-Milk
Of Water-Carriers
Of the Street-Sellers of Pastry and Confectionary
Of Street Piemen
Of the Street-Sellers of Boiled Puddings
Of the Street-Sellers of Plum 'Duff' or Dough
Of the Street-Sellers of Cakes, Tarts, &c.
Of Other Cake-Sellers in the Streets
Of the Street-Sellers of Gingerbread- Nuts, &c.
Of the Street-Sellers of Hot-Cross Buns, and of Chelsea Buns
Of Muffin and Crumpet-Selling in the Streets
Of the Street Sale of Sweet-Stuff
Of the Customers of the Sweet-Stuff Street-Sellers
Of the Street-Sellers of Cough Drops and of Medical Confectionary
'Lohoch de farfara,' the Lohoch of Coltsfoot
Of the Street-Sellers of Ices and of Ice Creams
Of the Capital and Income of the Street-Sellers of Eatables and Drinkables
Capital, or Stock in Trade, of the Street- Sellers of Eatables and Drinkables
Income, or 'Takings,' of Street-Sellers of Eatables and Drinkables
Of the Street-Sellers of Stationery, Literature, and the Fine Arts
Of the Street-Sellers of Stationery, &c.
Of the Former and Present Street- Patterers
Of the Habits, Opinions, Morals, and Religion of Patterers Generally
Of the Publishers and authors of Street-Literature
Of Long Song-Sellers
Of Running Patterers
Experience of a Running Patterer
Of the Recent Experience of a Running Patterer
Of the Chaunters
Of the Experience of a Chaunter
Of the Death and Fire Hunters
Of the Sellers of Second Editions
Of the Standing Patterers
Experience of a Standing Patterer
Of Political Litanies, Dialogues, etc.
Of 'Cocks,' Etc.
Of 'Strawing'
Of the Sham indecent Street-Trade
Of Religious Tract Sellers
Of a Benefit Society of Patterers
Of the Abodes, Tricks, Marriage, Character, and Characteristics of the Different Grades of Patterers
Of the Low Lodging-Houses of London
Of the Filth, Dishonesty, and Immorality of Low Lodging-Houses
Of the Children in Low Lodging- Houses
Of the Low Lodging-Houses Throughout the Country
Of the Street Stationers, and the Street Card-Sellers
Of the Seller of the Penny Short-Hand Cards
The Lecture
'I perish with hunger'
Of the Sellers of Race Cards and Lists
Of the Street-Sellers of Gelatine, of Engraved, and of Playing Cards, &c.
Of the Street-Sellers of Stationery
Of the Experience of a Street- Stationer
Of a 'Reduced' Gentlewoman, and a 'Reduced' Tradesman, as Street-Sellers of Stationery
Of the Street-Sale of Memorandum- Books and Almanacks
Of the Street-Sale of Pocket-Books and Diaries
Of the Street-Sellers of Songs
Of the Street 'Pinners-up,' or Wall Song-Sellers
Of Ancient and Modern Street Ballad Minstrelsy
Of Street 'Ballads on a Subject'
Of the Street Poets and Authors
Of the Experience of a Street Author, or Poet
Of the Street-Sellers of Broad-Sheets
Of the 'Gallows' Literature of the Streets
Of the Street-Sellers of Conundrums
Of the Street-Sellers of Comic Exhibitions, Magical Delusions, &c.
Of the Street-Sellers of Play-Bills
Of the Street-Sellers of Periodicals, Pamphlets, Tracts, Books, Etc.
Of the Street-Sale of Back Numbers
Of the Sale of Waste Newspapers at Billingsgate
Of the Sale of Periodicals on the Steam- Boats and Steam-Boat Piers
Of the Sale of Newspapers, Books, &c., at the Railway Stations
Of the Street Booksellers
Of the Character of Books of the Street-Sale
Of the Experience of a Street Book- Seller
Of Street Book-Auctioneers
Of the Street-Sale of Song-Books, and of Children's Books
Of the Street-Sellers of Account-Books
Of the Street-Sellers of Guide-Books, &c.
Of the Street-Sellers of Fine Arts
Of Street Art
Of the Street-Sellers of Engravings, Etc., in Umbrellas, Etc.
Of the Street-Sellers of Pictures in Frames
Of the Street-Sellers of Manuscript and Other Music
Of the Capital and Income of the Street-Sellers of Stationery, Literature, and the Fine Arts
Capital or Value of the Stock-in-Trade of the Street-Sellers of Stationery, Literature and the Fine Arts
Income, or Average Annual 'Takings,' of the Street-Sellers of Stationery, Literature, and the Fine Arts
An Epitome of the Pattering Class
Of the 'Screevers,' or Writers of Begging-Letters and Petitions
'God Save the Queen'
Of the Probable Means of Reformation
Of the Street-Sellers of Manufactured Articles
Of the Street-Sellers of Manufactured Articles
Of the Street-Sellers of Manufactured Articles in Metal
Of the Cheap Johns, or Street Han- Sellers
'The Original Cheap John'
The Crippled Street-Seller of Nut- Meg-Graters
Of the Swag-Shops of the Metropolis
Shopkeepers and Dealers Supplied with the Following Articles --
Of the Life of a Cheap-John
The Street-Sellers of Cutlery
Of the Blind Street-Sellers of Tailors' Needles, etc.
The Public-House Hawkers of Metal Spoons, Etc.
Of the Street-Sellers of Jewellery
Of the Pedlar-Jewellers
Of the Street-Sellers of Card-Counters, Medals, Etc.
The Construction is of Iron and of Glass, 1848 Feet Long. about Half is 456 Wide. the Remainder 408 Feet Wide, and 66 Feet High; Site, Upwards of 20 acres. Josh. Paxton, archt.
Of the Street-Sellers of Rings and Sovereigns For Wagers
Of the Street-Sellers of Children's Gilt Watches
Of the Street-Sellers of Tinware
Of the Life of a Tin-Ware Seller
Of the Street-Sellers of Dog-Collars
Of the Life of a Street-Seller of Dog- Collars
Of the Street-Sellers of Tools
Of the Beggar Street-Sellers
Pike's Patent Cotton. 120 Yards
'The Lace-Makers' Appeal'
'ALLEN, Printer, Long-row, Nottingham'
Of the 'House of Lords,' a Street-Seller's Defunct Club
Of the Street-Sellers of Crockery and Glass-Wares
Of the 'Swag,' Crockery, and Glass Shops
Of the Street-Sellers of Spar and China Ornaments, and of Stone Fruit
Of the Street-Sellers of Textile Fabrics
Of the Haberdashery Swag-Shops
Of Hawkers, Pedlars, and Petty Chapmen
Of the Packmen, or Hawkers of Soft Wares
Statement of a Packman
Of the Tally Packman
Of the 'Duffers' or Hawkers of Pretended Smuggled Goods
Of the Street-Sellers of 'Small-Ware,' or Tape, Cotton, Etc.
Of the Street-Sellers of Lace
Of the Street-Sellers of Japanned Table- Covers
Of the Street-Sellers of Braces, Belts, Hose, Trowser-Straps, and Waistcoats
Of the Street-Sellers of Boot and Stay- Laces, &c.
Of a Blind Female Seller of 'Small-Wares'
The Blind Street-Seller of Boot-Laces
Of the Life of a Blind Boot-Lace Seller
Of the Low Lodging-Houses
Statement of a Young Pickpocket
Statement of a Prostitute
Statement of a Beggar
Meeting of Thieves
Of the Country Lodging-Houses
Of the Street-Sellers of Chemical Articles of Manufacture
Of the Street-Sellers of Blacking, Black Lead, Etc.
Of the Street-Sellers of French Polish
Of the Street-Sellers of Grease-Removing Compositions
Of the Street-Sellers of Corn-Salve
Of the Street-Sellers of Glass and China Cement, and of Razor Paste
Of the Street-Seller of Crackers and Detonating Balls
Of the Street-Sellers of Lucifer-Matches
Of the Street-Sellers of Cigar Lights, or Fuzees
Of the Street-Sellers of Gutta-Percha Heads
Of the Street-Sellers of Fly-Papers and Beetle-Wafers
Of the Street-Sellers of Miscellaneous Manufactured Articles
Of the Street-Sellers of Walking-Sticks
Of the Street-Sellers of Whips, Etc.
Of the Street-Sellers of Pipes, and of Snuff and Tobacco Boxes
Of the Street-Sellers of Cigars
Of the Street-Sellers of Sponge
Of the Street-Sellers of Wash-Leathers
Of the Street-Sellers of Spectacles and Eye-Glasses
Of the Street-Sellers of Dolls
Of the 'Swag-Barrowmen,' and 'Lot- Sellers'
Of the Street-Sellers of Roulette Boxes
Of the Street-Sellers of Poison For Rats
Of the Street-Sellers of Rhubarb and Spice
Of the Hawking of Tea
Of the Women Street-Sellers
Of the Children Street-Sellers of London